The Venerable Dr. David Anderson
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Present Context

As the Province of Ontario has moved our city into the “Red Control (stringent measures)” level of measures for the control of the pandemic it is incumbent upon us that we review some of our ministry protocols at Saint John’s. The Red Control level of the provincial framework is the most severe before widespread business and organizational closure and is responsive to an alarmingly high rate of infection in our community. At this time, the message is that people should generally remain at home where possible.

Bishop Bell has directed the following measures in the city of Hamilton.

  1. All faith formation activities are to be conducted exclusively using virtual platforms;
  2. Parishioners most at risk for severe outcomes from infection (those over the age of 60, those with chronic medical conditions, especially those who are immunocompromised) are to be strongly encouraged to stay at home and refrain from in-person worship or ministry; and
  3. Clergy and pastoral assistants are to provide pastoral care primarily by remote means for all but essential visits and/or emergency.


Telephone tree

We realise that these conditions mean a return to increased isolation for our parishioners and as a result we will be refocusing our efforts on maintaining our social and spiritual connection and support within the parish. The parish telephone tree will be reactivated and revamped slightly to ensure that we keep in touch.
Small groups. Most of our parish small groups have continued to meet virtually. All groups will now meet by remote means until further notice.

Sunday Worship

Our weekly livestream of our Holy Eucharist will continue at 10AM on Sunday mornings. The opportunity to attend this service in-person will remain in effect. Worshippers are asked to pre-register their attendance on the parish website. The safety protocols we have in place for worship are designed to keep us safe and have been approved by public health and other experts.

Portions of the audio from same service will also be available to callers who dial our toll-free number, 1-888-477-0602. The service is presently being posted by Monday afternoon following the Sunday.

During the season of Advent, an interactive prayer service is to be offered on the Zoom video conference platform. Details are available on the parish website.

Christmas. It is almost certain that our celebrations of the Christmas festival will be affected by the coronavirus pandemic, however, plans are being made to provide for special celebrations, such as:

  • A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols with Bishop Susan and the parish choir of St. John’s, Elora;
  • A Christmas Eve Family Service, interactive on the Zoom platform;
  • A Christmas Eve Holy Eucharist, in-person and livestreamed, with Christmas music;
  • A Christmas Day Holy Eucharist, in-person and livestreamed if possible.


Because of the changing conditions we can no longer assume that most of our volunteers are able to continue or resume the volunteer positions that they have previously occupied. Going forward, when scheduling volunteers for in-person services, we will not assume the availability of volunteers over the age of 60. If you are in this category and would like to continue to volunteer to assist with in-person worship, please advise the rector, David Anderson. Likewise, please also contact David if you would like to begin to volunteer. A certain minimum number of volunteers are required to make our worship services possible.


At the beginning of this pandemic we often heard it said that “we are in this together.” This is still true. It has always been true for Christians. We are in this together and with God’s grace we will see each other through these challenging days even more formed into Christ’s likeness.