We're going to keep our original post from 16 March 2020 in it's original form below, and add brief weekly updates to keep interested readers up-to-date. If you have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
This little corner of the world seems so peaceful and calm. I tell you the truth: I am mostly looking forward to social distancing. It will give me some time to catch up on my reading; maybe respond to the emails I have been putting off; grab 'hold of some of the "to do" projects that have been lingering on the edge of my consciousness for too long. Maybe do a lot of push-ups, and tidy my desk drawers.
This is a view that is still possible in Canada, where, across the whole country, there are ~350 confirmed cases. The hospitals are not overwhelmed, the danger is coming, but it isn't really here just yet. But in places where the disease is really rampant, the situation is very dire indeed. I think... if you are like me, and you are constantly reading the updates coming out of Italy, and Spain (and from the United States), please remember that God has not given us a spirit of fear (2 Timothy 1:7). Remember that Jesus warns against worrying, "for who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life?"
And if you aren't worrying - that's good. But if you aren't reading the updates - if you aren't aware of what is already happening, please let me tell you: your neighbours are already suffering. Folks in our immediate community: those who are tenuously employed, those who are ill, immunosuppressed or have lung disease, those who don't have reliable childcare options, those who struggle with anxiety or depression... they are already suffering. And this is already causing unimaginable, horrific triage choices in Italy. If you aren't reading the constant updates, there is wisdom in that. But it is easy to think that nothing "real" is happening, and it is. There are life changing implications for many people in the Crowsnest Pass, and we are called to weep with those who weep. We're called to consider the "least of these" in all of our decisions. We're called to be considerate of the needs of the weaker brother.
As for what we are going to do...
I've spoken with Meghan, our training coordinator, and we think that the best thing to do would be to cancel our upcoming Leadership Retreat. This is a disappointment, but it is a tangible way for us to love our neighbours: we can sacrifice something we want to do, in order to make life easier and safer for those who would be endangered by Covid-19.
In the longer term, the rentals we have booked will also need to be cancelled. Ashleigh and I will discuss how best to go about that.
My sense (based on what I have read and what I am hearing) is that making choices more than two or three weeks in advance requires a foresight that we simply do not have. Given how fast everything can change, given our limitations, I suggest that we keep a three-week time horizon in front of us.
For now, a three-week time horizon means cancelling the Leadership Retreat, and it means communicating with our rental clients. That will indeed impact our budget, but we've got it better than most.
Lastly, it is my opinion at this time that it will likely be fine to continue with the COLTS program as planned at the start of May, because COLTS is a permanent move for a very small number of participants (less than ten).
As for the summer, there really is no reason to speculate: if Covid-19 is continuing to run rampant, we will cancel programs. If it isn't, we will run as usual. The finest minds of our generation couldn't make an accurate prognostication about what will be our reality at that time, and we certainly aren't working with the finest minds around here.
So, to recap:
- Look for opportunities to be kind to yourself, and especially to your neighbors. This is indeed a very serious disruption for very many people;
- There isn't a good way for us to look forward to what comes next, so we should keep a fairly tight time horizon, and restrict our planning to the next three weeks;
- The next three weeks of programs at Crow will be canceled, beginning with the Leadership Retreat.
Sincerely yours, in Christ,