Public gatherings go online following public health warnings
St. George’s Anglican Church took to Facebook Live on Sunday, March 15, reaching out to its parishioners following a decision by the Anglican Bishops of Ontario to cease public worship as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19.
“We did indeed livestream a service on our parish Facebook page (The Parish of Haliburton) this past Sunday,” Rev. Ken McClure confirmed to the Echo.
He said that the move was made for public safety, but that it was important to continue reaching out to the congregation.
The church “is a vital source of comfort in times of crisis and so we needed to find an alternative to physically gathering that would still provide connection,” he said. This was St. George’s first time livestreaming its service.
The Haliburton County Public Library staff also decided that they would try livestreaming programming for the first time. On March 17, they will be conducting their Seuss-a-bration Family Storytime at 10:10 a.m. using Facebook Live and will do the same again on March 20 at 10:10 a.m. for Alien Adventures Family Storytime.
The idea was programming and outreach coordinator Nancy Therrien’s, said branch services librarian Erin Kernohan-Berning.
“She wanted to be able to offer library programs in a non-traditional way so we could maintain a sense of community and reduce social isolation in Haliburton County,” she said.
On Monday, HCPL made the decision to close all branches until April 6.
“With our branches being closed, it will be more and more important to keep offering services in some way,” she said.
If you miss storytime, you can go to haliburtonlibrary.ca and find the links to the videos to watch later.
McClure said that he intends to continue doing his services using Facebook Live until it is safe for the community to be physically together again.
“It is my plan to continue to stream prayer services until we can once again gather, and to offer additional online material that can allow folks to receive spiritual care and nourishment they need from home,” he said.
“The only additional thought that I would share is that this is a real opportunity for us all to make sacrifices for the sake of each other, and while the greatest sacrifice we can make right now may be to isolate ourselves, we are not alone: we are never alone.”