Building a Community to Reach a Community

Covid-19

ZBCC's Response to Covid-19

March 24, 2020

Please note: In-person Worship Services have been suspended until further notice and will be online only.

These are times unlike any that we have faced in a generation at least. The novel coronavirus (COVID-19), which seemed like a distant concern just a few weeks ago, has now impacted virtually every part of our lives. I wonder how our hearts are doing in all of this? Is yours filled mostly with anxiety? Confusion? Frustration? Anger? Despair? It’s in times like this that we most need to draw near to our brothers and sisters in faith, and yet it’s our very love and concern for one another that motivates us to observe calls for social distancing and self-isolation.

But we are not abandoned. Our God is a refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble (Ps 46), who promises to never leave nor forsake His own (Deut 31:6). And we, as His Spirit-filled people (Jn 14:16), remain committed to one another and eager to deepen our love (Rom 12:9-18). As fear and trepidation grip the world around us, and as circumstances shift each day, we cling to the unchanging One together.

The Ministry Council has unanimously agreed to adapt the way that we gather until future notice; instead of coming together in-person for worship services, we will worship online only via our church livestream (zbcc.ca/sermons/), Sundays at 10:45am. You can view recorded worship services through our website any time, but we encourage you to continue to set aside the Lord’s day to fix your eyes on Him as we read, sing, pray and hear God’s Word together at a distance. If you do not have any way to view the services online, please call the church office (780-433-8756), and we would be happy to do everything possible to make other arrangements for you. Please note that, in the event that we are unable to staff the church office, calls and messages may not be returned promptly.

At this time, smaller gatherings (e.g. Community Groups, youth group, etc.) are permitted at the discretion of ministry leaders, with the expectation that every possible step is taken to mitigate risk to oneself and others. We do request that you check this page on the church website and government guidelines (alberta.ca/ COVID19) regularly, and that you self-assess and refrain from attending any kind of gathering if any of the following is true for you:

  • You have recently travelled outside of Canada.
  • You or someone you live with or care for is a part of the high-risk population.
  • You or someone you live with have any signs of illness.
Your leaders, including pastoral and administrative staff, the Ministry Council, and Ministry Coordinators are staying in regular contact with one another to pray and to ensure that we are doing everything we can to plan for whatever the next weeks and months might bring, and to provide support for this church body and beyond. Expect to be contacted about our plan to create a network for care, made up of small clusters of individuals and families living near one another, who can check in, help one another as each is able, and to ensure that none are forgotten.

We encourage you to remain connected to your church family during these unusual times, in at least a few different ways:
  • Care. We will all need spiritual, emotional and practical care, and this is an important time to love our neighbours, both inside and outside of the church. Something as simple as a phone call is a great way to love others who might otherwise be completely alone. Do you have a neighbour who is vulnerable for whom you can get groceries or do errands? We can show Christ’s love by how we serve one another and our city in this season.
  • Give. We recognize that giving to the church is not an easy choice in times of uncertainty and acknowledge that the rapidly changing economic environment will impact the ability to give for many people going forward. However, we have had questions about how to continue to give offerings, and are encouraged by this desire for the Zion community to continue to support the church in difficult days. The church website (zbcc.ca/giving/) has recently been updated to clarify options for giving online and by mail. If you have any questions, please contact our Treasurer, Jeremy Fuellbrandt (treasurer@zbcc.ca) or the church office (office@zbcc.ca, 780-433-8756).
  • Pray. Please pray for our unity as we deal with isolation, for wisdom for your leaders, strength and protection for health care workers, and for the vulnerable among us. Most of all, pray that God would be honoured and treasured in this time of crisis. Prayer requests can be shared directly to any member of the pastoral staff (zbcc.ca/who-we-are/our-staff/) or by emailing: prayer@zbcc.ca.

Our present circumstances may be unprecedented in recent memory, but it’s not the first time that the Church has been challenged, nor is it the first time that the Church has been scattered. Indeed, it’s been in times of trial, confusion and uncertainty that the Gospel has often borne the most visible and sweetest fruit. As you pray for health, safety and provision, pray also that Christ’s rule and reign would expand in these days; that the love of God, our hope in Christ, and the power of the Holy Spirit is made evident by our joyful witness.

Grace be with you all.
Nick Thiessen
Senior Pastor
Zion Baptist Community Church

© 2018 Zion Baptist Community Church.