March 14, 2020
The Ministry Council has unanimously agreed to suspend gathering for Sunday morning worship this Sunday (March 15) and next (March 22). Worship services will be online only. We will monitor the situation closely via reputable sources and will re-evaluate the situation based on the most reliable current info the week of March 23.
In place of an in-person gathering, we plan to share music, prayer and a message from God’s Word with you via our church livestream. We encourage you to prepare and gather your household to join us live at 10:45am and join us by singing, and praying and opening your Bible to hear from our Rock and our Redeemer in times that can feel quite uncertain.
Corporate worship is a big deal. We praise God, and he forms us through it. We love the rhythm of gathering to proclaim God’s worth by re-telling the gospel story as we stand shoulder-to-shoulder every 7 days. We anticipate smiles and hugs from brothers and sisters, are eager to greet guests, and our hearts are encouraged as we sing, pray, and speak the Word to one another. It is with a great deal of sadness that we have chosen to suspend meeting all together for a time.
But love is our motivation. The COVID-19 virus is spreading rapidly, with older people and those with underlying health conditions most vulnerable. If the spread of the disease can be slowed down, then it “flattens the curve” and prevents sick people from overwhelming the health care system. That means those who need help can get it; the key is to get out in front and do this before it’s obviously bad. Not meeting corporately is a way to love the vulnerable and those serving them.
As Christian apologist, Rebecca McLaughlin pointed out just yesterday: “It is deeply sad that the loving thing to do right now is to step back. It's in our Christian DNA to move toward others. We're called to be one body, reaching out our arms to embrace a hurting world. But now, for one moment in an eternity of others, we must step back.”
We can still worship and love each other, even though we aren’t meeting in big groups:
- Worship. We encourage you to prepare and gather your household to join us live at 10:45am on Sunday morning (click here to access the livestream or navigate through the church website). Because smaller gatherings are permitted, we'd encourage you to invite a family in your neighbourhood over to watch or even get together with your community group and worship together.
- Care. This is an important time to love our neighbours. We will all need spiritual, emotional, practical care. A phone call is a great way to love others. If you need a suggestion on whom to call, call a pastor and ask. Do you have a neighbour who’s vulnerable for whom you can get groceries or do errands? We can show Christ’s love by serving our city.
- Give. Continue to faithfully give financial offerings online or by mail so that the ministry of the church thrives all the more in the midst of difficult days.
- Pray. Pray. Pray. Please pray for our leaders for wisdom, for health care workers, for the vulnerable. Most of all, pray that God would be honoured and treasured in this time of crisis. Personal prayer requests can be shared by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
We do request 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 (as defined by AHS).
- You or someone you live with have any signs of illness.
Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling.
Be still and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!