Covid-19 response update (March 16 2020)
PART 1: Sunday Services
"Grace and PEACE to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ" (2 Cor 1:2).
Sunday was really special. As of Sunday we had leave to gather in groups smaller than 250, and we did so - it was a special time in the midst of so much panic to pass the peace of Christ to each other. After second service, a doctor from our Church who is hip-deep in the current Covid-19 response offered to give us a chance for some Q&A, and to clear up some of the bad information that is out there. It really encouraged, educated, and comforted all who were there.
Now, however, we face a new week with new challenges: the Health Authority is now asking groups not to meet if larger than 50. At this point, it becomes untenable to continue meeting as we have - so we will have to modify the ways in which we gather.
SO WHAT NOW?
THIS WEEK WE WILL WORSHIP ONLINE. Sunday morning you will go to our website, where at 11am we'll all tune in together to worship and hear the Word. As long as restrictions like this are in place, we'll meet as a large group online.
Be an island of calm: the only thing it takes to shine bright right now is to be peaceful. Its never been easier to witness to the power of Christ. I got to share my faith at the grocery store THREE TIMES in 5 minutes after church on Sunday, because people in the store could tell I was different than everyone else around me. Lean in to what makes us DIFFERENT.
Pray for the CHURCH: statistically, this is going to HURT churches. Financially, and in the long-run with people leaving the church after a time away from it. BUCK the TREND - engage MORE. But pray for smaller churches for whom this is a significant challenge to stay together, and come back together, when this ends (and it will).
Be engaged: tune in to Sunday service online, reach out to people, fire up that forgotten devotional you never finished ;) Pray without ceasing. Love one another. Don't neglect the gathering together - even if it takes unfortunate but necessary forms.
I believe in us. I hope you do, too. Lets tune in together Sunday at 11am at www.gatewaybaptistchurch.ca and prove we aren't fluffy Christians - that we'll meet however and wherever and whenever we can.
There's no reason to cut yourself off from Community. Small groups are still meeting, people are still helping each other out. Call, email, facetime your Church Family. Meet for a walk!
Gateway Grocery Delivery! Healthy members of the less-vulnerable population are stepping up for you if you are sick or in isolation. If you could use someone doing a moderate grocery shop for you and delivering your food, make your request at firstname.lastname@example.org
The office remains open: come by for prayer, enjoy the sanctuary and some worship will be playing in the background.
Communion: you can drop by during office hours (M-Th 9-3pm) or on a lunch break to receive Communion (in individually-wrapped cups!) and prayer if you wish.
INTERACTIVE PRAYER MEETING
We are working on bringing you into an online evening prayer and worship evening where you can text in prayer requests and more and we can interact that way.
PART 2 - OTHER STUFF
AGM - scheduled for March 22, this will need to be modified. Stay tuned for an email update Wednesday Morning.
Women's Bible Study is ON for this week. Stay in touch for any changes in the future.
Youth Group is ON for this week. Modified program, contact email@example.com for info. Same as above.
Men's Breakfast is OFF until further notice.
Neighbourhood Market is ON - modified food distribution. For info contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Covid-19 Prevention Resource: click HERE
God is the only one who can make the valley of trouble into a door of hope.
- Pastor Aaron