A Letter From Pastor Brent
Please ignore the outdated letter below. We will be in lock down beginning Monday, December 14th. As such, we are no longer having in person meetings. When we can meet in person again, the paragraphs below will apply again.
We understand that there are many different perspectives on COVID 19 and on how our government and community has responded. We want you to know that your leadership team takes this issue very seriously and our number one priority is the safety and well-being of all who gather in our facility - our staff, volunteers, congregants, and members of our community.
From the beginning of the mandated restrictions imposed as a result of the COVID 19 outbreak, we have made it clear that we would be following the guidance of our government and medical authorities in our decision making. In keeping with this commitment, we have obtained recommendations established by the Windsor Essex Health Unit (WEHC) that have guided the development of our protocols for re-opening. We have had conversations with the WEHC and they have guided us in understanding what their recommendations are and how modifications may be implemented under prescribed situations.
Scripture has much to say about opportunities to live out our faith in the midst of circumstances that seem complex and challenging. As Christ followers, our allegiance is to God and His Word. There is a biblical mandate found in Romans 13:1-2 “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.”
We as your leadership, understand that we have a moral, fiduciary, legal and biblical responsibility to care for you, our precious flock. As stated in Acts 20:28 “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which He bought with his own blood.”
We also recognize the biblical principle found in Romans 14:1 to not judge others on what the bible calls disputable matters, understanding that God accepts each person based on their faith and understanding Romans 14:3. We are reminded that we should not pass judgment on one another or place a stumbling block or obstacle in our brother’s or sister’s way – Romans 14:13.
In understanding who we are, let’s “make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification” - Romans 14:19.
Based on guidelines set out by The Ministry of Health and the Windsor Essex Health Unit for religious services, the following items will outline what you can expect upon your return to the in-person gatherings at the church. Kindly familiarize yourself with these guidelines:
- We will provide signage as a reminder for all to maintain physical distancing (2m/6ft) and ask that all people wash or sanitize their hands when entering or exiting the building. We will encourage that people do not shake hands, embrace etc. and maintain physical distancing as stated.
- We are asking that if you are planning to attend the Sunday morning gatherings in person, that you register in advance through our mobile app, from our website, or by calling ahead. If you have not pre-registered, you will be able to register when you arrive on Sunday mornings. Please enter through the main doors that face Talbot Street and move to the registration/sign in area. More details on the pre-registration process will follow.
- We ask that everyone wear a mask throughout the gathering. Those with pre-existing medical conditions and children under the age of 2 are exempt.
We will not be providing nursery or kids’ ministry during the Sunday morning gatherings at this time. Activity packages will be provided to kids when they arrive. We will communicate with you when we are able to provide these ministries.
- We recognize the importance of singing as one of the primary ways we worship. We ask that if you wish to sing as part of your worship that you do so quietly with your mask on.
- We will regularly sanitize frequently touched surfaces and equipment ie debit machine, bathrooms, door handles, sanctuary seating, tables, etc.
- We encourage you to refrain from gathering in the foyer, café, or parking lot both before and after the gathering. Say "hello" and be friendly but do it from a distance, and if the weather allows; outside is safer than inside.
- We encourage you to not share objects or materials with others.
- We encourage you to self-assess your health before attending our Sunday morning gathering and to stay home if feeling unwell.
- We encourage you to continue to give online - the debit machine will be available at the new kiosk and an offering box will be mounted in the foyer for those wishing to donate through cash or cheque. We will not be passing an offering plate in the sanctuary.
We are aware that the regulations around COVID are fluid and are changing frequently, often with very little notice. These guidelines are subject to change as leadership feels is necessary to uphold the primary goal of ensuring the safety of those in our care. We care deeply about you and your safety and we ask that you understand the heart and compassion that we have for all who attend our Sunday gatherings. Please know that we are looking forward to worshipping together again in a spirit of peace and unity.
God bless each of you, and we look forward to seeing many of you in our newly renovated facility. We think you will love it!!!!
For the leadership,