Covenant’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Dear Congregation,

Council has been considering the proper course of action going forward, and have determined that it is the most prudent and wise thing to cancel our worship service on Sunday.
 
We are called, as God’s people, not just to gather in worship to God, but above all to bring him worship by loving our neighbours. This move to cancel is an act of love towards those who are at an increased risk, as well as an act of civic duty. We remain a people in the midst of a country that is requesting we take precautions. As a church, we wish to take this request seriously.
 
As a leadership team, we feel that we would be causing an undue and unnecessary risk by bringing together, even healthy people. As an act of love and solidarity with those who are aged 65+ and/or immuno-compromised, we are all invited to participate via the churches livestream, found at covenantcrc.ca. If a family member of yours or a senior who is living alone is not able to watch online, please consider hosting a small group to participate in the service together. If you have neighbours or other Covenant members living in your building, consider joining together to participate in the service.
 

Small Groups

In so coming together as small groups, please¬†exercise proper hygienic¬†practices by saying the¬†Apostles’ Creed while washing your hands or answering Q&A #1, What is your only comfort in life and in death? And as hosts, please ensure your house is cleaned and sanitized before and after hosting.
 

Worship Service

We will do our best to show lyrics of songs and responsive readings and invite you to participate in coming before God in song and liturgy, even in this home church format.
This Sunday¬†we have Communion scheduled, which we will continue to do via livestream. Recognizably, Communion is an act that is meant to be done in community, and so again, I encourage you to join as a family, a small group, or neighbourhood to enter into this sacrament. Please have some bread and juice/wine/water on hand in order to fully participate. We acknowledge a God whose Holy Sacrament is still a tangible reminder of God’s victory, even though we cannot entirely celebrate it as a full body of believers. I look forward to seeing pictures and hearing stories of how God spoke to you through the sacrament in this unique setting.
 

Ministry Giving

Giving to the ministries of the church and our community is a meaningful¬†part of our service of worship, and so during the service, I will invite you to give via e-transfer, which can be sent to¬†office@covenantcrc.ca. This week’s second offering is for the Supplementary Fund of Calvin Christian School. We are not able to distinguish well enough with the e-transfer process, and so I invite you to mail your donations for the Supplementary Fund to the church, or set them aside for when we next gather again. Please write your cheques after washing your hands. If it is normally your practice to dress up for church, please be encouraged to do so as well, even though you remain in your homes and small groups.
 

Looking Forward

At this time we don’t know if services will be cancelled in the future. Please keep up to date with your emails, check the church’s website, or our facebook page to keep up to date on future cancelations.
 
Small Groups scheduled to meet will be left to make their own decisions with regard to whether to gather or not, but where possible, are encouraged to continue in studying God’s word together.
 
Ministries that meet in the church during the week may continue to operate for the time being however we ask that you ensure proper hand washing and hand sanitizer use, and wipe down all surfaces and knobs in the areas used.
 
Please refer to the previous email with regard to attendance at smaller gatherings and consider staying home if you are aged 65+ or immuno-compromised.  If you are sick, even with a cold, please stay home from any events.
 
The following other church events are cancelled:
  • Sunday¬†School
  • Nursery
  • Catechism
  • Library
  • Coffee Hour
  • Choir practice – watch your email for future updates from Trisha
  • Men of Breakfast this week and the event on¬†Saturday,¬†March 21st.
  • GEMS this week
  • Jr. and Sr. Youth this weekend
On a personal note, only on one occasion before now have I preached to an empty room. I am grateful that this time, I have asked no one to attend. I will miss seeing your faces and hearing your voices this Sunday but I know, though we are not gathered physically as sisters and brothers, nothing can separate us from the love of God, and it is by that great love, we remain united in spirit, both now and forever.

 

For the Glory of God, on behalf of Council,

Ben Verkerk, Pastor
Casey Siepman, Chair
Sharon Houle, Vice-Chair
Evan Booy, Clerk