Confirmed cases of COVID-19 are rising all over Canada. Quebec issued further restriction, and it seems that the second wave is in play. My kids are currently attending school in-person, and their classes had to be rearranged this week because many parents pulled their children from an in-person school back to online school.
With increasing uncertainty comes rising fear. So, I would like to share again how we will handle onsite service moving forward. Our plan is clear: We will faithfully follow directives from the government regarding onsite gathering of church. When they say we can’t, we will stop gathering. We will move swiftly in our response based on our “Response Guide.” (You can read it at theseedmc.ca/covid19) But as long as there is no government directive against gathering, and school is running, we will continue to open onsite service to all members.
From looking at the safety procedures, coming to church is safer than grocery stores or restaurants. Everyone who comes into the church building has filled out a registration form with screening questions. Their temperature is checked upon entry, and they take a seat at a chair that is correctly distanced from others. All participants are required to wear a mask throughout the service. All chairs and equipment are sanitized, and all volunteers wear gloves while performing the cleaning.
We are not meeting onsite simply because we are allowed to gather. Many predict that COVID-19 will continue until next year, or longer. While staying safe, we need to be ready to live “with” it while doing our best to do what we need to do, individually and as a church. It is the practice of staying safe without being scared. We have always been living “with” risk, as driving, working, and exercising all involve risk (even fatal). Life is about managing risk, not eliminating it.
We might have to shut down onsite services again in the future altogether. But that’s fine. What is important is that we stay agile, flexible and adaptable, in whatever situation we face in the future. The future is in God’s hands. Our job is to remain faithful to our present without worrying, trusting that God can do amazing things in all seasons. History tells us Church thrived, not diminished, under persecution, calamities and trying moments.