This week, the health officials of British Columbia relaxed the most recent “circuit breaker” restrictions that have been in place to stall the spread of COVID-19. A new re-start plan has begun. Nearly 60% of British Columbians have received one dose of vaccine (I got mine yesterday!). Furthermore, health officials announced new orders that allow for indoor worship services to resume and for outdoor worship services to continue. We are grateful for the signs of progress this past week has brought, and most certainly for the provisions to gather indoors again.
What does this mean for us at St. Pete’s?
First, when we host an indoor or an outdoor service, we are permitted up to 50 people. We must continue to follow social distancing measures and all public health guidelines that have been outlined in our safety plan.
On Sunday, June 6th and June 13th we will host indoor worship services at the Naz at 10:00am and 11:30am.
Since January, our team has crafted a wonderful livestream service in the sanctuary. We typically have 8-10 people in the room serving on Sunday mornings. This has been good and necessary. However, we are eager to share this service with you in-person. And the 10:00am service will continue to be livestreamed. The only major change will be serving communion together, and kids are (always) welcome, but for now we will not have childcare. We would love to worship with you on these two upcoming Sundays. Please register right away!
The First Church of the Nazarene is a shared space with four congregations. Over the next two weeks we will be in conversation with the Naz to work together on a plan for worship gatherings beyond June 13th. Furthermore, UBC Robson Square remains closed until September. Our team will discern how best to move forward and communicate a plan for worship gatherings for the rest of the summer in the coming two weeks.
Know that throughout this season, we will always continue to live-stream services on our YouTube channel at 10:00am on Sundays.
I need to stress that these services are not an opportunity to socialize. While it is extremely difficult to show up and leave without sticking around to chat with people we love, I ask that you would honour the restrictions. If you come to a service, please uphold all our safety guidelines (wear a mask, refrain from singing, keep 2m apart, don’t feed the wildlife). Furthermore, we ask that you arrive on time and leave promptly without lingering to see people. There will be a time when these limitations will no longer be in effect. For now, we must do our part to create a safe environment as we continue to support and pray for our health authorities to govern with wisdom and care.
Friends, let’s not neglect this wonderful opportunity to gather together for worship, as the author of Hebrews charged us many years ago (Heb 10:25). The profound power of the death and resurrection of Jesus is unchanging and uninhibited. The gift of the Holy Spirit is ours, today. As we continue to navigate these ever-changing times together, may we move forward with our gaze set on Jesus, the “author and finisher of our faith” (Heb 12:2) and the one who holds each one of these COVID days in His loving hands.