THE CONNECTION SERVICE
March 24 2020
Nova Scotia has passed the Emergency Measures Act. What does that mean for us as a church? How do we respond?
Well first off, we must go to the word of God for wise council and to receive our instruction. We as a Country need law enforcement and the military. The Canadian Government; Federal, Provincial, and Municipal, as entities, have been established by God. Romans 13 tells us, “Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God. So, anyone who rebels against authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and they will be punished” (verses 1-2 NLT). You can check out more of my thoughts regarding this matter on leadership via the following link:
The only time we might think about disobeying is when the authority is in direct opposition to God’s word. I don’t see that happening here, instead I see a concern for the overall health of the communities in which we live. Bottom line is that we are to obey the governing authorities in this case because as we do we not only honour them, we honour God. Not only are we obeying them, but more importantly we are obeying God. And finally, as we obey the authorities, it will be a witness to our neighbour as we aim to glorify God in our response – and that is always a good thing.
With that understanding, the Prayer Walk scheduled for 6:00pm Wednesday is now postponed until such a time as we are able to meet in groups larger than 5 people.
As we face this current crisis together with compassion and faith, I’d like to offer our LB family three tangible ways that you can participate in the mission of Jesus even while living under the Emergency Measures Act:
1. Consider Others In Need:
The Phoenix Centre is an organization that serves at risk youth with families. They will happily receive donations of diapers, wipes and non-perishable food items. (No clothing at this time)
Please drop off any items you can by this Thursday by 3:00pm to the Savage’s home: 48 Driftwood Cr. Dartmouth. (If you are unable to drop off email firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll arrange to pick it up).
2. Join An Online Study:
A six-week study called ‘The Way: learning to hear and obey God’ will be offered via Zoom, starting next Tuesday. A once a week, one-hour class Tuesday evenings 6:30-7:30pm. Enrol by emailing email@example.com with ‘enrol’ in the subject line.
And don’t worry if you don’t know how to use Zoom, we’ll walk you through the how to’s of this free video platform.
3. Consider Starting A Triad Via Zoom:
We may not be able to meet physically but we can still meet virtually. Take this as an opportunity to begin that triad we’ve often talked about. Triads are gatherings of three (or four) people of the same gender who meet together weekly (preferably) to hold each other accountable for spiritual growth and transformation. Triads offer the opportunity for face to face discipleship and personal community. Zoom has a free app that will allow you up to three people at time. If you need help getting started email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Stay tuned for other ways we will be connecting over the coming weeks… such as communion on-line. Curious? More information will be coming soon.
March 19 2020
We all now know that we must practice social distancing as much as possible to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to help #FlattenTheCurve. However, some of our neighbours who are vulnerable and others who are currently isolated still need necessities like food and medication.
That’s where those of us who are healthy and less-vulnerable can be the hands and feet of Jesus by providing services to ensure that the vulnerable and/or sick community members are taken care of. Which is why we are providing these practical steps.
The following lists are provided to ensure that there is as little physical contact and as few chances for transmittance of the virus as possible. We want to protect the vulnerable, the front-line workers, you, and everyone in the community from passing on or contracting the COVID-19 virus.
QUESTIONS FOR THOSE IN NEED OF SUPPLIES:
1. What do you need? Is it absolutely necessary right now?
2. Where can you get these supplies?
3. Can the supplies be delivered?
If yes: Is the person who needs the groceries able to order them? Can you help them make the order? If delivery isn’t possible, can we arrange for pick up?
STEPS FOR MAKING DELIVERIES:
1. Do not do the delivery unless you are taking proper precautions like hand washing, hand sanitizer, hand wipes.
2. Do not do the delivery if you are feeling ill or have come in contact with someone who is ill.
3. Wipe down all the surfaces in the vehicle you are using, especially if it is shared.
4. Do your very best to not use your phone while you are doing the errand. It is a hot-bed for germs! If you must use it, be sure to wipe it down frequently.
5. Don’t touch your face, this is the easiest way to get infected. If you have to go into the store to pick up the items use hand sanitizer or wash your hands* as much as possible.
• Immediately after touching the door
• Before using the cash register/check-out counter
• After using the cash register/check-out counter
• After leaving the store
• Before unloading the groceries/supplies
• If possible, pay with “tap” at stores, use only e-transfers (no cash), and those that can’t do e-transfer use a credit system.
• Carry a cleaner to wipe down the grocery bag right before the delivery, and leave food at entrances/doorsteps rather than hand to hand.
• Moisturise your hands! If you dry out your hands from washing them so much and then they crack, that is very unsanitary and will increase your chances of getting sick.
*Handwashing with soap and water for 20 seconds is more effective than using hand sanitizer, but there may be times when hand-washing is not an option
Remember: NOW is the time to be extra cautious. We’d rather be seen as over-reacting then needing to deal with the consequences of not taking this seriously enough!
STEPS FOR RECEIVING DELIVERIES:
1. Make no physical contact with the delivery person, which means your delivery will be left on the doorsteps or entrance.
2. Leave it aside for a day or two if possible for extra precaution. **
3. If possible, no physical exchange of cash will be taking place. E-transfers are highly encouraged.
4. Thoroughly wash all fruits and vegetables with soap and water. Wash or wipe down all canned goods and other containers that arrive in your delivery.
5. Take care of yourself! We care about you!
** it remains virulent on surfaces for a lengthy period: from up to 24 hours on cardboard to up to two or three days on plastic and stainless steel. Source: https://www.wired.com/…/how-long-does-the-coronavirus-last…/
Thanks to Tina Bezanson for providing the information presented in this update.
March 17 2020
Dear Church Family,
You are undoubtedly aware of the rapidly developing concern over the COVID-19 virus that currently has the attention of our entire planet. We don’t wish to contribute to the fear and anxiety many are feeling nor do we wish to make reactionary or knee-jerk decisions. Our confidence in the person and work of Jesus is a solid foundation for all of life – regardless of our culture, climate or immediate circumstances. However, as a church family, we also realize we bear the responsibility to ensure our gatherings are a safe place for all who come.
This situation continues to change almost hourly. We’ve recently received communication encouraging gathering places (churches or otherwise) to strongly consider closing their doors for the immediate future if the gathering is of more than 150 persons. Though we fall below that number, we must be cognizant of the fact that we are being watched by the community we live in.
As much as individuals might feel or believe that we’ll be ok to meet as a smaller gathering than the number threshold the Nova Scotia government has given, the safety of the most vulnerable and those at risk is of utmost importance. As well, how we respond and act will definitely send a strong message. Our overarching mandate is to love God with all our heart and to love our neighbour as ourselves. That being the case, we would never wish to send a message through our actions or inaction that says we don’t love our neighbour. We would never want our neighbour to hear that, “The church doesn’t really care about our well-being” or “the church is only interested in themselves” or “the church is being needlessly reckless” or “the church doesn’t respect the government enough to follow recommendations”.
Based on the concern for our neighbours, the governmental recommendation, prayer, discussion, and observation, we will be cancelling our Sunday morning services until such time as it is advisable to reconvene. As well it is suggested that all mid-week gatherings such as LifeGroups, men’s breakfast, worship practices and yes even the newcomer lunch be postponed for at least 3 weeks, or until it is advisable to reengage.
At this point we are keeping a close watch on updates provided through the Nova Scotia Health Authority and are hopeful to be back worshipping together very soon. Of course, we promise to keep you apprised of further updates or changes as they take place via our Facebook page, email and our church web-site.
This presents us with a unique challenge and opportunity to explore how we foster community when relational proximity is removed. We are currently looking into options to make our sermons available online. In the meantime, here are a few practical suggestions for each of us in order to be a blessing even as we are away from our relational community
1) Text or email each other with encouraging messages.
Call someone to see how they’re doing.
2) Take this as an opportunity to meet one on one or as families, with others you may not have had the chance to get together with very often.
3) Each Sunday plan a brunch with one or two others and view the online sermon that we will be posting. (Possibly someone who may never enter a church but would love to eat waffles with you?)
4) Reach out to someone in isolation and offer to help with any grocery or pharmacy pick-up, dog walking, or other errand they may need looked after.
5) Check in on seniors and vulnerable persons to see if there is any need they might have and to make sure they are ok.
Let’s make sure no-one has to be alone or uncared for. Of course, be aware of your and others health and only personally connect if you are not sick or required to be self-isolated. While tragic, this situation might be a place where God’s Kingdom can still be powerfully experienced.
The early church grew in times of plague. When fearful citizens fled to the hills, the Christians remained behind to care for the sick and dying. They followed Jesus’ command to love our neighbor as ourselves and held onto the truth that if they died, they would be with Christ. This truth was shared to those they cared for and the church grew in the midst of health crisis’.
At all times, our trust is in the Lord. We are thankful for medicine, doctors and health services but we remember Psalm 57:1 “Have mercy upon me, my God, for in you I take refuge, under the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.”
In the meantime, we should be looking at the variety of ways to serve one another and our neighbours practically. Some people will feel the impact of this virus financially, others may struggle to get out to purchase necessities and working parents may be stuck with children out of school.
Additionally, if you are one of those who is considered to be in the vulnerable ‘high risk’ position and / or currently self-isolated and need assistance, please, please, please call upon us as your church family and allow us to be blessed as Jesus’ hands and feet on your behalf.
NOTE: We will be in touch soon asking for volunteers to help out – but most importantly please be praying for our city as so many people are impacted in various ways!
Whether in seasons of celebration or crisis we live as children of God. Let’s continue to find creative ways to encourage and reach out to each other and let’s continue to be watchful for opportunities to love and care for those around us in Jesus’ name.
email@example.com (902) 989-5373
Update: Since the writing of this letter, HRCE has suspending all gatherings – all school activities and all rental groups until further notice.