Stevens Road Baptist Covid-19 Update #2 – March 19, 2020
Dear Church Family,
The health and safety of our families and our team members is of the utmost importance to us. Since the last time we met we have been keeping up to date with the shifting recommendations from Health Canada and the Nova Scotia Health Authority as well as how government services, businesses and other churches are addressing these recommendations.
As of the afternoon of March 17th, Premier Steven MacNeil on behalf of the province recommended limiting gatherings to below 50 people. Likewise, The Canadian Baptists of Atlantic Canada sent their recommendations to all of our convention Baptist churches which is as follows,
Of course, every church is autonomous and has the right to make the decision on whether to hold services, and we want to support you as you seek the best way to minister to your congregation and neighbourhood.
With that being said, our recommendation is that wherever the provincial government has issued an advisory to cancel public gatherings, CBAC churches should also refrain from gathering together in person—including Sunday services.
Leaders representing the Deacons, Christian Education, Finance and Trustees have met with the Pastoral staff and we have all agreed that it would be irresponsible to our members and the community to continue to gather together on Sunday or throughout the week. Effective immediately all bible studies, children and youth programming, small groups and Sunday morning services are postponed until after April 6th.
You might be wondering during this period what will we be doing to grow our faith in Jesus and connect as a body.
- A sermon, prayer and bible reading will still be broadcast on Facebook Live each Sunday. We have not worked out all of the details yet but we are hoping to also incorporate some music as well.
- https://www.facebook.com/stevensroadbaptist/ (you will need a Facebook account
- The Sunday sermon will be uploaded to our podcast by Monday afternoon
- https://stevensroadbaptist.podbean.com/ (no account needed)
- We are encouraging staying in contact with one another through phone calls, text messaging, e-mails, and even old fashion letters.
- We are working on gathering some volunteers who would be able and willing to help pick up groceries or other such things if you are not able to leave your home. A sort of ‘Knock, Drop and Go’ service.
- We are developing kits to be sent home so that we can part take in communion even though we will not be in the same physical space.
- And lastly, we understand that money may be a personal issue for you and your household in this time but we ask that you please consider giving on your normal schedule if possible. We accept e-transfers (email@example.com), we can set up automatic withdrawals, checks can be mailed or picked up.
For the next few weeks, we be will separated and isolated but please know that none of us are alone. Each in our own spaces we are still a community together joined through our faith in Christ as our Saviour and Lord. We will see the end of this period in this church’s history, this period of world history before too long. God will lead us through.
On behalf of Staff, Deacons, Trustees, Christian Education and Finance
Stevens Road Baptist Covid-19 Update #1 – March 13, 2020
Dear Church Family,
The health and safety of our families and our team members is of the utmost importance to us. In the last few days we have seen recommendations from Health Canada and the Nova Scotia Health Authority change rapidly and we are doing our best to keep up on a regular basis.
As of the morning of March 13th , Premier Steven MacNeil on behalf of the province recommended limiting gatherings to below 150 people. Since we are typically below that threshold, our intention is to continue with all worship services, small groups and other programming while also acknowledging that this may change in the future as needs and recommendations change.
As this letter is being written there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia. However, we would rather be accused of doing too much than not enough. We recognize the level of concern and uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and want you to know that we are taking preventative measures.
- We are asking everyone to forgo handshaking and other forms of contact. Nods and smiles are encouraged.
- We are increasing cleaning of all commonly touched surfaces including the backs and handles of the pews, doorknobs, and washrooms.
- If you are displaying cold or flu like symptoms, we are asking that you remain home.
- If you do cough or sneeze, please do so into your sleeve.
- If you have traveled/are planning to travel internationally, please consider waiting for 14 days before coming back to church.
- Offering plates will not be passed around but left in a to be determined location in the sanctuary where you can drop your offering.
- We are in the process of updating our communion handling procedures that will limit contact with the plate, cups and other elements as much as possible.
- Coffee time will continue but we are switching to disposable cups much like the coffee retailers have chosen to do.
- If you are not able to join us, our sermons will continue to be broadcast on Facebook Live https://www.facebook.com/stevensroadbaptist/ (you will need a Facebook account and we can help you set one up in you would like) and on a podcast https://stevensroadbaptist.podbean.com/ (no account needed)
- If the suggestion of how many people can gather changes again, we are developing a model of small group house church.
- If you can’t join us, please consider giving on your normal schedule if possible. We accept e-transfers (firstname.lastname@example.org), we can set up automatic withdrawals, and checks can be mailed or picked up.
- Our children and youth programs are also taking similar steps concerning travel, hygiene, and illness etiquette.
Moments like this can feel frightening but know that we are stepping forward in faith. We are confident that whatever the next few weeks or months look like, we are not alone. We know that Christ is with us and that we journey together as a family of God.
On behalf of Staff, Deacons, Trustees and Finance