Pastoral Statement Re: Church Opening

Dear Congregants,

On this past Monday, June 8, 2020 the Government of Ontario under the direct leadership of Premier Doug Ford has given permission for churches to re-open at a 30% capacity.

Myself and our elected officers of the church have met to discuss how this announcement will affect New Beginnings Community Church and you our congregants and what direction and stand we must take in light of this announcement.

Concerns

As your Pastors and leaders, we are not only called to feed the sheep but we are also called to protect the sheep. Therefore,  it is wise for us to have the protocols documented, resources trained, equipped, and available to implement the health and safety measures necessary to facilitate a re-opening. As the government plans to reopen, they are taking all the precautionary measures and have advised that we must be well-positioned to follow public health advice and workplace safety measures.

The health and well-being of all our members and visitors are our foremost concern and number one priority at this time.  We do not want to have COVID-19 breakout in our church or any of our congregations on our District as we are now the District church for all of Durham. As such our decisions must be in the interest of our congregants.

Safety Protocol Requirements

The Board and I believe that we must listen to the experts who have indicated, that reopening should be coupled with testing. With that in mind we are faced with a number of questions.

  • What protocols do we currently have in place?
  • Are the protocols adequate?
  • Do we have a fully functional and practising  Health & Safety Committee?
    • If yes, have we provided the training and resources to equip said Health and Safety Committee to function effectively in compliance with legislation?
    • Do we have healthcare professionals who are willing to administer testing for COVID-19?
      • If yes, do we have insurance coverage for healthcare professionals and ministry workers volunteering as Health & Safety Officers?
      • If no, will our insurance be willing to provide our church with the necessary coverage?
      • Is our insurance provider willing to issue a Certificate of Insurance for each ministry activity?
  • Do we have the resources to engage a lawyer, if there is a legal case against us in the event we re-open and someone catches the COVID-19 virus?
  • How will the risk of opening at this time impact the ministry?

These are a few questions to answer to determine if we as a local congregation and Church are well-positioned to re-open.

Decision

As your pastors and Board of Directors, based on the facts we have decided to not re-open the doors of our church just yet. You and your health and your families health is of paramount importance to us. Even though we miss the person to person contact and in-person worship experiences, we must allow wisdom to prevail.

I am asking that we continue to pray, continue to check up on one another and know that the Board, Co-Pastor Marie and myself are working hard to ensure that we take care of you and our church. I want to thank you for your patience, your support, your prayers and your continuous and unwavering willingness to give your tithe and offerings even though we cannot gather together physically. Thank you for supporting us in our online worship experience. We are working on a few new things that will be rolled out shortly to keep us inspired, uplifted and engaged. Once again we love you and we are praying for you.

 

Your Pastor,

 

 

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