Responding to COVID-19
What's Next? - Reopening Churches
No, we are not having any in-person services at our church facility...yet.
There have been recent changes to the restrictions with COVID-19. The Ontario Government has allowed most areas outside the Greater Toronto Area to move to Phase 2. "Places of Worship" were included on the list and Tillsonburg is within the Phase 2 boundaries. This is what the recent document has to say.
"Places of Worship
Faith is a source of comfort and an important aspect of the lives of many people across Ontario. To support places of worship to reopen across the province and help to ensure the safety of worshippers, the government will make available guidance, including limiting attendance to 30 per cent of building capacity and practicing physical distancing. Guidance will also be provided for spiritual leaders and their staff."
This is a step in a direction towards in-person services. However, we have been only provided two of the included measures necessary to reopen in-person services. We are still waiting for the rest of the guidance that the Ontario Government said they will be providing us. When we receive this guidance we will begin to make more concrete plans to reopen our facility.
Please also keep in mind that we will only reopen the facility for in-person services when we are convinced we can do it safely.
Stay well and keep believing!
Update: Now What?
Things have changed significantly with respect to the Coronavirus outbreak since our last communication. As we mentioned previously, the staff and board of Bethel continue to monitor the situation. We are using the information from the government and health authorities to inform our decisions. We wanted to share with you the recent steps we have taken to protect our staff and congregation.
All in-person gatherings organized by, or connected to, Bethel have been suspended.
This includes regular Sunday services. We are busy working on a way to provide meaningful ministry experiences. We appreciate your patience, but also your future efforts to learn along with us as we find the solutions that will best fit our faith community. In the meantime, we encourage everyone to stay connected by calling, texting, social media, etc.
Church office is closed but staff are available.
Pastor Brent and Pastor Sarabeth can still be reached by phone or email.
Take this seriously.
Please follow the direction of the National, Provincial, and local authorities regarding social distancing, self-quarantine and severely reducing public interaction. Ignoring these instructions is not an act of bravery or great faith. It will only cause unnecessary risk for the vulnerable among us. We want to be a church that helps keep our community healthy and safe.
We are a church that has proven over and over, that when we do our best with what we have been given, God can do great things. This situation is no exception. Let's continue to do our best to learn, care and live in ways that help each other and honour God.
Helping you respond to Coronavirus (COVID-19)
I’m sure you’ve been watching or reading about the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19). You may be wondering if we will be holding a worship service. Yes, we will be going ahead with our service this Sunday. We wanted to let you know what we’re doing at Bethel to prepare and respond, so you can make informed decisions.
What we’re doing:
· Monitoring the situation.
· Ensuring we keep all areas of the church facility clean and sanitized.
· Providing hand sanitizers for use where hand washing isn’t convenient.
· Encouraging friendly greetings and smiles, but asking everyone to put a pause on hugs and handshakes.
What you can do:
· Inform yourself with quality information about Coronavirus from a trusted source – Government of Canada Awareness Resources (click here).
· Keep calm and respond in a way that reduces fear (fear acts like a virus too!).
· Wash/sanitize your hands often, especially if you’re in public interacting with people and hard surfaces.
· Stay home if you have an underlying medical condition, compromised immune system or you’re feeling ill (cold, flu or Coronavirus symptoms).
We trust this is helpful as we all respond to the news of the spreading Coronavirus. Please pray for those affected by this virus, the people caring for those that are sick, and leaders involved in making decisions to help us keep each other safe and healthy.
May God bless you and give you wisdom.
Bethel Staff and Board