Read the AnnouncementRead the Announcement
Yesterday afternoon, the Premier of Ontario started his daily address by announcing that beginning June 12th, places of worship would be allowed to open their doors to 30% capacity.
We want to let you know that we are aware of the announcement but simply not ready to open our doors. We may be allowed to open the doors to worship but because of where we are located and the size of our congregation, we need to be primarily concerned with the health and safety of ALL of our people – from the youngest to those with the most experience. The board and SLT are going to be meeting to start developing a reopening plan focusing on how we can open, what systems we will need to put in place, how we can worship, how we welcome each other and new people, and how we create the kind of community that God has called us to replicate.
I love how I have heard it phrased in the many online learning opportunities I have taken advantage of – “this is a marathon, not a sprint”. This is life and death and the church’s leaders are responsible for the people God has called them to serve. The leadership of NBUC takes this seriously and we will continue to do whatever is necessary to meet the spiritual needs of the community and to consider the physical, mental and social needs as well to the best of our ability.
When will we open?
We don’t know. All we know is that we will take the best advice from our federal, provincial and local government leaders, the public health networks, the United Church of Canada and use our own best judgement to do what is right. There is also a big difference between holding Sunday worship and smaller gatherings at the church but both situations will be measured and tested against our plan.
Does this mean that we will be staying status quo with what we have been doing? No, it doesn’t. We are also meeting to look at what does the “new normal” mean for us as a church. How are we going to be even more effective at meeting the needs of the wider community, how do we continue to reach more people AND have them growing in their faith in an ever-increasing online world?
If you are asking any of the questions listed above, I would encourage you to read some passages in the book of Psalms, spend just a couple of minutes being honest with God in how you are feeling – preferably out loud. I know you will be amazed at how your heart and mind will change!
I almost missed how the Premier started his address where he stated that places of worship are essential to the positive mental health of people! Over the last 3 months, we have been working hard to deliver Christ’s message of Hope across all age groups in as effective a way as possible – including our Sunday morning services. We have seen life change happening on an individual level through phone calls and food deliveries to those that do not have enough, on groups of people meeting in small groups – growing in their faith online, across our normal Sunday morning community and even out to those that would never cross the threshold of a church! We said at our AGM that we wanted to, “Share Christ’s Message of Hope with everyone in Brampton and beyond by reaching out to all and investing in the next generation” and we are moving towards that in unprecedented ways!
We will be inviting everyone to participate in “town hall” type gatherings over the coming weeks to talk more about what is happening, where our thinking is at that point and to gather feedback from people about how they are growing in their faith through these times. In the meantime, if you have any questions or concerns, please send me an email – we would love to hear from you!
Thank you, God bless and stay safe!