Church Gatherings – Update

To the pastors and churches of the BCBA,
You have been amazing in the way you have so creatively continued on with your ministries even without being able to meet regularly in your buildings.  In BC the work that we have all done together in order to ‘bend the curve’ has worked and now we are beginning to move to phase 2 of the pandemic response which allows for gatherings of up to 50 people.  We still need to be cautious and respectful about how we slowly get back to a more normal way of living and meeting.
Below is a copy of the guidance that was given by Dr. Bonnie Henry on May 13, 2020.  This report was taken from the Church For Vancouver article.  The full interview can be seen by using this link (Dr. Henry’s presentation begins at 19:34): Health Ministry Update
“Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry did offer some guidance Wednesday afternoon, May 13.

Saying she’s had a lot of questions from faith leaders about religious services, she began by thanking them for their support:

I have been so incredibly appreciative, as we all have, of how many of our faith leaders have stepped up and helped us out through this very challenging time for all of us.

They’ve found many creative ways to do that and I’m very heartened by the stories I have heard about how people have reached out in a virtual way, by telephone and other ways to support members of their community.

She then talked about reopening church buildings for services:

Starting next week, religious services can be held, with safe physical distancing, so that is a maximum of 50 people still – and that is provided that many people can fit into your facility. That may be way too many for many places of worship.

We have seen outbreaks starting from religious gatherings, so be mindful of the room you’re in, how long the service may be and who are your congregants who are there, particularly if they are elders, people who are more likely to have severe illness with this virus.

So hold your gathering in the largest room possible, keep the group small, if you can. The maximum is 50, but that means you have to maintain that physical distance. . . .

You may need to have shorter or multiple services, and keep those virtual connections going, especially for the older people of your congregation.”

Another article that has been made public is the one put out by the Alliance Church.  They have created a BC Restart Plan for Churches as they begin meeting together again.  I have attached a copy of their guidelines below for your reading.  (NOTE: their contact information is given in the document but you can contact the BCBA for further information or concerns).
The important part of how you as a church go about reintroducing meeting together, is that you make sure you have a plan to keep safe as you meet.  The virus has not gone away and could surface in a group at any time if even one person is infected.
Let us continue to pray and care for each other as we now move forward.
Dr. Bob Krahn
Executive Minister

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