We want to exercise reasonable caution and help bring awareness of how to determine what practically applies in your church or ministry during the COVID-19 outbreak. We also recognize that this is a fluid situation and that an appropriate and reasonable response may change quickly.
On November 19, 2020, Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry issued a provincial order that prohibits indoor and outdoor gatherings of any size. In-person religious gatherings and worship services including drive-in church) are not allowed from November 19 at midnight to December 7 at midnight. This order also does not allow social gatherings of any size with anyone other than those in your household or core bubble.
While this order is currently in place for a short time, it may be renewed as Dr. Henry deems necessary and we encourage your church Board and leadership to plan for the potential of a longer-term restriction on gatherings.
See the Church Gathering Restriction Guidance for more information.
We encourage all of our church pastors to discuss with their Board of Elders, staff, and leaders the ways to follow both the government’s directions in these matters. Our continued prayer is that the churches will be beacons of hope and life in their communities during this time as this is a moment for us to truly be the Church.
Contacting the District Office
District staff can be reached by email or phone during our usual office hours. Any meetings that were scheduled to be held in person at the District Office will be reviewed and may be moved to virtual meetings or postponed.
As a reminder, if you are the person in your church office responsible for employment or Human Resources and aware of any employment changes, please complete an Employee Data Form as soon as possible. Filling this form out informs the District Office and helps us to support employees with benefits changes, licensing changes, and pastoral care. If your employees are affected by a temporary work stoppage, this should also be recorded on the form. For any questions on employment changes or support, please contact Dwayne Toews.
For general inquiries, please email email@example.com.
For any finance matters, please contact Aaron Chan.
For any benefits matters, please see Benefits Updates and contact Nicki Lundrigan.
We encourage you to pay close attention to updates and information as well as understand and follow all government precautions.
The Public Health Agency of Canada has created multiple helpful resources:
The BC Centre for Disease Control (CDC) and the BC Ministry of Health also have multiple resources and daily updates:
- BC’s Restart Plan
- BC CDC COVID-19 Information
- Healthlink BC COVID-19 Information & Advice
- Online COVID-19 Self-Assessment Tool
- BC CDC – Event Planning
We suggest that you also consult your local health authority for any region-specific information.
Here are several practical considerations for churches to consider during COVID-19:
- communicate how people can connect with the church for services or pastoral care
- communicate steps that your church is taking to ensure the well-being of your church family and community
- communicate information on practical steps people can take to prevent the spread of infection, including physical distancing
- take the weekly offering via an online means
- thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting your church building and especially high contact surfaces for any staff or guests
- refraining from customary greetings like handshakes or hugging
- regular hand washing and avoiding touching your face
- covering your mouth when coughing or coughing into a tissue or your elbow
- encouraging those that are ill, even mildly, to stay home
Here are several resources to assist you in preparing your practical response:
Church Guidelines & Communication Resources
- *NEW* Church Gathering Restriction Guidance November 20, 2020
- Province-Wide Restrictions – November 19, 2020
- CDC Guidance for Faith-Based Organizations
- WorkSafeBC Protocols for Faith-Based Organizations
- CPD Crisis Communication Resource for Churches – COVID-19
- C&MA in Canada COVID-19 Guide
- Coronavirus Church Guide
- Organizational Resilience Checklist
- Christianity Today Coronavirus Guide for Churches
Church Annual General Meeting
- Church Annual General Meeting During COVID-19
- BC Registry COVID-19 Society AGMs Advice
- Simply Voting online voting platform
Finances & Employment
- CPD Memo – Economic Response to COVID-19 July 22, 2020
- Canada Emergency Response Benefit
- Employment Insurance and Coronavirus (COVID-19)
- Supplemental Unemployment Benefit (SUB) Plan
- Alliance Retiral Fund Contributions and ARF
- Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan
- COVID-19 and the Workplace from WorkSafeBC
- COVID-19 Guide to Workplace Law for Employers & Employees
- Employer Guide to Managing COVID19 in the Workplace
- BC Housing Temporary Rental Supplement Program
Facilities & Risk Management
- A Guide to Safely Reopening Your Organization During the Pandemic
- COVID-19 Sample Screening Questionnaire
- Cleaning & Disinfecting Your Premises
- Post-Coronavirus Facility Checklist
- Keeping Idle Buildings Safe
- Protecting Idle Property
- Maintaining Your Church Property During COVID-19
- CPD – Moving Church Online
- Article on Zoom Fatigue – A Body of Work
- Church Online Platform– a free online platform for churches
- Vidflex Faith – 3 months of free video hosting/streaming services that integrate with online giving
- How to Capture Sunday Services Online
- Facebook Live for Churches
- ProPresenter Free Trial
- Video Pastor Quick Tips
Ministry Response & Resources
God is our refuge in times of trouble! If you have a prayer request, we encourage you to contact our office to share this with our team of district intercessors. All prayer requests are kept confidential.
International Workers (IW’s)
An update from Global Ministries (GM): We are very thankful to the Lord that currently all IW’s are well and we have no reported Covid-19 cases. Weekly meetings are taking place with the GM Leadership Team to monitor all places where IWs are residing with frequent and direct connects with IWs to ensure they are well supported. A GM Prayer Room has been launched that has gathered the global team together twice a week for an hour of praise and focused prayer. As many countries are on full lockdown with borders closed, GM personnel are responding in line with local authorities as well as following the resources provided by Member Care. The overall posture of our global team is that they are home, in the places God has strategically placed them, for such a time as this.
Here are helpful resources as you consider a Christ-centred response:
- Digital Mission – Introduction of the book by Bryce Ashlin-Mayo that endeavours to help churches and leaders understand digital culture, create an effective ministry methodology, and design a customized and implementable digital ministry plan. The book is available for purchase at a discounted rate through the Canadian Bible Society until October 30th.
- Leading Through Crisis – video podcast with Doug Balzer & Doug Doyle
- C&MA COVID-19 Resources
- Arrow Leadership COVID-19 Toolkit
- Church Resources from the Evangelical Fellowship of Canada
- Crisis Leadership, Christian Leadership and the Coronavirus Epidemic
- Coronavirus, Christians, and a Christ-Centered Response
- Global Family & the Coronavirus
- Alpha Online
If you have any questions, please contact our office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This post will be updated as more information becomes available.