Nov. 20th update
Yesterday, November 19th, we received the update from Dr. Bonnie Henry that gatherings, including religious gatherings, are not permitted from Nov. 19th to December 7th. We will temporarily suspend our in-person worship gatherings that have been happening on Tuesday evenings and Sunday mornings.
I am sad. I have enjoyed seeing so many of you at our live gatherings since we resumed our in-person worship services in July. We know this is temporary and yet we recognize it may be extended beyond December 7th. Our leaders will monitor this and communicate with you.
We encourage all of you to watch our online service Sundays at 10 am on either our YouTube channel (GracepointTV) or on our church website (Gracepoint.ca). Our weekly KU videos will also be available on our website each Sunday at 10 am. I encourage you to subscribe to our YouTube channel and I look forward to saying “hi” to you on Sundays at 10 am on that platform.
Furthermore, continue to reach out to others via digital means. My D group has gone back to Zoom meetings as have so many others. Reach out to us as staff, we are available to chat and pray with you. I am burdened by the mental health consequences of this pandemic and we need to encourage one another in these difficult days.
Though the journey is hard, we know there is a light at the end of the tunnel. We will gather again! We will see each other! And ultimately we trust in God’s sovereign control.
According to Dr. Henry, outdoor church services are not permitted. However other outdoor activities are permitted as long as proper Covid-19 protocols are followed. Therefore, I invite you to drive-through our church parking lot on Sunday Nov. 29th between 11:00 am and 12:30 pm to pick up your Gracepoint Advent Bag. This will have everything you need to participate from home, in our Advent church services, including our Christmas Eve service. I emphasize again, this is not a drive-in church service, this is a drive-through event. It is similar to you picking up your coffee from Tim’s or Starbucks but this spiritual food you’ll receive will be more valuable for your soul! I look forward to seeing you on Nov. 29th.
We are people of hope. We as a staff pray for you each Wednesday and this week one of us prayed Ephesians 1:18 for you:
"I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people,"
Continue to live in that hope,
Nov. 9th Gracepoint Covid-19 Update
In light of the most recent provincial update from Dr. Bonnie Henry I wanted to keep you as a church family up to date on what is happening here at your church home.
We are endeavouring to keep the staff as safe as possible, so we are updating our Gracepoint Church Covid-19 Safety Plan. We are requiring all staff to daily self-assess with a screening tool and checklist. All staff working in our building will wear masks in common areas and during meetings. We are also implementing some other changes to follow WorkSafe BC guidelines.
Dr. Bonnie’s update on Saturday Nov. 7th regarding “social gatherings” does not affect our worship gatherings. We will continue meet for in-person worship gatherings on Tuesday evenings and Sunday mornings. We will follow our strict safety protocols, and in addition, our staff will all be wearing masks and we recommend you do also when you come to a gathering.
I recognize that mask wearing can be a contentious issue. Some people associate mask-wearing with totalitarian regimes and others say it inhibits one’s worship. Still other people say mask wearing is the best way to show love for one’s neighbour. I do know that when you and I have a conversation and we are both wearing masks, there is a far less chance of my spit ending up on you if I’m wearing a mask! So that’s why I will have my mask on when I see you at a worship gathering.
Our discipleship groups will meet via Zoom the next 2 weeks and we are evaluating our other age-graded programming on a case-by-case basis. We want to best reflect what it means to be the church; including gathering together, and to best serve one another in a safe manner.
Philippians 1:27 says: “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.” This is how we want to live our lives giving glory to God during this time period. And we are grateful that He still reigns on the throne during these days.
May 8, 2020
So much has changed in the last 7 weeks! We have experienced a world-wide health crisis and this has brought on a disruption in our society and in our church. We miss our in-person gatherings on Sundays and in our discipleship groups. I miss the noise and the life of Sundays and the interpersonal connections we all need. We’ve realized the power of community as almost 100% of our discipleship groups are meeting through zoom. Many of our groups have increased meeting frequency during this time. We’ve continued to serve our Sunday Community Dinner congregation, albeit in a differing format. Many of you have stepped up to volunteer; you’ve delivered groceries or dropped off chalk to our Kids Unlimited children. I am grateful for our ‘care callers’ who called through our church directory to help us assess needs. So many people have said, ‘I want to meet that person who called me and prayed for me!’
But in the midst of this it’s good to know that God is doing a new thing. We continue to follow God into our preferred future. Because this is a disruption and not an interruption we will need to re-tool for the future. Things will be different, but God knows that and will speak to us as we move forward following Him. We are so glad we know the One who holds the future in His good strong hands. We as leaders will continue to communicate with you as we move forward and we invite you to pray with us as we discern God’s best path moving forward together. We will continue to experience God and engage our world together for His glory.
March 27, 2020
Many of us these days are working remotely. Some of us are self-quarantining. All of us are practicing social distancing. But in the midst of this we are still relationally connecting. Though separated by space, we are still worshipping together as a church family at church online Sundays at 10 am at gracepoint.ca. We are linking together in our discipleship groups using video technology like zoom. And as a staff we are standing together with you even as our building is closed. We as a staff meet daily for prayer via zoom and will uphold you in prayer. Send along your prayer needs.
Also if you need help or are in a position to offer help such as care calling, delivering groceries, etc. please let us know. We will grow closer as a church family through this. Our light will shine brighter in our community as we continue to meet needs. We have replaced our Sunday Night Community Dinner with a food hamper program. Though the building is closed, our mission never ceases. Though our lives are on “pause” however our mission to experience God and engage our world together continues to “play” daily. I’m so glad you are part of this mission. We will persevere through this together.
March 13, 2020
Dear Church Family,
These are unusual days we are living in. The call to love Jesus and love our neighbour continues. In light of that call to love our neighbour, we need to be mindful of those who are vulnerable among us.
Out of concern for our particularly vulnerable members of our congregation, we are moving our Sunday services online beginning this Sunday until further notice.
We encourage you on Sunday at 10 am to gather with your family and perhaps your discipleship group and watch the video on our website and pray together. There are sermon notes you can follow along with on our website or through Youversion. Of course if you are sick, please stay home from any gatherings.
And if you are sick, please reach out to us as a staff for prayer and any other way we can be of assistance. If you are unable to get groceries or your medication or if there is some other tangible way that our church can assist you, we will be there. The church is not a building but a family, a family of brothers and sisters in Christ.
We will continue with our mission to feed people on Sunday evenings at our Sunday Night Community Dinner but will do so with handing out a to-go roast beef meal at the front of the church.
And I remind you in these difficult days, Jesus is still on the throne. He is not up in heaven wringing His hands or surprised by anything that is happening. I encourage you to cling to His perfect love, because it casts out all fear (2 Timothy 1:7).
“Jesus, our Lord, you are the light of the world. You are our beacon of hope. Lord God, remember your church in Canada, we are yours. Lord, in your mercy and grace, give us confidence in you and resilience in the face of turmoil. Give peace and hope to those who fear. Draw near to those who are sick among us, lead them to health. Holy Spirit compel us to extend help and care to those in need. May we be salt and light in this time of crisis. May we hear from the heart and voice of Jesus, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid." (John 14:27)