Please click here for a message from religious leaders in Canada in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
March 16, 2020
From the desk of the Canada West District Superintendent
To our church pastors, leaders, families, and friends:
The word ‘unprecedented’ has been used to describe the daily evolving global uncertainty we are facing regarding the novel coronavirus COVID-19 and its impact on our people.
As those whose purpose is to live a life that reflects Christ-like love, I believe we have been given an incredible opportunity to offer hope and to provide ministry to communities that are desperately looking for peace and comfort.
I participated in a meeting today that was attended by all our Canadian district superintendents and the national director. The following statement has been unanimously adopted:
We, the leadership of the Churches of the Nazarene in Canada,
declare immediate suspension of all “in-person” services and
gatherings until further notice.
As churches, we must do our part to slow down the transmission of the coronavirus and protect the vulnerable and compromised who are at most risk of being unable to overcome the virus. Today’s reports show the virus can linger anywhere between 24 hours – 4 days on a surface. We must do all we can to help prevent the spread any further than it already has.
Please allow me to address a few concerns that have been presented:
It is noted that when people do not show up at church, the financial resources given tend to go down.
We see this challenge every summer and holiday, it seems, as well. I implore our people to not give up the stewardship of the tithe. Learn to give on-line. Call for someone to come take your financial gift to the office. Put it in your safe place until the church meets together again. Expenses still occur and it is important we keep a good reputation within our communities and manage our responsibilities.
Are we still allowed to rent out our building? Can we say ‘no’ to renting out our building?
Please remember that we are required to thoroughly sanitize and disinfect every area that has been used. Using the building for a gathering, regardless of size or purpose, defeats the purpose of the moratorium on gathering. While I recognize the income that rentals provide, we must do our crucial part in not helping the spread of the virus.
How can our church stay connected?
Now is the day to embrace innovation! These unprecedented days present creative opportunities for ministry and offer hope. We are being reminded that church is not the building; it is each other. Speak with your pastor and find ways to safely support your church – have phone fan-out lists amongst your people and check in on one another every few days. Hold online meetings so that the work of the church may continue. Offer to do grocery deliveries for those who can’t do these errands themselves. Think of families who need childcare and be creative in finding ways to support them.
We are not to fear the future; rather, we are to live in faith. I know God is with us and will continue to be so as we are His light in places of darkness.
I am certain you will be receiving further emails in the coming days from our office. We will try and respond to follow-up questions and offer you support as you provide pastoral care and leadership in your community.
Please keep in touch with us and with one another. I am praying for you and your ministry.
Grateful for you,
Rev. Rose Brower-Young
Canada West District Church of the Nazarene