Dr. Bonnie Henry has again stated her appreciation for the role of faith leaders during the pandemic.
During her October 26 statement, which announced new restrictions on private gatherings, she said:
With COVID in our communities, having large gatherings in our homes is too dangerous.
And just as religious leaders throughout the province have so strongly supported our provincial response, I’m calling on community leaders to do the same.
A couple of her more general comments have application to churches
The first is not a change, just a reinforcement of guidelines which had already been announced:
We remind everyone of the order on social gatherings for no more than 50 people. The order requires that every location must have sufficient space to maintain safe physical distancing between everyone, which means the vast majority of homes cannot safely accommodate large numbers of people.
Two others are new, and would apply to home groups and churches (faith gatherings) respectively:
Similar to what occurred in the summer with vacation homes and rentals, we have seen a notable increase in new cases and transmission of COVID-19 as a direct result of social gatherings in private homes.
As a result, a new provincial health officer order will be put in place today limiting gatherings in private homes to no more than your immediate household, plus six others. This is a provincewide order that applies to all homes for all occasions. . . .
In addition to this new order and in light of the increased risks with respiratory season, the expectation is that people will wear masks in all indoor public spaces.
Many churches have begun to meet again in smaller groupings in their buildings. No doubt most have already alerted their congregations about the new rule. As an example, TriCity Church in Port Coquitlam sent out this notice October 28:
In accordance with the latest update from the Provincial Health Authority around COVID safety protocols – we are now expecting everyone who enters the church building to wear a mask all the time, not just when singing. This includes Sunday gatherings and mid-week activities.
Dr. Henry took a very cautious approach, in general, during her presentation, given the spike in COVID-19 cases recently.
I’d like to remind everybody about our mass gathering order. That refers across the board to gatherings of no more than 50 people – but there are caveats to this order. It requires that every location must have sufficient space that people can maintain safe physical distancing between everyone.
We know that when these COVID safety plans are followed in settings like restaurants, event spaces, churches, temples, hotels, that we don’t see transmission. But too often, over the last few weeks, we’ve been hearing stories where people are trying to put aside the safety plans. . . .
Referring to the number of cases that developed over the Thanksgiving weekend, she added (possibly suggesting more rigorous regulations for mass gatherings?):
People wanted to be able to have large gatherings, and it seemed like it was okay if it was under 50. But it has become clear that it’s not okay any more, and the risk of transmission goes up as we head into the winter season. . . .
An October 26 post on the BC Centre for Disease Control’s Event Planning page confirmed that gatherings up to 50 people are still allowed at this time. Go here for Dr. Henry’s full statement and video.
I have, in the past, recommended keeping an eye on resources prepared by the Canadian Pacific District of the Alliance Church, where Erin Knott does a good job of following provincial government policy on the pandemic. Check out COVID-19 & the Church and BC Restart Plan: Church Guidelines & Considerations.
HomeStart: furniture for families
HomeStart Foundation is a support organization that is helping underprivileged families to have stability in their lives.
By donating furniture or money you will be helping furnish the homes of women & children escaping domestic violence, families and individuals who have been homeless, people with mental and physical disabilities and refugee families.
It only costs $270 to furnish a home.
Fellow realtors – if you have clients that have furniture to donate please think of this cause.
To donate or support please visit www.homestart.ca @homestartfoundation
HomeStart Foundation is “a non-profit Christian humanitarian organization” which began as an initiative of Kitsilano Christian Community.
A local pastor recently told me about another group which was very helpful to their church in a difficult situation.
This is how Shelter Movers describe their work:
Our story is a story of hope. Like many Canadians, Marc Hull-Jacquin, founder and executive director wanted to make a positive difference in his community.
While on paternity leave in 2016, Marc began examining gender-based violence in Canada and realized how difficult and dangerous it can be for survivors attempting to leave their abuser.
Marc began developing a concept for a free moving service. With guidance from local shelters and community agencies, Marc and a small team of volunteers developed a survivor-centred, free moving service to fill a critical gap for people leaving abuse.
The pastor told me:
Having Shelter Movers do the actual moving is often a better choice than rallying church people, who may inadvertently escalate the abusive situation – if I had been there on the moving day, my presence might well have ‘set off’ the husband, who was already blaming me and my church for not telling his wife to stay with him no matter how he treated her.
Street preacher charged
Dorre Love has been charged with a criminal offence. An article in The Province began with these words:
A street preacher involved in an altercation this summer that left a man with a broken leg has turned himself in on a charge of aggravated assault.
Dorre Love, well-known in Vancouver’s West End for spreading anti-gay messages with a portable public-address system, was arrested in late August following an alleged attack on West End resident and broadcaster Justin Morissette.
Love, who has stated that Morissette assaulted him while he was preaching, posted a video on YouTube October 27, which showed him turning himself in to the police.
I wrote about the altercation which led to the charge here.
October 29, 2020Earthkeepers: Prayer Night for Bold Climate Action – October 29, 2020 at 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
October 30, 2020musica intima: the spirit's dwelling – October 30, 2020 at All Day
November 1, 2020International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church – November 1, 2020 at All Day
November 4, 2020Together at Midday: Matthew Lynch – November 4, 2020 at 12:00 pm - 12:30 pm
Boundaries at the Table: A Discussion on Food Programs, COVID and Boundaries – November 4, 2020 at 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
Boundaries at the Table: A Discussion on Food Programs, COVID and Boundaries – November 4, 2020 at 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
November 5, 2020Virtual Book Launch: 'Sarah's Laughter: Doubt, Tears & Christian Hope – November 5, 2020 at 7:00 am - 8:00 am
REVEAL webinars – November 5, 2020 at 5:00 pm - 6:15 pm
Stories from Our Living Rooms: New Hope Fundraising Night – November 5, 2020 at 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
A Taste of Dignity: JustWork’s 14th Annual Fundraiser – November 5, 2020 at 8:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Jordan Klassen: Tell Me What to Do – November 5, 2020 - November 7, 2020 at 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm
November 6, 2020A Seat at the Table: An Event for Men & Women – November 6, 2020 at 8:00 am - 2:00 pm
November 10, 2020Community Immersive Leadership Training (3 weeks, Tuesday & Friday evenings) – November 10, 2020 at 6:00 pm - 8:15 pm
Journey Discipleship Course (Tuesday evenings) – November 10, 2020 at 7:00 pm - 9:30 pm
November 12, 2020Fertility and Faith: A Conversation with Philip Jenkins – November 12, 2020 at 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Being Missional in a Pandemic – November 12, 2020 at 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
A Rocha Talks: Earthkeeping in the City – From backyard composting to electric vehicles – November 12, 2020 at 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
November 13, 2020Canadian L'Abri Lecture Series: Josh Darsault, "The Medium and Message of the Bible" – November 13, 2020 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Friday Night Reads: Falling: A Wake by Gary Kirkham – November 13, 2020 at 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
November 14, 2020Faith and Freedom in China – November 14, 2020 at 11:00 am - 12:00 pm
November 16, 2020ELO Forum Online – November 16, 2020 at 8:30 am - 12:30 pm
November 17, 2020Discernment in Hard Times (Tuesday mornings) – November 17, 2020 at 9:00 am - 10:30 am
November 18, 2020Remembering Dr. J.I. Packer – November 18, 2020 at 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
Dialogue on Aging: Sleep Health for a COVID-19 World – November 18, 2020 at 1:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Remembering Dr. J.I. Packer – in Conversation – November 18, 2020 at 1:45 pm - 2:45 pm
John Owen: Protecting Democracy from the Outside – November 18, 2020 at 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
November 19, 2020Global Apologetics Conference – November 19, 2020 - November 21, 2020 at 3:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Arresting the Darkness: A Himalayan Life Virtual Gala – November 19, 2020 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
November 20, 2020Canadian L'Abri Lecture Series: Clarke Scheibe, “The Birds and the Bees, Take 2, Part 2: Biblical Worldview” – November 20, 2020 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Friday Night Reads: The Blood Knot by Athol Fugard – November 20, 2020 at 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
November 21, 2020MCC@100: Centennial Celebration – November 21, 2020 at 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
November 22, 2020Night with the Persecuted Church – November 22, 2020 at 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
November 24, 2020EFC Webinar: Understanding the Proposed Conversion Therapy Ban – November 24, 2020 at 9:00 am - 10:00 am
November 25, 2020Alpha Webinar: Opportunities for Invitation This Christmas – November 25, 2020 at 9:00 am - 10:00 am
Ideas that Matter: Malcolm Guite – Poetry Pushes Back: The Practical Power of Poetry to Rebalance Our Lives – November 25, 2020 at 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
TWU Live – November 25, 2020 at 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
SENT Conference 2020 (Wednesday evenings) – November 25, 2020 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
November 26, 2020Broken Signposts: A Conversation with N.T. Wright – November 26, 2020 at 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Peoples of African Descent & Canadian Churches: A Cross-Canada Conversation – November 26, 2020 at 4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
Prayer Night for Bold Climate Action: November edition – November 26, 2020 at 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
November 27, 2020Darrell Johnson: Discipleship and Ministry in this Temporary New Normal – November 27, 2020 at 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Canadian L'Abri Lecture Series: Donna Hornibrook, former head coach of field hockey at Cornell, “Sports and Faith” – November 27, 2020 at 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
St. Hildegard's Sanctuary Annual ILLUMINATE Gala – November 27, 2020 at 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Friday Night Reads: The Mountaintop by Katon Hall – November 27, 2020 at 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm