Your questions answered.
The following group of questions and answers contains information about the ministry and life of Crossroads United Church as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect the lives of all people in British Columbia, Canada, and across the world. Let us hold on to hope in the God who walks with each of us in this new time.
Will church still happen on Sunday?
No and yes. The moment has arrived for us to suspend in-person gatherings for worship and all ministries. Starting this week, we will be streaming our worship service, with Gabrielle, Dr. Bruce and Rev. Cari offering leadership, with grateful thanks for the technical know-how in our congregation. So while you won’t be able to attend worship in person, worship will be delivered to your computer via a Zoom link, and also posted to the Crossroads FB group and our website. An email with details on how to view the streamed worship will be sent later in the week.
What about other activities at the church?
We have decided that we will also suspend our regular gatherings for ministry, including:
- Community Dinner (March)
- Small Groups
- Spring Solstice Labyrinth Walk
- Snowshoeing Fun
- Pathways Spring Break Event for Youth
- ReSound Ministry (April)
- Band and Choir
In this way we can help to protect the vulnerable in our midst, prevent the further spread of the virus, and help to protect our hospitals and critical care for those who really need those services.
What about the staff?
We have received guidance from the National and Regional levels of the church with regard to our staff at this time. The Ministry and Personnel Committee is meeting on Wednesday, March 18 (by virtual means) to begin to wrestle with all the realities. We will be deploying staff members in different ways than usual over the course of this suspension of “usual” ministry operations. Another email will be sent on this subject later in the week or early next week.
Do these changes have financial implications for the church?
Yes. The financial health of the church is a matter of concern during this time when we are not gathering in person and taking an offering at worship, and when we anticipate that our tenants may also suspend operations. PAR givers’ offerings will continue to flow in to Crossroads in the usual way. Envelope givers are encouraged, where possible, to mail their offerings to the church.
Can I make my offering through online banking?
Yes. Thanks for asking that! You can e-transfer donations directly via our Treasurer. Please contact the office for assistance or information on how to do this. Your information will be recorded for accurate tax receipting.
I may have to make significant financial adjustments in my own household as a result of what’s happening and I may not be able to keep up with my financial commitment to the church.
If you find your financial situation is changing quickly and you are anxious about your offering commitments to Crossroads, please be in touch with our PAR/Envelope Steward via the office.
What about our tenants, especially the daycare?
The daycare has been in session so far, and continues today, but the announcement today regarding the indefinite closure of public schools in BC may affect daycares at some point.
We would dearly like to support our Twelve Step Groups to keep operating within the guidelines of the Health Authorities, so have currently informed our AA and NA groups that they must set out only 50 chairs, spaced out in the room, and turn away others once those chairs are taken. There is no food to be served, and if anyone is showing signs of symptoms, they must be encouraged to stay home. This, of course, may change too.
Our new Ukulele Group has voluntarily cancelled its April gathering.
How is the church going to keep being the church?
We are immediately structuring our congregation into groups of up to 15 households, called “Connect Groups,” each led by a lay-leader who has committed to connecting with those households twice a week. The purpose of these groups is to be present for each other in this strange time when everything we know is shifting. Those calls will include the question, ‘Do you need anything?’ If the answer is ‘yes’ then our Connect Group Leaders will be in touch with designated folks in the congregation who are willing to do mobile follow-up. Groceries, medication purchases… other things we may not have thought of yet are all possible. Thanks to everyone who has agreed to be a “Connect Group Leader” and also those who have offered to do mobile follow-up.
Will there be anything available to help people as they try to stay grounded through this?
Yes. In the days ahead, watch for online/email sharing to help draw us back into the strength of the One — the source of our being: suggested scripture texts to provide comfort, helpful prayers, gentle readings and other sources of spiritual companionship through this uncertain time.
Do we really need to take so many precautions?
Yes. If you are someone who up to now has been thinking, “I’m OK…I don’t need to practice social distancing…” then please consider your ability to offer care and consideration to others. We are being invited by our health authorities to make a generous move for the sake of the population at large, and especially those who are medically vulnerable.
Where can I get more information about COVID-19?
This self-assessment tool, developed with the BC Ministry of Health, will help determine whether you may need further assessment or testing for COVID-19.
This link will take you to the most recent joint statement issued by Adrian Dix, Minister of Health, and Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer, regarding updates on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) response in British Columbia
This link will take you to the BC Centre for Disease Control where you can find information about COVID-19, how to protect yourself, your family, and your community and what to do if you suspect you have the virus.
God is with us, we are not alone, thanks be to God.
If you have additional questions about the ministry and life of Crossroads during the COVID-19 pandemic, please do not hesitate to reach out.
Rev. Cari is still available by email daily (except Fridays).
Submitted by Rev. Cari Copeman-Haynes on behalf of the Crossroads community
These questions and answers were emailed to all Crossroads members and adherents on the evening of Tuesday, March 17, 2020. If you are a participant in the life of Crossroads and did not receive the information email directly, please contact the church office.