The Pacific Mountain Regional Council (PMRC) of The United Church of Canada remains supportive of the British Columbia Public Health directives currently disallowing in-person worship.
Many of you will have heard the trending news story on CBC Archbishop of Vancouver ‘baffled’ by decision to suspend in-person worship where the Catholic Bishop was criticizing the Public Health Officials for banning in-person worship.
Treena Duncan, Executive Minister at PMRC, has prepared a statement which appears below and is also available on the PMRC website.
November 23, 2020
The Pacific Mountain Regional Council of The United Church of Canada remains supportive of the British Columbia Public Health directives currently disallowing in-person worship. Many of our members are in vulnerable categories, and even one person contracting the virus at church is one too many. Thankfully, we have had no reported cases of COVID-19 stemming from worship services in our region.
We thank our congregations, including those in Whitehorse and Banff, for their adherence to their local public health rules, and following the Pacific Mountain Regional Council recommendations. Despite the difficulties COVID-19 restrictions poses in delivering pastoral care and worship during these past nine months, we remain committed to maintaining connections with and among our people.
It is particularly challenging as we begin the seasons of Advent and Christmas. We acknowledge the grief and loss of fellowship that many are experiencing, while we commit to follow the orders from our provincial leadership. We will continue to offer on-line worship for our communities of faith and adhere to guidelines for funerals and weddings until directed otherwise by public health officials.
We hold all the front-line workers, ministry of health staff and leaders in our prayers. We are especially grateful for the time taken by Dr Bonnie Henry, Premier Horgan, and Minister Dix to consult and update us throughout this pandemic and thank them for their stellar leadership. This tough time will continue into 2021, but we hold fast to our faith that requires us to care for others and make decisions in the interest of the common good. In these times, that means limiting the spread of the virus in all ways possible. We look forward to the time when we can re-open widely. In the meantime, we are finding creative and engaging ways to be there for each other and the larger community.
We are grateful for these words from Dr Henry: Be Kind, Be Calm and Be safe.
Pacific Mountain Regional Council, United Church of Canada