Dear Church Family,
The health and safety of our families and our team members is of the utmost importance to us. In the last few days we have seen recommendations from Health Canada and the Nova Scotia Health Authority change rapidly and we are doing our best to keep up on a regular basis. As of the morning of March 13th , Premier Steven MacNeil on behalf of the province recommended limiting gatherings to below 150 people. Since we are typically below that threshold, our intention is to continue with all worship services, small groups and other programming while also acknowledging that this may change in the future as needs and recommendations change. As this letter is being written there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nova Scotia. However, we would rather be accused of doing too much than not enough. We recognize the level of concern and uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and want you to know that we are taking preventative measures.
We are asking everyone to forgo handshaking and other forms of contact. Nods and smiles are encouraged.
We are increasing cleaning of all commonly touched surfaces including the backs and handles of the pews, doorknobs, and washrooms.
If you are displaying cold or flu like symptoms, we are asking that you remain home.
If you do cough or sneeze, please do so into your sleeve.
If you have traveled/are planning to travel internationally, please consider waiting for 14 days before coming back to church.
Offering plates will not be passed around but left in a to be determined location in the sanctuary where you can drop your offering.
We are in the process of updating our communion handling procedures that will limit contact with the plate, cups and other elements as much as possible.
Coffee time will continue but we are switching to disposable cups much like the coffee retailers have chosen to do.
If you are not able to join us, our sermons will continue to be broadcast on Facebook Live https://www.facebook.com/stevensroadbaptist/ (you will need a Facebook account and we can help you set one up in you would like) and on a podcast https://stevensroadbaptist.podbean.com/ (no account needed)
If the suggestion of how many people can gather changes again, we are developing a model of small group house church.
If you can’t join us, please consider giving on your normal schedule if possible. We accept e-transfers (firstname.lastname@example.org), we can set up automatic withdrawals, and checks can be mailed or picked up.
Our children and youth programs are also taking similar steps concerning travel, hygiene, and illness etiquette.
Moments like this can feel frightening but know that we are stepping forward in faith. We are confident that whatever the next few weeks or months look like, we are not alone. We know that Christ is with us and that we journey together as a family of God. Pastor Christopher On behalf of Staff, Deacons, Trustees and Finance