RESPONSE TO COVID-19
Dear Bridge Church family,
In light of the directives set out by our three levels of government as well as our denominational national office, we want to inform you as to our current plans as we navigate this COVID-19 pandemic.
We have a team that has already begun work on specific plans. This team includes your Board of Elders, pastoral staff, and family ministries team leaders. Our priority is to make decisions that consider the health and safety of our church congregation. We will use our newsletter and social media to keep you up to date between Sundays, and we will also provide updates on Sunday mornings from the platform.
We appreciate that we are in uncertain times and that there is worry and fear surrounding COVID-19. Information changes rapidly, even on an hourly basis, and so this team will be working closely together and with other churches in the area and our District Office to develop plans and institute best practices relating to our Sunday morning gatherings and other programming. We are prayerfully cautious as we move forward with planning.
Our current plans are as follows:
Family Ministries: Programming continues as per current practice. We will ensure there is hand sanitizer, Kleenex boxes and Lysol wipes in each classroom. Teachers will have children use the sanitizer before eating and if they cough or sneeze. Lysol wipes will be used to wipe down surfaces, especially before eating. A container will also be in the classrooms of our younger children to set aside toys that have been put in mouths, which will be subsequently sanitized before use again.
Main Auditorium: We will remain at tables for this Sunday (March 15th). Passing of the Peace will consist of the greeting given from the front and then congregation members may give a verbal greeting around their tables. We will not be asking you to shake hands or hug and would recommend that you refrain from doing so. For Communion, we will still ask that one person from each table come forward to receive the elements for their table, however please allow the Communion Leader and assistants to give you the elements. They will be wearing gloves as will have those who prepared the bread and the juice. When you return to your table, please do not hand the elements to your table-mates, but rather have them take them for themselves.
Beginning March 22nd we will move into rows for a minimum of 4 Sundays. Extra space between rows will be created and this allows those who wish to create extra space between them and others to do so. We hope to have our individually sealed fellowship cups in by then, if not we will use similar protocol to March 15’s service. We are currently working out the logistics of how you will receive these cups, and you will see an update in the March 20th Newsletter.
Please stay home if you are not feeling well. If your child has a fever or other flu/cold symptoms, please keep them home as well. If you are a volunteer and are unable to come, please do try to fill your spot, however we understand that symptoms can come on suddenly and we will accommodate accordingly.
We know that the information is coming fast and furious and it is sometimes hard to discern what is fact over hype. Please fact check anything against the following websites: http://www.gov.mb.ca/health/coronavirus/ https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection.html
You can also phone Health Links/Info Santé at 204-788-8200 or 1-888-315-9257
And let us remember that, in spite of the fear and hysteria about this virus, it is important that we do not give up what makes us the church. We need to continue to meet as long as we can (and find other ways to connect if gatherings are banned) and we need to continue to gather around the communion table. People are going to need the hope that only Jesus can provide in this time of fear. It is our chance to step up and share that hope.
Jim Mackey – Acting Chairman of the Board of Elders