From President Blair Odney and Executive Minister Treena Duncan
Statement in Support of Public Health Orders
November 30, 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.
Reports of communities of faith choosing to ignore BC health orders are concerning; we thank our United Church of Canada congregations in the Pacific Mountain Regional Council for their adherence to their local public health rules and following the 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 in safe ways, in accordance with public health orders.
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.
Rev S. Blair Odney
You can find the PDF of this statement here (click).