Expectations, Discernment and Guidelines from the PMRC Executive Minister, in reopening United Church communities of faith buildings and ministries
Dear Communities of Faith and Ministry Leadership,
As the information from the BC Ministry of Health and WorksafeBC continue to evolve regarding guidelines and best practices during COVID-19, the PMRC leadership will continue to provide relevant updates here and to our email lists.
UNITED CHURCH RE-OPENING DOCUMENT UPDATES
- July 2, 2020 Reopening Churches… Update (PDF) (click link)
- Text only version of “July 2, 2020 Reopening Churches… Update (PDF) (click link)
The updates are not stand-alone documents. updates should be used in conjunction with:
- “June 2020 Version 3 (V3) Pacific Mountain Regional Council Pandemic Recovery & In-Person Ministry (Re) Launch Guidelines“ found here.
- Text only version of “June 2020 Version 3 (V3) Pacific Mount Regional Council Pandemic Recover & In-Peson Ministry (Re) Launch Guidelines” found here.
as well as with the information found on The United Church of Canada website here.
BC GOVERNMENT UPDATES
The BC Centre for Disease Control has released an updated document “Guidance for Faith-Based Organizations to Prevent COVID-19 Transmission” with information about singing. You can find the PDF of Guidance for Faith-Based Organizations to Prevent COVID-19 Transmission here.
WorkSafeBC has released an update of their information “Faith-based organizations: Protocols for returning to operation”, website link here.
As previously said, COVID-19 is far from over. While our physical distancing has flattened the curve, there are still infections and even deaths occurring. Those who are most vulnerable to COVID-19 are in the majority in our congregations, and as such, we need to approach our return to in-person worship with caution. Dr Henry, our chief medical officer, has given us the opportunity for small gatherings, but has reminded us that we have a significant duty of care, and advocates that we do not take unnecessary risks. We are a people of faith, and like the disciples, we are called to trust that God is leading us as we make decisions about how to gather as the Body of Christ.
The PMRC Pandemic Recovery & In-Person Ministry document and updates offers both concrete steps for safety and health, as well as critical questions to help you consider what ministry in the next phase of COVID-19 will look like. Thanks to Kathy Davies and Tressa Brotsky for their work on this project. We will continue to update this document as new information becomes available. Presently, I am seeking further clarification on the topic of singing safely.
In the words of Bishop Karen P. Oliveto of the United Methodist Church: “I do not want one single case of COVID-19 traced to one of our churches because we did not care for those whom Jesus loves.”
As always, your Regional Council staff are available for consultation and support.
Treena Duncan, Executive Minister