From the Executive Leadership- Pacific Mountain Regional Council
We are being asked to participate in a generous act.
This morning both National and Provincial Canadian leadership offered COVID-19 updates, and our Provincial Health Officer Dr. Henry has announced that gatherings of over 50 people are prohibited. We recommend that Communities of Faith and Ministries do not meet for services. Instead we trust that you will continue to find the meaningful and supportive ways to connect and support parishioners, as you and our ministry personnel have already begun so beautifully and compassionately.
Today, we also decided to close the physical Regional Council office, but not suspend the work of our staff and contractors. We are fortunate to have a robust online office presence, including phone lines, and so all staff are still working, business as usual – from the comfort and safety of their homes.
On Wednesday at 1pm, you and all are invited to join us - Treena, Regional Council Executive Minister and Jay, President - at an online Townhall Conference, via this Zoom link: https://united-church.
Beloved, continue to lean into the power of prayer and spiritual and mindfulness practices, as well as the physical distancing and cleanliness precautions required of us now, in caring for yourself and one another. Please also remember to keep up givings, and ways for people to give, when not gathering for worship. We invite you to please also place a phone call to our elderly ones who may be the most isolated of all. Hearing a friendly voice can be as healing as anything - for generations, these beautiful ones carried us; it’s up to us now to gently carry them.
Treena Duncan, Executive Minister
Anglican Diocese of BC Closes its Doors in Light of the Covid 19 Virus
Bishop Logan McMenamie has ordered all churches in the diocese closed for all public use, including worship, for sixty (60) days effective immediately.
"We know churches are places of refuge, celebration and commemoration for folks from all walks of life, but the church is more than just its buildings. We are working collaboratively across our region to find creative ways to remain pastorally present to people at a time when the assurance offered in the life of faith is so critical. At the same time however, we take seriously the government's call on jurisdictions across the country to strengthen their proactive responses to contain and slow the spread of this disease. This is one way we can do our part to show our care and concern for the most vulnerable in our communities," says McMenamie.
McMenamie, who is himself currently travelling in the US will end his trip early and return to the diocese on March 17, when he will enter into self-isolation for the recommended period of 14 days.
The closure includes all public worship and facility rentals with the exception of daycare facilities being operated on church property. This is subject to change as new information becomes available.
The exception to this wide-sweeping closure is Christ Church Cathedral in downtown Victoria, which will for the time being, remain open to the public as a place of prayer and contemplation.
Cathedral staff will have protocols in place for increased cleaning and ensuring the recommendations around social distancing and limiting gathering to under 50 people are observed.
For more information contact the executive officer, Barry Foster by email.