Dear Church Family,
With the recent BC Health directive to cancel gatherings large than 250 people in order to help reduce the potential spread of the COVID-19 virus, we have made the difficult decision to cancel our Sunday Gatherings at this time (including the German Service at 9:30am). Though we may be just under the 250 mark, our leadership felt that in the interest of safety, it would be most responsible to err on the side of caution. As you know, many local events have already been canceled, our local University has just suspended all classes, and several churches in Kelowna have also canceled their Services for this weekend. Though the risk at this time may seem small, we felt it prudent to do our part in reducing any potential exposure that may affect our community, and our church family, in particular those who are most vulnerable due to age or a weakened immune system. We will continue to monitor this situation carefully, and most of all, seek the Lord for guidance on how we can best navigate these uncharted realities.
Let me encourage us with a couple of constructive and enduring realities:
We need to remind each other that our Lord can use even this situation for good (Rom.8:28), because after all, our God is in control and He will accomplish all his purposes (Is.46:10). As in every trial, there is potential for growth. Every time our faith is tested, it produces greater perseverance, leading to greater maturity. (James 1:3-4). So too, this circumstance, as unsettling as it may be, presents an opportunity to exercise faith, not fear, and trust in the faithfulness and sovereignty of our God who calls us to rest in him (Psalm 62:1).
And so, as you go to sleep tonight, remember Psalm 4:8: “In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”
Not only do these days present an opportunity to exercise our faith, but to share our faith. A small bug is humbling the most powerful nations of the world and teaching us that we do not have nearly as much control as we may think. This virus has the potential to be an impetus, to pause from all our striving and reflect on weightier matters and come to acknowledge the living God. Through acts of kindness, sharing of resources, and engaging our neighbour in conversation, this could turn out to be a fruitful time of sharing the Good News of Jesus. Amid all the bad news’ headlines, the Good News of Jesus Christ becomes more relevant than ever. An open door for the Gospel? I would think so.
A third opportunity for us is to continue in growing to be the church beyond gathering on a Sunday morning. I am afraid that we may have become overly dependant on meeting in a building as our main expression of being the church of Jesus. Let’s be reminded that, though our corporate worship times in a building are an important part of being the church, “yet the Most High does not dwell in houses made by hands” (Acts 7:48). Perhaps these days will challenge us to think beyond the confines of the building located on 1150 Glenmore Road. And so, for starters, be encouraged to gather with your family and/or someone from your church family and worship together. And remember to pray … pray that we may be back soon in our building on Sunday mornings, and pray, that until then, the Lord may help us make the most, even of this opportunity.
Here is a suggestion for this Sunday from a source we would trust to be biblically sound and Christ-centered:
Also, for parents who would want to discuss the virus with their children, here is a helpful resource:
We will be exploring ways in which we can continue supporting you in this time. Know that outside of our Sunday Morning gathering, we will continue to meet for all other functions. Please join us for our Lenten Prayer meeting this Wednesday.
The church office hours remain the same: Tuesday-Friday 9:30-3:30. And of course, our pastoral staff is available to you.
We will continue to keep you updated through emails and news updates on our website. If you are not currently on our email list and would like to receive updates, please let us know.
In Christ, Pastor Andy