June 2, 2020
Dear CRBC Family,
I wanted to give you an update as to our plans for how CRBC will be operating as we enter into the Provincial Governments Phase 3 of reopening that began on June 1. As we prayerfully consider how we operate, there are two conclusions that leadership has arrived at.
These decisions are shaped by two main reference points.
Our Missional reference point is Love God, Love People. During this challenging season, we love God by staying on mission and creatively using and engaging with the tools he has provided to reach our CRBC family, our community, and our world with His message of hope. Our staff are providing Sunday service @ home, digital small groups, and children’s and youth content online, hoping to encourage you to continue growing deep roots as you seek Jesus first. We love people while in a season of physical distancing, by addressing spiritual, emotional, and social needs, both in ourselves and others—needs that are met as we worship, pray, encourage, witness, disciple, and serve. We also show love by adhering to the Health and Safety guidelines we have been provided with, to protect our CRBC family, and others from the risk of infection, especially those who are vulnerable.
Our Health and Safety reference point is the direct communications received from our governing authorities. We have referenced the latest directives from the BC Government, in the BC Restart plan information available at: www.gov.bc.ca/restartbc
As well as the Mass Gathering Events Order from the Provincial Health Officer available at: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/health/about-bc-s-health-care-system/office-of-the-provincial-health-officer/reports-publications/covid-19-pho-class-order-mass-gatherings.pdf
And the Guidance for Faith-Based Organizations documentation from the BCCDC available at: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/health/about-bc-s-health-care-system/office-of-the-provincial-health-officer/covid-19/covid-19-pho-guidance-faith-based-organizations.pdf
Our staff are also working under new guidance regulations for the workplace governed by WorkSafe BC. We are trusting that the information and guidance given is the best possible information we have as we face the continuation of the Covid-19 pandemic. We have also been watching and listening to our FebPac regional churches of a similar size to CRBC, to learn from them as they also face the same current realities.
The bottom line is that groups of 50 or less are not feasible in our context on many levels. A gathering of 50 people in our building would require things like physical distancing, signage, uni-directional walkways, hand sanitizer stations, etc., but could also include a combination of or all of the following:
In order to run a service, we need 5-10 people just to cover the basics, that leaves room for only 40-45 people in each service. We would need to facilitate a registration system that would allow for people to sign-up. We would also need to completely sanitize the rooms/spaces used after each service so we would not be able to run back to back services. What this means for our size of congregation is that we would need to run 8-10 services/week to make sure everyone had the opportunity to be at a service. As you can see this is not feasible.
We want to encourage you to meet for Christian fellowship within the prescribed boundaries set by the government. The primary way we want to encourage this is through Small Groups. Currently we have groups that are meeting via Zoom but with the new allowances of Phase 2 and 3 we can also start to meet in person with groups of six people or less. If you would like to be part of a Small Group please be in touch with us by emailing: [email protected]
We want to assure you that CRBC’s leadership will track new developments and continue to keep you informed. It is likely Phase 4 will not come about for quite some time. During this current phase, we will continue to focus on the Sunday service @ home, while intentionally engaging in and encouraging small group interaction.
We also want to thank you for your generous financial support. We have reduced spending to essentials, and continue to watch our finances closely. We praise God for his continued provision and pray he will continue to provide, as we seek to honour him with our giving.
As this pandemic continues, please pray that CRBC would be a beacon of hope and proclaimer of truth. That we will, by loving one another show the love of Christ to our community and that the gospel would be proclaimed. Please also continue to uplift the staff team in prayer as they continue to work hard to serve our community well.
We love each of you and miss seeing you week by week. Your staff are available for phone calls, physically distanced meetings, and prayer. If you have any questions about this plan or any other questions please email: [email protected]
Dale Stevens, Board Chair, on behalf of the CRBC Board and Staff