Based on the news reports and communications from our governmental agencies, we are in the midst of a global event due to the Covid-19 pandemic. As a community of faith we are not immune to its effects but can take action to be part of a healthy response to this situation.
We are advocating that people be prudent without panic.
During this pandemic, we will continue to gather for worship. Recognizing that when we gather as a corporate body for worship the possibility of transmission of the virus is increased, we are putting in place the following protocols and changes our worship:
Disinfecting. Before and after we gather for worship, the most-touched parts of the facility are disinfected. This includes door handles, light switches, washroom fixtures, etc.
Hand Sanitizer. Hand sanitizer dispensers are located at each entrance to the sanctuary and near the kitchen. You are encouraged to use them after touching any surface in the building.
Offering. Instead of passing the offering plate, offering plates are placed at the entrance to the sanctuary and attendees are invited to place their offering there as they enter or during the Sharing of the Peace.
Sharing of the Peace. Worship attendees are encouraged to maintain “social distance” and use words of greeting and gestures which do not require skin-to-skin contact.
Holy Communion. During the Lenten season, we are not celebrating the sacrament of communion, focusing instead on the sacrament of baptism. A small amount of disinfecting agent has been added to the font to render the water germ-free and able to kill any inserted germs. We will not share communion until Maundy Thursday. Note that our distribution of communion is already hygienic with the practice of pouring into individual cups and intentional washing of hands by communion assistants. We will likely not use the communion rails, but will notify the congregation of our intended distribution practice as Holy Week nears.
Fellowship after Worship. We will continue to have fellowship time after worship. People are encouraged to maintain “social distance” or to respect those who do. All coffee cups and other utensils are washed and sanitized after use on Sunday. We will assign 1-2 people to hygienically dispense coffee to minimize contact with the mugs, coffee urn, cream, and sugar.
What can you do?
In addition to adopting protocols that align with health care recommendations, as Christians we also have the calling to ask the question, What does loving our neighbour look like amidst the Covid-19 outbreak? We invite you into that inquiry. Here are some of the things that have occurred to us.
Sick individuals should stay home. If someone is experiencing any symptoms of illness such as a persistent cough, fever, or chills, we strongly advise that they stay at home and self-isolate. Though we appreciate one’s desire to come to worship, showing care and concern for fellow members by not introducing possibly harmful antigens into the facility is an act of love to those who gather.
For those who choose to self-isolate and not attend worship. In the midst of trying to navigate this outbreak, we recognize that each individual and family have to make their own choices and decisions as to how they will respond. Authorities tell us that people who are over 65 or who have compromised immune systems are most adversely affected by this virus. If you or your family choose to self-isolate, we provide the following resources:·
Sermon recordings. Each Monday, an MP3 audio file of the sermon is uploaded to the website. These can be found here.
Worship Leader Guides. Almost all of what is said and sung in worship is printed in the Leader Guides. We will post these ASAP.
Devotions with Children. The Spark Story Bible is a good resource to share the biblical story assigned for a Sunday with young children. This can be accompanied with the Word for Children resources here.
Offering. Please make a special effort to continue giving to Church of the Cross during this outbreak. Your continued stewardship is vitally important to the mission and ministry of the congregation. If you do not attend worship, you can still offer your financial gifts by mailing a cheque to the church (10620 Elbow Dr SW, T2W 1G4) or donating online. On our website, you can give your offering by using the DONATE button at the upper, right corner of the website.
Let us know you are self-isolating. We are working to develop supports for those who are self-isolating. If you let us know that you are self-isolating and we will contact you by phone to determine how we can best support you.
Disinfecting Team. The additional cleaning to keep the church building cleaning requires some diligence. We are therefore assembling a team of people who will wipe down common surfaces with disinfecting agents. If you are willing to help with this work, please contact the church office. (403) 255-4792
Self-Isolation Support Team. We are also creating a team of people to support those who are either quarantined or self-isolating. The intent is that the team will be available to pick up medications, food, and other necessities for and stay in contact with those who have self-isolated. If you are willing and able to be part of this support team or if you require its services, please contact the church office (403) 255-4792.