May 30, 2020
Hello church family!
How are you all doing these days? It’s hard to believe that May 24th was our TENTH week of online worship services – and that the last time that we met in person was way back on March 8. It seems like almost a lifetime ago, doesn’t it? So much has happened and changed in all of our lives that it’s hard to remember what “normal” actually looks like. We were looking through some photos in the church office today and came across some pictures of various church events – it made us all very nostalgic for simpler times, when we weren’t worried or anxious about getting too close to someone else; we didn’t even think about it at all.
But through it all, God is good, and we are thankful for the technology that allows us to connect with each other, even it is not in person. We are blessed to have digital means to communicate with each other, even if it isn’t the personal nature we all desire.
When and How are We Re-Opening?
Last week was the start of BC’s Phase 2 Restart Plan to open up the economy and loosen some COVID-19 restrictions, which was encouraging! This week, BC Faith Community leaders were asked once again to join Premier Horgan, Dr. Bonnie Henry and Minister Adrian Dix for an update as well as an opportunity to ask questions with regards to our buildings re-opening. Dr. Bob Krahn, our BC Area Minister, participated in this meeting and has provided us with the details that were discussed.
At this time, Bethany will follow the protocol, in agreement with the majority of faith ministries, to support our provincial leadership. The limit of no more than 50 people meeting together at one time, regardless of the size of our building, remains in effect, which continues to impact our ability to meet together on Sunday mornings for a worship service. We want to take a careful and cautious approach to restarting activities at Bethany, as we want to ensure the safety and health of our congregation.
This means that we will continue with online Sunday worship services until at least September 2020, when the possibility of indoor services may be more viable. This decision will continue to be re-evaluated as new information comes out from the Provincial health authorities.
During the summer months there will be some outdoor options for smaller group gatherings, as well as virtual gatherings. The staff is working hard to develop these plans, and we will provide more details in the weeks to come.
We understand that some of you are anxious to return to meeting together, while others are uncomfortable with the idea of meeting together in a large group. Remember to always be respectful of others’ choices, even if they might be different from your own choices.
We also thank you for your understanding about the policies and procedures that we as a church plan to put in place for even small gatherings. We may ask you to wash your hands when you enter the building, or sign in when you attend a group gathering, or restrict your movements within the building. We understand that some of you may find these procedures annoying, or think that we are going too far in what we are asking you to do. Please remember that we are doing all we can to keep you and others safe, under challenging circumstances.
How Can You Stay Connected Online?
These are unprecedented times which demand that our hearts be filled with faith, wisdom from above, and confident leadership. As a church we submit to the governing authority and we collaborate with them in keeping our buildings closed for larger gatherings. However, Church is not about buildings, but about people. It is about YOU, you matter and your story matters. Our church will never close but rather we will adjust our strategy to changing circumstances.
Connect with us
If you are not on our group email list and you would like to be, please call or email the office and we will add you to our list. We send emails almost every day, so this is the best way to keep informed of what is happening at Bethany.
If you are on Facebook, we have set up a Bethany Facebook Group to help us connect with each other. To join the group, CLICK HERE.
Sunday morning video services
The Bible tells us how important it is to gather together, and while we can’t do that in person right now, we’re grateful to have the technology that allows us to gather together online each week. You can watch the service on our website or on Facebook every Sunday morning.
Each week, we provide shorter videos to help you feel connected to the church and to each other.
Tuesday: a teaser of the upcoming Sunday’s service
Wednesday: prayer time with Pastor Stef
Thursday: LOL with Pastor Stef
Friday: Stories to help us stay connected
Please CLICK HERE to view our video messages.
If your small group would like to meet together online, please let the church office know and they can help set you up on Zoom. It can be awkward at first, but it’s a great way to connect and study even while not meeting in person.
Even though we are not meeting in person, Bethany Kids is online! Click on the Bethany Kids Online tab on our website, and you will find weekly videos and activities.
Youth Online will wrap up on Friday, May 29. Stay tuned for exciting summer events – they might look a bit different than in prior years, but it’s going to be awesome!
Thank you for your continued financial support of Bethany. We are grateful for your donations and ask that you would please continue to support Bethany financially as you are able. Click here to make an online donation, or you can mail your tithe to Bethany (22680 Westminster Highway, Richmond, BC V6V 1B7). This will not only allow us to continue reaching our community with the love of Jesus, but also help us keep our church family connected during this season.