Greetings Church Family,
The leadership at Taber E-Free continue to work out how we proceed as a church during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Elders and Executive Board met on Tuesday, March 17 to make plans for the coming
weeks. We remain committed to do what we can to help you know God, grow to be like Jesus, and go to make disciples. As a leadership team, we have agreed on the following steps.
1. Sunday services and all regular ministries will be cancelled until further notice.
This is to operate in compliance with provincial state of emergency and working to avoid potential community transmission. Additionally, we are working to implement proper sanitation procedures so that the staff and other small groups are able to responsibly use the building.
2. Continue providing a weekly sermon on our website
We believe that the ministry of the Word can continue for our congregation. We will upload a new sermon to our website every Sunday morning. We encourage you to listen and engage the Scriptures together as we continue in our Lent series. This Sunday, we will hear from Psalm 23, which is particularly suited to point us to the Lord as our shepherd in this time of uncertainty and challenge.
3. Remain in community as a church
We recognize that communication with each other is important throughout this time. The Elders and Pastors will work together to stay connected with the congregation through phone and individual meetings. We will also be working to provide a weekly newsletter that will include updates, encouragements, ways to pray, and additional cues to help you remain connected with Christ.
Lifegroups are another way to stay connected. We encourage Lifegroups to remain in touch with each other to help and support each other, but we do not recommend physically gathering until further notice. There are provisions for people to gather in smaller groups (less than 50). This decision is at the discretion of each group and individual. If you decide to gather in small groups, please work together to “ensure appropriate social distancing and other sanitization practices” (from Alberta COVID-19 Update March 17, 2020). Taking these steps demonstrate care for each other and compliance with the recommendations given by our province.
Additionally, Pastor Brett will be sending further resources to our families and Lifegroup leaders, giving them direction in ways to continue their expressions of discipleship in this time when our regular gatherings cannot happen.
4. Coordinate help for individuals who need assistance.
COVID-19 has affected the daily lives of so many, but especially seniors and those who are especially vulnerable. One way that we can help is by delivering needed items or fulfilling errands for those who are trying to remain isolated for their safety. We are seeking to gather a list of needs as well as a list of volunteers who can safely help with these needs. If you have specific needs or if you would like to help, contact the church office (firstname.lastname@example.org or call 403-223-2214).
Our mission to make disciples remains, but the ways that we accomplish this mission have adjusted. There are ways that you can continue to live and move as a follower of Jesus.
1. Continue to seek God
The Scriptures remind us that God is our shield, our strength, our refuge, and our comfort. We remain redeemed children who are seeking God’s Kingdom first, even in the midst of this pandemic. Seek after him each day.
2. Continue to pray
As we seek God, we remain aware of so many needs and so many questions. We turn to God in prayer because he knows these matters and is the only one capable to handle the burden of care. Pray for our families and friends who are affected. Pray for our communities who are economically pressed and in need. Pray for our provincial and national leaders who are making decisions that impact all of us. Pray for our world - for peace and for people to see their need for a Saviour.
3. Continue to connect
As we are encouraged to self-isolate and limit contact with people, we feel the social and spiritual effect. While we have a season when we are not physically present together, continue to connect with each other. Call people, connect with social media, meet virtually. There are ways we can still support and encourage each other. Also, connect with the church. We are making our website the hub for all of our information and service to you.
4. Continue to give
Our church remains functioning and serving people, but now in different ways. Please continue to give towards the ministries of the church. This can include being available to help run errands or make deliveries for people. This can include reaching out to people to encourage them. This can include continuing to finically support the church as you are led and able. Please visit the website for instructions on how to give at this time. We recognize that this is a time of need, but consider how you are able to serve others in this season.
We remain hopeful. God is working and we want to join him in the ways he is working. Let us proceed in peace and with resolve to continue following Jesus.
On behalf of the Elders and Executive Board,