CANCELLED – Morning Service

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Date/Time
Date(s) - Sunday, March 15
10:30 am - 12:30 pm

Location
Crestwood Presbyterian Church

Categories


Dear brothers and sisters at Crestwood,

There have been many changes over the last few days as our society responds to the new Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. There has been a concerted effort to slow the spread of community transmission so as to protect the most vulnerable among us, and to ease the strain on our health care system.

Yesterday, Alberta Health Services issued advice asking that all public gatherings of greater than 250 people be cancelled. We are smaller than this, and there were exceptions made for public worship. However, they also advised that groups of 50 or more that include the elderly, people who have recently travelled internationally, health care workers, and the immune compromised also not meet. We regularly have all four of these groups of people in our worship.

Therefore, we have decided to cancel public worship on Sunday, March 15. We will re-evaluate next week. We value our public worship very highly. It is the most important thing we do as a church, and we regularly brave harsh weather in order to gather together. We have not made this decision lightly. We intend to return to regular public worship as soon as it is reasonable to do so. But we also desire to protect the elderly and the immune compromised among us by ensuring we do not unintentionally transmit this infection in our gathered worship.

There are two main reasons we have made this decision:

First, it is a matter of Christian obedience for us to submit to our earthly authorities (Rom. 13:1). We have not been forbidden to gather. However, those trained in epidemiology and public health have said that, for the time being, it is in the public interest that meetings involving people like ours not gather. We have decided to trust that advice.

Second, we desire to love our neighbours (Mark 12:30-31). The goal of our public health agency’s advice is to prevent transmission among vulnerable populations and to keep the strain on the health system at manageable levels. That is, to limit the virus’ spread among those most likely to become seriously ill, and to ensure that our health system will have the resources to treat those who are affected the most. These are worthy goals as they evidence compassion and concern for the most vulnerable among us.

We commend to you the other prevention measures recommended by Alberta Health Services, such as washing hands often and well, avoiding touching your face, avoiding close contact with those who are sick, and staying home when you are unwell.

We also request that you spend some time in private or family worship this Sunday morning: time spent reading the Scriptures, in prayer, and perhaps singing a song or two of praise. We will also send out either a written encouragement or a pre-recorded message to the congregation on Sunday via email.

Most importantly, while we see worry and panic in the world around us, we can entrust every concern, including new pandemics, to the good sovereignty and providence of our Heavenly Father. The Scriptures remind us that nothing—neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor any virus or illness, nor anything else in all creation—can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. We take comfort that our all-knowing, all-powerful, all-good God, who sent the Lord Jesus for us, is in sovereign control of our present and our future.
On behalf of the Session,

Pastor Jeff

Crestwood Presbyterian Church
14304 96 Ave NW, Edmonton, AB T5N 0C4
780.452.3020