1 June 2020
Dear friends in Canada,
We greet you in the name of Jesus Christ, the one who taught us that love of God and one another sustains us even in the darkest of times.
COVID-19 has propelled us into uncharted territory. Every aspect of our daily lives has been disrupted. Our desire to be together in community has led us to online ministry, and we have encountered new and familiar faces with a renewed presence of the Holy Spirit in our gatherings. We are discovering “a variety of ways in which spiritual community forms and flows as expressions of the gospel of peace.” (Words of Counsel to the Church, Stephen M. Veazey, April 13, 2019)
God is doing something new in our midst.
We are deeply grateful for the spirit of unity that has emerged in Canada as everyone has worked together to implement strategies to deal with the pandemic. As the reopening of churches closed by the COVID-19 emergency is considered, mission center presidents, in consultation with the supervising apostle, will determine when this will occur. The apostle will continue to work closely with mission center leaders to monitor and evaluate conditions and information.
Congregation leaders will receive reopening guidelines and reopening checklists and will be asked to participate in online training sessions offered by each mission centre before implementing any reopening plan. In Canada, we currently anticipate that in person gatherings in church sanctuaries will remain suspended until at least the end of August. Congregations should not circumvent these procedures as failure to comply with official guidelines would shift legal liability to the congregation itself in the event of lawsuits arising from someone contracting the virus in a noncompliant congregation. Please continue to carefully monitor communications from your mission center for updates regarding the process of returning to in-person gatherings.
We acknowledge that the situation remains fluid and the appropriate time to resume gatherings may vary somewhat across Canada. We affirm the principle of protecting the most vulnerable. We remain committed to doing the best we can to care for one another and make responsible choices and decisions for the welfare of all.
In the peace of Jesus Christ,
Field Apostle for Canada
community of christ
355 Elmira Road North, Unit 129
Guelph, ON N1K 1S5 Canada
Canada West Mission: 877-411-2632
Canada East Mission: 888-411-7537