As you likely know, the Ontario government has placed the Hamilton region in the “Grey – Lockdown” category effective December 21. This lockdown will last at least 28 days.
Worship services on December 20th will continue with the normal “pre-lockdown” precautions.
Starting on Christmas Day we will return to live-stream-only services, as we will be limited to 10 in-person attendees. The Pastor, accompanist, on-duty elders, and on-duty audio/visual crew will be the only people permitted to attend the service. It is our intention to live-stream the services (as opposed to pre-recording them)
These developments are disappointing for all of us, and this is certainly not the Christmas we all hoped for. But be reminded of the words of our Pastor a few weeks ago:
“If you seek to find your true joy in the things of the holiday, how empty that will leave us. It can be taken away. If you ask people what they most look forward to, maybe it is getting together with family, or opening Christmas presents. But the government can lock us down and then that can’t happen, and now all of a sudden we think: ‘Christmas is purposeless! Joy is gone!’ No it’s not! Not if what the angels say is true! They said: ‘To *you* is born’. Nobody can take that. Nobody can steal that. It’s not an earthly salvation, it’s a heavenly one.”
Please keep the elders, deacons, and pastor in your prayers as we labour among you and weigh the practical and spiritual considerations that have come as a result of this pandemic. We encourage you to pray for one another and to reach out to one another, particularly those who will be even more isolated as a result of this lockdown. And raise up petitions to our Heavenly Father that He may eradiate this virus, so that His people may return to full worship and commune with each other as we are designed to do!
We love you all and you are all in our prayers. Christmas Blessings to you all.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Council is navigating the difficult road of Corona virus protection and what that means for us as a congregation during our worship services. It is important for us to gather for worship and bringing glory to our heavenly Father while keeping everybody safe within the guidelines set for us by our governing authorities. Council has reviewed the local bylaws and consulted with a by-law officer so that new guidelines will be in place starting this Sunday August 2nd.
1. Face masks must be worn at all times. While entering the Church and during the worship service. A person who has an underlying medical condition which inhibits their ability to wear a face covering are exempt from wearing a face covering. Children two and under are exempt and children five years and younger if they refuse to wear one are exempt.
2. The congregation will continue to remain seated during the worship service. Practice social distancing as you enter and exit the church.
3. Please inform a council member if there are any health concerns or showing any symptoms of Covid 19.
4. The organ, piano and pulpit areas are nonpublic areas and will be restricted to the Pastor and accompanist only. The organist and pianist will not be required to wear a face mask. The Pastor leading us in worship will only be wearing a mask while singing and will be seated.
5. We as council know this will be a difficult thing to do but we must limit our social gathering outside the church in the parking lot. We encourage all people to wear masks while exiting the church and to proceed directly to their vehicles.
6. Anyone not comfortable wearing face masks during the service or is not feeling well is encouraged watch the live stream from home.
These are very difficult and ever changing times that we are living in and setting these guidelines in place was not an easy thing. Council will continue to review the by-laws and make changes as required.
Please continue to pray for your council and pastor for wisdom and discernment in these challenging times. Seeking God’s will for us and to glorify His name.
Come out to Rehoboth URC on the first Sunday of each month for a worship service at 10 with potluck lunch to follow at noon.