Many have been asking about an appropriate response to the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. While we do not want to cause alarm, we do want to exercise reasonable caution and help bring awareness of how to determine what practically applies in your church or ministry situation. We also recognize that this is a fluid situation and that an appropriate and reasonable response may change quickly.
The government of Quebec has recently issued a statement banning all indoor events with more than 250 people. See the entire announcement here: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/covid-quebec-march12-1.5494882
We encourage you to pay close attention to updates and information as well as understand and follow all government precautions.
The Public Health Agency of Canada has created multiple helpful resources:
The Government of Quebec also has multiple resources and daily updates:
We suggest that you also consult your local health authority for any region-specific information.
In a church setting, there are several practical considerations in maintaining an open and healthy community:
- communicate steps that your church is taking to ensure the well-being of your church family and community
- regular hand washing and avoiding touching your face
- covering your mouth when coughing or coughing into a tissue or your elbow
- refraining from customary greetings like handshakes or hugging during this time
- prop doors open or encourage hosts to hold doors open so congregants do not need to touch them
- communion can be taken at stations rather than being passed out (ex. servers wearing gloves to hand out bread and cups)
- taking the weekly offering by another means to avoid touching or passing a basket/bag (ex. placing the offering basket at the door)
- cleaning and disinfecting church daily, including high traffic areas, children’s ministry areas, doors, seats, and surfaces
- encouraging those that are ill, even mildly, to remain at home – perhaps offering an alternate way to join the service if possible (ex. online sermons)
- in the case of church services needing to be cancelled, and in order to allow for regular offerings to continue to be received by a local church, it is recommended that churches set up an online giving solution. The simplest solution for churches with a charity number is to register with the website Canada Helps https://www.canadahelps.org/en/.
- Here is a link that shows you how to set up a simple online church service https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ve8ntVByzoU&feature=youtu.be
Here are several further resources to assist you in preparing your practical response:
God is our refuge in times of trouble! Here are some helpful articles as you consider a Christ-centred response, as well as a video message from President David Hearn:
If you have any questions, please contact our office at [email protected].