As you’re aware, our communities are facing a significant challenge in the Covid-19 coronavirus, and our faith communities have a role to play in the protection and care of our community.
In conversations with our board and ministry leaders, we have decided to hold our services online, beginning immediately (tomorrow, March 15, 2020), and we will suspend all programs where effective social distancing practices are unrealistic.
We are working today to finalize the online worship community for tomorrow’s worship and will get that information to you as soon as possible. Please stay connected through our app (Open Door Church) and social media.
Why take this measure?
We recognize that a majority of our gatherings fall outside of the recommended cancelations by our provincial health authorities. They have mandated that all gatherings of 250 or more be canceled until further notice — that’s not us. However, we believe that our values should lead us in moments like these, and we should be caretakers of community rather than fulfilling the minimum mandated requirements.
As an inclusive church, we are consistently asking the question in a policy discussion, ‘Who are we including, and who are we excluding in this decision?’ In this case, to continue to hold worship in person would exclude a number of our community members, even if we consider it to be “self-exclusionary.” As a church that values inclusion, we take this seriously and see it as a compromise we’re unwilling to accept.
As a church geared toward community and restoration, we are thinking beyond an individual contracting the virus; we are considering the communal impact of its spread. Schools (not ours) shut down, not because the kids are getting sick, but because they’re all going home to parents, grandparents, friends, sports, etc. We are deciding to hold online services for the sake of our community, over and against the individual benefits of our worship.
Our values guide our church policies, and we lean toward the care of our community; we believe we should be leading in matters of care and restoration — not following behind; and it is respectful and responsible to suspend community gatherings, particularly to those of us who are immunocompromised and will be making the decision to self-isolate.
Join us online this Sunday, March 15th, for our first ever online worship service. We will forge ahead and come out stronger as a community…and with a new way to connect and grow closer to God and each other.