September 6, 2020
A quick update on our plans of returning to physically gathering for public worship. The results of our survey clearly indicate that there is a strong desire to return to physically gathering.
The Corporation and I have taken a cautious approach as we care deeply for the health and safety of all that gather for worship. We are particularly concerned for those whose immune systems are not the most resilient. Our physical gatherings must not exclude anyone from our worship. To that end we are working on technology to continue our online worship experience for those unable to gather physically.
When we resume physically gathering for worship, we want to provide a quality corporate worship experience for adults and children with social distancing protocols in place; that is something we are working on figuring out as well. When we do return it won’t be to pick up where we left off. Our return will be a fresh start, you will notice that the minute you walk in as the foyer has been repainted, the library moved, and the stage cleaned up and reconfigured.
Some of you may be relieved that we haven’t rushed back while others of you may be frustrated thinking this is an unnecessary precaution. Furthermore, you may think this demonstrates a lack of faith on my part or interpret this process through a political filter, I get that.
Let me assure you my faith in God is strong, and my love for the church is deep as the church is Christ. The petition in the Lord’s Prayer of ‘on earth, as it is in heaven,’ expresses Christ’s kingdom life in the church. It is in and through the church that Christ’s resurrection life becomes a reality. Let us never forget Jesus’ words to his disciples: “I’ve taken my place among you as the one who serves. And you’ve stuck with me through thick and thin. Now I confer on you the royal authority my Father conferred on me so you can eat and drink at my table in my kingdom and be strengthened as you take up responsibilities among the congregations of God’s people.”(The Message Luke 22:28-30)
When we do return, we will:
Follow the recommendations of Alberta Health Services and Public Health.
Require masks to be worn inside the building;
Follow the protocols established by the Diocese of Calgary, that include no singing, or administration of wine; and,
Be responsible if any person tests positive after they have attended a physical gathering for the contact tracing.
Your understanding and patience are greatly appreciated as together we seek to give thanks to God for all that he has, is, and will be doing, here in this place.
Still in One Peace,
The Rev. Dr. Norbert Haukenfrers