March 18th 2020
To Our Congregants of Parkland Baptist Church
All of us are aware of what has been going on in society here and elsewhere respecting the arrival and impact of Covid-19. Your church leadership has been carefully monitoring what is happening and what is being required of us by our Government and by our own common sense. We are conflicted in that we believe on the one hand that we as a church need to be available to all of our congregants (members and non-members) and yet also responsible to follow the guidance and direction provided by our elected Provincial leaders.
We encourage all of you to stay as current as possible with the news as it impacts this situation and ensure that you are receiving news rather than stories which are of questionable origin and purpose. We as church leaders have been meeting and will continue to do so to ensure that our response is measured and reflective of what we believe our church to be not only now but as we move past the current circumstances. Our Pastors will be in touch with you to offer counselling and prayer as well as simply a lifeline of encouragement. You, in turn, are always welcome to call the church office (780-962-4101) with any requests for prayer or information. We will respond as quickly as we can.
- Guidelines: We will adhere to the guidelines provided to us by the Government of Alberta (i.e. in particular no meetings over 50 people); if the Government further limits size of groups permitted or announces further measures, we will meet to determine a responsible and reasoned response.
- Life Groups: The Pastor will get in touch with each leader; each may be impacted differently; some groups have already determined to cease functioning for the foreseeable future; the Pastor will monitor as we move forward.
- Donations: The costs of PBC will be less if we follow our intended reduction of service but certain costs will still apply. While we have a very modest surplus during the year to date, this can be used up quite quickly even though all costs are being very carefully monitored. Congregants will be encouraged to maintain their normal giving by mailing contributions to the church or via envelope in the donations box if in attendance at in person services; PBC will check with our Bank regarding online donations.
- Expenditures: PBC will cease all discretionary expenditures and will focus on sustaining costs related to maintaining the necessities including compensation for our Pastors & Administrative Assistant, heating/lighting/facility costs. Any other expenditures by staff or by our committee leads will need to be verified by our Treasurer Phil Steele or by our Chair George Cuff.
- Church services: As noted earlier, PBC will adhere to Government directives. Although we do have permission to assemble to a maximum of 50 people, we believe that by doing so it may create misunderstanding among our neighbours who may be taking more drastic measures with respect to social isolation and may be offended by our willingness to assemble for Sunday services. Therefore, for the sake of our testimony in the community and to prevent misinformation about PBC from spreading, we have elected to not hold any Sunday services whatsoever until further notice. The Pastor will advise as to how we will proceed from here. The pastors will be creating video recordings of services. Sermons will be of shorter duration and the format of such video services will be modified.
- Video Messages: will be put on the website by Sunday.
- Seder Service: This special Thursday (April 9th) evening service is cancelled.
- Good Friday/Easter Sunday services: These services may or may not be held at PBC depending on Government directives at the time. We will keep you informed.
- Sunday school: Pastor Enoch will video record an object lesson for each Sunday and will be included in the video service for that week.
- Administrative Services: We will have reduced access to our administrative services so these functions will be handled primarily by the Pastors.
If you have any questions or comments regarding any of this, please call the church at 780-962-4101 or send an e-mail to the church (firstname.lastname@example.org), to pastor Josh (email@example.com) to Mark Vander Griend (firstname.lastname@example.org) as chair of the Council of Elders or to George (email@example.com) as Chair of the Board of Deacons.
We are in uncertain times and proceeding prayerfully and carefully. We solicit your prayers for the health and safety of everyone and particularly those who are most disadvantaged by health or financial or family difficulties.
Mark Vander Griend, Chair of Elders
George Cuff, Chair of Board