GATEWAY COVID-19 RESPONSE

NEW May 8 - UPDATE: Governing Council "Return to In-Person Worship" Guideline

This is a "fluid" document which will be updated periodically. This document has been last updated on May 13th. Click on the link above to read the most recent update on how we plan to meet in "clusters" in the weeks that lie ahead. 


April 7 - UPDATE: Governing Council and Ministering Elders Letter


March 16 - UPDATE: CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)

With a desire to love our neighbors as ourselves and an abundance of caution for the members of our church and community amidst a global pandemic that is affecting our city, as of March 12, all on-campus Gateway activities are postponed indefinitely. This, of course, includes Sunday morning worship which will be moved online until further notice.

Please plan to worship online this Sunday at www.GatewayCRC.org/livestream at 10.00am and invite others to join as well.


Each week we sing together, pray together, and hear what God’s Word says about freedom from fear, peace over anxiety, joy amidst sickness, and life that conquers death. In addition, we share important information about countless opportunities we have as a church to make God’s love known in our city and around the world during these days. Needless to say, you don’t want to miss these Sunday gatherings online!


In addition, our offices are closed until further notice. The only exceptions to this are for staff and/or volunteers whose work necessitates being at the building, including those who are working on key initiatives across our city during this time (more information below). All other groups which normally meet on Sundays and during the week are encouraged to explore alternate means of staying closely connected with one another.


This is a time for us to be the church like never before! Continue reading below and listen online each Sunday for more information about how we are working together to glorify God as His church during these days.

RESOURCES & MINISTRY OPPORTUNITIES

HOW ARE WE GLORIFYING GOD THROUGH GROUPS and MINISTRY TO FAMILIES & CHILDREN?

We are encouraging our Life Groups at Gateway to consider alternate means for staying as biblically and closely connected to one another as possible during this time.In addition, we have compiled recommendations and resources for families, students, and children during this time. 

HOW WILL WE SPREAD GOD'S LOVE ACROSS ABBOTSFORD DURING THIS TIME?

While it is wise and strongly recommended for certain members of our church who are elderly or have existing medical conditions to limit interaction in social settings during this time, it is wise and strongly recommended for other members of our church to be actively involved in spreading God’s love to people in need during this time. We are coordinating a church-wide effort to provide help and deliver food and hygiene products to at-risk communities across our city during these days. We are undertaking these efforts with extreme sensitivity to sanitary, medical, and safety concerns for all involved.

  • "Thank You" Cards for Front-line Workers: PRINTABLE CARD | INSTRUCTIONS
  • "Thinking of You" Cards for Shut-Ins: PRINTABLE CARDS
  • Neighborhood Flier to connect with your neighbors in order to care for them: PRINTABLE FLIER
    (Keep in mind that as you pass out these fliers you will be personally assuming responsibility for helping them as much as you can)

HOW SHOULD I RESPOND SPIRITUALLY TO THE CORONAVIRUS? 

The coronavirus (COVID-19) is yet one more reminder that we live in a fallen world of sickness, sin, suffering, and death. Ultimately, none of us are immune to any of these things. But that’s why the gospel is such good news. God has not left us alone in this. He has come to us in the person of Jesus. The greatest news in all the world is that Jesus lived a life with no sin, died on a cross to pay the price for our sin, and rose from the grave in victory over sin and death. Now anyone anywhere who turns from their sin and trusts in Jesus will be forgiven of all their sin and restored to relationship with God forever. That means that through Jesus, we never have to fear sickness or death because we know we have eternal life with God.


In addition to trusting in Jesus and sharing about Jesus with others, here’s some other ways you can respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19):


PRAY DAILY for mercy for the sick, strength for doctors, insight for researchers, and wisdom for officials. 

- Join us for daily prayer every weekday on our Facebook Page at 8.30am, lead by one of our pastors.


READ SCRIPTURE to abide in Christ personally and daily.

- We recommend the use of the Bible Project and to download the "Read Scripture App" for a daily reading plan.


SERVE by looking for opportunities to love and care for others, whether they are sick, isolated, marginalized, poor, or oppressed.

- If you would like to join our task-force, please email office@gatewaycrc.org and put "I want to help!" in the title.


CONNECTEven if we are unable to gather at certain times, stay closely connected to the Gateway family. 

- Gather with smaller groups online and participate in worship online if that’s the only option.


CONTRIBUTEContinue to faithfully give financial offerings so that the ministry of Gateway thrives all the more in the midst of difficult days. 

Click here to contribute online or do so by mail (Gateway Church. 2884 Gladys Ave, Abbotsford, B.C.)


REFLECT often on the brevity of life, the urgency of eternity, and the beauty of the gospel.

Our response to Children and Youth Ministries

Kids Church:

  • Every Sunday we will have children's activity sheets available to print off. All the activities sheets will be connected to the sermon for that particular Sunday. 
  • We will also provide a "Family Worship" guide. These will be suggestion how you can engage your children during the video 'church service' 
  • Coming Soon we will have regular Kids Church teaching video's that will include teachings form Mrs Sprietsma and/or Pastor Marcel, songs to sing along with, memory verses and more. This will be available every Monday for and your families to enjoy! 

Click HERE to participate in our weekly Kids Church Ministry:  Password: kids2020church


GEMS/Cadets:

  • Updates coming soon


Youth Group:

  • For those on our youth email list, we will be sending you weekly a Parent Conversation Guide on various, relevant topic. You can use these Parent Conversation Guides to have meaningful conversations with your teens. 
  • Starting on Thursday, April 2 and beyond, Gateway Youth will be meeting virtually via ZOOM.  We will try our best to keep our regular routine with a group game, large group teaching and break-out sessions with the Mentor Leaders.  You will need to provide the snacks. 
  • As a ministry team, we will also be increasing our Instagram messaging to encourage and support our youth. 
  • Since there is no school at this time, we will be mobilizing our youth to volunteer (in small groups) in place where there is need such at the Archway food bank, cards of thank to our nurses and doctors etc. 


These are just a few of the ideas on how to keep our children and youth engaged with the church and each other. If you would like to be added to our email list to receive the above mentioned information, please email Pastor Marcel at marcel@gatewaycrc.org


FAQ'S

HOW WILL WE SPREAD GOD'S LOVE ACROSS OUR CITY DURING THIS TIME?

IN THE CITY - In the midst of a global pandemic, we want to be a clear picture of God’s love across our city of Abbotsford. One of the ways we can show God’s love is by participating in publicly endorsed strategies of containment, including social distancing. That’s why we’re not gathering together in person – because this is one of the best ways we can love others right now. At the same time, we don’t want to isolate people who are in need all around us. As a church together and as individual Christians, we want to care for others in any way that we can according to all the health and safety guidelines and recommendations made by government leaders and health professionals. Therefore, we are coordinating a church-wide effort to provide help and deliver soap and food products to neighbors and communities in need. We have a networking relationships with Archway Community Food Bank, and they have shared with us about the need for food for the most vulnerable. 


IN OUR CHURCH - We are also working closely with our church members to ensure each one is well cared for. If you are a member of the Gateway family, Care Team members will be calling you periodically to check in, pray with you, and see how you are doing. 

IN OUR COMMUNITY - We are also encouraging church members to reach out individually to people in your neighborhoods who might need help during this time. You can download and print the flier [above] to connect individually with your neighbors in order to care for them. Keep in mind that as you distribute these flyers to your neighbors, you are personally assuming responsibility for helping them as much as you can. We are working to have care packages with soap and hygiene products available so that you can come to one of our buildings, pick up care packages, and deliver them to neighbors, as needed. [Stay tuned]


HOW CAN I BE INVOLVED IN THIS CHURCH-WIDE EFFORT TO HELP OUR COMMUNITY IN NEED?

Start by emailing office@gatewaycrc.org and put "I want to help!" in the title. Within the next 48 hours we will reach out to you with opportunities to get involved, including packing and delivering products. Please be patient with us as we coordinate many moving parts amidst a constantly changing situation.


WHO CAN/SHOULD BE INVOLVED IN THIS CHURCH-WIDE EFFORT TO HELP OUR COMMUNITY IN NEED?

We strongly encourage those who are more at-risk in light of the coronavirus (COVID-19), particularly the elderly and those with current medical conditions or compromised immune systems, to stay at home as much as possible during this time. In addition, if you have any symptoms of sickness or have been exposed to anyone who is sick, you are not permitted to be a part of this work. Please stay at home and contact a medical professional, as appropriate. Finally, for various reasons, we are requiring all who are involved in this effort to be at least 16 years old.

I CAN'T SERVE IN THE WAYS LISTED ABOVE BUT WANT TO DONATE TO THIS EFFORT!

Thank you so much for donating! Please click HERE to give toward the Gateway Benevolence Fund, and on behalf of all those who are being helped, thank you for your generosity! Also, you can contribute directly to Archway Community Food Bank directly by clicking HERE


OLDER FAQ'S


WHY ARE WE MOVING GATEWAY WORSHIP GATHERINGS ONLINE?

Our goal in these decisions, as in everything we do, is to glorify God as biblically and wisely as possible. By God’s design according to God’s Word, the church thrives on gathering together face-to-face as we love one another, care for one another, and encourage one another by doing things like singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to one another. As much as we are thankful for technology that allows for us to do many of these things online, a biblical picture of a church prioritizes being together in person.


At the same time, the reasons above concerning why we normally gather in person are the same reasons why we are choosing not to gather in person right now. Because the Bible calls us to care for one another and love one another (and all our neighbors, especially the most vulnerable) as ourselves, we believe the best way we can do that in light of the current coronavirus (COVID-19) situation is by not gathering in person. If we were to come together for a normal Sunday with over 500 people from all over Abbotsford, the likelihood is extremely high that unknowing carriers of this distinct and different virus would expose many others to it. Those exposed would then scatter from our building into and beyond our city, increasing the likelihood of people not only at our buildings, but in and beyond our city, being exposed to this virus. All of this would be harmful for church members and guests as well as people far beyond our church, many of whom are more at-risk physically due to either age or medical conditions. For these reasons, the best way we can love our neighbors as ourselves in this unique time is to participate in publicly endorsed strategies of containment, including social distancing (defined by the CDC as “remaining out of congregate settings and avoiding mass gatherings”). We decided early on that we would strictly adhere to all B.C. health regulations and recommendations. As such, we will limit our exposure to this virus by closing our campus.


BUT! This does not mean that we are closing the activities of the church. Quite the opposite is true. This is a time for us to be the church like never before! Continue reading below and listen online each Sunday for more information about how we are working together to glorify God as His church during these days.


HOW CAN I BETTER UNDERSTAND THE CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)?

Coronavirus is a type of virus that causes respiratory illness — an infection of the airways and lungs. COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus. It is part of the same family of coronaviruses that includes the common cold. The coronavirus outbreak was first identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019. Since then, the virus has spread to other countries.

The most common early symptoms appear between 2 and 14 days after infection. Symptoms can be mild to severe. They include fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes, are more likely to develop serious illness. People with fever, cough and difficulty breathing should seek medical attention. Most people recover from the disease without needing special treatment.

Like many other viruses, the coronavirus (COVID-19) seems to spread from person-to-person through a cough, sneeze, or kiss. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regularly updates the status of the coronavirus (COVID-19), including its relative risk, at cdc.gov/coronavirus. You can also find more information from the World Health Organization.

EARLIER UPDATES

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