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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
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.