Pastoral Letter From Rev. Nancy and Rev. Carla Re: COVID-19

Dear Friends,                                                                                                  March 12, 2020
It has been quite a newsworthy week with so much information coming our way about the spread of COVID-19.  We wanted to let you know about precautions we are taking at the church to keep those who come into our building safe, as well as ways for us to stay connected when choosing not to come.  Last month our youth reminded us “We are the Body of Christ.  When one member suffers we all suffer.  Stronger parts of the Body must support the weaker parts.”  We hope that we will be able to stay collectively strong as we move through this health crisis and work to deter the further spread of the disease.
Given the recent recommendations made to faith communities by the Premier, the Minister of Health and the BC Chief Medical Officer, the following protocols have been put in place for now to be adjusted as needed:
In relationship to our Sunday Morning Worshipping Community:
1: Those who are sick are asked to stay home. 
–  Both Highlands United and West Vancouver United livestream their services on Sunday mornings. 
    You can find information about joining them here: Highlands Online and West Vancouver United
–  We have also included a resource for connecting with our Lenten theme by clicking here
–  We are currently working on a phone tree should the situation arise where we are not able to gather in our building. 
–  In the meantime, if you wish a call from the Ministry Staff please contact Rev. Nancy (604-929-4114) or Rev. Carla (604-340-4009)
2. Practice social distancing.
– Refrain from shaking hands and giving hugs. We will pass the peace with a bow to who are in closest proximity to us on Sunday.
– When attending worship leave a space between you and those around you.
– The offering will be received at the door when you are leaving the sanctuary. 
   You can also make donations to the church through e-transfer to the office or through theCanada Helps button on our website.
– The ministry staff will be at the door to greet you but will not shake hands.
3. Practice safe hygiene. 
– Wash your hands with soap and water (at least 15-20 seconds) Avoid touching your face.
– Note that the sanctuary pews, café tables and chairs and door handles of the church and washrooms are being regularly sanitized.
– Coffee and tea will be served after worship.  Self-service will be suspended for the time being.
In relationship to the Thrift Shop:
1.     Volunteers who are sick are asked to stay home.
2.     Gloves are to be worn when processing goods, working the cash etc.
3.     The number of customers allowed in the shop at one time will be reduced by half.
4.     The Tea Shoppe will serve coffee and tea only, free of charge. (Café tables and chairs will be disinfected before opening)
5.     The Management team is discussing measures to be put in place should we need to close the shop for a time.
6.     Please contact Rev. Carla if you are needing any pastoral support.  Contact info: (604) 340-4009 or
7.     Wash, wash, wash your hands!
In relationship to Wider Community Events:
1.      The Deep Cove Coffee House has been cancelled for the month of March
2.      The Alzheimer Café has been cancelled for the month of March
3.      All other events including weekly book study will proceed as planned until further notice
The Church Council is meeting this evening and we will be discussing any further plans we feel might be prudent to make.  We will keep you informed of anything urgent.
Finally, as a community steeped in practices of prayer and service, let us keep one another and the wider community in our thoughts and prayers, especially those who have been infected, the family of our first death due to the virus in BC and our health care providers.  Let us stay calm, continue to do what we best and “do not be afraid.”  We are not alone.
May blessings abound in these challenging times and always,
Rev. Nancy and Rev. Carla