We have gone through ups and downs in this pandemic journey over the last 16 months, and are finally seeing progress. Both COVID-19 case and hospitalization rates have been dropping while vaccination rates are steadily rising. God has answered our prayers and we should be thankful.
As conditions are improving, the province has entered Stage 3 of its re-opening plan on July 1 involving the lifting of nearly all COVID-19 public health orders, with some exceptions. The City of Edmonton also announced the lifting of the mandatory mask bylaw effective July 1.
Following medical advice and being mindful of COVID-19 variants, the church is adopting a cautious and gradual approach in re-opening our facilities in order to protect you & your family, our community, and our staff. As a community, we will stay the course to look after the vulnerable individuals, people in high-risk groups, and children who are not yet vaccinated. Therefore, basic hygiene practices like face masking, hand washing and physical distancing will be highly recommended when entering church facilities.
At the same time, we continue to worship the Lord our God upon whom our true hope lies, and meet as a community for fellowship. The re-opening plan is outlined below:
- In-person Sunday Services: The Cantonese and Mandarin services have resumed in-person gatherings on June 20 with a 50-person limit. The English service is planning to resume a phased in-person gathering in the coming weeks. The attendance limit will be raised to 75 in August, if favourable health conditions continue.
- Board and Council Meetings: Such meetings have been safely held at the church since June, and all bookings can be made through the church office.
- Small Groups and Fellowships: Starting on July 3, parking lot use can be booked through the church office. From July 16, classrooms will be available to book through the church office.
- Dynamic Centre: At present, the Dynamic Centre is set up for the Cantonese in-person gathering. Due to logistics and cleaning requirements, re-opening the Dynamic Centre will be revisited in September.
Furthermore, an integral strategy of our enhanced safety plan is to host an awareness campaign. We will arrange seminars for our pastors and leaders to help them plan for re-opening, and for you and your family to understand our protocols. You will be notified when the schedule becomes available.
In a recent sermon, we are reminded about what a community looks like. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others” (Philippians 2:3-4). As a community, we have met the pandemic’s challenges for over a year, and will continue to look after one another as Jesus exhorts us to love each other (John 13:34).