COVID-19 Action Plan
Hello Rockyview Alliance Church Family,
In reading from 2 Chronicles 20, we see King Jehoshaphat is facing an imminent threat. In verse 12 he prays saying, “Oh God…we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” Later on, when the Spirit of the Lord comes upon a prophet named Jahaziel he says, “Do not be afraid or discouraged … For the battle is not yours, but God’s … Take up your positions, stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you.” As we face an unprecedented crisis with COVID-19, this is the mindset we must have. While the situation continues to change on a daily basis, let us not fix our attention on the virus, but on our God who the Bible gives countless examples of His ability to bring about victory in even the most desperate of circumstances.
In keeping with the aggressive new measures implemented by Alberta Health Services and the Federal Government, here is our current action plan:
1. SUNDAY SERVICES: We will not be having our Sunday morning services at our Church building for the next while (timeline is yet to be determined). INSTEAD, we will be having Online Church. We will record the sermon, announcements, and even have a worship song or two that you can participate in – which we will post on our Church Website, our Church Facebook page, and our Church App. We encourage you to gather together as a family or small group of friends and participate in our Online Church experience together. Maybe enjoy breakfast together, watch the service, and then have a brief discussion about the content and pray together.
2. CHILDREN’S MINISTRY: Pastor Russ will be sending out Family Devotional guides and activities that parents can do with their kids. This is actually a pretty cool opportunity for families to get into a new rhythm of studying the Bible together!
3. YOUTH MINISTRY: Pastor Russ will set up an online Google Hang Out with our Youth a couple of times a week – complete with Bible studies, interactive games and prizes. Should be fun!
4. SMALL GROUPS/SENIORS MINISTRY: We would strongly urge our Small Groups and Seniors not to meet in person during this season, but to continue to connect, check in and pray for one another via phone call, Skype, FaceTime, email or text.
5. GIVING: While we will not be meeting together to pass around an offering plate, obviously we still have bills to pay (e.g. mortgage, salaries, etc). We would strongly encourage you during this season to set up automatic giving either through our website or our Church app. You can also drop off offering envelopes at the Church during the week (M-Th, 9am-4pm).
6. PASTORAL CARE: Pastor Scott, Pastor Russ and the Elders will begin a regular rhythm of giving congregants a phone call to connect, check in and pray together during this season. We will not be able to receive phone calls or phone messages on our Office phone line; however, we encourage you to email us (Office, Pastor Scott, Pastor Russ) – especially if you need anything, have prayer requests or if there’s anything you need to make us aware of.
7. BREAD MINISTRY: During this season, we will be discontinuing our Bread ministry.
8. OPPORTUNITIES: While there are certainly downsides to everything coming to a standstill, there are also some beautiful opportunities: (1) To slow down from our normal frantic pace, (2) To spend more time together as a family and grow in faith together, (3) To read Scripture (why not go through the book of Luke as we head towards Easter?) (4) To love our neighbors by checking in on them, asking if you can pray for them, and if you’re going to get groceries to ask if there’s anything you can pick up for them, (5) To support local small businesses as this pandemic will have a significant impact on them.
9. PRAYER: Please be in regular prayer for our Health Care Workers, our Government Leaders, the World Health Organization, our Seniors, those with existing health issues, those infected by the virus, those in quarantine, our Church Board and our Church family.
While we realize that it’s entirely possible that we’re over-reacting to this situation, if we were to under-react and the most vulnerable among us ended up suffering as a result, our hearts would break. We would ask you to please continue to keep up to date with and follow Alberta Health Services restrictions and recommendations as listed on their website. To determine whether you should be tested for COVID-19, please use their Self-Assessment Tool. We will continue to act in wisdom and in faith – doing the things that we can do, while trusting God to do the things that only He can do. Let’s not let fear win the day, let’s keep our gaze fixed on Jesus, and trust our Heavenly Father to bring about His deliverance – in His way and in His timing.
In the meantime, may the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, continue to guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus!