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Re-engagement in On-site Ministries

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Click here to view a video message from Pastor Paul on our re-engagement plan.

Church family: I miss you all so much, and I know that many of you miss gathering at our church for worship and fellowship. I am thankful for your continued partnership of the ministry of the gospel, and I am excited to announce that we are starting to re-engage in some on-site ministries at our church. Please review the following information, and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the church office.

1. In-person pastoral counselling is now available. We are taking on-site face-to-face pastoral counselling requests now. Please make an appointment via email if you need pastoral counselling. However, if you are still not comfortable meeting in person, we will continue to minister to you over the phone or via video conferencing.

2. Community Groups and small bible studies are re-engaging in on-site gatherings; practicing safe physical distancing measures. Our community group leaders have been contacted and given protocols to follow as they host community groups and bible studies on site. Please note that there will be safety guidelines that you must keep when you come to the church for these events. Your community group leaders will communicate those guidelines to you.

3. June 11th & June 13th will be our first on-site gathering. It will be a "Hangout with Pastor Paul" event, but instead of Zoom, we will be meeting in person! We will meet in the church gymnasium, and I will share the word of God with you and we will spend some time in corporate prayer. Pre-registration will be required to make sure we have less than 50 people at this gathering and for contact tracing (this is required by the provincial health authorities). Please wait for another special newsletter tomorrow for details on this event, safety guidelines for the event, and to register for it.

Church leaders and religious leaders have met with Premier Horgan, Minister Dix, and Dr. Henry to discuss the re-engagement of on-site ministries for religious organizations. Sunday morning gatherings that have over fifty people (including staff) will not be happening in the next little while. However, we're exploring every option to meet in smaller groups to worship together on Sunday mornings. This includes an opportunity to view our services together with a group of less than 50 people at the church—similar to a "watch party." When we're ready to communicate new ways of worshiping on Sundays, we will do so as soon as possible.

When you join us for any event on-site, please remember that our goal is to be respectful and loving like Jesus during this season of adjustment. We understand that different people will have different comfort levels and ideas on how we are to re-engage in on-site ministries. We are establishing new value systems, new expectations, and new methodology as we "do church" together as a family. Our fundamental faith in Christ and God's teaching in his bible does not change, but the way in which we experience church will change to a certain degree. Let's be mindful of one another and respectful; following the teaching in our recent sermon: "In humility, count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others." If you are not yet comfortable coming to on-site ministries, please continue to worship at home and join us for online ministries. We will continue to offer online services and ministries so that you can stay connected with us at home.

With that said, here are some general guidelines for you to note when you come to events at our church:

  • All events will require pre-registration. No walk-in events for now (following health authorities' guidelines for contact tracing).
  • No handshakes or hugs. Please greet one another with a friendly wave and a smile.
  • Respect physical distancing (2 metres or 6.5 feet) at all times.
  • We encourage everyone to use the hand sanitizer stations when you arrive at the event and frequently as needed.
  • Don't come to an event if you're sick or showing any symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Please let us know if you started showing symptoms of COVID-19 after attending our event.
  • There will have to be strict event start and end times in order to allow a thorough cleaning and disinfecting process in between events.
  • Speak respectfully and graciously.
  • We won't be serving food and beverages. You may bring your own drink to an event, but no sharing or serving others.
  • Please feel free to wear masks to our events; we will not be providing masks at our events.

We look forward to seeing some of you in person and sharing in meaningful fellowship with one another. May God bless you and keep you this week.

Click here to view a video message from Pastor Paul on our re-engagement plan.

Posted by Paul Park

Cultivating Relationships While Gardening

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Before God made man he made him a garden, including fully formed fruit trees. It was to be the perfect place for social interaction, first of all with his Creator, then all those animals he was told to name, and finally, with the woman of his dreams. It was an ideal place for God, man, and his wife to converse while taking an evening stroll through the garden of Eden.

Problems came but gardening continued in spite of weeds, thorns, and hard ground as families learned to work together in less than ideal conditions. Today, sweat equity stocks the pantry and freezer and freshly furnishes a well laid table at mealtime. We all benefit from the ground.

Over the last few months, while respecting physical distancing, Donna and I have enjoyed many social engagements afforded to us by gardening. It started with helping an Indian family across the street redesign their floral island in their front lawn. That was worth five afternoons of mentoring and friendly chats. Another neighbour came over to borrow a soil sieve which led to a visit a few days later. Then a pastor's wife needed a few trees and bushes pruned and that included an afternoon snack and a most enjoyable visit on her back deck. Lately a valued congregant that lives in a basement suite near us, started a plot in a section of our garden. How many visits will that yield over the coming months as relationships form?

God took dirt and formed the first man. God continues to use dirt to form relationships and teach us many transferable principles. Many of Jesus' parables used agricultural illustrations. He prayed in a garden and it certainly is a great place to meditate. A garden is a wonderful place to dig into God, cultivate community with others, rake over personal issues, and plant biblical disciplines. Get some ground and try it! It'll grow on you.

Posted by Gerard van Dop

SDBC Frontline Worker Highlight

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The Przybylski family has been attending SDBC since 2013. Matt is a teacher at Richmond Christian School and Andrea is the Director of Professional Practice for Nursing and Allied Health for Richmond with the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority. We reached out to see how Andrea, as a frontline worker, has adapted to COVID-19. Her story is below.

I began attending SDBC in 2013, along with my husband Matthew, our young son Carter and baby daughter Abby. In 2015 we welcomed Brandon to the family who was dedicated at SDBC early in 2016. We quickly got involved in a community group once we decided to regularly attend the church and have made lasting friendships. We currently serve with SDBC Kids by welcoming families in the morning and registering their children in the Sunday School Program at the Bus. Since the COVID pandemic declaration and related social distancing measures, what we miss most about church is the worship and connection with others.

I am the Director of Professional Practice for Nursing and Allied Health for Richmond with Vancouver Coastal Health Authority and have been in this position for five years. I started my career as a Registered Nurse in 2003, first working at St. Paul's Hospital. In 2006, I completed my Master's Degree in Nursing from UBC and moved into nursing education, followed by administration. I am responsible for care models and skill mix, scope optimization, performance management, clinical practice leadership, and the implementation of evidence-based best practices and related education strategies for nursing and allied health professionals for acute, community, and long-term care.

I have never before worked in such a stressful and fast-paced environment.  The first few weeks of the crisis are a blur--a flurry of constant activity, back-to-back meetings, long hours, and quick decisions. Uncertainty and anxiety were everywhere and there was a huge need to support and communicate with our staff. We quickly set into motion preparations for the large volumes of critical care patients seen in Italy and New York. Some acute services were reduced (such as surgeries and ambulatory care) which freed up staff who required education and orientation to new areas in order to be ready for the anticipated influx. There were new PPE guidelines to implement and related education needed. Emergency responses were changed, ethical decision-making frameworks developed, capacity planning conducted, daily symptom assessments put in place, testing centres set up, controlled access implemented, and screening, contact-trace mapping, and testing workflows created. Now we are entering the "recovery and restoration" phase of work. We are starting to resume services that were previously reduced, but at a "new normal" with new guidelines, restrictions, and processes. The work seems endless and overwhelming, but it has been encouraging and energizing to see how everyone has come together to meet the needs.

Our son Brandon has a respiratory condition and Type 1 Diabetes and we are most concerned about his health, should he become infected with COVID-19. Our prayer request is that he would remain healthy and protected.

Please join us in praying for the Przybylski family, as well as Andrea and her colleagues as they work on the front lines during this pandemic.

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