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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.

Tsawwassen Community Church Update

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The COVID-19 pandemic has affected communities all across the country and it has impacted the Tsawwassen First Nation (TFN) as well. We applaud the leadership of TFN who have wisely taken steps to protect the wellbeing of those living and working on their land. Fortunately, there have been no reported cases of the virus. The TFN Executive Council is doing a tremendous job of prioritizing the health and safety of its members and communicating what efforts are being taken to do so.

Tsawwassen Community Church (TCC), as an ongoing ministry of SDBC which operates within the TFN community, has obviously needed to adapt to the restrictions put in place. In mid March our ministry team respectfully initiated contact with TFN to ensure we were responding appropriately. They replied with a very polite and caring email instructing us to indefinitely suspend our usual Sunday evening gathering in the Little White Church on Tsawwassen Drive. So, for two months now, we have not met together and we miss it dearly. One of our team members commented, "I am sure there is a silver lining here - I just haven't discovered it yet." Well, we've since discovered some of the silver lining and it echoes Pastor Paul's recent message from Philippians on the gospel advancing despite obstacles.

In the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, God has been faithful and good has happened. We've been able to continue a version of our Sunday evening dinner by delivering meals directly to homes along with an encouraging word or card, and an offer to pray for needs. The doorstep delivery, using proper protocols, has been very well received. We're grateful that we're at least able to offer this neighbourly gesture. In fact, it has turned out to be a wonderful way for us to connect, build relationships, and express care. There's something warm and amiable about visiting people at their homes. Another silver lining has been the privilege of making several new contacts along the way. We value the opportunities that have arisen as we seek to gain trust, make connections, and build friendships. It has been a time of good exposure within the community in a meaningful and respectful way, and we thank God for the "silver lining." Please continue to pray for us and the wonderful community of people at TFN whom we have the pleasure of serving. It continues to be a challenging time for all.

With gratitude,
The TCC Ministry Team

Posted by Terry Weatherly

Community and Connectedness

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"Don't forget your mask!"
"Can you pick me up some hand-sanitizer?"
"Six feet apart, six feet apart!"
"My house has never been so clean!"
"My house has never been so messy!"
"Do you want some cookies? I was stress baking again."

These statements, while some may be comical, are statements that have become part of our "new normal." In the last couple months, we have all had to adapt and change in order to meet the new regulations and challenges associated with COVID-19. It may be daunting and sometimes scary, but as a community, it is important for us to remind each other that God is still in control.

This past week I was listening to a webinar by Dr. Henry Cloud. In this webinar, he said one of the most powerful statements that I have probably ever heard. He was recounting the story of the disciples when they were on the boat in the storm. Dr. Cloud said, "The crisis that the disciples were facing did not end when they came safely to shore on the other side. No, the crisis ended the minute that Jesus entered the boat." As readers of that story we know that Jesus had been in the boat from the very start. Even in our crisis right now, we can have hope because Jesus is the overcomer, he is sovereign, and he is here with us through it all.

While we weather this storm, structure and routine are important elements to have in our daily lives. They may seem rigid and demanding to some, however, structure and routine actually allow our brains to have freedom and space to work within. One element of structure and routine that some of our congregants have continued with is meeting with their community groups, although it's now online rather than in person. I was talking to some of our community group leaders and I learned that community group has continued to be a time of encouragement, prayer, and healthy routine.

Many of our groups are choosing to meet at the same time they did before social isolation came into effect, to keep routine and consistency. One leader told me that committing to this time together emphasizes his group's priorities and the importance of keeping in touch to see how everyone is managing. He went on to say, "Coming together around God's word and hearing from each other is our glue." Another leader told me that "Joy overflows whenever we get to connect with each other. My sisters and brothers encourage me by saying we shall not be constrained and overwhelmed by the environment that we are in."

Some groups are choosing to continue with their studies and delve into the Word of God, while others are choosing prayer and encouragement to be the forefront of what they do when they meet together online. Either way, groups are reminding one another of the truth that God is sovereign and in control of this situation. The crisis is not over when we reach the other side, but the crisis is over the minute that Jesus steps into our lives.

Posted by Mary Grierson

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