Broadway United Church is a worshiping community proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ and being a living example of love and fellowship in a broken, divided world.
You are wonderful - You are marvelous - You are one of a kind - A child of God and God loves you lots.
To all who confess themselves to be sinners, humbling themselves before God and believing in the Lord Jesus Christ for their salvation, I declare this sure promise: "If we confess our sins, God is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness"
1 John 1:9
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Greetings friends and family of Broadway United Church
I hope this finds everyone healthy and staying safe. While we find ourselves entering our fifth month of living in the age of Covid-19, it feels longer doesn’t it?
This email is to bring you up to date on what is happening at Broadway United Church for the remainder of this summer. I wish that the answer I could give you was that we could all be back together for worship at the church building; but I cannot. But before we get to that I will tell you about the process that was involved in the decision making.
Broadway United Church Council met online last week to go over information related to “Places of Worship ReOpening” contained in the Saskatchewan Reopen plan. Council also wanted to examine the reopen plan alongside the results of the survey questions that were sent out to all of you in June. We were very pleased that 2/3rds of the people surveyed responded, and that has helped Council make better informed decisions about the life of the church which lies ahead.
First, in terms of reopening, Council has decided to stay the course with what we are doing now. That means we will continue with our online worship services via Zoom on Sunday morning. There are several reason why this decision was made. First, the Reopen Saskatchewan Plan is now in Phase 4, but there continues to be limits on the size of gatherings and the need for proper Social Distancing remains. In addition, the guidelines from the province call for managing entry and exit to places of worship (this would mean scheduling times when people would arrive and depart); assigning seats for people to maintain appropriate social distancing; wearing masks; no congregational singing or unison prayers and no contact with other people (that means no shaking hands etc). When the guidelines were viewed alongside the survey results, Council felt that maintaining worship as we are currently doing online, was the only alternative.
Over 90% of those people who responded to the survey said they were either “Unsure” about when they would feel comfortable returning to worship or they would be prepared to wait either 3 or 6 months, depending on what was happening with the spread of the virus. We have all seen, in recent days, stories of how the virus has spread through group gatherings; in fact just the other day there were 50 new cases reported, of which nearly all could be traced back to Canada Day parties and celebrations. Council’s primary concern is the safety of the congregation and especially those people in our community of faith who live with compromised immune systems at the best of times. For that reason alone, maintaining the online worship services was really the only responsible choice possible.
To add weight to this decision, many people commented that without hymns, prayers, bulletins and the ability to interact with other members of the church, the feeling of worship would be greatly diminished. In addition, the restrictions on gatherings would make the social time after worship impossible. When Council looked at all these factors, and took into consideration the logistics of fully sanitizing the sanctuary after each use, made a return to in person worship virtually impossible.
That was a whole bunch of words to say that nothing has changed for us at Broadway United Church. We will continue to worship as we have been since mid March. That means Sunday worship online at 10am every Sunday, Coffee and Conversation online every Wednesday at 10am. And as always, if you know of people struggling with the realities of all this, please let us know at the church office so we can reach out.
I know that this is likely not the news you wanted to hear, but it is the best decision for Broadway United Church at this time. Your safety is more important than needing to be at the building. Besides, we have proven that you don’t need a building to be the church. The building is nice, but we can make do with online for now.
As always, stay safe; reach out to the people you know in appropriately distanced ways; and feel free to call, to leave a message on the answering service or drop us an email. We are always ready to talk.
Blessings to you all.
Rev. Jim BalfourBroadway United Church
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