Dear Bethel Family,

In light of the recent change in COVID-19 restrictions, the Worship Committee met on Monday evening to discuss what the summer could look like for Bethel in terms of worship services. BC’s Restart Plan includes four stages of restrictions around personal gatherings, travel, and other activities: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/info/restart  The indoor gatherings mentioned in the Restart Plan do not include Worship Gatherings, and those guidelines are listed here: http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/community-settings/faith-based-spiritual-and-worship-practices 
    
The Worship Committee wrestled with the fact that indoor gatherings of fifty people are allowed, but the restrictions disallow any socializing before, during or after the services or any congregational singing. We also considered what is sustainable for our volunteers and Pastor Jon and the fact that typically over the summer we scale back to accommodate a time of rest for those involved, and congregants are often busy with summer activities and holidays. Additionally, indoor gatherings require more preparation and volunteers to meet health guidelines than meeting outdoors. We all have a strong desire to meet again and worship together in a “normal” way and indoor summer services were given serious consideration.

With all this in mind, we want to present the following plan for worship gatherings through the summer. If any significant changes come to the guidelines for worship gatherings, those will definitely be considered.

  1. Outdoor prayer services will occur once a month on June 20, July 18, and August 22. These will look similar to the ones in April and May, with a focus on Scripture readings, prayer, and communion.
  2. Sermons and worship videos will continue to be available weekly on our website.
  3. Sunday morning Zoom gatherings will also continue.
  4. Several church-organized hospitality events and social gatherings will occur that are spiritually filled and life giving, but separate from worship services/gatherings.

Social gatherings present fewer restrictions than worship services, which means that our church family can better connect in a casual park or backyard setting than in a formal worship gathering in our church building. We want to encourage you to enjoy meeting together this summer. Who could you invite for coffee and discuss what God is doing in your life? Who could you invite for a picnic at the beach to enjoy God's grace together? What would it look like if we were still the church, but weren't at the building?

This plan allows us a fuller range of activities, including personal connections and fellowship, than simply moving our worship gatherings into the building. We can take communion together, worship together, fellowship together, and learn together. 

Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful. Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts. And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through him to God the Father.
Colossians 3:14-17 (NLT)

On behalf of the Worship Committee,
Tasha Nickel

The Worship Committee includes Pastor Jon Reesor, Sara Pearson, Ken Pearson, Daniel Warkentin, Mike Murie, and Hope Martens.