Hey church, I can’t believe the Christmas season is just around the corner! I hope that you are looking forward to celebrating our Saviour’s birth. This will be a different Christmas for all of us. I know that our family will not be traveling to Alberta this year to be with my family and Allana’s parents have decided to not come to our home. This will be a first for us. Christmas will be much different than we had hoped for, I know, but in that there may be some new opportunities you have never considered. We have been planning for Advent services, Carol Fischer has been diligently decorating our building for Christmas, we were excited for this season… Now I’m finding myself needing to write to you, to say that due to the new Provincial Health Orders from Dr Bonnie Henry given yesterday we will need to immediately postpone all church gatherings until December 7. However, we are planning for that to most likely be extended again. So what this means is that all gatherings that have been planned need to be put on hold, this includes:
Sunday Worship Service
Weekly Community Groups
Weekly Youth and Young Adult Groups
So for the next three Sundays we invite you to join us online. We are going to plan some new things for our online Advent services and come up with ways to stay connected during this time. You will hear more about that in the coming week. I know there is a deep disappointment at this news. I realize that many of us have a difficult time trying to understand it all. I have had contact with some pastors who were in direct communication with Dr. Bonnie Henry and Adrian Dix Wednesday evening prior to the announcement Thursday. These Pastors expressed their belief that our government and health leaders are very sincere and are not making this decision lightly, nor are they making this decision to bring harm to the church. In fact, our provincial officials are remorseful to need to make this decision. I want to remind us that as representatives of Christ it is our responsibility to live in peace (Hebrews 12:14) with everyone and be compliant with our government as long as it is not contrary to God’s Word. Romans 13 tells us that the origin and institution of government is something that God has ordained, for the good of people. For God’s sake we are called to be model citizens. In the end each of us will need to decide for ourselves if this current order is contrary to Scripture. However, as far as the leaders of Mill Lake are concerned, we believe we have a responsibility to uphold the health orders as they are given and that they are for the health and safety of the public and not meant to undermine the church's life and mission in any way. This is the very purpose of the government to protect and care for the safety of its citizens. We support that. Thank you for your cooperation and please pray with us that God will continue to nurture our church during this difficult time. If you have questions, suggestions or concerns please feel free to contact me.
See you on the sofa Sunday morning!