PPAC Health Advisory
While our church building is closed, and in-person services are cancelled, we invite you to connect through Church At Home
PPAC and COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
March 26, 2020
Hi Peace Portal Church,
About two weeks ago we sent you a letter to let you know that our programs would be either going online or shutting down over Spring Break (Mar 14-29). Since then, there have been many new developments and I want to thank the staff at Peace Portal for the ways they are adjusting their work to serve our church and our city during this time. I also want to thank you for the many unique ways people in our church are serving those in our church and in our city.
This update is to let you know that, until further notice, the Peace Portal building will remain closed and all programs will either continue online or will remain non-operational until appropriate clearance has been given to us by our health professionals and government.
While it is very difficult to predict how long this COVID-19 virus will continue to disrupt our lives, it seems reasonable to assume that it will be less of a ‘moment’ and more of a ‘season’ that we must endure. So, I want to encourage you to be intentional about joining your faith community online via Sunday services and virtual groups and to reach out to others so that you are experiencing healthy relational and spiritual community during this time of increased physical isolation. May our goal be that we ‘get to the other side of this’ as more mature disciples, a stronger faith community, and better human beings…as opposed to just surviving this time!
Please also go to Church at Home - Connect on our website if you need some assistance, or if you are able and willing to help out in practical ways. Together, and with God’s help, we will get through this. May you know the peace and presence of Christ this day.
March 13, 2020
Dear Peace Portal Alliance family,
In order to help minimize the spread of COVID-19, out of concern for our particularly vulnerable members, and in cooperation with health officials, we are moving our Sunday gatherings online for the next few weeks. This is in keeping with the Provincial Health Officer’s direction on March 12, 2020 to cancel gatherings larger than 250 people. We have not received notice of any person associated to our Church community having contracted, or been in contact with, any person who has COVID-19.
We will post our sermons at 9am on Sundays at peaceportalliance.com. We will continue to journey through our Transformed Series as we look at 1 Corinthians. Perhaps you want to join with a few others or your small group to watch the sermon on Sundays and have talk about it after.
Our church is not a building, but people. Wherever two or three of us gather together, Jesus is present with us. Therefore, we encourage small groups to continue to meet with one another, healthy people to leave their homes and visit and care for others, and groups to gather together to pray and serve. For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7).
We encourage anyone who is sick or in need and would like prayer to call us at 604.531.4733, or by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We remain a community who prays and cares for one another. If you are not on our mailing list, please send us your information by email or phone so we can continue to communicate with one another.
Most of our ministries that meet in the church building previously planned to close for Spring break (March 16 – March 27). As such, we are taking this opportunity to ask every ministry and activity that meets in the church building to take a two-week “spring break” as well. During this time our facilities team will be conducting a deep clean of the Church from top to bottom.
The Peace Portal Counselling Centre remains open and our Church remains open to conduct funerals and memorial services.
Below is a prayer for this moment, a prayer I did not write but one I am asking every one of us to pray daily. Let this prayer ground us, guide us, and give us hope during this season.
A Prayer for This Moment (print version)
We come to you, God, as we are.
Not as we’ve heard we should be, not as we think we should be, not even as we hope we will be, but as we are.
So, some of us come with fear today…because of headlines on our screens about a new disease that seems to be covering the earth and stalking us.
Others of us come with frustration and judgemental hearts…we confess an unloving over-reaction on our part to the seemingly over-reaction of a minority of others in culture.
We know of Your call to love and your command: “Do not fear”…and we confess that at times, both seem hard.
And we recognize that your call to not live in fear does not necessarily mean that everything’s fine or that everything will turn out fine. Perhaps it is a call to remind ourselves that our fear can be enfolded by something larger, something that is not global in scope, but larger than the universe. Something called love.
We confess that, because we live in such an unusual and amazing time in history, we’re not good at facing these kinds of global threats. We know that all of our ancestors—and a majority of the modern world—are more used to this sort of uncertainty and are much more familiar with sickness, lack of control, and death than we are. We acknowledge that our fear, and our lack of resilience, is actually because we live in a time of great circumstantial blessing, where the diseases that killed so many in our history are now largely managed with modern medication. So, we say, “thank You”…and teach us.
We also acknowledge the gift that it is to live in Canada, with the wealth of resources that have been invested in our medical system, and the fact that it is available to all….and we pray for the parts of the world that would be devastated were this virus to hit them….where there is poverty, minimal health care, and very little social structure to be able to deal with this…God have mercy we pray.
We also pray for the many people who have been, and will be affected by the economic downturn that this virus is creating…for the billions of people in developing countries who live so close to the edge in terms of livelihood, for whom this crisis means the difference between eating simple food and not eating at all. Lord have mercy upon them.
And we pray for one another. We pray that our fear will not cause us to turn on one another, hoard our resources, or to quit caring for others and think only for ourselves. We think of Your church who lived centuries ago…who were known for the fact that as others were fleeing plague-ridden cities, they were marching in, in order to care for the sick, knowing that if they died, they would come alive again in the resurrection. And because of their courage, hope and sacrifice, others wanted to know about the God who inspired them. We wish we could be like them. We want to be like them.
Or, do we?
At the least, we aspire to be like that. And, so, if this does get bad, we ask that You fill us with Your Spirit so that Your Church will become known for its courage, hope, and self-sacrifice. What a story that would be…
So, in the end, we long for more than a lack of fear, Lord. We pray for hope, faith, courage, conviction, perspective, and compassion so we can be people who authentically bear witness to a larger, more beautiful story than the current story that is presently gripping our world. We pray these things in Jesus name.
WE LOVE YOU! PASTOR SCOTT AND YOUR CHURCH FAMILY AT PEACE PORTAL ALLIANCE CHURCH
PPAC and the Flu and COVID-19 (Coronavirus)
March 5, 2020
Dear church family,
PPAC continues to pay close attention to both the flu season and COVID-19. We receive daily updates and information about the most recent developments from the Provincial Health Officer, the BC Centre for Disease Control, and Fraser Health. The risk to anyone in our community is low and there is no reason to expect this to change at this time.
Our goal as a church community is to remain open and healthy, continuing to be a welcoming place for all people to experience the light and life of Jesus. As such, we are taking steps to ensure the continued well-being of our church family.
- The most important thing we can do to prevent coronavirus and other illnesses is to wash our hands regularly and avoid touching our face. We have increased reminder signage around the church to remind us to wash our hands. There are also hand sanitizers mounted on the walls around the church on all three floors. Please take time to look for them and utilize them.
- We should also cover our mouths when we cough so we are not exposing other people to our germs. Either cough into a tissue and dispose of the tissue into the garbage, or sneeze into your elbow.
- The Provincial Health Officer also asks us to refrain from customary greetings such as handshaking and hugging during the remainder of the flu season. Welcome people with a wave and a smile!
- A significant change you will see is that we will be taking our offering at the end of the service and hosts will hold the offering basket at the doors of the church when you exit. This means we don’t need to touch the basket as it passes by us in the seats. Remember you can also give electronically at the pay station at the Connect Centre or on-line at our website: peaceportalalliance.com/donate.
- Our facilities staff continue to clean and disinfect the church from early morning to evening, paying special attention to objects and surfaces in high traffic areas. These areas are also being cleaned during the Sunday services. We have increased our disinfecting schedule in KidShine with toys and surfaces being wiped down before and after every service and event.
- If you are feeling ill, we do ask that you consider watching our Transformed sermon series on-line at home. Our sermons are posted on our website by Monday. Also, and as always, if you are away from the church because of any kind of illness, please call or email the church so we can pray with and for you.
We love being together with you on Sunday mornings and during the week! See you on Sunday!
Grace and Peace