March 17, 2020
Dear PUC Congregation,
In consultation with Patti Skinner, Chair and Church Council, I want to update you on Penticton United Church’s plan in response to what is happening with the coronavirus (COVID-19). As you know, things are changing rapidly. We have been watching closely recommendations from federal and provincial public health and from the national and regional offices of the United Church of Canada. We want to ensure that we respond in a way that will help minimize risk for our congregation and wider community and, as they say, ‘flatten the curve.’
PUC is implementing the following changes:
We have decided to suspend all church gatherings including:
- All small group gatherings
- All non-essential meetings
- Pastoral care volunteer visits, including healing touch visits
We recognize that worship is an important part of many people’s spiritual practice. Here are some ways to continue to worship during this time:
- Joanne will be hosting Sunday morning prayers and check-in, Sundays at 9:30 – 10 am via Zoom. A link will be on the website for you to connect.
- We will be posting prayers and spiritual practices on our Facebook page (link on our website) and on the PUC website (https://pentictonunitedchurch.com/blog/)
- Each Sunday, the United Church of Canada will be posting a pre-recorded worship service led by Moderator, Richard Bott. (https://www.united-church.ca/covid-19)
- A number of congregations live stream or record their worship services. A list of resources: https://www.united-church.ca/community-faith/being-community/worship-online-during-covid-19
- The office will be closed. Staff will be working from home. We will be checking messages regularly.
- Joanne can be reached at email@example.com or on her cell phone at 250-328-3800.
- The building will be closed to all non-essential outside organizations who share space within the building as of Weds, March 18. NA/AA may continue to meet as required.
Ways of keeping in touch:
- We will keep in touch through updates on:
– PUC website (https://pentictonunitedchurch.com/blog/)
– PUC Facebook page
– PUC e-mail list
– Phone tree – members of Council will have a list of names of members
congregation and will check-in weekly.
- Sunday morning prayers and check-in, Sundays at 9:30 – 10 am via Zoom. A link will be on the website for you to connect. (https://pentictonunitedchurch.com/worship/)
Our response is based on our commitment to honour and respect everyone who is part of our community. This will be in effect until a new position by government is introduced. We will continue to monitor the situation and update you on procedures and practices as necessary.
This can be an anxious time. We want to be cautious but also stay connected. This is a time when we can support each other as a church community. A reminder that we can all check in on friends and neighbours, by phone, email, Skype etc. If you, or anyone you know needs access to basic supplies and is unable to leave their home, please call the church office or let me know.
If you have any questions or concerns or if you require pastoral support, please contact Joanne Scofield, Minister, at firstname.lastname@example.org or on her cell phone at 250-328-3800. And as we move through this, let us remember, we are not alone, we live in the love of the Holy.