In mid-March 2020, North Lonsdale responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by temporarily closing the church building except for programs deemed to be essential to the community. At the same time, a number of changes were introduced to facilitate operations and programs, ongoing communication with the congregation, and home worship and bible study.
During this period, the Board of Management has continued to meet regularly to steward the affairs of the church, guide delivery of programs and services, and manage a gradual reopening of the building as this becomes practicable within the provisions of British Columbia’s Restart Plan.
This page provides access to the range of information that will be of interest and benefit to congregants until things normalize, which can be expected to be a gradual process over coming months.
Select Home Worship for resources on worshipping from home, including text-based and recorded sermons (with archives) and bible study materials.
For information and updates on North Lonsdale’s safety and opening strategy, timing and status, select NLUC Opening Strategy.
Please scroll down for information on interim strategies for Communication, Ministries and Finance, as well as links to health and safety information that is directly relevant to our local community under present circumstances.
Until further notice, the church office will continue to be the primary point of contact if you have questions, suggestions, offerings of support, requests for prayer or pastoral care, and so on. Please phone 604-985-4911, or email at [email protected].
Interim strategies and operations
Since mid-March, North Lonsdale has been maintaining weekly contact with parishioners via two ‘parallel’ forms of communication:
- Buddy System: A telephone-based Buddy System maintains verbal contact with congregants, keeps them apprised of developments and provides support. This program currently involves 16 volunteers contacting 133 parishioners and will be expanded as needed over time.
- Regular Newsletters: Communications in “newsletter format” are distributed by the Church Office to congregants via email (land mail for individuals who don’t have email). These updates include a message from the minister, and information on Home Worship, Ministries, and Health & Safety.
*** Please contact the church office if you wish to join either of these programs ***
Outreach and Pastoral Care
Strategies are evolving to ensure that we continue to support our community and each other through Outreach and Pastoral Care initiatives.
- Prayer Ministry: If you or someone you know would like the support of the prayer ministry team, please contact the church office or speak to your contact in the Buddy System. This information will be relayed to Prayer Ministry lead, and a member of the team will contact you or the person you have identified. Interactions are handled with the utmost confidentiality.
- Pastoral Care: If you or someone you know would like the support of the minister or pastoral care team, please contact the church office or speak to your contact in the Buddy System. This information will be relayed to the Pastoral Care team lead, and a member of the team will contact you or the person you have identified. As for the Prayer Ministry, interactions are handled with the utmost confidentiality.
Offerings and Financial
Strategies are evolving to manage communications with the congregation regarding financial matters and contributions. Until further notice, communications with the congregation regarding financial matters will be from the Church Office via email (land mail for individuals who don’t have email).
The monthly Stewardship Bulletin, which provides an overview of the church’s financial situation at each month-end, will continue to be the primary means of communication on financial matters. During the shutdown, and commencing with the February 2020 month-end, this bulletin will be distributed monthly, following month-end. In addition to an update on financial status, the Bulletin will include information on options for remitting offerings or donations to the church. Options currently include PAR (Pre-authorized Remittance), Cheques sent by mail to the church office, and e-transfers.
Health and Safety
Local: The link below is recommended as a comprehensive source of information, pertinent to our local community, regarding the range of restrictions, supports and programs that are in place. Information on supports for people and businesses can be accessed via a link at the top of the main page. This site is maintained by our local MLA, Bowinn Ma.
Provincial and Federal: The following links are to provincial and federal government sites and resources, which provide a wide variety of information of a general and technical nature (the Technical Briefing and Capacity link is to a downloadable PDF file).
- BC Center for Disease Control – COVID-19
- Government of Canada
United Church of Canada: The link below provides information on the response of the United Church of Canada (governance, worship, finance, and so on).
It is important to be aware that a number of fraudulent practices have surfaced to take advantage of the uncertainty and worries associated with the COVID-19 crisis. The links below provide helpful information regarding these issues and the support that is available.
In addition to the above, note that scammers have been targeting parishioners at some churches using email addresses available on church websites. For further information please see (as an example) Phishing Scams Targeting Churches and be careful.