North Lonsdale initiated a gradual opening in September, 2020 in accordance with BC’s Restart Plan. Opening of the church for use by renter and donor organizations, and small congregational groups is guided by our Safety and Opening Plan, published in July 2020, which outlines safety considerations and associated expectations and protocols for use of the building. While broadly guided by the provisions of the Plan, traditional worship services in the church sanctuary pose a number of unique circumstances that are being addressed separately.
Renter and Donor Groups
Use of the building by renter and donor groups (childcare, fitness, children & youth, community outreach, and so on) commenced in mid-September, and the majority of groups who used the church prior to the closure in March 2020 have indicated that they will be returning. Start-up of these activities is coordinated through the church office but managed directly by the Property Committee within the provisions of the Safety and Opening Plan.
Small Congregational Groups
Also commencing in September, small congregational groups have begun to use selected meeting venues in the church, and this is expected to increase over time. Small groups will be meeting for committee work, fellowship, outreach, support, Bible study, worship, music team practices, and various other activities. Start-up of these activities is coordinated by the Church Office, and with the direct involvement of the Minister. These activities are subject to specific Small Group Protocols within the overall framework of the Safety and Opening Plan.
Worship and related activities and planning are guided by the Minister with the support and collaboration of the Worship and Music Committee. Text-based Bible Study materials and recorded sermons are available via the church website and efforts are actively underway to extend and improve on-line worship through the use of technology (e.g. live streaming and participation via video communication solutions such as Zoom). Approaches and protocols to begin using the sanctuary for worship, on a smaller group basis (with streaming to the broader congregation), are also being explored, with the goal of normalizing over time as the situation allows.
North Lonsdale is actively engaged in improving the options that are available to congregants for worship, fellowship, outreach and support, and communication. These efforts involve a mix of on-line, media and technology options, as well as on-premise meetings that will bring people together in a Christian context, and foster and extend the important work of the church in the community.
Congregants will be updated on the progress of opening and worship activities via the church newsletter, which is distributed on a bi-weekly basis (via email or land mail). If you would like further information on the opening strategy and status, opportunities for your group to use the church , or to be included on the distribution list for the newsletter, please contact the Church Office at 604-985-4911 or firstname.lastname@example.org.