Covid-19 Updates

March 17th Update

Friends,  

I wanted to send an update in regards to Willowlake and the Coronavirus. Yesterday, the Government of Manitoba announced that all gatherings over 50 people should be canceled. As a church, we have decided to listen to this and have canceled our Sunday morning gathering for this week and next (March 22 and 29th). As we hear more information, we will make decisions on additional Sundays as necessary. 

In the meantime, we want to stay as connected as we can. Although many churches are streaming entire service online, we do not think we have the capability to do this well. Instead, Andre and I will meet and record a ‘table-talk’ conversation and post it on the church website www.willowlake.ca, for you to watch at your convenience. It will include a  devotional and an opportunity for us to pray for the church and the world. Since this won’t be interactive, if you have a prayer request please email it to me by 3 PM tomorrow, because we will be recording then.   

We are looking into other ways where we can connect while still practicing safe social distancing. In the meantime, here are a couple of resources I have come across that might be helpful or encouraging.

NT Wright: Philippians For Everyone Small Group Edition – This an online video study on the book of Philippians, at present it is free.
David Fitch: The Potential of Faithful Presence during a Pandemic – Some thoughts and reflections on being a presence in our communities
A Cat Video – Because healthy distraction can be good.

If you have any concerns or questions do not hesitate to contact me.

Also, during this almost unprecedented time, I want to ask you not to forget your giving.
Here are some options to give during the time the church is not meeting.

1-Regular Automatic Withdrawals. 
Many of you already do this. If you would like to, please let me know and I can make arrangements for that.

2- Regular Mail 
You can mail your offering to the church at
Willowlake Baptist Church
45 Willowlake Crescent,
Winnipeg, MB R2J 2Z4    

 3- Interac E-transfer.
Through your online banking, you can do an e-transfer. Set the receiving email to donations -at- willowlake.ca and follow the process that your bank specifies. 

If none of these options work for you, let me know and we can make additional arrangements  

March 15th Update

Friends,  

At Willowlake the health and safety of our congregation is our priority. We continue to pay close attention to the impact of COVID-19, and as a result, we are taking the following proactive measures to ensure the continued well-being of our church community:

Hand washing
Immediately upon arriving, please wash your hands. If you have personal hand sanitizer, bring it with you.  

Greeting
We are encouraging everyone to welcome people with a wave and a smile and to refrain from handshaking and hugging each other. Please remember ‘social-distancing’ in conversation and seat selection. 

Fellowship
We will continue with coffee fellowship for the time being, but please allow yourself to be served by the coffee attendant. Our April 5 Chili Cook-off is on hold.

Offering
Again, please allow the plate to be brought you, instead of passing it down a row. There are options available for online e-transfer giving if that is preferred. 

Communion
Our next communion service is not until April 5th and we are still evaluating potential options and ways to commemorate it and will let you know when a decision has been made.

Finally, if you are at all sick please stay home. You will be missed and are loved, but it is better for everyone.

This is a rapidly evolving situation so for all the updated information or if you have any questions, the best source of information in Manitoba is here: https://www.gov.mb.ca/health/coronavirus/index.html

In Mark’s email to the Heartland region he reminded us of this: “As we face these health challenges, I’m reminded of Rodney Stark, who argues that some of the marked growth of the church in the early centuries can be attributed to the care and compassion Christians showed for the sick, especially when plagues were relevant. In this time of increased health risk, let’s take the necessary precautions, but let’s also be reminded of the opportunities for care that are developing around us.”

I want to echo his and Stark’s words. It is a time to be mindful of our brothers and sisters among us who may be vulnerable and a time where we can embody the gospel in Manitoba.