May 13, 2020
Hi Thrive Church Family,
I wanted to update you on a recent announcement made on May 12, 2020 by the government of Alberta regarding Alberta’s 3 phases to ease restrictions put in place for COVID-19. Thrive Church has been closely monitoring the ever-changing situation and keeping up-to-date with Alberta Health Services (AHS) and government of Alberta guidelines.
Alberta’s phase 1 reopening will start Thursday May 14, 2020 allowing some businesses, restaurants and services to reopen with many restrictions, precautionary measures and mandatory social distancing . This is encouraging to see businesses and our city start to open up, even with the restrictions in place.
Included in phase 1 of Alberta’s relaunch plan are guidelines for churches and faith communities. In phase 1, churches will be allowed to meet with extremely stringent restrictions. Some of the restrictions are, no more than 50 people, no one who is deemed high risk, no singing, no kids church as well as physical distance of 6 ft. must be maintained at all times. These are just some of the restrictions the government of Alberta and AHS has put in place on places of worship. You can see full restrictions here on the government of Alberta website. While the government has made gatherings of 50 permitted, they are encouraging churches to continue holding services remotely.
We have also been in constant contact with our rental facility, the Dalhousie Community Centre. At this point the Dalhousie Community Centre is remaining closed and not allowing any rentals, programs or gatherings in the facility. In talking with the manager, they are subject to City of Calgary guidelines and restrictions regarding when they will open up. Currently we do not have a date when the Dalhousie Community Centre will be open again.
In light of the Dalhousie Community Centre remaining closed and the restrictions of the government of Alberta’s phase 1, Thrive Church leadership has made the decision to continue to hold all of our services online at this time. Thrive Church will continue online streaming our services and Thrive Group Gatherings online as we have throughout the whole COVID-19 pandemic.
We came to this decision after carefully considering the following:
Our rental facility remains closed.
Thrive Church is purposeful to be an inclusive community, welcoming everyone to our gatherings to hear the message and hope of Jesus. The restrictions of phase 1 create an exclusive gathering limiting the number of people and those at high risk. By continuing to hold our services and gatherings online during this time, we are able to be inclusive to everyone and the message of Jesus is not limited to the 50 who are permitted in the room.
I sought wisdom from our overseers.
We are continually monitoring and evaluating as things change and the situation develops. Thrive Church will meet in person again one day soon - I am looking forward to that day! Until then, we will continue to gather online in the following capacity:
Thrive Kids Online Sundays
Coffee and Thrive Zoom calls Saturdays at 10 AM
In the midst of this time we have seen God move and more people thrive with God and thrive in life. Something I hear regularly is “I have never felt more connected to a church than I do now”. Our Sunday services are reaching between 400-700 people each week and people have given their lives to Jesus. Many people have gotten connected with Thrive Church. God is doing something in the midst of this time. He is working things together for your good and building His church!
Know today that we love you! God loves you. If it is not finished that means God is not done. If God is for you who can be against you?! We pray for you daily and are here for you. If you need help, someone to talk to or pray with, you can call our church line 403-247-8148 or email email@example.com . We also have Zoom calls with a pastor where you can book a call with myself or a Thrive Church leader. Thrive Church is here for you and we love you.
We will continue to keep you updated as things change and we move closer to meeting again in person. If you have any questions please feel free to email me.
Again love you all and look forward to seeing you online!
Pastor Josiah Gurnsey