Hello to you all,

I think it is fair to say that this week has been a rollercoaster in so many ways, and I am praising God this week for the promise of his presence.  As the Psalmist says it: “Where can I go from your Spirit?  Where can I flee from your presence?  If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.  If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there you hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast” (Psalm 139:6-9).

In the uncertainty of this unfolding health crisis, there is a firm place to plant our feet: Christ, our Solid Rock!    

I am sending this message to keep our community informed regarding what we are doing at Summit Drive Church in response to the COVID-19 virus. 

My email on Thursday, March 12 provided a detailed set of recommendations following a conference call with Premier John Horgan, Minister Adrian Dix and Provincial Medical Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry.  I want to reassure you that we are continuing to follow all the recommendations from the BC Provincial government.  As these recommendations are changing daily, we are closely following all information and recommendations and these will be implemented quickly and diligently.

The following is to keep you informed and ensure the health and safety of our community:

Updates and Information:

1. As of late afternoon on March 12, Provincial Medical Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry is directing all gatherings with more than 250 people to be cancelled.  The number of people at our services is less than this, so we will continue to meet and will continue to follow all the safety measures as recommended by the government.  We recommend joining us for our 6:00 pm service if you are looking for a service with less people.

If circumstances change and we are asked to cancel all public gatherings by the health minister, or we have illness in our church office, we will simply do a live stream of the service. 

We are currently working on providing a plan for live streaming of our services that can be accessed through our webpage (www.summitdrive.com).  You will be informed when that is up and running. 

2. All staff have been directed to stay at home if they are feeling unwell or are sick.

3. If anyone is in social isolation due to illness and is requiring a pastoral visit, please contact the church via phone call or email and we will follow up with a phone call.

4. In order to avoid passing the offering plate to multiple people, our ushers will hold the offering plates at the back of the sanctuary for people to drop our offering in as we leave the service. 

5. We will restrict all buffet style food service.  Any food will be served by designated servers wearing gloves (as we generally practice).

6. For up to date information, the BC Health Minister recommends visiting the BC Centre for Disease Control website.  Information on COVID-19, can be accessed through the link below:

http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/coronavirus-(novel)

7. Our Mexico Mission Trip has been postponed and we are working on a time to reschedule to continue the good work in Ensenada.

Ongoing Precaution Measures:

1. If you are sick, please stay home from any gatherings.  As we will be looking to use more online platforms to connect during this time, we will seek to provide more information via our website and keep our Summit Drive Church Facebook page updated regularly.   

2. As challenging as it is, we will not shake hands or hug when greeting, and as much as possible keep a distance of 1meter from each other.  For greeting, our practice is going to be simply to wave and smile, and we will try and spread out in our seating as well (put one chair between people if possible).  

3. We are asking that people wash their hands thoroughly with soap and water on a regular basis and practice good respiratory hygiene (i.e. cough into your sleeve etc.).

4. When it comes to sharing communion, we will not pass serving trays but invite people to come forward and receive the elements from designated servers, who will be using gloves in preparation and service.

5. We will not serve coffee or tea before or after our services for a time.  Some events may use the coffee room, but plan to bring your own cup of coffee on Sunday in your travel mug if you need to.        

6. At this time we have cancelled our 60+ ministry events so as to ensure our most vulnerable population is protected 

7. We are sanitizing doorknobs and faucets, etc. on a regular basis.

Serving Our Community:

We are putting together a team of people who are at low risk of complications to be able to serve the needs of those who are in isolation or are compromised (i.e picking up groceries).  If you are interested in helping in this sort of way, please email the office at info@summitdrive.com and we will add your name to a serve-team list.  I think this is a chance for us to ‘lean into’ what it means to love our community well. 

If you are unwell or in social isolation and you need some groceries picked up or some additional help, please contact the office.

Let’s continue to be a people in prayer and deepening trust in God through this time.  Pray for those who are suffering around the world, and for the frontline healthcare workers who are selflessly and diligently serving.

I believe that God actually has real opportunities for his people during this time, to pray, to share with others, to offer the hope of the gospel amid fears, and to serve our city.  

In the abounding love and grace of Jesus,

Dave Fields