SASKATOON COVID-19 UPDATE
We have made the difficult decision as precautionary measure in regards to the spread of COVID-19 to cancel our Sunday services until further notice.
But we have to remember that church IS NOT cancelled. We know the church isn’t a building—it’s a people: Jesus’ people, following Him together. By giving up our usual way of gathering for a time we have a unique opportunity to be good citizens of our city and help protect the most vulnerable among us!
Our gospel communities will be making decisions regarding their gatherings and events on a case by case basis. (See some suggested practices for our smaller group gatherings below). Grace Partners can keep up to date on “the Hub” and others can check back here on the website or on facebook.
Over the coming weeks, we want no one to feel spiritually or socially isolated. May we make an extra effort to connect and call one another for ongoing encouragement. Our Sunday teaching will be available online for Sunday mornings as we continue our journey through the book of Hebrews. May you gather around this time of teaching with your family or in small groups.
We believe Jesus, who has entered into the suffering and brokenness of our world, is on the throne. He has shown us the love and grace of God in bearing our sins in his own body on the cross. In amazing love, he gave himself for us. His perfect love casts out fear, so that we are not driven by panic, but by his love. Though the current threat level to the Canadian population continues to be low, we want to show our neighbors and community, especially the weaker and most vulnerable amongst us, that we love them by how we conduct ourselves in the community as the Gospel compels us to do.
We trust God. In the midst of fear and uncertainty around us, God is always our security and stability. We can take heart that “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (Ps. 46:1). We know who holds the future and that our times are in the Lord’s hands (Ps. 31:15).
When Jesus came to earth, he built on that promise. “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.” (John 10:28). Why can’t we be snatched from these hands? They were pierced through for us. You are secure in him and He is our peace. Embracing the peace that God offers during this time will be a beacon of hope to those who have none. Truly Jesus is our hope!
This whole time is a reminder that every day is a gift. We are all going to die at some point. This is one of the reasons we make much of Jesus – for he is the only Savior. He alone took on sin and death for all those who put their trust in him and he beat it! Jesus rose bodily from the grave, opening the way into the presence and love of God the Father. Those who belong to Jesus, though we die, yet shall we live.
 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.  When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written:
“Death is swallowed up in victory.”
 “O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”
 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.  But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:53–58 ESV)
We want to walk in wisdom. There is much information on the internet about COVID-19, including extreme perspectives that encourage either panic or complacency. Neither is appropriate. Up to date information on COVID-19 in Saskatchewan is found here:
Government of Saskatchewan Health Authority Website.
May the Gospel be made visible in our response. Let us care for the suffering. This is not the first time the church has faced a pandemic. Jesus called his disciples to take care of the sick and the dying (Matthew 10:8), sometimes at the risk of our own lives (John 15.13). This is what love does. It cares for isolated and vulnerable neighbours. There will be some in your Gospel Community or neighbourhood who are unable to go out, and we can call, pray with them, or drop essentials off at their doors. In addition, please do not hesitate to let your Gospel Community know of your own needs and the ways they can support you.
Remember the comforting words of Jesus “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
By His grace and for His glory,
The elders of Grace Saskatoon
SMALL GATHERING BEST PRACTICES
Gathering in small groups is considered low-risk at this time, but we strongly encourage you to follow all guidelines from public health officials.
- If you are hosting, sanitize all hard surfaces and commonly touched items, like doorknobs, faucets, buttons, light switches, and so on. Do this before guests arrive, and after they leave.
- Have all guests thoroughly wash their hands when they arrive, for as long as it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice. Frequent hand washing and sanitizing should be encouraged.
- Avoid contact greetings like handshakes, high-fives, hugs, etc.
- If you feel ill in any way, please stay home! If you are hosting a group and feel ill, have the group meet elsewhere.
- If you plan to share a meal, minimize your transmission risk by washing hands and making sure people aren’t all touching the same objects or foods.