SDACC Recommended Guidelines Regarding COVID-19

A message to Adventist Canadians from coast to coast from Mark Johnson, President of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canada, regarding the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. This message stands to encourage, empower, and guide members across the nation as we respond to the current pandemic in wisdom, truth, and love.

Video script:

Dear Adventist family throughout Canada,

During this time greatly engrossed by the news of the coronavirus, be at peace. The same Jesus who calmed the winds and waves cares for you and those dear to you. 

As a Church, we will continue to follow the guidelines outlined by public health officials and government leadership. We encourage our membership to consult their local conferences for specific information within your region.

 And while we take our precautions, I charge you to remember who we are. 

Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canada, we are the Church that loves the Lord and does for others what we would want done for ourselves. 

We are the Church that amidst the panic purchasing, sees the single mother living pay cheque to pay cheque, stressed over how she will provide for her family during this crisis, and offers our blessings of time and money to assure her troubled heart. 

We are the Church that seeks the elderly and vulnerable and ensures they are equipped with groceries and sanitation supplies, because we desire to keep those at higher risk safe. 

We are the Church that supports church leaders as they develop plans to meet congregational needs and prepare churches with proper sanitation. 

We are the Church that works together, as a national congregation, to provide peace amidst the storms of fear.  

We are the Church that knows the call to love our neighbours never ceases.

Fear not, my friends. 

Together, we will stay connected to Jesus, the Light of the World, so we can shine in every one of our communities. 

As the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Canada prepares for our Sabbath worship and fellowship during our national crisis regarding COVID-19, and our schools cope with rapid adjustments, it is important for the SDACC to encourage our membership to consult their local Conferences for specific information as it pertains to their locality. Some provinces have already issued cautions with large gatherings and some have given specific directions as to the size of these gatherings.

During a crisis we will have many opportunities to practice a Christlike generosity to others in our church and those in our communities.  This is a time for our churches across Canada to shine in our communities. Please practice Health Canada guidelines as you minister to those in your communities and those within our churches.

Please consult the following updated guidelines:

  1. If you have recently traveled to a COVID-19 infected area or you are currently showing signs of having a cold or flu like symptoms, we ask that you STAY HOME. There are many with compromised health conditions that you might spread the virus to and you have a moral and spiritual obligation to remain at home and worship online or with your family.
  2. If it is absolutely necessary for you to leave your home, implement a hug and handshake free zone and maintain a safe distance (at least 2 metres) from others.  We also strongly urge that potlucks and Communion be suspended till further notice.
  3. Have a church plan ready to meet the needs of the elderly and those who live alone or with special needs. Develop plans and assign people to regularly check in on them and make sure that the necessary supplies are on hand to care for sick and elderly members.
  4. Avoid all unnecessary physical contact with others at church or school and wash hands often (with warm water and soap) while avoiding contact with one’s face.
  5. Provide hand sanitizers to everyone who enters the church or school.
  6. Regularly clean high-touch surfaces during Sabbath School, church services and in our local schools.
  7. Place offering plates at the back of the church instead of having the plates circulating during collection.
  8. Consult your local health department and Health Canada to pass along reliable information to your membership.
  9. Support those who are front line workers.  They may be extra support as they serve on the front lines in our health care facilities.
  10. Practice the 8 laws of Health while promoting a lifestyle that will strengthen the immune system.

Resources

There are several resources available that will be helpful to churches and members as they evaluate how to best move forward with the mission of the church.