As we settle in for what looks like months of our new normal, we are trying to figure out what life looks like in our new constantly changing world.
We are in a season of vicissitude. Vicissitude is a word that means constant change. In a matter of days, almost everything has changed: how we work, live, learn and interact with each other.
Adjusting to change, especially change forced on us, is difficult. And in this season of change (especially difficult change), it is so important that we need to hold on the constant. I want to remind you of that today.
In the midst of vicissitude, God has not changed. We are reminded of the truth that, “Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8)
Additionally, as you process this change and the challenges we are facing in our world, I want you to know that your church family is here for you. We are here to Know God, Be Like Jesus and Change the World. As we adjust together, we are in the process of the following:
We have moved all of our ministries online (Sunday worship, Children’s Ministry, Youth Ministry, Westlife Groups, corporate prayer times, etc.). Find out all the ways you and your family can connect and grow online in this unique season.
We are caring for each of you and your families personally. In the next week, you will get a personal call from a pastor or elder to check in with you, ask about your needs, let you know how to contact us in need and pray for you.
We are launching an expanded congregational care network. Pastor Ryan is building and leading a team of people to care for us as the congregation.
We are launching a community care network. Pastor Keith is building a ministry strategy and team to effectively network and care for our greater community, lifting up the name of Jesus as we do.
This will be a hard season but, like many things in history, the best spiritual fruit comes in the hardest seasons. God is going to do some amazing things in and through us as we pursue our mission (Know God, Be Like Jesus and Change the World), through our Strategy (Encounter God Together, Engage in a Westlife Community, Equip to Serve and Empower to Share) in pursuit of our Vision (Deeper in love with Jesus, Bigger in size for missional impact, Wider in reach for missional effectiveness and Bolder in creativity, generosity and leadership).
As we adjust to vicissitude, may you do so with the anchor, the cornerstone, the foundation, the strong tower, the rock – Jesus, our living hope and constant!
We are here for you! To contact us anytime, use the form on our website, email us or call us.
See you Sunday, Westlife!
13 March, 2020
Greetings Westlife Family,
As you know the COVID-19 Virus has had a rapidly changing impact on society. Things have escalated rapidly. As a result (in addition to our previous updates), with the wisdom of our Elders, effective immediately, we are suspending all public gatherings and moving exclusively online through our various platforms. As a result, starting this Sunday, join us online for our Live Stream (via our Website, App. YouTube, or Facebook). We will be doing this until further notice (hopefully for just a couple of weeks). In addition, we will be releasing an extensive weekly calendar of Westlife online ministry options for you to connect for Bible Study, Prayer, Fellowship, etc. via various online platforms. This may be a season of unusual social isolation and we want to combat that with many resources, discipleship opportunities, online group options, and prayer. Watch our website and social media channels for information on this. We have been proactively working on this possibility and are fully prepared to launch. For all coronavirus related updates at Westlife, please see our website with all the updated information. (westlifechurch.ca/coronavirus). Also, if you haven’t subscribed to the Westlife Weekly, do so on our website (westlifechurch.ca/westlife-weekly).
In all of this, we don’t want to respond out of fear but with a sound mind and a faith-filled heart, making prayerful, wise and prudent decisions. As we consider how to process all of this, I would encourage you to read the prayer Pastor Bryce has written for us (bryceashlinmayo.com/2020/03/coronavirusprayer) and join us online this Sunday at 10am as we process this together through a special time of worship, prayer, and God’s Word. As things develop, we have a Care Team (filled with medical professionals) that is preparing to mobilize in order to help people (with safe procedures and protocols in place) if/when people get sick. If you have or know of any needs, know of people in the hospital, etc., please use the form on our website (westlifechurch.ca/prayersupport) or call the church office as we want to pray and care for people through this. If you would like to help with our care team, please let Pastor Ryan know (email@example.com).
In the coming days, we will be in touch with each of you and your families to personally care, pray, and support you through this challenging time.
In the Peace of Christ, Pastor Bryce
12 March, 2020
It is an interesting and challenging season for our world. With the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), there is a distinct sense of uncertainty and fear. As a church, we want to respond well by making prudent decisions for us as a church while at the same time challenging, empowering and equipping us to appropriately respond on mission at our work, home and play. As such, the following are some of the actions we have taken as well as a plan for what we will do if/when things change:
We have installed hand sanitizers throughout the building.
We have increased our cleaning regiment for the building as a whole and for our children’s ministry areas specifically (including weekly cleaning and disinfecting of all our children’s ministry toys).
We have made some changes to our worship services including altering the greeting time (Using appropriate social distancing and avoiding handshakes. Although many of us are not in a risk category, others are, and we want to love our neighbours and vulnerable segments of the population with the actions we take), changing how we take the offering, and not celebrating communion for the time being.
We have cancelled our summer youth mission trip to Mexico, postponing it to next year. In its place, we are looking at local mission trip options (assuming the COVID-19 virus is not an issue during this time).
If/when schools close, we will suspend all our Groups, Youth Ministry programming and Children Ministry programming. In event of this, we will move to online options for these (for example, we plan to provide many options for prayer, bible study and social engagement online throughout the week).
If/when the government health officials suspend public gatherings, we will suspend our Sunday morning public worship gathering and move it exclusively online (available through our app, website and Facebook). This is always an option for those who can’t come physically on Sunday or currently don’t feel comfortable attending in person.
We are in conversation with our church’s multiple medical professionals and our congregational care team about how we can effectively and safely care for personal needs in our congregation and our community. If you need help, care or prayer through this time, our website has a contact form we have set-up for this very purpose (westlifechurch.ca/prayersupport).
Through everything that has happened or may happen, may you be assured of our commitment to keep you safe, spiritually care for you and help each of us to tangibly (and safely) care for our community. Moving forward, our website will be the primary place for all updates, decisions, altered ministry directions, and any needed contact forms. Also, use our website and/or app to request help, receive prayer, find out what’s happening, financially give, watch a past service or attend a live service. As the staff at Westlife, we are highly committed to caring for our church and our community through this crisis in any way we can. We are here for you!