This page will be updated as needed. Last updated March 31, 2020.
A Note from Church Leadership: March 31, 2020
(This notice is also available in PDF form here.)
As a precaution against the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), and in accordance with Manitoba Health guidelines and directives:
The church building is closed to public access until further notice. If you need access to the building for a necessary purpose, please contact the church office or one of the pastors.
All in-person worship services, events, and meetings are suspended until further notice. In lieu of in-person Sunday morning services, we are providing “virtual worship services” online at “Blog/Sermons/Services.” Those without internet access can get these on CD—please contact the church office to receive these.
Church staff continue to serve, working from home or, as necessary, the office. If you have a question or need assistance, please contact the church office at (204) 822-7450 or email@example.com. The pastors are available directly by cell or email.
Church committees, care groups, and other church groups which need to communicate collaboratively are encouraged to use alternatives to in-person meetings. If an email conversation is not ideal, online platforms such as Zoom can provide free video or audio communication for multiple persons.
We encourage you to continue to worship God in faith and hope and serve one another in love. Participate in our online worship services and Zoom prayer meetings and Bible studies. Check in with others, especially those with mental health concerns, compromised immunity, ongoing health conditions, and the most elderly. The Church Ministries Committee (including the pastors) has noted those among us who are most at risk of severe symptoms from this virus. They will be checking in with these people periodically to see how they are doing, what they might need, and so on. If you would like this regular contact from the church but are not receiving it, please contact the church office.
We encourage you to continue your regular giving to the church. Staff and bills still need to be paid, and many programs and services continue as always or are being adapted to changing needs. You can mail a cheque to the church. You can contact the church office if you would like to have someone pick up your offering. There is also the option of giving electronically if you have an Access Credit Union account. Check the church website under “Online giving through Access Credit Union” or contact the church office for more information.
These decisions are being made collaboratively by Lisa B. (Church Council Chair) and Michael P. (Lead Pastor), in consultation with Church Council and the Church Ministries Committee (including Associate Pastors). They are monitoring Manitoba Health guidelines on a regular basis, consulting with other local church leaders and church leaders at other Mennonite Church Manitoba churches, and paying attention to how other local groups are responding to this pandemic.
A Letter from Pastor Michael: March 17, 2020
Dear Morden Mennonite Church family,
Grace and peace to you through our Lord Jesus Christ.
These are challenging times!
As the calendar turned to 2020, few if any of us could have guessed we would be facing a worldwide pandemic in March. This is a serious situation, and we are taking it seriously. I am grateful to God for our governments, health authorities, and medical professionals, along with our church leadership, who are working hard to respond to COVID-19 with competence and compassion. Please pray for them.
I am reminded that God’s people have been through dire situations before. Jesus himself “took our infirmities and bore our diseases,” Matthew 4:17 says, quoting the Prophet Isaiah, when Jesus walked in compassionate solidarity with the sick and disabled and brought comfort and healing. Since then, and even before, God has walked with humanity through even the worst of pandemics. Each time, God has called God’s people to draw near to God, to trust in God wholeheartedly and to love one another courageously.
Although we are suspending church worship services and events, this does not mean “the church is closed.” Remember, we are the church—all of us, you and me and every other MMCer, even “all who follow Jesus, all around the world.” The building is not the church, and Sunday morning services are not all that the church is about.
We are still the church even when we are not worshiping together on a weekly basis. We can still share songs and prayers, Scripture and teaching, blessings and more—which we will do through our church website. We can still love God through our worship, listening for God’s voice together and responding in faith and hope and love.
We are still the church even when we are not gathering together regularly. We can still communicate with each other by phone or electronically. We can still lift each other up in prayer and offer encouragement to each other. We can still be attentive to each other’s needs, especially those who are most vulnerable at this time. We can still love one another.
We are still the church even when we are not rubbing shoulders with others. We can still keep an eye out for our neighbour next door, especially if they are elderly or are already facing health challenges. We can still pray for our neighbours, for our community, for our world. We can still love our neighbours as ourselves.
We are still the church. May we continue to walk together on this journey with Jesus, whatever may come, in faith (not fear) and hope (not despair) and love (especially for our most vulnerable neighbours).
March 17, 2020