River West Returning to Online Services Only

Dear Church,

Over the last few months we’ve had the privilege of being able to gather physically for our Sunday services. This has been a great reprieve from the isolation many of you have felt during this difficult time. However, as we look at the soaring COVID-19 rates within our community, we have been pondering and discussing how our social responsibility and scriptural mandate to love and protect our neighbour should inform our desire and scriptural mandate to gather physically with one another.

Therefore, the Leadership Team (LT), in conjunction with Pastor Tim, made the difficult decision today that we will be voluntarily suspending our in-person large gatherings effective immediately and returning to online only large gatherings until January 1st 2020, unless the COVID-19 situation improves remarkably. We will continue to encourage our small groups and various ministries to meet as they feel best within the current COVID-19 guidelines, as the community afforded by these groups is critically important.

To be clear, we do not do this out of fear, but out of a sense of care and concern for our church family.  Love, as we have been talking about, is not merely words but leads us to actions. Choosing to give up the ability to gather physically for our large gatherings is an act of love for our community that demonstrates what love truly is; to put the needs of others ahead of our own desires.

We know that this decision will deeply impact a number of us and we do not take it lightly. We also know some of you will disagree with this decision and so we would ask for your grace as we seek to navigate this time as best as we can, informed both by Scripture, community and current health policies. We know that our congregation won’t be unanimous in approval for this decision but we pray for us to be unified in love.  

To help us stay connected during this time we will be:

  • Having monthly outdoor activities.
  • Continuing with our small groups & various ministries.
  • Doing the brand-new Alpha marriage class in January & February via Zoom.
  • Ensuring that our pastors’ (Pastor Erica & Pastor Tim) are available for COVID-19 safe pastoral care.
  • Looking at unique ways to celebrate Advent together and participating in the MCC Relief Kit campaign over the Advent season.

In James 1:2-4 we read:

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters,[a] whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

As we at RWCC face this trial, may we rejoice knowing that through this we are developing perseverance, maturity and completeness in Christ.  Not in spite of this trial but actually through it, as we learned in our “Scattered Saints” series in the spring. If you have any concerns or questions please do not hesitate to contact us. See you on Zoom!

Grace & Peace,

RWCC Leadership Team & Pastor Tim