FGC Protocol Update Statement
July 30, 2020
As you've likely heard by now, the Nova Scotia government issued a new mandate concerning wearing masks in public buildings, including churches.
With this in mind, we wanted to ensure that you were aware that, beginning July 31st, we will be required to wear a mask for the duration of time that we are inside the church building.
The July 28th Health Protection Act gives a few exceptions to this protocol:
- A person who has a valid medical reason which prevents them from wearing a mask.
- Any person singing or speaking from the stage are exempt, as the space between the stage and the congregation is well over the distance required.
- Children under two years of age are also exempt. Children between the ages of two and four years of age are encouraged to wear a mask, if parents find they are able to cooperate. Children age five and over will be required to wear a mask.
If you have a mask, we encourage you to bring it with you each Sunday. However, if you forget on a given Sunday, we will have some extras on hand.
We understand and recognize that wearing a mask is not most people's preference, but we thank you for cooperating and supporting what our government is asking us to do to protect our community, as well as those most vulnerable in our church family.
Pastor Russell wrote an incredible perspective on the situation, which was posted on Facebook. It is detailed below. Please take a few moments to read it over, and allow the spirit of his words to settle in your heart.
We want to make our time of gathering together as positive and full of love and grace as we possibly can!
Here are Pastor Russell's words:
OPINIONS MELLOWED BY LOVE
In the book of Romans, near the conclusion of a lengthy discourse on strong opinions, we find this gem: Romans 14:19 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.
In an evolving crisis, it takes EVERY EFFORT to consciously make decisions that will lead to peaceful relationships and which will build up and encourage those around us. Although it takes effort, the effort is worthwhile and guards the hallmark of our faith in Christ – love for each other: John 13:35 By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.
It takes little effort to express opinions ... it takes a lot more effort to respect the opinions of those around us ... it takes even more effort to step back and admit that, in an evolving crisis, my opinions may not be fully informed, and that they may be wrong.
Let each of us make every effort to submit our opinions to a few important spiritual guidelines:
Firstly: We are free to hold variant opinions, but we must all have the same attitude. That attitude must never be aggressive, but must be tempered by gentleness and kindness.
2 Timothy 2:24 And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone.
Secondly: Whereas history alone will reveal the accuracy of our opinions, we must err to the side of caution and the protection of those who are potentially vulnerable around us. If this results in personal inconvenience, this should be considered a minor sacrifice for the greater interest of those we love.
Philippians 2:4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.
Thirdly: We are grateful for those in positions of authority and support them in prayer. Even if our opinions differ from those mandated to lead, we choose to practise the admonition of Christ to “go the second mile”. This teaching was given in the context of submitting to a law which appeared to be wrong or unfair. The principle of the “second mile” teaches us to, not only comply, but to do so with such grace and commitment that our actions demonstrate the character of Christ.
Acts 5:41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.
Yes, it takes EVERY EFFORT, in the midst of a crisis, to live peacefully and to build others up, but the reward is worth the effort! This world needs to see a tangible expression of the character of Christ … light is most noticeable in the darkest hours!
On behalf of the leadership team, thank you for your understanding and cooperation as we do our best to protect our church family.
September 13, 2020
Sunday morning service at 10:30 AM- Sunday service in our main auditorium with Pastor Russell bringing us a powerful message from God's Word. Please call to register or register online to ensure seating, as seating is limited due to Covid 19 protocols.
On Sunday, October 18 we are launching a "traditional" Sunday morning service in addition to our current service. The regular service will start at 9 AM, with a fresh, contemporary flair. The traditional service will begin at 11 AM and will feature a blend of timeless hymns, plus new and classic worship songs and special music. Stay tuned for more details!
Note: Our Annual Business Meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, October 6 at 7 PM.