RECENT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Recent
Announcements

Feb 17 – COVID-19 Guidelines Update – PLEASE READ

General Ontario Conference - February 17th, 2021

Dear Ontario Conference Pastors, Head Elders, Clerks, and Communication Leaders:

The stay-at-home order has been listed for 27 Ontario regions, and the province is moving back into the framework of the colour-coded restrictions. However, in Toronto, Peel and York regions, the stay-at-home order remains in effect until at least February 22, 2021.

The Ontario Conference focuses on public health and safety. Therefore, a cautious approach to returning to in-person worship is strongly recommended; This may include additional safety measurer over and above those issued by governmental agencies.

  • At this time, churches that have already been approved by the Conference for in-person worship in all regions except Toronto, Peel, York, Niagara (which is in the Gray or Lockdown Zone) may resume in-person worship, wedding, and funeral services, but only up to 30 percent of the building’s capacity to a maximum of 75 people maintaining physical distancing and wearing masks.
  • Members should remain within the region in which they reside and should not cross Zones into a lower level than their place of residence, meaning, for example, if someone lives in a Red Zone, we ask that they not attend a church in any of the Zones lower in the framework.
  • It is further recommended that our services be no more than an hour and a half.
  • No socializing is to take place after the service. Attendees should leave the building and parking lot promptly.
  • Apart from baptism, communion, and baby dedication (conducted according to our previously released guidelines), all other non-essential special services/events including, wedding receptions and funeral repasts, remain suspended until further notice.

Before reopening, each church should submit a board-voted action to the Vice President for Administration and the Director of Property and Risk Management; churches should also undergo a deep cleaning. All previous governmental and Conference guidelines remain in place.

The situation remains fluid, and it is crucial that you continue to regularly monitor your local public health unity or municipality’s website for details concerning your church’s local area. To assist you in doing so, below is a link to the Provincial Public Health Unit Locator:

https://www.phdapps.health.gov.on.ca/PHULocator/

All continuation of in-person worship services are on a week-to-week basis, and local churches should be in a constant state of readiness to return to online services at any time.

May grace and blessings be in your path,

Sincerely,

  • Mansfield Edwards (President)
  • Jakov Bibulovic (Executive Secretary)
  • Virene Meikle (Treasurer)

 

To read more and to view a PDF copy, please visit our COVID-19 website by clicking here.

 

 

ABC Bookmobile Schedule – Feb & March 2021

Adventist Christian Bookstore - February 1st, 2021

Jan 13 – COVID-19 Guidelines Update – PLEASE READ

General Ontario Conference - January 13th, 2021

Dear Ontario Conference Pastors, Head Elders, Clerks, and Communication Leaders:

In consultation with the Chief Medical Officer of Health and other health experts, beginning yesterday, January 12, 2021, the Ontario government declared a second provincial state of emergency. Also, effective Thursday, January 14, 2021, at 12:01 a.m., the government is issuing a stay-at-home order; this will require everyone to remain at home with exceptions for activities such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services, for exercise or for work where the work cannot be done remotely.

While the state of emergency calls for no indoor organized public events and social gatherings, except with members of the same household, and the limiting of outdoor gatherings to five, concerning wedding services, funeral services and other religious services, rites or ceremonies, there is currently an exception. Where physical distancing can be maintained and in compliance with the rules on face coverings, the permissible numbers are as follows:

  • Ten people indoors
  • Ten people outdoors

The language given by the government regarding face coverings has been enhanced. It states, “Every person in the premises of a business or organization that is open shall ensure that they wear a mask or face covering that covers their mouth, nose and chin, when they are in indoor areas of the premises, with limited exemptions.”

The Ontario Conference firmly maintains the position of following the more cautious and safest approach of moving all of our services online until further notice. However, if your church continues to use the building for worship services, live streaming, pre-recording, or any other purposes, the maximum number of people allowed in the building at the same time is ten (10), irrespective of where they may be situated within the facility. The facecovering mandate must be stringently enforced, and all other existing provincial, municipal, and Conference COVID measures remain strictly in place. Should you re-broadcast content filmed before the state of emergency, it is prudent to use a previously recorded overlay to indicate so.

The situation remains fluid and can change at any time. Please have plans in place to meet a variety of scenarios, including the possibility of not being permitted to use our church buildings.

May the grace of Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you always.

Many Blessings,

  • Mansfield Edwards (President)
  • Jakov Bibulovic (Executive Secretary)
  • Virene Meikle (Treasurer)

 

To read more and to view a PDF copy, please visit our COVID-19 website by clicking here.

ABC Bookmobile Schedule – Jan 2021

Adventist Christian Bookstore - January 1st, 2021

Updated December COVID-19 Church Guidelines & Baptism Waiver

General Ontario Conference - December 24th, 2020

Dear Pastors, Bible Workers and Elders,

In an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19, Premier Doug Ford announced that starting at 12:01 am on Sabbath, December 26th, 2020, all of Ontario will be elevated to the Gray Zone. The province wide lockdown will remain in place until at least January 23rd, 2021, for the 27 public health unit regions in Southern Ontario and until January 9th, 2021, in Northern Ontario. During this time, the Chief Medical Officer of Health will be closely monitoring the number of COVID-19 cases to see if the lockdown measures need to be extended. It is prudent that we plan for a prolonged period in the Gray Zone.

The Ontario Conference is still strongly recommending the more cautious and safest approach of moving all of our services online until further notice. Notwithstanding, in regards to weddings, funerals and other religious services, rites or ceremonies where physical distancing can be maintained, the provincial lockdown order states that the following gathering limits are permissible:

  • 10 people indoors;
  • 10 people outdoors;
  • Drive-in services, rites or ceremonies permitted, subject to certain conditions;
  • Virtual services permitted.


Should your church continue to use the building for worship, live streaming, pre-recording or any other purpose, the maximum number of people allowed in the building at the same time is ten (10), irrespective of where they may be situated within the facility. All other provincial, municipal, and Conference COVID measures remain strictly in place.

Concerning baptisms:

Public health authorities strongly discourage activities such as baptisms. However, if ordinances involving close physical contact must be performed, the pastor and the candidate must wear the appropriate personal protective equipment, which includes:

  • Surgical/procedure masks
  • Goggles or Face Shields
  • Overcoats or gown
  • Gloves (change gloves after each candidate)

Procedures to be followed:

  • Please have the candidates sign the waiver provided with our previous baptismal guidelines. If the candidate is a minor, the parent or guardian is to sign. (See waiver form attached or click HERE)
  • The officiating pastor/elder should not offer a prayer or pronouncement. An ordained elected elder or pastor with a current ministerial credential that is not officiating and is physically distanced should offer prayer and pronouncement.
  • Only one candidate should be baptized at a time (unless a family grouping living in the same household).
  • Officiating pastor/elder should baptize no more than five candidates in any given ceremony.
  • The candidate must sanitize hands with hand sanitizer (60% alcohol or higher) for 20 seconds before entering the pool.
  • For any towels, sheets, baptism gown, laundry etc., minimize shaking and disturbance.

Concerning Communion:

If your church wants to hold a Communion service during the lockdown, it is recommended this be done virtually; this allows members and the online community to participate in the service from their homes. There are several ways a virtual Communion service can be done in a meaningful way; this could include having families prepare the emblems at their homes by providing them with the recipes. Some churches have created videos of the bread-making process or invited the members to prepare the elements together via Zoom. Others have delivered pre-packed emblems to the members.

  • Follow this link to an example of a video of how to prepare the Communion bread
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYj7sdD6mDI
  • Here is a link to a clip of a Zoom Communion service
    https://tinyurl.com/y2kl95eh
  • It is crucial to urge those participating in the virtual Communion to maintain integrity with the chosen elements and preserve the service's sanctity.

It remains crucial that we at no time deviate from any of the prescribed guidelines.

Thank you for your usual support, and may God continue to give you wisdom, courage and strength to minister during these turbulent times.

We wish you and your families peace, comfort, and joy this Holiday Season!

Many Blessings,

  • Mansfield Edwards, President
  • Jakov Bibulović, Executive Secretary
  • Virene Meikle, Treasurer

 

Attachments:

GC Statement on Immunization

Health - December 22nd, 2020

General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists Statement on Immunization

https://www.adventist.org/articles/immunization

The Seventh-day Adventist Church places strong emphasis on health and well-being. The Adventist health emphasis is based on biblical revelation, the inspired writing of E.G. White (co-founder of the Church), and on peer-reviewed scientific literature. As such, we encourage responsible immunization/vaccination, and have no religious or faith-based reason not to encourage our adherents to responsibly participate in protective and preventive immunization programs. We value the health and safety of the population, which includes the maintenance of “herd immunity.”

We are not the conscience of the individual church member, and recognize individual choices. These are exercised by the individual. The choice not to be immunized is not and should not be seen as the dogma nor the doctrine of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

For the PDF version, please click here.

Adventist.org is the official website of the Seventh-day Adventist World Church
© 2020 General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists
12501 Old Columbia Pike Silver Spring , MD 20904 USA 301-680-6000

Sunset & Offering Calendar 2021

Stewardship - December 21st, 2020



Click HERE to download the PDF version

ABC Bookmobile Schedule – Dec & Jan

Adventist Christian Bookstore - December 1st, 2020

ABC Sale Prices – Dec 2020

Adventist Christian Bookstore - December 1st, 2020

ABC Christmas Hours

Adventist Christian Bookstore - December 1st, 2020

Nov 23 – COVID-19 Guidelines Update – PLEASE READ

General Ontario Conference - November 24th, 2020

Dear Ontario Conference Pastors, Head Elders, Clerks, and Communication Leaders:

At 12:01 am on Monday, November 23rd, 2020, for a minimum of 28 days, the Toronto and Peel regions have been elevated to the gray or lockdown stage. Therefore, effective immediately and until further notice, all places of worship in these regions are permitted to have no more than a total of ten (10) people in the building at any time; this includes worship services, weddings, and funerals. All other provincial, municipal, and Conference guidelines remain in place.

The Ontario Conference continues to support and strongly recommend the more cautious and safest approach of moving all of our services online until further notice. Should the church board decide to continue with in-person worship for the churches outside of Toronto and Peel, the Ontario Conference guidelines dated November 18th, 2020 remain in force (Please scroll down to see the announcement below).

It is important to note that some municipalities and local medical officers of health have added their own regional restrictions or requirements in addition to the provincial health measures, and the Ontario Conference may also add further precautions. Continue regularly monitoring your local public health unit or municipality’s website for details concerning your church’s local area. To assist you in doing so, below is a link to the Provincial Public Health Unit Locator:

https://www.phdapps.health.gov.on.ca/PHULocator/

It is crucial that we at no time deviate from the established guidelines. The provincial and municipal governments have ramped up their COVID guidelines adherence inspections; this caution also applies to churches that live stream from their church building. Even in the production of our virtual Worship service programs, we must adhere to the established guidelines; this is non-negotiable.

Thank you for your usual support, and may God continue to inspire you as you lead during this volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous time.

Many Blessings,

  • Mansfield Edwards (President)
  • Jakov Bibulovic (Executive Secretary)
  • Virene Meikle (Treasurer)

Nov 18 – COVID-19 Guidelines Update – PLEASE READ

General Ontario Conference - November 18th, 2020

Dear Ontario Conference Pastors, Head Elders, Clerks, and Communication Leaders:

Our Provincial COVID-19 guidelines continue to evolve as the cases increase. To keep Ontario safe and open, the government announced a new COVID-19 response framework, which allows the province to rank health units based on case numbers and trends, using colour-coded categories.

  • Green (Prevent)- At this level, we will see a state similar to the former Stage 3, with loosened restrictions and only certain high-risk locations remaining closed.
  • Yellow (Protect)- At this level, we will see increased measures and guidelines for businesses or organizations that are open.
  • Orange (Restrict)- At this level, we will see restrictions enhanced further from the "protect" level.
  • Red (Control)- At this level, we return to a modified Stage 2, with further restrictions and the closure of some businesses or organizations.
  • Gray (Lockdown)- At this level, we return to a modified Stage 1, and a declaration of emergency will be considered.

Please remain abreast of your church's region's status and try to keep your members up to date.

The Ontario Conference supports and strongly recommends the more cautious and safest approach of moving our services online until further notice. If your church falls within the orange or red zone classifications for those already approved for in-person worship, your church board needs to immediately ramp up your protection with respect to the restricted guidelines as listed below.

Worship Services: Religious services are allowed indoors, but only up to 30 percent of the building's capacity to a maximum of 50 people. It is strongly recommended that our services be no more than one and a half hours. All other existing Ontario Conference guidelines remain strictly in place. No socializing is to take place after the service. Attendees should leave the building and parking lot promptly. Apart from baptism, communion, and baby dedication (conducted according to our previously released guidelines), all other non-essential special services/events are to be suspended until further notice.

Funerals: Funeral services are allowed indoors, but only up to 30 percent of the building's capacity to a maximum of 10 people. All other existing Ontario Conference guidelines remain in place (up to 25 people are allowed for outdoor services providing physical distancing can be observed). No repasts are permitted until further notice.

Weddings: Weddings are allowed indoors, but only up to 30 percent of the building's capacity with a maximum of 10 people (up to 25 people are allowed for outdoor services providing physical distancing can be observed). No receptions are permitted until further notice. All other existing Ontario Conference guidelines remain in place.

Attendee Vigilance: People not in hospital but those who have symptoms and are waiting for test results or have had close contact with someone who tested positive for coronavirus are not to attend any in-person church gatherings. It is hard to differentiate between flu symptoms and COVID symptoms. Anyone experiencing any of the symptoms and anyone in that household should not attend any in-person church gatherings.

Eager Beaver/Adventurer/Pathfinder and Master Guide Meetings: Remain online until further notice.

All continuation of in-person worship services are on a week-to-week basis. Local churches should be in a constant state of readiness to return to online services as we track the public health advisories.

God will reward our efforts as we continue to be good stewards and practice being our brothers' keeper.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation.

  • Mansfield Edwards (President)
  • Jakov Bibulovic (Executive Secretary)
  • Virene Meikle (Treasurer)

For more details and for a PDF version, please visit our COVID-19 page by clicking here

“End It Now” Abuse Summit Archive

North American Division - November 17th, 2020

Creating safe churches and communities starts with being informed.

You Can Still Watch This Year's Summit on Abuse

 

This year’s topics included:

·     Abuse in Faith Communities - Mary DeMuth

·     Church Toolkit: Practical Tips & Resources for
Safe Churches and Schools - Rene Drumm

·     How to Protect Children and Youth - Ingrid Slikkers

·     Digging out of the Pit of Spiritual Abuse - Doug
Tilstra

 

P.S. Please forward this email to anyone who may be interested
in watching online, or share our videos on your Facebook news feeds to help raise greater awareness for this cause. 

Love Shouldn't Hurt.

Join Us to Help Stop the Violence!

ABC Clerk Position Opening

Adventist Christian Bookstore - November 11th, 2020

ADRA Ration Meal Challenge

ADRA - November 2nd, 2020

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