COVID Update - November 25, 2020

The briefing held by elected and public health officials on Tuesday, November 24, 2020, contained a provincial public health emergency declaration. New measures have been introduced to reduce widespread community transmission of COVID-19 and to protect our health care system. These measures include the prohibition of indoor social gatherings, the closure of large venues, a phased closure of schools, and the recommendation that, where possible, citizens work from home.

While these restrictions do not introduce new measures for Sherwood Park Alliance Church, we choose to embrace a leadership role in our community and model loving care for all by seeking to reduce the ‘R number’ in the next few weeks. The next level restrictions introduced yesterday do not impact our ability to meet and minister as we are currently, but we can make an impact by choosing to go above and beyond what is required. We believe we can be difference-makers in protecting the vulnerable and stand with our essential workers in this season.

We have made the decision to suspend in-person worship services until the weekend of January 9/10, 2021, January 31, 2021, February 14, 2021. (updated January 13, 2021)

Our church campus and offices will remain open but only for limited activities which will be conducted on a case-by-case basis and subject to Alberta Health Services (AHS) guidelines.
Our online services will continue to broadcast online on Facebook, YouTube, and Apple TV. Services will stream at our usual service times, Saturday 7:00 pm and Sunday 9:00 and 11:00 am.

For Advent we’re looking forward to a new teaching series called ‘Carols.’ Taking some inspiration from classic Christmas songs we bring the Christmas story to life once more beginning most appropriately, with the ancient longing for a Messiah who will set things right and light a dark world: “Come Thou Long Expected Jesus.” Christmas is our celebration of Emmanuel, God with us, something we need more than ever this year!

Please join us online for our 2020 Christmas Eve service. Our creative types are unleashing their gifts and abilities and building a unique digital Christmas experience which will add considerable meaning to this unusual Christmas season. Christmas Eve services will stream at 3:00, 5:00, 7:00 pm on December 24th – or on-demand anytime after.

Additional COVID-related updates will be posted on our website as well as in our weekly E-News. Subscribe to E-News.

When we were gathering exclusively online in the spring and summer, we never described our church as closed - only that we were not meeting in large groups on campus. Our church is as alive and active as ever through Life Groups, online gatherings for adults and youth…and our Kid’s ministry team continues to engage and support children and parents. And our ability to meet needs in our community and provide both pastoral care and practical support is unchanged. We’ll continue to reach out via care calls and stand ready to attend to practical needs as they arrive. We want to hear from you if there is some practical way we can help you or someone you love. Most of all we can pray for one another!

My prayer for you this Christmas is that you will know the peace, the comfort, and the very real presence of Emmanuel!

Greg Hochhalter
Lead Pastor



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