LSC COVID-19 UPDATE
September 24, 2021
Dear Church Family,
After three days of prayer, deliberation, and discussion with people both in the medical field and government, we (Elder Board) support mid-week programs and classes to continue at the church, following the current government restrictions of physical distancing, masking and 1/3 room capacity. We will be updating the website accordingly as information from each ministry comes available. You can also call the church office starting on Monday to see if information is available on when your particular ministry will be starting up again in person at the church.
We realize this is a very challenging time in our province and city, as hospitalization rates are at a crisis level. We so appreciate your patience as we prayerfully try to make the best decisions for our church family.
September 16, 2021
Dear Church Family,
Due to dangerously high numbers in ICUs, Premier Kenney announced last night that Alberta is reinstating more Covid-19 health restrictions. Please note the following changes at Living Stones Church effective immediately:
- Sunday Services will be at 1/3 capacity; we will have an overflow area ready (no need to pre-register).
- Masks and social distancing are required in all areas of the church building.
- Children’s Ministry will require masks for children ages Grade 4 and up.
- The Café is now closed.
- Coffee service in the Foyer will be paused until these restrictions are lifted.
- Midweek ministries will continue online only (Zoom). Ministry leaders will send out information to their participants. We will be updating information on our Web site for Zoom access to midweek activities that are open to all (for example, Tuesday night prayer).
- The church building is now closed, with all staff working from home except for 1 or 2 front office staff. Appointments will be by telephone only. If you need to pick up or drop off something at the church, please call ahead.
- Do not leave envelopes with cash in our mailbox, as it is not secure.
- The following events have been postponed and will be rescheduled at a later time: KidsTown Serve Team Equip, David Macfarlane’s “Fresh Ideas” seminar, Men’s Fall Breakfast, and Ladies Night of Worship. In-person Sisterhood will resume in January. Sisterhood fall classes will be available via Zoom. Registration is required at no charge for the Sisterhood courses. Book fees (should you choose to order a book) are listed online.
Let us pray that this challenge to our health care system will be resolved as we comply with the new health restrictions. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.
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It has been brought to our attention that there is an exemption for places of worship; masks are not required while participating at a worship service. Therefore it will be an individual choice if you choose to wear a mask or not.
F. Exceptions for places of worship:
4.1.1 Despite Part 3 of this Order, a person is not required to wear a face mask while participating at a worship service at a place of worship.
We hope to see you at the Pancake Breakfast tomorrow!
September 3, 2021
Dear Church Family,
Premier Kenney announced today that Alberta is temporarily reinstating some Covid-19 health restrictions.
Please note the following changes at Living Stones Church as of Saturday, September 4th:
• Masks are once again required to enter the church building.
• Children’s Ministry will operate as the schools; masks will not be necessary for children, but leaders will still have to mask.
• The Pancake Breakfast and Café will continue as planned and operate as restaurants do; masks will be required when walking around, but not sitting and eating.
• Coffee service in the Foyer will be paused until these restrictions are lifted.
Let us pray once again that there will be a swift end to the restrictions, and let us be patient and loving towards one another as we keep our eyes on Jesus. We encourage you to join us in 14 Days of Prayer, starting this Sunday as we pray for the upcoming Federal Election. Sign-up sheets will be in the Foyer, or you can click here to sign up online.
June 24, 2021
We are rejoicing that current Provincial restrictions have been lifted beginning July 1, 2021. Starting July 1, 2021, masks and social distancing are no longer required at the church!
We are looking forward to getting back to normal on Sundays; this includes reopening areas such as the Nursery in KidsTown and the Coffee Bar in the foyer! We need your help to initiate some of the ministries that have been dormant for the past 16 months. We can only begin as each of us renews our commitment to serving others, beginning on July 4th.
We can’t relaunch without your help! So please click here and fill out this form to indicate your willingness to help us out in one of our critical areas. We desire to see you serve in an area where you shine and use your God-given gifts and abilities to bless others.
We are so grateful for our church family and proud of your perseverance through the pandemic. We can’t wait to see you all back at the church in person in the days ahead!
June 10, 2021
Premiere Kenny has loosened restrictions a bit more; we can now have up to 1/3 capacity in the Sanctuary! Masks and social distancing are still required.
May 26, 2021
Dear Church Family,
We are happy to share that today’s Provincial Announcement regarding relaxing some restrictions includes allowing us to hold our worship services at the church starting this Sunday! So join us in person at 9:30 AM, 11:15 AM or 6:00 PM. We will be operating at 15% capacity, so please resume registering each week as we did before the May lockdown. Our streaming services will continue, as always, at 9:30 and 11:15 AM.
Starting Tuesday, June 1st, all mid-week gatherings and meetings can also resume in-person at the church as they were before the May lockdown. Please watch for details from your ministry leaders for more information.
The church office will also reopen on Tuesday, June 1st, but most staff will still work from home and are available by appointment.
A reminder to LSC Members that we have a short Membership Meeting on Monday at 7:00 PM, via Zoom. Click here to register.
We continue to pray for further relaxing of restrictions and will keep you updated!
May 5, 2021
Dear Church Family,
Due to the latest COVID-19 restrictions announced last night, we will be moving back to live-stream services only starting this Sunday, May 9. So please do not come to the building, but join us online at 9:30 and 11:15 AM. Also, this Sunday is Communion Sunday, so have some juice and crackers or bread ready.
All mid-week gatherings and meetings will also move to online only. Please watch for details from your ministry leaders for more information and online access.
The church office is now closed. Staff is available by appointment only. If you need to come in to drop off a tithe or use the debit machine, please call the church office at 403-347-7311 to make an appointment.
December 9, 2020
Dear Church Family,
We are pleased to tell you that little will change here at LSC with yesterday’s announcement from our Premier about further restrictions.
- Masks are mandatory for everyone over the age of 2 years old.
- Sundays – the Province is mandating that we reduce in-person services to 15% of capacity. Our attendance over the past few weeks has already been around 15%, and we have overflow plans in place should attendance increase above 15%.
- Mid-week Ministries will continue as per usual.
- Life Groups are going ahead, some still meeting in the church, and some on Zoom. Click here for more information.
- As of Monday, December 14th, our church office will be locked, and staff will be available by appointment only. There will be staff in the front office; if you need to drop something off, please call us ahead of time or ring the doorbell beside the office door (inside the main doors).
If you plan on attending our Christmas Eve services in-person, please pre-register ASAP by clicking here so we can determine whether or not to add a 4th service.
We will continue to keep you updated, and we are so grateful for your prayers, patience and cooperation as we navigate this challenging time. Let us continue to cry out to God for mercy and to remove the COVID virus. Pray that people will find hope and strength through Jesus during this time.
June 26, 2020
Dear KidsTown Families,
We praise and thank the Lord that we can relaunch Kindergarten-Grade 5 KidsTown on Sunday, July 5. This is a significant step as many protocols need to be in place to comply with all the Alberta Health measures. Our exciting program will be introducing the children to the book of James in July, and then in August, we will start at the beginning of the Bible. We are planning games and activities that involve being outdoors (in our fenced-in courtyard by the portables) and where children can maintain physical distance yet learn about God’s truths as they have fun. We will be making a video to reassure the children that our environment will remain positive, friendly and fun, and to familiarize parents with our adaptations.
Some of the safety measures we are implementing include:
a) Physical distancing (including during game and worship time)
b) Separate bathroom sinks and stalls for each classroom (called ‘cohorts’ in the government document). See https://open.alberta.ca/publications/covid-19-information-guidance-for-day-camps for more information.
c) Pre-registration of children and Leaders, and keeping each classroom list under 50 children (maximum number, accrued over the weeks).
d) Supplies and toys for children have been separated into individual bags, so they will not need to share.
e) Cleaning of surfaces touched will be done between services, and during the week as well.
f) Anyone displaying symptoms will be asked to stay home. Parents will fill out a quick checklist when registering.
g) A rapid response plan has been developed, should a child (or leader) become ill during church.
h) The use of hand sanitizer and frequent hand washing will be encouraged.
i) LSC KidsTown staff are required to wear masks. The use of masks for volunteers is optional.
j) All Serve Team members will be informed of our new protocols.
k) Parents will be asked to check the temperature of their children prior to coming to KidsTown.
l) Signs will be posted to ensure further clarity.
We are so looking forward to being together again! If you would like more information, feel free to contact us.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your path straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Alongside, with love,
Pastor Paul Vallee, Pastor Brenda Boyce and the KidsTown Team
June 11, 2020
Dear Church Family,
GREAT NEWS! Stage two of the relaunch is now official. The Alberta government is allowing churches to receive people without a number cap. However, there are safety protocols that must be followed. Physical distancing, no singing (humming only), and entrance and exit requirements must be maintained.
We will be resuming all three services this Sunday at the regular times: 9:30 am, 11:15 am and 6:00 pm. For those who are concerned about being in a large group setting, the live stream will still be available online as usual.
HERE IS WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT:
We must limit the number of people in the sanctuary. Therefore, every other pew will be closed for seating to maintain adequate spacing. We will have overflow seating available in the Fellowship Hall and will have the live service streamed to a large screen. We have set the tentative number of people that we think we can fit at 250 people per service. Family members and people who are classified as “cohorts” may sit beside each other.
If you plan to join us in person, please pre-register yourself and your family each week by clicking here, or you may call the church to register during regular business hours at 403-347-7311. In the next couple of weeks, we will have a better idea of how many people we can socially distance within our sanctuary. Please be patient with the process.
When you arrive at the church, there will be only one designated entrance at the main doors across from the Warehouse. The other doors are for exiting only. There will be friendly ushers & greeters here to welcome you, check you in and assist with seating to ensure proper distancing. Again, we ask for your patience as we will be trying our best to get everyone seated quickly and safely. After the service, there will be staggered exiting, like at weddings, assisted by the ushers.
Unfortunately, there will be no children’s programming at this time; therefore, children must stay with their parents during the service; however, the Nursing Mother’s Room will be open. There are some regulations regarding children that we are currently working at implementing. We are trusting that in a few weeks we will be explaining that protocol to you. We are making sure that the services will be a bit shorter because of the children that will be with us in the service.
Please consider bringing your own Bible, pen and notepaper, as we have temporarily removed these items from the pews. We have moved the communion services to the fall as we are ordering individual packets that will be handled only by the person receiving communion. We will not be receiving an offering during the service as we encourage online giving, but if you would like to contribute to the ministry financially, please drop your cheque into the slot at the Info Centre, or you may give via electronic means in the church office.
Yesterday while reading the Word of God found in 1 Kings 17, this sentence recapped the chapter for me. ”In a time of famine, God provided; in a time of death, new life.” We are looking forward to being together again!
June 3, 2020
Dear Church Family,
After ten weeks of operating with restrictions, we are working towards the relaunching our church within the Alberta government guidelines. Currently, our staff has returned to the church office, and we are allowing public access to the office with physical distancing protocols.
As you may now be aware, the church can have 50 people at the Sunday worship service. We have currently identified several high-risk people and socially isolated individuals within our church family and have invited them on Sunday mornings for the 9:30 service, following certain restrictions. While we look forward to the day that our entire church family can meet together in person, at this time we ask if you would like to come, please contact us so we can have a roster and we will not have to turn away people because we would exceed the number allowed.
We are currently investigating how we can allow more people to attend with overflow capacity in the Warehouse and possibly another location within the facility in which we could have a live streaming extension of the service. We are also looking at ways to have specific ministries meet at the church with proper protocols in place during the week. However, we need to put things into place before we can begin to move ahead on that front as well. Please pray that God will continue to give grace and wisdom to provide opportunities for more face-to-face ministry while providing the necessary safety for all concerned.
We will be giving updates on these developments as we cross the necessary hurdles to comply with government restrictions. We are aware that some find this an infringement on ‘freedom of religious expression,’ and discriminatory. However, these restrictions are in effect for other large gatherings as well, and the reason is the threat of the spread of a disease that could prove disastrous to many. We would have a hard time proving that this is a discriminatory action.
Regardless of our opinion, we are mandated by Scripture to submit to those in authority. “Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority, whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right. For it is God’s will that by doing good, you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people.” (1 Peter 2:13-15) By witnessing the anarchy that is currently happening in the U.S., we can see what happens when people decide to take matters into their own hands.
We are currently in touch with our missionaries and people from other parts of the world who are living under far greater restrictions in every area of their lives as a result of Covid-19, including religious expressions and personal mobility. If you are going through a difficult time and need assistance, please contact us at the church office, and we will try to help you through this time of testing.
May 13, 2020
Dear Church Family,
This is a significant time in our lives as we walk through self-isolating due to COVID 19, and the emergency measures that the government has placed upon all of us. As the Province is looking at re-opening with stage 1 beginning tomorrow [though there is a possibility that this may be rescinded], we need to be aware that many restrictions are still in place. For churches, these include restriction of congregational singing, and a maximum attendance is limited to 50 people.
With that in mind, we will continue to live stream the services at this point. Living Stones Church will not be open until we gain greater clarity from the government, and some of these restrictions are removed. We are looking at having the staff return to the church offices in the very near future, and appointments will need to be secured to meet in a very limited capacity.
We will notify you when the church office is open, and keep you posted regarding how we will proceed when regulations continued to be relaxed.
Pastor Paul Vallee
March 30, 2020
To My LSC Family,
How quickly things are changing in our province as it relates to COVID-19. There are now more significant restrictions mandated by the government as it relates to trying to curb this virus. I just want to thank you all for your constancy through this time. It is great to hear how many are joining the live stream service on Sundays at 11:15, both at the LSC web page and through Facebook. It is also great to hear how some of you are hosting watch parties and inviting your friends. We now have a growing list of people who may not have felt comfortable attending the church but are currently attending electronically and are experiencing God’s presence through the worship service.
For those who would like a manuscript copy of the messages, I’m currently making them into a blog on my web page (www.drpaulvallee.com). As Easter is fast approaching, we are also planning live streams for Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Our Good Friday service will be at 7:00 p. m. on April 10, 2020. Included in this service will be a time for communion. To prepare, please have some bread (or crackers) and some juice set aside, so that we can share this expression of worship together.
On another note, the church office will be physically closed to protect both staff and people who would come by the church building. However, the office will be opened via phone, internet and other electronic platforms. Classes and other ministries will be offered via a Zoom platform. Ministry leaders will contact you as to what is available as we endeavour to facilitate ministry differently than we have in the past.
We are currently looking at how we will gather electronically to have Prayer and Fasting on April 20-22, 2020. We will be updating you on how we will be uniting for Prayer. Let us continue to pray that God will show mercy and that this virus will come to a swift end.
March 25, 2020
To My LSC Family,
Patty and I are nearing the end of our self-isolating time and have developed a new empathy for prisoners and hospital patients. Thank you for all your texts, calls and many thoughtful expressions. You are an amazing church family.
There is so much information and misinformation available these days. I’m leaving you with three important things to be aware of. First, an invitation for united global prayer with other believers this Sunday (see below for details). Second, the essence of a town hall meeting that was teleconferenced to religious leaders across Alberta. Finally, the impact that the economic changes now has on our LSC 2020 Budget and the layoffs that the board has made.
So, what are the things we need to consider moving forward?
We need to reassess our own relationship with God and make that the ‘highest priority’ in our personal and family life. This is a time when we need to seek God’s face. The EFC (Evangelical Fellowship of Canada), of which our church is a member, and which many denominations and Christian churches are a part of has ‘called,’ the church to fasting and prayer this Sunday, March 29.
Bishop Efraim Tendero, based in the Philippines, is secretary-general of the WEA (World Evangelical Alliance), a network of churches in 129 nations of more than 600 million evangelical Christians. “We have been following with concern the news of the outbreak and spread of COVID-19 over the past weeks, first in China and then internationally,” he said in a Feb. 13 news release. “We know that many among our constituency have already been praying for those affected. We would like to now specifically call on churches and individual believers to take time to pray for God to intervene in this crisis and stop the virus from spreading any further.” (See also their March 23 news release.)WEA Resources: Get resources from the
WEA Global Day of Prayer & Fasting website. Their Day of Prayer & Fasting Guidebook, available as a PDF download in English and Spanish, contains 16 modules that can help you remain focused on God for the whole day or part of several days. Facebook users can also participate already now in a WEA Facebook group to pray with others.
EFC Resources: Canadians who plan to participate in the Global Day of Prayer can show that on the EFC’s Facebook event listing by clicking the “interested” or “going” buttons there. Looking to God should always be our first response in any situation but particularly in a crisis time.
Let me also try and share what transpired this week at a Town Hall meeting via teleconferencing with 380 religious charities and Premier Kenny, the health minister and Chief Medical Officer, Deena Hinshaw. They reiterated the severity of what is transpiring and expressed the need for being vigilant with health protocols (physical distancing and hygiene practices). These practices will probably continue for the next 2-3 months.
What was encouraging to hear was the political leaders asking for spiritual and pastoral help in this hour of crisis. Jason Kenny’s comment: ‘We need your help in this hour of crisis.’ Premier Kenny openly shared his deepest concerns not only for the health of the people in the province but also his concerns for their ongoing economic wellbeing and listed measures that both the federal and provincial governments were working to employ to help people at this time.
On a more sober note, Premier Kenny stated that he believes the Alberta economy will contract by about 1/3 of its current size and that the recovery of the economy will be a slow process extending beyond a year. In other words, we are headed for some very challenging economic times.
Don’t panic! Or Worry! Listen to the words of Jesus. ‘So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat? Or what shall we drink? For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own (cf. Matthew 6:31-34).”
As we move forward in ministry, many events and facility usage have now ended. We have temporarily laid off 9 of the current 23 staff members at LSC. This was a painful decision, but considering the uncertainty of how long this physical distancing will occur, ministry as we have practiced it, has come to an end. We are currently trying to prepare for the eventuality of having to close the office completely, which would mean that staff would all be working from home.
Let us continue to pray and trust God for His grace.
Hello Church Family,
The Coronavirus (COVID-19) has become a worldwide concern and is on everybody’s mind. We want you to know that as a church staff, we are continuing to monitor the situation closely.
- A reminder that our Sunday services are cancelled for the foreseeable future. However, we will be live streaming on Sundays at 11:15 am. You can click here to watch the service on our website, or click here to see it on Facebook. Please note: the Facebook Live Stream is not always reliable; if for some reason it isn’t working, you should still be able to tune into the live stream on our website.
- We have suspended all classes, ministries, programs and events. Our team is working on virtual options for our various ministries. We will be posting them here as they become available.
- We will continue to post regular updates here and our Facebook page.
- This email has been sent out to our entire congregation, including those who have opted out of receiving email communications in the past. If you have not been receiving our email updates and would like to opt-in, please let us know by replying to this email.
- One-on-one prayer appointments are now available; if you are interested, please contact the church office.
We encourage you to continue to care for each other in any way you can. Reach out to your friends and neighbours; keep in touch and pray for one another. This is an opportunity to impact our community and remind people of God’s faithfulness and His care for us all.
Here are some ideas:
- If you would like to join our “Helping Hands” team, please click here.
- Do someone’s shopping for them.
- Run errands for a sick, elderly, or anxious person.
- Help older adults set up online shopping so they can order from home.
- Ask people how you can pray for them.
- Invite some friends to go through a bible study with you electronically.
- Set time on your schedule to pray and fast for all the people around the world that are affected, including Canada.
- Send someone a message, book, article or song that might be encouraging to them at this time.
We invite you to join us in prayer for those who have been directly impacted with COVID-19, for those who have lost their jobs, whose schedules have been disrupted and for the quick end of this crisis that is impacting millions of people around the world. Let’s also pray for our LSC staff, missionaries, and members of our church family who are overseas and trying to find their way home.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your heart be troubled and do not be afraid.” – John 14:27
May you lean into Christ at this time!
The Leadership and Staff of Living Stones Church
March 16, 2020
For many, the spread of this virus has caused fear and anxiety. Scripture is clear that God has given us a spirit of love, not fear. Our prayer is that we would sense peace in the midst of these circumstances.
In light of the continued increase of public health concerns regarding COVID-19, LSC is making the following changes:
- For the remainder of the month, we will be having church online only. By the last Sunday in March, we’ll let you know how we will proceed together for April.
- All midweek services, ministries, programs and events will be suspended for the time being.
- Our team is working on virtual options for kids, youth and other ministries. We will provide information on how to access as it becomes available.
- We will post regular updates here and on our Facebook page.
We are monitoring the situation and will resume all regular church services and activities once Alberta Health tells us it is safe to do so. Thank you for your patience and prayers, and for helping us do our part in protecting those most vulnerable by trying to stop the spread of COVID-19. We encourage you to reach out to your friends and neighbours, keep in touch and pray for one another. In Psalm 46, we are reminded that God is our refuge and help in times of trouble. We are not people of fear and have confidence that God is close to us and He is for us through this time.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the church office.
Blessings from the leadership and staff of Living Stones Church!