During the last couple of months, we have witnessed rapid and global spreading of a highly infectious disease known as COVID-19. In many ways this respiratory disease resembles seasonal flu, only with much higher mortality rate, especially among the elderly population. Primarily presented as fever, dry cough, tiredness, and in severe cases, difficult breathing, COVID-19 is caused by coronavirus 2019-CoV-2. Originally, the reservoir for this deadly virus have been certain animals until through human consumption of these animals the virus migrated to people.
On January 30, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the coronavirus a global health emergency and on March 11, the WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic. As COVID-19 is highly contagious and as it poses a serious health risk to the elderly and to the persons with compromised immune system, many governments, including the Government of Ontario, have declared the state of emergency and have mandated social distancing.
The order of the Ontario Government of March 17, 2020, bans public events of more than 50 people, including events and services within places of worship until March 31. In compliance with this order, the local churches in the East Canadian Field Conference will not be open for public worship until the competent government authority would lift the ban.
Although the worshipers will be prevented for some time from meeting physically at their respective local churches, they will have the opportunity to meet for the Sabbath School and for the worship service over distance through digital media.
From the Sabbath of March 21, 2020 onward, you will be able to join live online church services starting at 9:30 am in most of our local churches. We will offer to you two digital platforms –YouTube and Facebook viewing (non-interactive) and Zoom app (both viewing and interactive involvement). You will have a privilege to join the Sabbath programs at one of the four local churches in Ontario and Quebec: Toronto, Puslinch, Montreal, and Ottawa.
Here below please find the information how to join the online platforms that will connect you with the fellow worshipers.
Please remember that this crisis is an opportunity not only to care about our own and our family’s wellbeing, but to reach out in love and solidarity to those who need hope and our helping hand. Also, remember in your prayers the civil authorities who are now put to a severe test so that God may give them wisdom and skill to bring this unprecedented crisis to an early closure. Do everything in your power to obey the laws of health and the wise instructions of the public health authorities.
As we go through these difficult times filled with much uncertainty, anxiety, and fearful expectation of the unknown, we wish to assure you that you have nothing to fear if you make Jesus your best Friend and allow Him to transform your life by His grace. To the contrary, these signs of the times should confirm us in our expectation of the soon return of our Lord: “So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.” (Luke 21:31).