COVID-19 Coronavirus News

The COVID-19 pandemic and resulting restrictions have been with us since March 2020. Although, during the period of time from late spring to early fall, it seemed as though the crisis had settled into a holding pattern, the “second wave” that has moved across Canada has greatly increased safety protocols. Numbers of cases and positive test results rose rapidly, and continue to fluctuate as they ease off gradually. Pandemic guidelines and restrictions are changing almost daily, which means that plans and activities must be considered carefully, both privately, and in our Communities of Faith.

For all updates in this rapidly changing situation, please refer first and always to the provincial, territorial, and federal sources linked below, as well to your local government or band council and your Member of Parliament and provincial or territorial representative as needed.

Health Canada             Alberta         British Columbia           Northwest Territories

The Province of Alberta released an important advisory on November 24, 2020, which made changes to restrictions affecting Communities of Faith. As further updates are publicized, they can be found at the Alberta link above.

All government directions continue to shape our decision-making and responsibilities. The United Church of Canada has dedicated web pages for information related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please keep checking for the most up-to-date resources from the General Council Office, including information about Governance, Worship, Congregational Finance, and Emergency Funding: : Faith Communities and COVID-19. A three-phase guidelines document for re-opening discernment and practices can be found on this page as well.

Please note that Kirk Centre, the Regional Office location, continues restrict access to the building for community activities, events, worship, and meetings. Our office continues to function, with staff working in their individual offices, or at home. Anyone visiting the office is asked to make an appointment ahead of time.

The news feed below includes Regional Council news about the COVID-19 pandemic, and some national updates.
News is also circulated in our weekly E-Newsletter, which can be accessed here.

The Regional Council has established two Emergency Funding programs that can be accessed through the Regional Office.

Emergency Relief Fund: funds available to assist with disaster recovery and extraordinary costs related to the current emergency (Not intended for major capital or payroll expenditures).

Interest Free Loans: (a) up to $1,500 per Community of Faith, intended to assist with bridging payroll expenses until federal government funding becomes available. (b) up to $10,000 per Community of Faith to assist with payroll and community engagement costs until the end of 2020.

Congregational finances during the pandemic

On March 25 and 26 the national church offered several webinars on the many financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. We thank Erik Mathiesen, David Armour, and David Jagger for also joining a presentation and check in for Prairie to Pine, Living Skies, and Northern...

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Prayer in a time of pandemic

Prayer in a time of pandemic

A prayer of gratitude and intercession in a time of pandemic (Credit: many writers and inspirations. Shared by Earl Reaburn, Northern Spirit pastoral relations minister, during our regional check-ins during Week One in Northern Spirit, Living Skies, and Prairie to...

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Pastoral letter re COVID-19

Pastoral letter re COVID-19

PDF version of this letter Greetings to Communities of Faith and Ministry Personnel in Living Skies, Northern Spirit, and Prairie to Pine Regional Councils, We are writing at this time to say thank you for your leadership in this unprecedented time. We know that there...

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