A statement on Being Church during a time of pandemic.
Gloria Dei Lutheran Church is a congregation of the Manitoba/Northwestern Ontario Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. We are located in the Charleswood neighbourhood of Winnipeg.
We care about our surrounding community, city, province, and country, and are mindful of the impact of this Covid-19 pandemic on populations around the world. So, we have been very intentional about limiting any in-person activity since Prime Minister Trudeau announced that people needed to stay home in March, 2020.
We have not had in-person, indoor church gatherings since March 15, 2020. We follow provincial health guidelines set out by the Manitoba government. We gather online in order to be in touch, but to remain socially distanced.
We encourage our members to wear masks when going out. As vaccines have become available, we have encouraged our members to get vaccinated.
We care about health care workers, and want to do our part to lower risk of transmitting the virus.
The increase in rate of infections concerns us a great deal, especially the strain it puts on our hospital facilities and health care workers
When there have been situations where Christian communities in our province and city have chosen to gather in contravention to provincial health guidelines and restrictions, Gloria Dei speaks out against such gatherings. Such gatherings put people, and health care workers, at risk, and show a disregard for the safety of our community and reinforces a sense of privilege and entitlement with which we disagree.
We are thankful for technology and modes of communication that make it possible for our members to feel connected through this time.
Gloria Dei will continue to gather online, at a safe distance, until restrictions are lifted and health care professionals and scientists agree that indoor, in-person gatherings can happen again.
Pastor Tyler Gingrich, Chairperson Jett Isleifson, and Council of Gloria Dei Lutheran Church