COVID-19 Tag

06 Apr 2021 COVID-19 Fact Sheet

Updated March 4, 2021   Information about COVID-19 abounds. Whether you are perusing the local newspaper, scrolling through social media, or talking to friends, COVID-19 dominates discussions. However, all this information is rarely presented in a single place or presented in an easy-to-understand way. Sometimes, different friends or news stories may report very different facts. We have created this fact sheet in response to the many questions around COVID-19. We hope it will be a helpful resource for individual supporters, parents, church councils, and business owners to inform their response to the virus....

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19 Mar 2021 BC Supreme Court Upholds COVID-19 Restrictions on Worship Services

In a disappointing ruling released last night, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of British Columbia upheld the prohibition of in-person worship services. These restrictions were first implemented on November 19th, 2020, and continue to this day. Many Christians will be very disappointed, perhaps even angry, with this decision. Reformed Christians have an earnest, deeply-held belief that they must both respect the governing authorities and gather regularly to worship with other believers. The absolute prohibition of in-person worship services placed many Christians in an unfair dilemma, making it very difficult...

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16 Mar 2021 Grassroots Campaign on worship services in Ontario

After lockdowns last Spring and again this past Winter, Ontario has returned to the colour-coded system with most regions returning to either 'red', 'orange', or 'yellow' zones. As a result, churches in those regions are now able to meet again with a 30% capacity cap for worship services. Some congregations in areas like Toronto, Peel, and Lambton remain in the 'grey' zone – under lockdown. As such, we were happy to hear the announcement on March 12 that allows for a 15% capacity for in-person worship servcies while a region...

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09 Mar 2021 Recap of the Beaudoin v. B.C. Court Hearings on B.C.’s Prohibition of Corporate Worship

Last week, the BC Supreme Court spent four days (March 1-3, 5) hearing the case of Beaudoin v. BC, where three BC churches are challenging the Provincial Health Order prohibiting in-person worship services. The case was heard by Chief Justice Hinkson, the Chief Justice of the BC Supreme Court, and now we await his decision. The Chief Justice had rejected an injunction request from the government in mid-February when the province tried to force the closure of churches that continued to hold in-person worship services contrary to the public health orders. The...

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19 Feb 2021 Updates on Worship Service Restrictions in British Columbia

Update #1: Injunction Against Churches Dismissed Earlier this week, the Supreme Court of British Columbia denied the government’s request for an injunction against a number of churches in British Columbia that continue to carefully hold corporate worship services contrary to the provincial health order in accordance with their conscience. This is not the final decision in this court case. An injunction is a temporary court order designed to force a specific group of people to do or not do something until the court makes a final decision on their case. In this instance,...

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16 Feb 2021 Submission to Earthly Authority: Christian Freedom and Responsibility

How comparisons to employment law and deference to office might help Christians better understand each other on church lockdowns and bring a sense of peace By André Schutten Over the past year, provincial governments in Canada have used their power to restrict to varying degrees the church’s corporate, in-person worship of God for the stated purpose of slowing the community spread of COVID-19. The multiplicity of public policy and legal issues arising from different provincial responses to COVID-19 has resulted in much tension and division within the Reformed community. I’ve tried to wrap...

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11 Feb 2021 Guest Blog: Praying for Pandemic Policy

By Pastor Gerrit Bruintjes ARPA invited Pastor Gerrit Bruintjes to write a guest post to articulate the differences between Public Safety, Public Health, and Healthcare. Disentangling these three concepts can help Christians pray for the specific needs, tasks, and failures of specific government officials.   Pandemic response is incredibly difficult, and COVID-19 has given the world some unique challenges. This disease is highly contagious and affects people in different ways. Our leaders need our prayers as they wrestle with what is best for their communities. As we continue to pray, we can often do...

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10 Feb 2021 Haggai and the call to rebuild the temple: a case study in church-state relations

By Colin Postma Canadians find themselves beginning 2021 under varying levels of lockdown. Across our country churches are wrestling with how to respond. The Bible seems to contain few practical examples of believers facing something comparable to our current scenario. However, over the Christmas break, I stumbled across an article about the story of Haggai and its connection to the book of Ezra. The story struck me as having particular relevance, or at least uncanny parallels, for the church in Canada today. I offer this reflection not to recommend a particular...

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05 Feb 2021 Why is ARPA Canada Advocating for In-Person Worship Services During a Pandemic?

Those who follow ARPA Canada’s work will know that government-imposed COVID-19 restrictions have received a lot of attention from us over the last year. We expect this to continue into 2021 as we seek to intervene in a variety of court cases with a specific focus on the restrictions limiting or prohibiting in-person worship services. Almost a year has passed since the first lockdowns in March of 2020, and Christians in most of the provinces in Canada are currently forbidden by their provincial government from taking part in corporate worship. Through...

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26 Jan 2021 Ontario Bill 203 – More Than a Visitor

COVID-19 has had a devastating effect on congregate care settings, not just in terms of the rapid spread of the virus but also in the banning of visitors, including those who had been active participants in the care or support of a loved one. While exceptions have been made, the ability to visit and care for loved ones in congregate care settings has been severely hampered. A new bill introduced by Ontario NDP MPP Lisa Gretzky is looking to fix this and to set up the province for a better response...

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