AN update from Pastor Tim KLASSEN
As a church we want to continue to be good citizens, good neighbors, and serve our community by abiding by the instructions given to us by our government as we continue to navigate life in the COVID-19 era.
Recent government announcements regarding the virus impact are encouraging for British Columbians leading to gradual lifting of some restrictions following the May long weekend. Still, the message has been often repeated that large gatherings (greater than 50 people) will most likely not be allowed this year. Now God could do something amazing to change that, but if things stay on course the way they are, we do not anticipate Central Heights being able to meet together as a whole church in our building in 2020.
However, we can still be the church!
God has designed us to grow in community. How it happens may need to adapt, but this truth has not changed. We want to encourage you to be intentional about connecting through the next months in the following ways:
Church at Home … this will help us to be anchored as one church sharing a common experience in God’s word and worship. Watch Parties enable you to do this now online with others in interactive prayer and discussion.
Be part of a Community Group… Groups are meeting online now, and small gatherings with social distancing (especially meeting in outdoor spaces) will be the first to be allowed as restrictions are relaxed. We see connecting and growing together with others in this way as fundamental for the church to remain healthy in this Covid-19 season.
You might also want to:
Take a summer learning course. … We are putting together summer “how to” courses to help you grow in the tools to following Jesus better. Watch for more info on these courses coming soon.
Join us in serving … We are in conversations with individuals and organizations asking and looking for opportunities to step in and help our city flourish. Watch for opportunities coming soon.
Join us in prayer … God can do what we cannot and we believe that he works in answer to the prayers of his people. Join us for different online prayer events [click here]. Need prayer? [click here to share your prayer request] We’d love to pray for you.
Continue to give … if God has blessed you with the ability in this season your generous giving enable us to continue to carry on the ministries of the church and help others through our Aid and Assistance Fund and Global Missions support.
As church leadership, we love you and pray for you.
May God protect you and keep you and fill your hearts with joy.
April 3 / 3:00pm
A note from Pastor Tim
Hi Church. Can I just say that I miss you?!
The current reality of social distancing has been especially challenging for me when I think that I was away for a 3 month sabbatical, got to be physically present with our church family for but ONE Sunday and then … this… wow, I don’t think any one of us saw this coming.
Still, in this new environment, I am so encouraged by how I see the church continuing to be a community committed to Jesus and one another. There are a lot of great things going on, just in a different way.
I asked our pastors to give me one or two encouraging highlights of what they are seeing in their ministry. Have a read by clicking here.
As so much is happening online, we know that this is a challenge for those who aren’t comfortable with the technology of that space. If we can help in any way to get you better connected, please message us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will contact you by phone to assist you as best we can.
We are moving towards Easter with a short series entitled DREAM AGAIN. And yes there will be a package for you to experience Good Friday in your home as part of that. Be prepared with elements of communion – bread and wine or juice - as we remember on Friday, the precious death of Jesus which paved the way for His victorious resurrection.
A fall-out effect of the Covid-19 pandemic is that our financial world has been greatly impacted, the ripple effect which will most likely have an extended impact.
In our church finances, we entered the crisis behind in our operational giving. I am glad to report that we have not fallen further behind as people have continued to give generously in this time, some making their way to church and dropping cheques off and others setting up new automatic deposits. It has truly blessed our team to see this.
At the same time, we have not been able to eliminate our deficit and to exercise what we feel is good stewardship, we have had to temporarily lay off 5 of our support staff. We are topping up their EI benefits so as to minimize any financial hardship. Hopefully we will not need to make further changes to reduce our expenses.
Thank you for all of you have gone out of your way to give us encouraging words and to tell us that you are praying for us. That means so much to us and I am sure is accomplishing so much more than we know.
It has been exciting to see people jump into the new prayer opportunities online.
Let’s continue to pray:
* For our care givers and first responders in this city
* That God will use this situation to bring about renewal in his church and revival in our city and world
* That the virus will be put to an end
Psalm 91 has been a catalyst in my prayers for you this week.
I am praying into these powerful words for us:
Psalm 91:1-7 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. 2 I will say of the LORD, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust." 3 Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence. 4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. 5 You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, 6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. 7 A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. (NIV)
Pastor Tim Klassen
March 30 / 5:00pm
Welcome. We'd love for you to join us as we seek to become a movement of more and growing followers of Jesus.
As our world faces the pandemic of COVID-19, we are still seeking to know and follow Jesus better in community.
Here are 5 important opportunities to engage in for the time being:
1 - Church At Home.
Every weekend we are producing a self-guided digital experience that includes kids church links, worship music, prayer facilitation, and an encouraging message from the Bible!
2 - Join us in prayer.
We are a praying family and believe that prayer connects us to the goodness of our God. We've developed new rhythms and opportunities that can be found here.
4 - Get ideas for growth.
Our team has compiled a list of helpful links and resources to help you during this season.
5 - Contact us.
You are not alone. Our pastors continue to be available to connect with you.
March 20 / 5:30pm
Hello Central Heights,
The attached video is a conversation between our Lead Pastor, Tim Klassen and our Elder Board Chairman, Mike Woodard. The conversation centers around health:
Physical and emotional health: As leadership, we greatly care about how our people and community are doing right now. If we can help in a practical way, please let us know. If you are available to help, please let us know that too. Together we can work together in supporting one another and those in our community.
Financial health: As you’ll hear, at Central Heights we desire to be financially healthy and generous so that we not only carry on operations according to budget, but so that we can help others in time of need through our Aid and Assistance Fund. Since we are not using our building, we are doing our best to turn off all the heating and cooling systems.
This is a challenge in our current reality. We aren’t meeting together right now physically but there are still several ways to give. You can go online to give by credit card and/or set up a preauthorized automatic deposit. You can still give by cheque in the mail or drop it off at the office (Mon-Thursdays 9am-noon, 1pm-4pm) and soon we hope to have giving by text.
Spiritual health: For many of us the current situation has reminded us how little in control of things we really are and how much we need God in our lives. It also reminds us where our hope and aspirations need to lie – in that which is eternal whereas Jesus said, “… neither moth or rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal” (or viruses and market crashes).
Our God always shows himself faithful and so we have a message of hope. So, let’s pray for our city and world – for revival in the church and that the masses would be awakened to the life they can have in Jesus Christ. Stay tuned for online prayer opportunities to do just that.
Although you are isolated, you are not alone!
March 17 / 6:30pm
A lot has changed in the last couple of days, let alone weeks, because of the Covid-19 virus. As a church, we are doing what we can to be good neighbours and serve our community by suspending our weekend gatherings and non-essential meetings. Staff are primarily working off-site and conducting their meetings online.
It's different and not what we might want but it's not going to stop God from being at work around us and through us. There will be many ways for us to engage on mission with God together.
Each weekend, we will provide a “Church at Home” package that will include:
- a video message
- suggested song list
- prayer guide
- Kids material.
We will also be developing discipleship content for mid-week use that will help us all to follow and know Jesus better.
As we are being told more and more to isolate ourselves all of us can stay on mission with new opportunities to pray for one another and send one another encouraging messages.
I want to thank those of you that have already done that to our leadership team here. We can also continue the mission by continuing to contribute our financial giving, supporting our ministries here and foreign missionaries as we learn to adapt to our new reality. We can make ourselves available to serve our community in practical ways ... we will keep you posted as we have discussions with agencies like the Food Bank and Community Services.
Church, it's time to shine. The times ahead are going to be super challenging but let's remember that because of who our God is, our reasons for faith are far greater than our reasons for fear.
Tim Klassen, Lead Pastor
March 12 / 9:00pm
Following the recent announcement from MLA Adrian Dix, “As of today we are directing all event organizers to cancel any gathering larger than 250 people.” Central Heights Church will suspend all Sunday gatherings till further notice.
We encourage you to watch our Sunday message online at centralheights.ca/specialmessage. We will post it on Sunday at 11 AM.
We want to be about the flourishing of our city, and contribute to its wellbeing. This means we will also monitor COVID-19 updates to suspend other smaller gatherings if necessary. We encourage our church family to serve courageously in our community, to be creative in encouraging others, and most importantly to pray.
Your Teammate In Christ,
March 12 / 3:30pm
Hello Central Heights Church Family,
Considering the recent concerns in our community about the COVID-19 virus, we want you to know that our Staff at Central Heights are taking every precaution to keep our church family healthy.
As of 3:30pm on Mar 12, Central Heights Church WILL GATHER SUNDAY for both the 9 AM and 11 AM services. Follow this page for updates.
Online viewing is a great way to be part of our Sunday mornings whenever you feel unwell. Visit the Central Heights Church website (centralheights.ca) to view our messages online. The messages are posted on Monday.
We are committed to keeping Central Heights Church a clean space for you to worship. We are in this together. Here are ways you can help:
Wash your hands often with soap and water.
If you are feeling unwell, please rest at home.
When coughing or sneezing, consider others and keep covered.
Disinfect belongings you bring to church from your home, like diaper bags, blankets, etc.
At CHC Kids we regularly ask parents to keep their children at home if they have any of these symptoms:
General feeling of being unwell
Our goal as a church community is to remain open and healthy, continuing to be a welcoming place for all people to experience the light and life of Jesus. As such, we are taking steps to ensure the continued well-being of our church family.
Please inform yourself, review HealthLink BC’s page on COVID-19, particularly the sections on self-monitoring and self-isolation. Also, the Government of Canada’s page that contains valuable information. Another resource is the BC Centre for Disease Control.
The Provincial Health Officer also asks us to refrain from customary greetings such as handshaking and hugging during the remainder of the flu season. Welcome people with a wave and a smile!
We will keep the doors open throughout the Worship Services and ensure that many of our doors remain open through the building or be held open to mitigate touching surfaces.
A significant change you will see is that we will be taking our offering at the end of the service and hosts will hold the offering bags at the doors of the church when you exit. This means we don’t need to touch the basket as it passes by us in the seats. Remember you can also give electronically at the pay station or on-line at our website: https://www.
Our facilities staff continue to clean and disinfect the church, paying special attention to objects and surfaces in high traffic areas. We have increased our disinfecting schedule in Kid’s Church with toys and surfaces being wiped down before and after every service and event.
If you are feeling ill, we do ask that you consider watching our sermon series online at home. Our sermons are posted on our website by Monday. Also, and as always, if you are away from the church because of any kind of illness, please call or email the church so we can pray with and for you.
If you have recently travelled out of country, please be considerate of others and monitor your health closely. If you become sick upon your return, call your local Public Health Authority for further instructions.
Most of all, keep showing love in practical ways to those who need it most.
Your Teammate In Christ,
1661 McCallum Road | Abbotsford, BC