COVID-19 Response

  • Dear Church of God - MJ Family,
    As many of you are aware, the Saskatchewan Government has recently released guidelines for places of worship. Our team has been hard at work developing a strategy to slowly and safely reopen and begin the transition back to corporate gatherings in our church building. Please note that there will be significant differences to how we gather and we appreciate your grace and cooperation with these changes.
    As you will see, at every phase we are attempting to offer multiple opportunities to participate in our services to accommodate the varying circumstances that everyone is facing. As your COG-MJ leaders, we take your health and safety very seriously. This means that we will continue to offer online church as we have been doing and know that this may continue to be the best option for some people’s health and wellness.
    For those of you who are in a high-risk category, we strongly encourage you to consider returning to public gatherings slower than others. Should you decide to return, we again encourage you to take necessary safety precautions (ie. wearing a mask/shield).
    Because we are not yet offering any children’s ministry, each of our families will have to decide what works best for them until we are able to offer full children’s ministry again. Please know that we are here to support you as you choose what manner of worship suits you best.
    In this transitional season full of uncertainty, we anticipate many modifications to this plan. Please know that we are doing our best and we encourage you to maintain a humble abundance of grace and understanding for everyone. As the plan evolves, we will continue to update you but if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
    Here is what we anticipate for the first phase of re-opening:
    LifeGroups/House Church – If your family has been gathering with other families according to the Saskatchewan guidelines, we would encourage you to consider gathering with those families to participate in the live stream service at home. Small gatherings are still the safest way to worship, and they accommodate fellowship more so than the current guidelines for corporate worship. We would love to know about your small group, and we would be happy to help with resources should you decide to worship or start a bible study together. Please contact Pastor Mike at pastormikedueck@gmail.com
    Sunday Services – Our first Sunday will be July 5th, with services at 9 & 11 am. We will be adhering to the Saskatchewan Government’s Places of Worship Guidelines. There will be no children’s ministry offered, no coffee will be available, and we will change the way we operate to create a touchless service (as much as possible), including minimizing contact, following appropriate physical/social distancing rules, and removing all items that would require multiple points of contact (i.e. offering buckets, paper forms etc.)
    Here are the guidelines we will have in place:
    Registration
    Attendees will be required to register one member representing each household planning to attend by registering at https://cogmj.churchcenter.com/registrations/events/ or calling the office at 306-693-5818 before Friday at noon.  The number of registrations will be limited to the capacity outlined by the Saskatchewan Government for this phase.  (30% of capacity or 150 whichever is less) When you enter the building, there will be a check-in so we can keep track of numbers.  If you’ve registered but cannot make it, please contact us to cancel your registration. A limited number of seats will be available for walk-ins who are unable to register online or by phone. We again ask for grace in the event that registration fills to our capacity before you’ve been able to register.  (Note: if capacity has been reached, please feel free to check again in case of cancellations or changes.  ALSO, please help us plan for upcoming weekend services by letting us know by email or phone, that you had planned to come)
    Seating
    Attendees will be seated according to the number of people from your family (or the extended household as defined by the Gov’t of Sk) which will be asked of you during registration process, with all seat groupings being 2 meters (6 feet) apart. An usher will seat you and we’ll fill the sanctuary starting from the front rows and moving towards the back. Only family members from the same households (or extended household) will be able to sit in the assigned seats. Following the service, attendees will be dismissed row by row by the ushers and in a manner that avoids cross traffic and allows for appropriate physical distancing during dismissal (just like at a wedding).
    Masks and Singing
    Masks or shields will be worn by all staff and volunteers other than those who are on stage. Masks are not mandatory for the congregation but are strongly encouraged.  Masks are required only if you plan to sing during the service. We encourage you to bring your own mask but we will also provide free disposable masks at the entrance for you to use if you don’t have one.
    Spiritual Gifts
    Our usual protocol for the exercise of prophetic words/exhortations of any kind is to first approach one of the pastors leading the service, who will then facilitate the giving of this word should it be deemed appropriate for that time.  However, because of guidelines (ie. we are not able to share microphones), we are asking you to send a text message to 306-630-8529 or 306-313-9481. Our pastors will then share it, if they discern it to be appropriate and timely.  We understand this is not ideal, however we know God was aware of all of this before we were. Remember that when the Holy Spirit speaks, He can transcend any method of man. If you hear the Holy Spirit speak something to you that is for the whole congregation, we encourage you to be obedient. That’s what you’re responsible for. Our leadership is responsible to steward each moment to the best of their ability. And on both sides of it, sometimes we don’t get it right and we all learn in a grace-filled environment.
    Greeters/Ushers/Hospitality Team
    After checking in, greeters and/or ushers will guide guests from the front entrance through the foyer along a designated path directly to the sanctuary and their seats. They will ensure proper physical/social distancing is maintained while seating guests. At the end of the service, they will guide guests towards the exit to avoid cross traffic (similar to a dismissal at a wedding).
    Facilities
    Hand sanitizer will be provided at the entry and exit points of the building, as well as at the giving stations and in the restrooms. Doors will be propped open, when possible, to minimize touchpoints. Surfaces such as door handles and counters will be sanitized before and after every service. Surfaces in restrooms will be wiped after each use and will be disinfected before, during, and after every service. Access to other areas of the building will be limited to staff and necessary volunteers only.
    Screening for Attendees/Volunteers & Staff
    We encourage those who plan to attend and volunteer to take the self-assessment prior to attending. This self-assessment is currently available from the Saskatchewan government website and will be available as part of the registration process. Anyone with symptoms (cough, fever, runny nose) is required to stay home. Anyone exhibiting symptoms upon arrival will be asked to return home and watch online. You can find the self-assessment here: https://public.ehealthsask.ca/sites/COVID-19.
    Families
    Children are welcome to attend the service with their families but must remain with their parents/guardians at all times. Children 12 and under shall be accompanied by an adult whenever they use the restrooms.
    Altar Ministry/Prayer
    At the initial stages of re-opening, we will not be offering altar or prayer ministry but encourage you to continue to use the online prayer request option (link at mjcog.com).
    Giving
    If you haven’t already done so, we encourage you to set up online giving through our COG-MJ app, website mjcog.com/donate or e-transfers to give@mjcog.com. We will have a giving station set up with tap for credit or debit card. If tap is unavailable, debit machine will be sanitized before and after each use. There will also be a place to drop off your tithe into our offering box if you prefer to use cash or cheque.
    Note – As you know, guidelines are continually changing. Please be assured we are monitoring this very closely and will be adjusting our plans accordingly.
    Live Stream – We will continue to stream our services on Facebook and YouTube as we have been doing.
    Here are a few things you can do to help us and our church community should you decide to attend church downtown:
    • Extend grace to each other, our staff & volunteers as they lead us through what church is going to look like.
    • Follow directions from our teams. In order to comply with guidelines, our teams will be stepping out of their comfort zones to give more specific direction, such as ushering you to your seat. They appreciate your cooperation.
    • Respect each other by remaining socially distant. Visual cues and signage will be visible.
    • We will be dismissing service row by row, starting at the back, with the expectation that people will exit the building without lingering in the foyer.
    It is our hope that this document provides a glimpse of what our re-opening strategy might look like in the coming weeks. We are so excited to see all of you again as things progress.
    The safety of our church and community is our top priority during reopening and without a doubt grace will be the key as we all try to work towards a successful re-opening. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out.
    God Bless
    COG-TEAM Church of God - MJ

What if I’m not ready to go back to in-person services.

We fully support that position as the safest way to remain healthy, especially for those in a vulnerable health category.
We invite you to join our services online. (Facebook & YouTube)

What about online services?

We will continue providing our services online and encourage people to worship with us on Facebook and YouTube. We also ask you to consider joining with your existing network of family or friends to watch together and build community (according to guidelines).

What if I don’t have a Facebook account, can I still watch?

Currently, our settings should allow you to still stream our service without a Facebook account.  However, you may have to close a pop-up window that will prompt you to sign-in.  We will link to the livestream on our homepage at mjcog.com. 

What about LifeGroups?

Our LifeGroups are able to meet again and are being encouraged to follow government guidelines.

What about other events?

All extra events are currently on hold.

What about giving tithes/offerings?

We appreciate your continued generosity and one can still give online through our website at mjcog.com/donate/  If you have questions, or need assistance please contact our CFO, Corelie at 306-693-5818 or via email at corelie.mjcog@gmail.com 

  • Again, we want to keep you updated on our response to the ongoing changes we are experiencing with regard to COVID-19.  Our Elders and Pastor Larry met on Monday to pray and come up with a plan for our church as we move forward into these unprecedented times.   Based on the recommendation coming from their time of prayer and conversation, as well as the guidelines set in place from our governments, we as a church have decided to suspend all in-person ministries/gatherings including our three Weekend Services.  This means we will not be holding services on Saturday or Sunday but will be replacing them with one online experience on Sunday mornings at 10:00am for the foreseeable future.  This also means we’ll be rolling out new ways and exploring different ideas to stay connected and reach those around us. (more details in Q & A below)   In times like this, VISION is critical.  In order to physically see colours, shape, and depth, we need a source of light.   It’s critical that we look to Jesus as our source for light, trusting that He will lead us and help us to see where we need to go.   In times like this, our LEADERSHIP will stand out.  And by “our” we mean all of us - the Church.  And by “leadership”, we mean our influence.  Because how we live on social media, in the grocery store or with our families is seen and leaves a mark of influence on people.   And this INFLUENCE becomes our TESTIMONY to the Good News of Jesus Christ.   We want our testimony to be one marked with the Good News of Christ’s love.  And so it is in love, that we partner with our community and our government to help reduce the spread of this virus.  Let us remember that the mercy God has extended to us, is now to be extended through us.   We encourage our church family to stay close to Jesus, prioritize Him, because He is actually what we need most.  We need the peace of God to quiet our own anxious thoughts. We need the strength that comes from the joy of the Lord to return to our weary souls.  And we need the hope that comes from the security of our Heavenly Father’s love.   With our affections on Christ, together our testimony will be amplified and we’ll influence with the unmistakable power that comes from Christ through His Holy Spirit.

    COG-MJ

when + where

ONLINE CHURCH EXPERIENCE – SUNDAYS @ 10AM

JOIN US

SERVICE TIMES:  SUNDAYS . 9:00AM . 10:30AM . DOWNTOWN . 50 Hochelaga St E

SATURDAYS . 6PM . COG-CAMPUS . 401 TRINITY LANE

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