Vancouver Sun : 2020-04-11

PANDEMIC : 24 : NP8

PANDEMIC

NP8 nationalpo­st.com VANCOUVER SUN, SATURDAY, APRIL 11, 2020 ADVERTISEM­ENT Easter Week April 8, 2020 Dear fellow British Columbians, As a group of Christian leaders we seek to join our voice in praise and thanksgivi­ng for the care, kindness, and sacrifice of courageous frontline health care workers, social and food services staff, and civil servants. We are praying for everyone involved in protecting the health and safety of all in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic. May God strengthen, protect, and guide all who seek to provide healing and may their work be a moving expression of the mercy and love of God. We recognize how worrying the global pandemic is. It is a crisis which provokes uncertaint­y, panic, loss, discourage­ment, and loneliness. As followers of Jesus, we know that God is with us in the midst of worry and loss. We pray that the Spirit of Christ will bring you peace and an abiding sense of calm. The promise of scripture offers us hope: “Do not be afraid, for I am with you. You are in the palm of my hand” (Isaiah 41:10). We have hope that God will see us through this crisis. Signs of hope and solidarity are evident throughout our province. Despite the restrictio­ns imposed by social distancing and necessary isolation, people everywhere are discoverin­g new and creative ways of reaching out and helping their neighbour. Knowing the value of community, they are heralds of hope to the lonely and consolers to those in distress. It is inspiring to witness the bonds of affection that sustain our communitie­s and society. Nearly 2 million people in BC identify as Christian, and the vast majority of them are engaged in their Christian faith and church communitie­s. We are called to love and support our society, not only with our prayers, but also in our actions. Indeed, we are called to “seek the peace of the city” (Jeremiah 29:7). In this very difficult time in our world we encourage everyone to: 1. Obey guidelines set by the government, including selfquaran­tining, social distancing, sanitizing, and hygiene. 2. Find neighbours who are alone or self-quarantini­ng, and offer to help them. 3. Assist the elderly, even if only to talk with them from their porch, through a window, or on the phone. 4. Assist others in need of extra encouragem­ent, companions­hip, and help, for example: single parents, those with limited mobility or chronic illness, or those struggling with mental illness. 5. Do more of what brings you deep joy, then share with family, friends, and the world. 6. Be in touch with your nearest church or community organizati­on and, if it is safe for you, offer to volunteer. For instance, there will be very high need for grocery and meal delivery in the coming weeks. 7. Donate to charities working on the frontlines. Money is best, but you can call to see what items are most useful in these circumstan­ces. God is with us and wants to shoulder our burdens and offer us comfort and protection. As we pray for the virus to end, let us also together pray: • For all those who work on the frontlines and behind the scenes. • That all secular and religious communitie­s would work together for the common good. • For everyone affected by COVID-19 or the closure of social services, particular­ly the elderly, marginaliz­ed, homeless, and hungry. • For the mental and physical health of all. • For our political and civic leaders to have wisdom, courage, and humility as they make extraordin­arily difficult decisions. Let all followers of Jesus Christ join together asking for the grace and peace of our almighty and merciful God, especially for all the sick and their families, health care and social workers, authoritie­s, and volunteers who are sorely tried by the COVID-19 pandemic. By and for God’s grace, LIST OF SIGNATORIE­S Denominati­onal Leaders Joo Kim Tiah, CEO & President of the Holborn Group Michael Audain, Chairman, Polygon Homes Ltd. Lawrence J. Ho, Senior Fellow Murdock Charitable Trust Paolo Aquilini, Aquilini Investment Group (AIG) Peter & Debbie Ash, Business & Philanthro­py Peter Bull, President, P.M. Bull & Company LTD and Blenheim Realty LTD Peter Chung, Chairman & CEO, Primacorp Ventures INC Peter Lee, Caffé Umbria Peter Mogan, Mogan Daniels Slager LLP Reuben Zuidhof, Partner, Digital Hot Sauce Santa Ono & Wendy Yip Scot Sustad, Partner, Adventure Teaching Dr. Stephen Chung & Gail Chung, Head of Hepatobili­ary & Pancreatic Surgery, Vancouver General Hospital Tom Skidmore, CEO, Skidmore Developmen­t Group LTD William Lee, Navigators of Canada Dr. Will Johnson, Family Physician The Hon. Yonah Martin, Canadian Senator Archdioces­e of Vancouver, Roman Catholic Church, Archbishop J. Michael Miller, CSB British Columbia Baptist Conference, Rev. Dr. Bernard Mukwavi, District Minister Canadian Baptists of Western Canada, Rev. Rob Ogilvie, Executive Minister Christian & Missionary Alliance, Canadian Pacific District, Rev. Errol Rempel, District Superinten­dent Christian Reformed Church, Classis BC North-west, Kathy Smith Diocese of Kamloops, Roman Catholic Church, Bishop Joseph Phuong Nguyen Diocese of Nelson, Roman Catholic Church, Bishop Gregory Bittman Diocese of Prince George, Roman Catholic Church, Bishop Stephen Jensen Diocese of Victoria, Roman Catholic Church, Bishop Gary Gordon Ecclesiast­ical Province of British Columbia & Yukon, Anglican Church of Canada, Archbishop Melissa Skelton Evangelica­l Free Church of Canada, Lower Pacific District, Rev. Rob Stewart, District Superinten­dent Evangelica­l Lutheran Church in Canada, British Columbia Synod, Bishop Gregory Mohr Fellowship of Evangelica­l Baptist Churches in British Columbia & Yukon, Rev. David Horita, Regional Director Foursquare Gospel Church of Canada, Rev. Barry Buzza, President Mennonite Church British Columbia, Rev. Garry Janzen, Executive Minister North American Baptist Fellowship, Jeremy Bell, General Secretary Pacific Mountain Region of the United Church of Canada, Treena Duncan, Executive Minister Pentecosta­l Assemblies of Canada, British Columbia & Yukon District, Rev. Ken Russell, District Superinten­dent Presbyteri­an Church in Canada, Westminste­r Presbytery, Rev. Victor S.J. Kim Salvation Army, Divisional Headquarte­rs, British Columbia Division, Lt. Colonel Jamie Braun Local Pastors Non-profit Executives Broadway Church, Vancouver, Rev. Darin Latham, Lead Pastor Calvary Worship Centre, Surrey, Rev. Sam Owusu, Pastor Chapel Vancouver, Jonathan Mitchell Christ Community Church, Victoria, Rev. William Delleman, Pastor Christian Reformed Church, Rev. Henry Numan, Retired Christian Reformed Church, Prince George, Rev. Andrew Aukema Christian Reformed Church, Vancouver, Rev. Mary-lee Bouma Christian Reformed Churches of British Columbia, Dena Nicolai, Chaplain and Refugee Support Mobilizer Coastal Church, Vancouver, Pastor David Koop First Christian Reformed Church of Vancouver, Rev. Tom Trevor Vanderveen, Lead Pastor Fleetwood Christian Reformed Church, Surrey, Rev. Tom Bomhof, Pastor Fraser Lands Alliance Church, Vancouver, Pastor Abe Chan Grace Lutheran (ELCIC) Church, Burnaby, Rev. Nathan Fong Grace Vancouver Church, Pastor Mike Hsu Gracepoint Church, Surrey, Rev. Steve Bains, Pastor of Community Developmen­t Hope Vancouver Network, Rev. Dave Carson Jericho Ridge Community Church, Surrey, Brad Sumner, Lead Pastor Jubilee United Church, Burnaby, Rev. Graham Brownmille­r Maple Ridge Christian Reformed Church, Rev. Dr. Tim Sheridan Nelson Avenue Community Church, Burnaby, Rev. Johannes Schouten New Westminste­r Christian Reformed Church, Rev. Andrew Beunk, Lead Pastor Pacific Grace MB Church, Vancouver, Rev. Xavier Law, Senior Pastor Pastor and Professor, Rev. Dr. Darrell W. Johnson Peace Mennonite Richmond, Rev. Winston Pratt, Lead Pastor Peninsula United Church, Surrey, Rev. Bruce Mcandless-davis, Pastor People’s Church Surrey, Rev. Ryan Delblanc Lead Pastor Southside Community Church, Surrey, Rev. Cam Roxburgh, Senior Pastor & National Director Forge St. Andrew’s Wesley United Church, Vancouver, Rev. Dan Chambers St. John’s Shaughness­y Anglican Church, Vancouver, Rev. John Stephens St. Peter’s Fireside, Vancouver, Rev. Alastair Sterne, Lead Pastor Telkwa Community Church, Telkwa, Rev. Joe Ellis Tenth Avenue Alliance Church, Vancouver, Rev. Dr. Ken Shigematsu, Lead Pastor Terrace Christian Reformed Church, Terrace, Rev. Joel Ringma The Tapestry Church, Richmond, Rev. Albert Chu, Lead Pastor The Tapestry Church, Richmond, Rev. Michael Yang The Way Church, Vancouver, Rev. Jason Ballard & Chris Price United Church of Canada, Vancouver, Very Rev. Dr. Gary Paterson, Former Moderator Westside Church, Vancouver, Rev. Matthew Menzel, Lead Pastor Westwood Community Church, Coquitlam and President of the Associatio­n of Christian Ministries Vancouver, Rev. Giulio Gabeli Alpha Canada, Shaila Visser, National Director Churchforv­ancouver.ca, Flyn Ritchie City in Focus, Tom Cooper, President Cityreach Care Society, Simon Gau, Executive Director Coram Deo Foundation, Bill Blaney, Chief Operating Officer Corpus Christi/st. Mark’s College, Dr. Peter Meehan, President and Vice-chancellor Focus on the Family Canada, Terence Rolston, President Hope For Freedom Society, Dennis Fagan, Executive Director L’arche Greater Vancouver, Denise Haskett, Executive Director Mission Central, John Hall, Executive Director Mission Possible, Matt Smedley, Chief Empowermen­t Officer More Than A Roof Housing Society, Lee Anne Michayluk, CEO Nightshift Ministries, Maryann Connor, Executive Director Power to Change Ministries, Rod Bergan, President Regent College, Jeff Greenman, President Sanctuary Mental Health Ministries, Daniel Whitehead, Executive Director St. Andrew’s Hall, Tim Dickau Trinity Western University, Mark Husbands, President Union Gospel Mission, Bill Mollard, President Vancouver School of Theology, Indigenous Studies Program, Rev. Dr. Ray Aldred, Director World Vision Canada (BC), Lisa Hamilton, Philanthro­py Advisor Young Life, Mike O’leary, President YWAM Vancouver, Mike Davies, Executive Director 24-7 Prayer Canada, Aaron White, National Director Marketplac­e Leaders A. Allan Skidmore, Chairman & CEO, Skidmore Group Andy Szocs, Chair, The Szocs Family Foundation Angus Reid, Chairman, Angus Reid Institute Bob Gaglardi, Owner & CEO, Northlands Property Brian Mcconaghy, Founding Director, Ratanak Internatio­nal Bruce & Diane Ledingham Bruno De Vita, QC, Alexander Holburn Beaudin + Lang LLP David & Lise Ash, Business & Philanthro­py David Bentall, President, Next Step Advisors David Mclean, Chairman, Mclean Group Dick Vollet, President & CEO, St. Paul’s Foundation Fiona Dalton, President & CEO, Providence Health Care Geoff Tunnicliff­e,former Secretary General, World Evangelica­l Alliance (WEA) Grant Damery Jae Kim, Principal, JK Philanthro­py Advisors Jim Crescenzo, Founder, East End Boys Club Jim Pattison, Chairman & CEO, Jim Pattison Group John Montalbano, Chair, St. Paul’s Foundation John Neate, CEO, JJ Bean Coffee Roaster For questions, please contact the City in Focus Office: Media Contact info@cityinfocu­s.ca 604-687-7292

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