Covid-19 Update (2020-03-27)
Each week we have been posting a liturgy for you to follow at home each Tuesday night at the time we regularly meet together. We expect we will continue to do so in the weeks ahead. However, this week we plan to meet and worship together over Zoom as an experiment. Full details will be posted over on our Covid-19 page but you can join in at the link below on Tuesday at 6:00pm.
Lead Elder at Broken Bread Church,
Covid-19 Update (2020-03-16)
As promised, we have re-evaluated (and will continue to re-evaluate) as the situation changed. Today the BC government banned meetings of over 50 people. Although we are still below that threshold, it is clear that they would prefer all public gatherings to be cancelled. It seems to me that the logic of 1 Peter, which we are studying together, would demand that we stop public services for now. To that end, the service tomorrow, Tuesday, March 17 is cancelled. I will provide further updates in the days to come.
Lead Elder at Broken Bread Church,
Covid-19 Information (2020-03-13)
The Covid-19 pandemic is affecting all areas of life in Canada and around the world. I want to update you on what this means for Broken Bread Church and how we should respond as Christians.
1. "Do not fear"
Fear is neither helpful nor biblical. Scripture commands us "do not worry" and "do not fear". This isn't because everything will be okay (in this life). We live in a broken and sinful world. Once we are at home with Jesus He will wipe away all our tears; until then you are likely to shed more than a few tears. In reference to the current situation many people around the world, including (possibly) people we know and love, are likely to die. Still, we do not fear, even death, because our hope is in the one who defeated the grave!
2. Prepare for action & obey the authorities
We have been looking at 1 Peter; do what it says! "Be sober-minded" and "prepare for action". It also says to submit yourself to the governing authorities. As a result of this pandemic, the government is taking some extraordinary actions such as limiting travel. Scripture would command us to respect these measures in-so-far as is possible without neglecting our obligations to each other and to God. It would also be wise to have enough food and supplies on hand to be as self-sufficient as possible in case you must self-quarantine for two weeks. If you are sick, please stay at home from school, work, and church.
3. The mission continues
As we are a very small church we are not affected by the restrictions on large gatherings. If that changes and we are asked, or ordered, to stop meeting, we will re-evaluate.
Even as chaos surrounds us, especially in chaos, our mission to make much of Jesus, love each other in community, and serve our city continues! We intend to keep meeting together for worship and community. As Russel Moore puts it, "Worshipping together isn’t something that is dispensable or ancillary for Christians ... after all, the corporate worship of the people of God is both a vital and fundamental aspect of the Christian life". Neither will we stop serving our community by partnering with the Salvation Army food bank. The early church grew enormously precisely because they served the sick and dying during pandemics far worse than what we are likely to see here and now; often this was at the cost of their own lives! Of course, if you are sick or have reason to believe you will become sick imminently, please stay home, and let us know so we can pray for you!
Jesus still sits on the throne of heaven and He is not surprised by this turn of events. He is very much still in charge and He has a plan for His Glory and the good of His people. Let's bring our concerns before the one "who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine".
Lead Elder at Broken Bread Church,
What to expect at Broken Bread Church, Prince George
We do things a little different here.
Broken Bread meets on Tuesday evenings at 5:30pm at the Elks Hall here in Prince George, BC. Because most churches hold services Sunday morning, it is our intention to do something different. This is a deliberate choice that follows from our values; it is not merely because of practical considerations such as finding a facility. We want to shake things up a bit!
Each church service starts by featuring a family meal together. Exactly what this looks like will change over time. We might do potlucks or the church might have a specific team of volunteers that cook the food. We plan to experiment to find what works. Right now we are starting with potlucks as that seems like it should be the easiest logistically.
If you are able to bring food to share that is very much appreciated. Feel free to bring whatever suits you (appetizer, entree, dessert, beverage): this is a true potluck. If you aren't able to bring anything please come on out anyway there will be lots of food, we promise!
After everyone has started eating and while we continue to eat, we’ll start the sermon. This will be at approximately 6:00pm. It will probably be a bit of semi-organized chaos (kids, getting seconds, spills etc.) most times and we are okay with that. This is real life.
The sermon length is on the shorter side coming in at about 20 to 25 minutes. We recognize that we have kids as well as people without a church background in the service. After the sermon is complete, the teaching is not over. One of the most powerful teaching tools is music. We have about 1/2 an hour of corporate worship through song. We will be intentional in choosing songs that are easy for the congregation to sing and at the same time teach us powerful, life-changing, true things about God and about us. At this point, we do not have a live worship band and we use video for this part of the service.
We want the whole family to be a part of the whole church experience. We want our children to eat with us, learn with us, worship with us, and serve with us. Having a full-on childcare program is great for tired parents. When Elaine and I visit family at churches with such programs it is wonderful, almost like a date! However, we think it is better for the family, for the children, and for the church that everyone is included in what the church is doing.
We finish each week by taking the Lords Supper together. We believe that we need to be continually reminded of the person and work of Jesus Christ in history and in our lives each day.
The "formal" church service ends at about 7:00pm so that families are able to get their children in bed at a reasonable hour and everyone else can help clean up.
Broken Bread encourages you to include others from the church in your lives during the week. If you are playing sports, invite someone from church. If you are having a BBQ, invite someone. If you are helping a friend put on a new roof, then on Friday night rope a group of people from the church into helping out. Although our weekly gatherings are a great start to building community it can’t end there. The church exists all week.
Outside of our services we serve our community together. Over time we will partner with other churches and para-church organizations that are already doing great work in Prince George such as Ness Lake Bible Camp, Youth For Christ, the New Life Christian Centre, and the Hope for Women Pregnancy Centre. Right now our main service project is partnering with the Salvation Army food bank.
Beyond our church and our city, there is a whole world out there who needs to hear the good news of Jesus Christ.