COVID-19 and Church Gatherings

June 21, 2020

Limited Resumption of In-Person Worship

This Sunday (June 21st), there will be a limited resumption of in-person worship at the church building (10:30 am). Those participating via the Zoom video platform will join in for a “hybrid” Sunday worship gathering.

This gathering is intended for those who have been unable to join the video gatherings via Zoom for the past few months. Families with young children should not attend the in-person worship gathering as there is no Sunday School and the nursery/cry room is closed at this time.

You are strongly encouraged to “register” if you plan to attend the in-person worship gathering as seating is limited to only 22 people in order to maintain the required physical distancing. Please contact the church at or call/text Darrell (306- 690-5225) to register.

Please note that, due to the regulations and requirements for physical distancing, in-person gatherings will be very different from that to which we were accustomed.

May 29, 2020

The VBS Team has made the very difficult decision to cancel this year’s Vacation Bible School, scheduled for July 6th-10th at the Church of Christ, due to the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 situation.

However, the VBS Team is working on some fun surprises for kids throughout the summer! Keep watching the church Facebook page or on this website.

May 26, 2020

The local newspaper got ahead of itself and this week’s church ad incorrectly has a 10:30 am service scheduled. We have not resumed in-person church gatherings.

We await direction and clarification from the province on how worship services can resume after June 8th.

Please watch this page for updated information.

May 22, 2020

Re-Open Saskatchewan Update
As you may have heard or seen on the news, on Thursday the Government of Saskatchewan announced that places of worship will be able to open beginning June 8th. At this point, guidelines for the safe re-opening of places of worship are still being developed. Further information is promised for next week’s update of the Re-Open Saskatchewan plan. Hopefully, that will allow us to make plans for our church to resume, in some way, in-person gatherings.

Darrell Buchanan
Minister, Gravelbourg Church of Christ

May 2, 2020

Subsequent to my post of May 1, 2020, I learned that the official Re-Open Saskatchewan Plan had been updated with guidelines for “Drive-In or Remote Worship” in the “What’s New” section:

Open Saskatchewan Update

Darrell Buchanan
Minister, Gravelbourg Church of Christ

May 1, 2020

“We don’t know.”

This seems to be the answer to so many questions these days.

“Are those who recover from the COVID-19 virus immune to further infection?”  We don’t know. “How quickly will there be a vaccine?” We don’t know. “Why are some age groups and ethnic groups more susceptible to contracting the virus?”  We don’t know. 

“When will we be able to have in-person church gatherings again?” We also don’t know the answer to that question. The Re-Open Saskatchewan Plan released by the provincial government on April 23rd is a five phase approach to lifting restrictions. Unfortunately, church and other religious gatherings are not mentioned at all in the report, so it would seem that restrictions on such may not be relaxed until the yet-to-be- determined date of the final phase.  In the meantime, we will continue with church on-line, while acknowledging that it is a less than ideal substitute. But at least it allows us to worship and connect each week.

What I said six weeks ago is still true today and will probably remain true for the duration of this pandemic: The numerous restrictions are critical to stem the spread of this virus and we fully support them. But we also recognize that they are hard on the soul. So, let us continue to  pray for one another, encourage each other, and keep in touch through whatever means we can. And do your soul a favour – connect with your fellow pilgrims-in-the-faith each week!

For all the questions of which we don’t know the answer, it may be helpful to look to the Old Testament king Jehoshaphat for an appropriate response. When faced with three armies coming against him in one massive assault, Jehoshaphat prayed twelve simple but powerful words: “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you” (2 Chronicles 20:12). 

Let that be our prayer in these days of “We Don’t Know.”

Darrell Buchanan
Minister, Gravelbourg Church of Christ

Marcy 27, 2020

Dear Church Family and Friends,

How are you doing? I’ve been able to connect with a few of you this past week and I know that many of you are doing the same. It is really important that the practice of social distancing does not leave us feeling socially isolated. Perhaps you can make a list of people you’re going to call every day or so just to check in on them. It would be a blessing for both!

Several have also said that it has been good for them to establish a daily schedule or routine because the novelty (is that really the right word?) of this situation wears off fast! In that regard, I’ve tried to keep regular “office hours” every morning at the church building.Sunday Video Devotional Message
A new video devotional message will be posted no later than 6 p.m. Saturday at for you to view and reflect upon. Thank you for the feedback on last week’s message. It is good to know that many found it helpful. eChurch Gathering
Sunday at 10:30 a.m. check in via video conference to share how you’re doing, and to refocus through reading, reflection, music, and prayer. You will need to download the app from Zoom’s Download Center. before connecting. Otherwise, you will be prompted to do the same when you click to join the meeting.

  • If you’re unsure how everything works, or simply want to familiarize yourself with Zoom, try a test meeting beforehand at

Sunday Evening Prayers
Sunday evening at 8:00 p.m. you are invited to a time of prayer (or phone-in), again via Zoom.

  • You can pass along your prayer requests, participate in prayer, or simply be present and listen as others pray.

Both gatherings are being conducted using the Zoom video conferencing service. If you haven’t received an email with the particulars, please contact me at gravelbourgchurch(at)
Michelle has set up an email address for sending an e-transfer to the Church for direct deposit to the church’s account at Innovation Credit Union. Again, details were provided in my email update. If you didn’t receive that, please contact me at the same email address listed above. Minister Liaison Meetings
During this time of uncertainty, the Minister Liaison team (myself, Gerry, Jeff, and Sam) will be meeting every Monday evening via video conference. If you have any concerns or needs, please contact one of us so that we can address it in whatever way possible.

As always, please feel free to email, call, or text me with any questions or concerns.

Grace, peace, and health!

Darrell Buchanan
Minister, Gravelbourg Church of Christ

March 20, 2020

Dear Friends and Church Family,

I want to keep you updated on our response to the ongoing changes all of us are experiencing with regard to COVID-19.  

Based on the recommendations of our government and health leaders, it is both wise and necessary to suspend all of our in-person church gatherings. This means that, effective immediately, there will be no worship service on Sunday until further notice.

Members and friends will be emailed or contacted about online options and other ideas to keep connected and reach out to those around us. We do not want social distancing to become social isolation.

We want to be both faithful and wise in this unprecedented time. We want our attitudes and actions to reflect the Good News of Christ’s love. So, we join with our community and our country to help reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

I encourage you to draw near to God, stay close to Christ, and seek the peace of the Lord to quiet anxious thoughts and worry. Pray for God’s strength, hope, and love to sustain us as we seek to be the presence of Jesus in this time.

Grace and peace,

Darrell Buchanan
Minister, Gravelbourg Church of Christ

March 12, 2020

There has been much in the news this past week about COVID-19 (Coronavirus). At this time, the Public Health Agency of Canada has assessed the public health risk associated with COVID-19 as low for the general population, but this could change quickly.

There is an increased risk of more severe outcomes for those 65 and over, and those with compromised immune systems or underlying medical conditions.

As we navigate the road between fear and wisdom, here are some matters in regard to our church gatherings:

  • If you are experiencing fever, cough, shortness of breath, and breathing difficulties, stay home and do not come to church.
    • If symptoms feel worse than a standard cold, see a health care provider or call HealthLine at 811.
    • If you are staying home and/or are sick, please contact Darrell so the church can remember you in prayer.
  • If you are unable to come to church, audio of Sunday’s sermon is uploaded to the church website: (usually available by mid-week).
    • Another resource is RightNow Media’s streaming library of Bible study videos; use the church sign-up link if you don’t have an account.
    • You can also spend time in prayer and read the Word at home.
  • At church gatherings, practice proper cough and sneezing etiquette (into the bend of your elbow).
  • Please respect those who may refrain from or decline embraces or handshakes.
  • In addition to regular soap dispensers,  motion-activated Antiseptic Soap dispensers have been placed in the men’s and women’s washrooms on the main level for hand-washing.
  • To lessen handling, communion bread will be broken into bite-sized pieces; individual disposable cups will continue to be used for the juice.

We may need to consider other changes and refinements to our gatherings if the situation warrants. In the meantime, let us process our fears before God and ensure that our actions are inspired by faith and guided by sound theology.

Government of Saskatchewan: 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Grace and peace,

Darrell Buchanan
Minister, Gravelbourg Church of Christ