Thompson religious services cancelled due to Manitoba state of emergency: some being livestreamed

Thompson places of worship have cancelled regular services due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with some organizations switching to livestreaming online to support those in isolation.

Inderjeet Singh of the Sikh Society of Thompson, said that his place of worship is following guidelines set out in the Manitoba state of emergency.

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“So, until last week, we had weekly congregation, but now we have cancelled our congregations,” he explained. “But the church will remain open for individuals to pray, that's available, but as a gathering we have cancelled everything, from now on, until any further update.” 

Gateway Bible Baptist Church Pastor Christopher Lowe said that he is still conducting services, “but not with parishioners.” 

“All I'm doing is just a limited skeleton crew – the music and myself,” he said, noting that is takes about four people to carry out his online service. “So, we're going to livestream our services. We've advised our church to stay away, and we've closed down our addiction program every Friday night just to keep that distance. On our church webpage there is a media tab, and a live stream link that people can look at on Sundays at 11 a.m. and 7 p.m."

Father Gunasekhar (Guna) Pothula of St. Lawrence Roman Catholic Church said that public masses are suspended indefinitely. 

“But we have on Sunday a live telecast service from the Catholic Church on Shaw cable and the St. Lawrence Facebook page,” he said. “I request all our parishioners to respond wholeheartedly to the advice given to us at all levels of government and public health. If you have not already done so, please self-isolate. The church itself will remain closed to all gatherings. I will continue to celebrate daily mass alone in the pastoral centre for all your intentions. Funerals will be handled in a close partnership with the funeral home.”

Father Guna added in a social media post, “I request that you continue to consider the well being of your neighbour when deciding to leave your home. Please keep your prayers outwardly focused on the needs of our community, nation and whole world. I will remain available for all emergencies and requests.”

The Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses answering machine said meetings have been temporarily cancelled due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Pastor Lee Pickett of Burntwood Baptist Church has also cancelled services. 

“What we are doing for our congregation is a short message Sunday morning that will be posted to our Facebook page,” he explained. “Then I’m sending each of our families two devotionals. Then we are all going to read scripture at the same time at home.” 

Contact Health Links at 204-788-8200 or 1-888-315-9257 (toll-free) if you’re experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, also known as the novel coronavirus.

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