As in-person worship gatherings increase in size in British Columbia, a pastor with Manitoba roots has advice for locals looking over the fence at their West Coast neighbours' greener grass.
Manitoba's in-person worship gatherings remain on pause as it continues to be dubbed the COVID capital of North America. A few provinces over, in British Columbia, indoor in-person worship is on the horizon, as many churches prepare to make the move from their lawns to pews.
"I'm actually helping out at a couple of different churches in town and so one of them has been doing outdoor worship for the last few weeks. It's different but it's exciting and it's good to be with people and it's great to worship together," Jon Buller says.
Buller is a Juno-nominated and Covenant Award-winning Christian musician and currently works as a pastor in Vernon, B.C.
"God will not be stopped and the gospel will continue to advance."
Outdoor services are now allowed up to 50 people outdoors on the west coast as of Wednesday. In three weeks, it will expand further, allowing worshipers back to indoor services following specific guidelines.
"It looks like things are opening up probably in the next three weeks or so. And so we're optimistic row optimistic that we can gather and we can worship together, and we can also be honouring of the people around us and the authorities that God's put in place for us to follow."
As his current province opens and his home province remains under strict health orders, Buller has advice for fellow Manitobans.
"I want to encourage us that God is faithful. That God is not surprised. And that we can continue to put our hope and or faith in Him. He is also a healer, and so those that are struggling and that are you know really facing those tough tough things about this disease can know that and that's not to simplify anything or to be trite."
Buller continues to put his trust in God, saying music has helped him do that. In the fall, he put out Do It Again, a song about God's faith and impact on lives.
Buller says he continues to "put my whole and trust in Him."
Similar to an event he hosted in Winnipeg, Buller also created Hear the Music Mondays in March to help others worship with music. He is working on a new project, bringing a version of the Levite Summit online.
"It's been a really high learning curve for people that are leading groups or leading churches but also a realization that God will not be stopped and the gospel will continue to advance."