Pastor Cliff Siebert of the Okanagan Landing Community Church (centre) addresses some of his congregation in-person for the first time in many months Sunday, April 18, as the church held the first of what they hope will be regular outdoor services with COVID protocols adhered to and obeyed. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)

Pastor Cliff Siebert of the Okanagan Landing Community Church (centre) addresses some of his congregation in-person for the first time in many months Sunday, April 18, as the church held the first of what they hope will be regular outdoor services with COVID protocols adhered to and obeyed. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)

Vernon church hosts outdoor service

Okanagan Landing Community Church put strict COVID protocols in place to hold sermon in back parking lot

Vernon Pastor Cliff Siebert took the word of the Lord to the streets Sunday, April 18.

Well, OK, it was his church’s back parking lot but let’s not quibble over location when a man of the cloth was finally able to see some of his masked congregation again.

Siebert is lead pastor at Okanagan Landing Community Church and they have started hosting outdoor services at 10 a.m. beginning this past Sunday. They tried on Easter Sunday but it was raining and cold. Sunday was sunny and mild temperatures, perfect for a service.

Not only did Siebert deliver the sermon, but he was also there to greet his church-goers, many of whom he hasn’t seen in person in ages due to COVID. The church has been live-streaming services.

“So when a person arrives, we sign them in, and they are welcome to come into the sitting area (at the back of the church) where you can connect with our friendly staff and attenders,” said Siebert.

“We can have 50 people at our service with 50 cars in another section (very back of the lot).”

Close to 25 people took advantage of the nice weather and sat outside in chairs, socially distanced. Those who chose to stay in their vehicles could listen to the service through FM radio on 107.9 on their radio dial.

Siebert said rules include wearing masks, socially distancing, and no singing.

“At least we’re together,” he said of the service. “It was so great seeing everybody’s smiling faces again. Well, we know they were smiling through their masks.”

The outdoor services, Siebert said, will be held “forever,” (weather permitting) or until provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry allows churches to congregate inside again.

READ MORE: Fundraising campaign launched for Vernon man who lost home to fire



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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