Yesterday, local religious and community leaders offered prayers and blessings for the City of Chestermere’s Emergency Command Centre. The ceremony took place to commission the space and acknowledge the decisions that will be made there. The leaders presented their prayers in a different language and style, expressing the diversity and unity that makes Chestermere strong.
“This is the first time we have used this particular space to respond to a community crisis and we wanted to take the time to honour and bless the facility and those who are making important decisions there,” said Mayor Marshall Chalmers. “We thank our local faith and community leaders for taking time to come and share in this important ceremony.”
Faith and community leaders who attended the ceremony include Indigenous Siksika Elder Kelly Good Eagle, Chestermere Muslim Community Leader Abdul Hameed and Imam Syed Sohawardy of the Al Madinah Calgary Islamic Assembly, Hindu Society of Chestermere leader Satish Lal and Priest Vinod Kumar Sodival of the Hindu Society of North America, Dr. Preston Pouteaux, Pastor of Lakeridge Community Church, and Father James Hagel of St. Gabriel’s Parish Chestermere.
As most faith communities have to reduce or cancel services due to the COVID-19 situation, the City is offering all faith leaders short weekly access to the City’s live streaming services so that each group can hold a short online service for their communities. More information about online religious service/reflection times will be coming soon.
Chestermere Emergency Management Agency would like to remind all faith groups that it does not recommend gathering but rather connecting and caring for each other online so community members can practice strong social distance protocols.
The City has declared a State of Local Emergency. The faith and community leaders were asked to continue to share this information with their congregations.
Under the powers of the State of Local Emergency, the City is announcing three changes for businesses and residents:
- Businesses must restrict the number of people on their premises to 50% or less of their maximum occupancy load. This includes staff. This mandatory requirement will ensure that people can safely practice social distancing.
- Businesses must have hand sanitizer stations at their location and require people to sanitize their hands before they enter the building. These are now mandatory measures for businesses in Chestermere. If businesses do not comply, they may face fines or closures.
- Residents are strongly advised to limit social gatherings in homes. Hosting or attending larger than normal sized gathering put you, and the people you love, at risk. We recommend that you cancel birthday parties, celebrations, anniversaries and parties until further notice.
CHEMA continues to urge Albertans to follow AHS prevention guidelines which include:
More information and local updates can be found at www.chestermere.ca/covid19.