As you may have already heard, we will be starting in-person worship services on Sunday October 4th! Worship for our first service will be held at Lot 14 United beginning at 10:30 AM. A full schedule will be shared in a future post. Each Sunday our service will be recorded and posted online for those who are not yet ready for in-person worship. You may have noticed the change in time, and this is because we hope to offer some programming for our Sunday School, youth and families in the near future.
So now that I’ve shared the exciting news, you may be wondering what to expect! Our Re-Entry Planning Group, Official Board and other committees have been working hard to prepare for in-person worship and activities. A special plan has been created that meets our provincial guidelines while also seeking to provide the best care for one another. You may have heard what other congregations are doing and notice that our plan may be different. That is because while following provincial guidelines, we are encouraged to make a plan that meets our own unique needs. Please know that great love, prayer and discernment has gone into this plan. Although it may be uncomfortable and different than we are used to, know that all that we do is to care for one another and share God’s love.
Below are guidelines to prepare you for joining us for worship. If you have questions or concerns about what to expect, you are welcome to call or email Rev. Tara Ann. With that in mind, here are the things that we will be asking you to do, in order to gather for worship:
- Limited Capacity: Currently we can only gather in groups of 50 with physical distancing. Our capacity will be less than 50, and depends on the size of households who register, and the building being used.
- Pre-register for Worship: Due to limited capacity you are asked to register for worship each week. To register, contact Rev. Tara Ann by telephone at 831-2807. Registration will be open until Thursday of that week, or until capacity is reached. When registering you will be asked fore the following: your full name, number in household attending, and a phone number. This information will become our contact tracing list. We are required to keep a record of all attendees for 1 month, at which time it will be destroyed. It will only be released to Public Health upon request.
- Physical distancing: Please follow public health guidelines and maintain a distance of 6 feet where possible from people outside of your household [a household is the people you live with].
- Masks: We ask that you wear a mask at all times before, during and after worship and meetings. Exceptions include children under two and those who are unable due to medical reasons.
- Arrival: You will be greeted in the parking lot by someone who will check you in, and another person who will take you to your assigned seat [be prepared, it may not be your usual spot!]
- Inside: Once in the building, we ask that you stay seated for the duration of the service unless participating in the service or going to the washroom. In those circumstances, please do so in a timely manner.
- Physical contact: For everyone’s well being, we will not be doing the following church traditions: handshaking, passing of the peace, passing the offering plate, etc.
- Offering Plate: As you enter, keep your eyes open for the offering plate. It will be placed in the entryway for you to leave any offering you may have.
- After Worship: Please do your best to return to your vehicles as soon as possible after the service and avoid lingering.
- COVID-19 Questions: We do ask that if you have travelled outside of the Atlantic Bubble within the last 14 days, are required to self-isolate for any reason, or have any of the symptoms of COVID-19, please stay home.
- Guidance Markers: There will be markers inside and outside to help guide you, keep your eyes open and do your best to follow them. If you’re not sure feel free to ask!
- No sharing! We will not be using bulletins, hymn books pew Bibles or other items that are traditionally shared.
- Music: Someone will help lead music for the service, if you would like to sing along you’re welcome to do so, but remember that your mask must be worn.
For further protection, our building will be sanitized after every service by volunteers who have been trained, and other guidelines may be implemented as needed.
As we prepare for this new reality as a faith community, I pray for your patience and understanding. I know that this is difficult for all of us, but I do hope that we can find comfort in being together again.
Rev. Tara Ann