Peace and grace to you in this unique and challenging time in the history of our world.
We anticipate that on the 15th of November 2020, we will congregate to our church building; however during this process there will be some areas which will be restricted with exceptions. As schools in several provinces and public gatherings start to re-open, people are moving forward to lay down strategies which will keep their communities safe. The re-opening committee team has been working very hard to ensure that everything is in place for our church to re-open.
We were blessed that we had the capacity to conduct worship service electronically, and this experience has been immensely powerful with the people behind the scenes that have continued to make everything possible. We will continue to align ourselves with United Church Worship Online during COVID-19 webpage as well as following the local government health guidelines. The cleaners have resumed their cleaning services, and they will be complimented by thorough disinfectant of the premises.
The custodian in-charge will make sure that COVID-19 measures are followed by all faith groups, and people who come in the building. We will continue to conduct our zoom services in conjunction with in-person service. In the meantime, we will ONLY utilize the following areas: first floor, upstairs i.e. the sanctuary, administration office block, the MEN and WOMEN washrooms on west side of the building.
Out of bound areas
The hall, Kitchen, Sunday school room, and the unsex washroom are closed off and out of bounds for the public.
Church boards, committees, or staff groups may meet in person in small numbers, respecting local restrictions, and with social distancing and masks.
Our Church re-opening plan spells out the provisions for safe opening. They require the same of our tenants, congregants before coming back in.
Partially, worship will continue to be held online, although some exceptions may be made for outdoor worship with social distancing and masks.
If communion is offered, best practices suggest the following:
The officiant and servers use hand sanitizer before offering communion.
Individual pieces of bread and individual cups are offered.
Servers offer the bread and cup to each person, rather than each person taking them from a communal plate or tray.
Each communicant places their empty cup into a separate receptacle.
Passing the Peace and the Offering Plate
Social distancing must be maintained. Offering a phrase or pressing hands together in a prayerful bow can convey the message of passing the peace.
Passing the offering plate should be avoided. Place the plate in the church for people to drop their offering into and have gloves available for staff handling cash or cheques. We now suggest that you use etransfer to treasuryumucca or through Pre-authorization Remittance.
There will be absolutely no congregational or choir singing. Music will be played via our sound system.
Soloists and organists will be at safe distances from each other and from the congregation.
After each gathering, there will be thorough cleaning of bathrooms, door handles, hymnbooks, pew Bibles, backs of pews, microphones, musical instruments, and all other universally used areas.
Over 60 or Otherwise Vulnerable?
People over 60, those with underlying medical conditions that have weakened immune systems, and those who have family members at home who are vulnerable are encouraged to participate only in online activities.
Our pastoral ministry will have a conversation with their various ministries to develop an alternate option where exposure to groups of people is limited and high-risk activities are avoided altogether.
Ministry personnel who are at higher risk or who have family members at home who are at higher risk must exercise diligence in limiting their exposure to groups of people and higher-risk activities.
We remember that God is with us; we are not alone. And we say, thanks be to God.
Executive Director – UMUCCA