We trust you are doing well considering this unprecedented time.
On Friday March 12th, the Ontario Government eased capacity limits for weddings, funerals and religious services in regions classified as Grey Zones. These changes took effect March 15th. New provincial guidelines now allow for communities of faith within Grey Zones to permit indoor worship gatherings for up to 15 percent of total occupancy or up to 50 people outdoors.
While the government has indicated that places of worship may gather in-house with a 15% capacity, the Emergency Response Team has made the decision to limit the total number to 35 people (30 attendees and 5 staff/worship participants) to gather for in-house worship starting Sunday March 21st at 10:30 a.m.
Please note that the move to in-person worship is for those who feel comfortable doing so. For those who do not feel comfortable attending the traditional format service, the live-stream and printed options will allow those to still feel part of our church community. We will continue to have the Sunday Fellowship Gathering after the service from 11:30 a.m. to 12 noon via Zoom as a way of staying connected with members at home.
Beyond the letter of the law, as people of faith, WEUC is called to uphold the whole community and contribute wherever we can to well-being and safety. Extensive protocols will be put in place to safely re-open our church and include the following:
1. Anyone entering the WEUC building must wear a mask at all times while inside the building. Exceptions include people who cannot wear a mask for medical reasons.
2. No Fellowship - no sharing of food or drinks.
3. No indoor singing, choir service, chanting, use of wind instruments.
4. No Communion and other close contact activities – no passing of the peace.
5. No social gatherings before and after service.
6. No sharing and distribution of materials such (hymn books, bibles, bulletins, mics etc.)
7. No passing of collection/offering plates. Offering plates/box available at entry.
8. No Sunday school, regular childcare and children’s programming.
9. Attendance to be taken on Sundays by WEUC volunteers for contact tracing as recommended by Toronto Public Health.
10. One access only is to be used for entering and exiting the building. The designated access is the Kenneth Avenue Sanctuary Doors (Narthex). All other building access points are closed.
11. HEALTH SCREENING FOR COVID-19 SYMPTOMS at point of entry (Kenneth Avenue Sanctuary Doors - Narthex) to include temperature checks, hand sanitizing and review policy #14 with all members/visitors before they are allowed into WEUC building.
12. No wandering around the church building – only areas that are in use by WEUC for worship purposes are to be utilized. We are encouraging limited use of washrooms to limit contact of high-touch areas.
13. Social distancing measures must be adhered to – 2 metres apart in fixed pew seating unless from same family. (see green marker on pew seat back)
14. Remind members that if they have any of the following symptoms:
· fever, cough, difficulty breathing
· sore throat, trouble swallowing
· runny noses; loss of taste or smell
· not feeling well: nausea, vomiting diarrhea OR
· have come in close contact with someone who is sick or has confirmed COVID-19 in the past 14 days
· have returned from travel outside Canada in the past 14 days
For church administration enquiries, please contact our office administrator:
· Lina Posaweunitedchurch@hotmail.com
For anyone needing prayers/pastoral support, please contact: