Statement from the Board of Elders Regarding Covid Protocols
October 14, 2021
With the Fall season upon us and outdoor temperatures cooling, our weekly worship gatherings will be moving back indoors. We are grateful that we can continue gathering regularly in-person as a church family, however we recognize that our gathering together (particularly indoors) will present health and safety risks so long as the COVID-19 virus continues to spread in our communities. COVID-19 is a highly contagious and potentially deadly disease and we share in the responsibility to minimize the impact of this virus on those around us.
In fulfilling that responsibility, we would like to share with you a number of actions we are taking in relation to indoor worship services and ministry programs, as follows:
- We will continue to adhere to our governing authorities’ public health requirements for places of worship (including sanitizing, distancing, masking and other actions as may be required);
- We are requiring participants to complete a questionnaire prior to participating in a ministry event, for the purposes of screening for COVID-19 symptoms and contact tracing;
- We will require all ministry team volunteers and staff to be fully vaccinated or willing to provide a negative COVID-19 rapid test (provided by The Gathering) prior to serving indoors with other people. Further details regarding the process will be provided to volunteers directly.
While we are taking the above steps, for clarity, we will not require proof of vaccination to attend in-person worship services or programs at this time. In Ontario, attendees at places of worship are not currently required to provide proof of vaccination. We are grateful for this as we desire to remain an open and welcoming community for everybody.
We are also grateful for the work of our public health authorities and encourage all of our congregants to consult their healthcare provider regarding how vaccination and/or regular testing against COVID-19 can help further minimize the spread of the virus for the benefit and protection of others.
As followers of Jesus, we are called to love our neighbours as ourselves (Matt 22:39), to put the needs and interests of others before our own (Phil 2:3-4) and to care for the most vulnerable in our communities (Matt 25:40). Subsequently, we, the Elders, believe the actions we take to gather safely are not only an opportunity to act responsibly in adherence to public health requirements but also an opportunity to live sacrificially, as we follow Jesus’ example by putting others before ourselves.
As a Board of Elders, we are turning to public health authorities for their expertise while acknowledging God as our provider and protector and trusting that He will make our paths straight. Through it all, the Elders are praying that, as a church family, we will continue to find unity with one another through our bond in Christ Jesus, even when there is disagreement, so that we can continue to serve and bring glory to Him throughout our community (John 17:20-23).
Chair of Board of Elders
On Behalf of the Board of Elders