REOPENING UPDATE: Wednesday June 24, 2020
As our city and province slowly reopens, The Gathering’s Leadership has put together a three-phase plan for reopening our in-person services and ministries. As the province makes allowances for larger group sizes, we will move into the next phase. Once there is a vaccine and safety restrictions are no longer required, all in-person services and ministries will be able to move forward without any restrictions in place.
PHASE 1 (Red)
- No in-person gatherings or services of any kind; all church programs, services and events to happen virtually only.
PHASE 2 (Orange/Yellow)
- Groups of 25 or less to meet on Sunday mornings in homes for online worship.*
- Home Churches to resume meeting in homes during the week (as able/comfortable).*
- Possibility for periodic in-person outdoor worship services to happen.*
- No in-person worship services to happen indoors at St. FX High School or any other location.
- Staff can be available to meet with individuals in-person. Church office to reopen.*
PHASE 3 (Green)
- Sunday Morning Family Worship Services (with no/limited kids ministry/nursery available) to resume in-person at St. FX High School (if the school is available to rent).*
- Sunday Services will remain available online for those unable to join.
- Kids Ministry/Teaching will continue to be available online.
- Other ministries able to resume (Youth Ministry, Alpha, Marriage Course etc…).*
- Outreach events into the community a possibility.*
- Service opportunities with partner ministries encouraged.*
* Will require physical distancing. Wearing masks & proper hand hygiene will be recommended. Any person with symptoms, or any person who has come in contact with another person with symptoms, will be asked to stay home for at least 14 days. Several other safety precautions may be recommended/required, as the province and The Gathering’s Health Advisory Group direct us (NOTE: This Advisory Group exists of health professionals from within our church community).
NOTES/COMMENTS (as of June 24, 2020):
We are currently in Phase 1 but hope to be in Phase 2 sometime this summer. Phase 3 could come by the fall. Of course, this is all dependant on the safety restrictions the government has in place at those times. We will not move in to the next ‘phase’ until it is clearly considered safe to do so.
Also, we understand that not everybody will feel comfortable gathering in-person when in Phase 2 or in Phase 3. That’s OK. It is important that we practice grace, kindness and understanding towards one another in this time. This does not need to become a matter that divides us as a church.
Please join us in praying for wisdom for our municipal, provincial and federal leaders. Pray also for The Gathering’s Leadership as we discern when it is best to move into the next phase.
We so look forward to the day when there will no more restrictions and we are able to gather and worship together again without these concerns!
REOPENING UPDATE: Wed June 10, 2020
You may be wondering how the The Gathering’s leadership are planning on responding to the government’s recent announcement regarding the reopening of places of worship.
In short, while we deeply miss gathering and worshipping together on Sunday mornings, we are not planning on relaunching in-person Sunday Services anytime soon. Since gathering sizes are currently restricted to no more than 10 people, we have decided to ‘err on the side of caution’ and to love our neighbours as best we can by not planning any in-person services until it is considered safe to do so.
We are also not yet clear on the availability of the school as a rental beyond June and will be limited until we are able to rent that space again anyway.
At the same time though, our hope is that we might be able to have small groups of people meet in homes for worship and online teaching on Sunday mornings starting some time this summer (depending on Public Health Ontario’s restrictions on the size of gatherings), while targeting the fall for a possible relaunch of in-person services.
For now, we remain committed to growing our Sunday Services online and are grateful for the way God is using them to reach more people with the Good News of Jesus (watch on Facebook or YouTube every Sunday at 10:30AM – and invite your friends too!). We hope you’ll continue to engage online on Sunday mornings as well as with your Home Churches during the week .
If you have any questions about this, or anything else, feel free to reach out me anytime,
PS To see how our denomination is responding to COVID and churches plans for reopening, click here.