Along with many of you, we are looking forward to seeing you in person and excited to be planning for how the next few weeks and months will look like as the government gradually eases restrictions. However, we recognize that not everyone will be ready to come back yet. We want to stress that it’s okay to stay home, and we will still provide online options as much as possible!
The guidelines we have put in place are based on current government regulations while keeping your safety at the top of mind. We will continue to update this post and share further updates at glencairn.ca/covid-19.
With that being said, we have expanded our Sunday service gathering to include up to 100 attendees, at 6 feet (6ft) or 2 metres (2m) apart outside of households and social circles. Our first Sunday service back will be on February 21, 2021, at 10:15 AM.
Until a vaccine is available or there is community immunity to COVID-19, we recommend practicing good hygiene to minimize risk to yourself and others around you:
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; use hand sanitizer when that isn’t possible
- Avoid touching your face
- Cough and sneeze into your sleeve or elbow
- Disinfect frequently touched surfaces and high traffic areas or common spaces
- Stay at home and away from others if you have travelled outside the country, are feeling ill or have cared for someone who has been ill in the past 14 days
- Maintain physical distancing outside your household and limit physical contact, which includes handshaking or hugging
- Wear a face covering when in a public space indoors. Consider using masks outdoors when physical distancing isn’t possible or when you may accidentally be in close contact with someone else
- Socialize with a small group of contacts like your household to minimize social mixing
- Take advantage of the season and weather, and spend time together outdoors while following guidelines
Our church will be open for limited use, beginning with recording teams for Sunday service. All groups who wish to use the church space must contact the church office first, the reason being two-fold: this is to ensure we remain under the maximum capacity; and, if someone does test positive for COVID-19 after being at the church, we can contact those who were present. With physical distancing practicing still in place, this may also mean that smaller groups may need to meet in bigger rooms.
Here are some guidelines that our church will be practicing when we can start to meet in person again for Sunday services and/or programs:
- We will be asking those who wish to attend an event, service, or a meeting at the church to register with the church or the organizer first.
- Upon registering and before entering the building or meeting with your group, we ask that you self-screen for any health concerns or symptoms and to stay home if you have any symptoms or feel safer being home. Please don’t feel obligated to attend in person. You are also welcome to leave at any point, especially if you are feeling uncomfortable or unwell. Anyone is welcome to get tested, either before or after attending a Sunday worship service. For your convenience, a drive-thru testing centre is available in Kitchener.
- Those 5 years of age and older who are able to will need to wear a face-covering for Sunday service, in accordance with the Region of Waterloo’s face covering by-law. Disposable, non-medical masks will be available if you need one.
- While we are all enthusiastic to see each other, please refrain from giving hugs, fist or elbow bumps, high fives, or handshakes at this time.
- We will be asking those in attendance to be at least 6ft or 2m apart from someone belonging to another household or social circle.
- If you experience any symptoms after being at a church event or service, please call a local assessment and testing centre. Consider contacting the church office, a pastor, or an organizer as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will Sunday service continue online as well?
Yes, we will be broadcasting either a live stream of the Sunday service or a simulated live version, similar to church online today.
Will there be any children’s program offered during Sunday service?
At this time, we ask children to remain with their families for the duration of the service. There will be a short story and worship song for the children during the worship service. Feel free to bring a headset for them to watch the BLAST and Church at Home videos on your tablet or smartphone during the sermon. The nursery space will be available for parents/caregivers to use if necessary (e.g. changing, nursing or feeding a baby, or need a quieter space for them).
What are your sanitization and hygiene practices?
We will be regularly disinfecting high-touch surfaces and ventilate closed spaces during and after every gathering by keeping doors open when possible, which also helps you minimize touching these surfaces. We will have limited masks and hand-sanitizer available, but we encourage you to bring your own.
What will a modified Sunday service look like?
- As we need to limit the number of attendees, please register to reserve a spot in advance.
- Please come a little bit earlier to give more time to set up and be seated. Greeters will welcome and check-in registered guests, direct traffic flow (through designated doors and entrances and exits), and be available to assist anyone that may need extra help while being physically distant.
- Bulletins will not be available during this time, but our announcements will be shared during the service and in the weekly newsletter, which is available through email and the church app.
- Initially, our congregational worship will consist of non-musical forms of worship or the use of recorded worship. Even though we will be wearing masks, we ask that you refrain from singing as directed by the Region of Waterloo Public Health.
- We will have individually-sealed communion elements during a Communion Sunday, but you are also welcome to bring your own.
- We will not be passing the offering bag during the service, but you may continue to give online or drop off your offering in the drop box at the foyer when you leave.
Will washrooms be available?
Yes! Please try to respect physical distancing and follow the directional flow in and out (one entrance in, the other entrance out).
What about coffee or tea time?
We welcome you to bring your own as coffee, tea, and other refreshments will not yet be available.
Are regular programs and ministries meeting back at the church yet?
We are working with ministry leaders to plan our next steps and will announce any updates and plans at glencairn.ca/covid-19—this includes our Bridges food bank and clothing program.
Have another question?
Contact us, and we will be happy to help you find an answer.
We’d also love to hear how you’re feeling about this too! Let us know what your thoughts are on returning to gathering in person through an anonymous survey.