It has been months since we realized the COVID-19 virus would forever change history. In March, we respected the government mandated call for physical distancing and self isolation. Your Carlisle and Kilbride boards reacted quickly, even before the mandated closures, by suspending worship in our buildings on March 15, 2020.
You may be curious to know what has happened with your church’s response since the suspension of in person worship.
First, we affirm that we are more than a building… we are a community of faith that has risen to the challenge. We are very proud of our continued outreach through the Sewing Circle group who have tirelessly sewn masks, scrub caps, and gowns and the Migrant Worker program volunteers who solicited donations in order to make care packages for our most vulnerable farm workers. Pastor Sue has provided wonderful worship resources, advice to your board members and made numerous phone calls and sent emails. We have also seen an increased engagement of the worship resources published on Facebook Carlisle United Facebook Page and Kilbride United Facebook Page and websites www.carlisleuc.ca and www.kilbrideunited.com.
Second, the joint board have tasked the Logistics Committee with exploring what re-opening might look like for our communities of faith and to prepare recommendations for the Church Boards to adopt. The committee members are Janet Heeley (Chair), Andy Tarrant (Trustee) Bob Moulder (Property & M&P), Linda Dodman (Worship), Marilyn Gray (UCW), Maureen Trenkler (Kilbride) Jenni Love (Custodian). The group have met twice, attended United Church of Canada webinars, reviewed the ever-changing guidelines from the federal and provincial governments and regional health departments. Input will be sought from renters/tenants, finance folks, our insurance provider, congregants and staff to insure procedures are manageable and expectations are reasonable. All of this will be undertaken with your safety and well-being as our top priority…because you are loved.
We are NOT ready to re-open our buildings. As we begin to understand the rules of the Provincial Phase I and Phase II openings here are some protections that could be required to begin worship in physical buildings. You may be disappointed that the excitement of getting back to an important part of your life is sadly changed by the reality of the need to mitigate the risks of the exposure to the virus.
- Volunteers will need to greet congregants before they enter the sanctuary.
- Congregants will need to confirm that they have not had any symptoms recently: Cough, fever, body aches, difficulty breathing. Questions regarding your vulnerability will be asked… Are you over the age of 65 or have underlying health conditions?
- You will be asked to wear a mask covering and sanitize your hands.
- We will need to record your attendance and contact information should there be a reported COVID exposure within our circle.
- One entrance and one exit will be designated.
- There will be no passing of the peace, handshakes or hugs. You will not be able to remain after the service for a social time.
- Pews will be restricted with tape in order to provide a 2 metre physical distance.
- Additional cleaning and sanitizing protocols will be implemented.
- The pastor will explain that there will be no singing and communal responses to liturgy to avoid airborne infections.
- Hymn books, offering envelopes and welcome cards will need to be removed from the pews.
- Communion and offering practices need to be changed to adhere to new protection protocols.
The committee will continue to meet and gather information regarding re-opening our buildings. Please be patient with our current recommendation to not open our buildings regardless of the Ontario Government approval to do so. If you would like to be part of the committee please contact Maureen Trenkler at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Joint Carlisle Kilbride Logistics Committee