The Covid-19 pandemic can’t stop our church!
We will be worshipping outdoors for Sunday worship services at 10:00 a.m. beginning on August 23rd. Join me ‘walking through’ our outdoor service to better understand what remains the same, and what is new:
1. By mid-week, you receive the weekly email; or, you can check our church website at: stmarysmetchosin.ca Both have information on the outdoor service. We are limited to 50 people, so you call the office Wednesday or Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., or email before noon Thursday at: [email protected] to reserve enough spaces for you and your family. We also have the option to register online via the register for services button on the main church webpage. If you haven’t made a reservation, by all means come, but…if more than 50 people try to come, the extra people without reservations cannot join the service. A reservation assures that you have a place.
2. Sunday morning, please ensure you are feeling well [if not, please wait until next week; you can watch the recording of the outdoor service on line] and come to the church. If you have a favourite light weight lawn chair, you can bring that to the service to sit on. There’s lots of regular church seating too.
3. Entering the parking lot before 10 a.m., you will read signs reminding you to practice physical distancing, and suggesting you leave one empty space between cars when parking.
4. Walking from your car, you will go to the lawn between the church and the forest, left of the church front entrance. The Greeter meets you. As required by the Provincial Health Officer [PHO], the Greeter takes your name and contact information which is kept in the office for one month.
5. At the welcome table, you will get the Service Bulletin, use the hand sanitizer and, if you don’t have your own, take a face mask. The Greeter leads you to your assigned seats. Until the service starts, you can talk to other members of the congregation, keeping the 2 meters physical distancing required by the PHO.
6. Pastor Aneeta and the Deacon use microphones and a speaker system. With the Service Bulletin, everyone can follow the service. As required by the PHO, the congregation does not sing or speak the prayers out loud.
7. Pastor Aneeta sanctifies and administers the Eucharist of bread and wine. In the Anglican tradition, the eucharist is a full communion whether it is bread and wine, wine only, or bread only. Because of COVID-19 the congregation stays in place, and Pastor Aneeta will bring them consecrated bread at their seat. Only Pastor Aneeta will consume the consecrated wine.
8. After the service, people return to their cars, keeping the 2 meters physical distancing. During the pandemic, we cannot offer tea, coffee or ‘church goodies’. Far more important, we do worship God, and see each other.
9. The washrooms are open, and sanitized after each use. The Washroom Monitor ensures that only one person is in a washroom at a time. In the interests of simplicity and safety, the less the washrooms are used, the better.
10. The service is recorded, and will be posted on the St. Mary’s website by Tuesday morning.
11. If rain is in the forecast, the outdoor service still goes ahead. There is no protection for the congregation from the rain, so consider taking an umbrella, or stay home, especially if dampness might affect your health. The Outdoor Service needs a few people to allow us to gather safely, following the requirements of the PHO. Please email or call the office or Pastor Aneeta if you might be able to help.
Do you have questions about the outdoor service? Feel free to email [email protected] or call Pastor Aneeta, Deacon Wally, or the Wardens, Scott and Sharleen.
We are very excited to once again gather physically in community to worship God.