What's happening with reopening?
We know many of us can't wait to get back to worshipping together as a community, in person, in our sanctuary. We've all really missed gathering with one another, seeing one another, chatting with one another, in short, being community. We know the separation has been difficult, yet we cannot rush back and take unnecessary risks.
The Board met on Tuesday May 19, 2020 and approved a plan to re-open our buildings and start in-person worship in the sanctuary using a multi-stepped approach. The plan contains all the requirements of both Northern Health and Work Safe BC. We know we all want to get back to what worship looked and felt like on March 15, however that simply isn't possible for now. With that in mind, here are a few things you need to know:
- The Pacific Mountain Regional Council and The United Church of Canada are recommending that congregations not fully reopen for in person worship and only reopen their buildings for small group gatherings and only do either with very strict COVID-19 protocols.
- The Board approved a plan that involves a stepped approach for in person worship that starts with 10-15 people, specifically those who have not been able to join us via livestream.
- The office has reopened in-person on Monday and Tuesday from 9am-12noon. Email and phone messages are being checked regularly throughout the week.
- Regardless of the maximum number (currently 50 in BC) we can only have the number of people the space will accommodate while following all the provincial, federal, and denominational guidelines.
- The goal remains to provide the highest quality online experience. Online will continue to be the most familiar worship experience, especially if you like to sing along!
- Everyone who can join online for worship is encouraged to continue to do so.
- We know there have been some challenges with our livestream. The ones within our control we are addressing. Many are beyond our control. Keep sending us feedback. It's important and helpful for us to hear about what would make the livestream experience even better.
- People who do gather for in-person worship will need to:
- Phone and leave a message by Thursday 12noon to pre-book your seat each week;
- Sign-in and confirm they have not experienced any symptoms for 21 days and are willing to follow the protocols established by The Board;
- Wear a mask while in the building at all times (cloth masks will be provided thanks to some of our awesome sewers);
- Sit in designated seats and not move around during worship;
- Enter and leave the sanctuary in a designated manner ensuring proper physical distancing at all times; and
- Not remain inside the building to socialize.
- Step 1 is limited to a maximum of 15 seats. Our priority is to offer those seats to people who have not been able to join us online.
- You will receive a confirmation on Thursday afternnon.
- We cannot sing, even masked, at this time. It is considered a high risk activity, even outside. You could hum along though :)
- Things like the offering, communion, and passing the peace will all be done differently.
- People will have to call or email the office each week to reserve a seat. You won't be able to book a block of Sundays. We want to make sure everyone has a chance to reserve a seat by Thursday 12 noon each week.
- The Board will continue to meet monthly (or more often if needed) throughout the summer to regularly reassess which phase we are in and the implications of any changes in provincial, federal, or denominational recommendations.
Things remain very fluid as the situation continues to evolve on a daily basis.
We really appreciate all of your support and patience. We know it hasn't been easy for any of us and we really want to be together again. That will happen, yet only if we take a measured and thoughtful approach ensuring that we're doing all we can to care for the most vulnerable amongst us. After all, that's part of what makes Trinity United so special: how we care for one another and our community.
To help feel more connected with one another on Sundays following worship we're going to host a Virtual Coffee Hour on zoom. It won't be the same, yet hopefully it will help us connect with one another and enhance our sense of community. Using Zoom means people will be able to join using their device for audio and video or call in.
Sunday morning each week we will email out the information you will need for that Sundays Fellowship Time. The link will change each week for security reasons. If you aren't on our email list and would like to receive the link, please subsribe HERE or https://www.trinitypg.ca/pages/newsletter-sign-up.
If you are calling in you will need both the meeting ID and Password. Please note that long distance charges may apply.