Dear Knox Congregation
After 6 months of not worshipping together at the church, the Session has decided to begin in-person worship again. Our first Sunday back will be Sunday, September 6th at 11am. Since we last met, our world and our lives have changed significantly due to the pandemic. As directed by the province of Ontario and for the safety of all of us, certain protocols will be put in place as we gather at the church for worship.
Your experience on Sunday morning will look and feel different from when we last met and we will all have to adjust our expectations as we adjust to our new reality. Please read this letter carefully.
It will be helpful if you arrive at the church between 10:30-10:45am, for entry through the front door only, to allow time for the pre-screening questions, hand sanitizing, and seating procedures. We will be writing down names and phone numbers for contact tracing purposes to be kept for two weeks. Masks are required while in the building throughout the service and no singing is allowed at this time. Please respect social distancing rules even though it will be difficult since we haven’t been together in such a long time.
It is important that we adhere to the guidelines regarding the maximum number of people allowed in the church building, so the elders will be ushering you to your seat and for now, it might be a different place to sit than you are used to. While we are not planning to pre-register at this time (this could change depending on our attendance numbers), it would be helpful to know if you are not planning to return to worship in the next few months. If you are able, please let the church office know your intentions, 705-435-5081.
There will be no passing of the peace and no greeting or fellowship time at the end of the service. The offering plates will be placed in the sanctuary to be used before or after the service, but not passed around. There will be one washroom available and the basement of the church will not be accessible at this time. Nursery and children’s programs are suspended for now, but there will be activity bags for families to use during the service.
We know that not everyone will be able or feel ready to attend church again right now, and that is okay. We have learned over the last few months that some people are more vulnerable and we don’t want anyone put at risk. If you are feeling ill at all, please stay at home. We plan to record our services at the church on Sunday mornings and have them available on our website for you to continue watching at home.
We know these safety protocols seem like a lot, but we would much rather be safe than sorry. At the same time, even as worship looks different whether at church or at home, we will still praise, pray, listen, learn, and be renewed in our faith because God will be present.
The Session plans to reassess these procedures at the end of September and will adjust as necessary. It is possible that the government may change the guidelines at any time and we will need to be prepared for any eventuality.
Thank you for your cooperation. We are looking forward to seeing you again!
From The Session of Knox Church with Rev. Tobey