Dear Ontario Conference Pastors, Head Elders, Clerks, and Communication Leaders:
On Wednesday, June 30 at 12:01 a.m., Ontario will enter step 2 of the provincial reopening plan. Notwithstanding, the Waterloo Region, due to concerning COVID-19 case trends, will remain in step 1.
What does this mean for places of worship?
Indoor religious services, rites, or ceremonies, including wedding services and funeral services, are permitted at up to 25% capacity of the room.
Ontario Conference Guidelines
The more transmissible Delta variant is now accounting for a significant number of new COVID-19 cases. Therefore, to help prevent another wave, we must continue to take all public safety measures necessary and follow a careful and gradual approach to returning to in-person worship and gatherings.
For churches previously approved for reopening, kindly factor these points for step 2:
- Sanctuary worship services, weddings, and funerals should be kept to 25% capacity to a maximum of 150 persons while maintaining physical distancing, wearing masks and all other Provincial, Municipal, and Conference guidelines are to remain in place.
- No socializing is to take place before and after any of the services. Attendees should leave the building and parking lot promptly.
- All attendees must be pre-registered and pre-screened, and the records kept securely for a minimum of 30 days; this is critical should there be a need for contact tracing.
- Please note- guidelines for the gradual return to our in-person AMP (Adventurer, Master Guide, and Pathfinder) ministries will be coming soon.
For churches not previously approved for reopening:
- As the province steadily moves towards fully reopening, if not already completed, your church should prepare and present a reopening plan to the Conference Risk Management Department even if the thinking is not to return to in-person services just yet; this will prevent last-minute scrambling in the future.
May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you the strength and wisdom needed to navigate these unprecedented times.
- Mansfield Edwards (President)
- Jakov Bibulovic (Executive Secretary)
- Virene Meikle (Treasurer)