Covid-19 Reopening Guidelines – Advance Registration Required Weekly


July 24, 2020 |

We have resumed Sunday gatherings.  Here is what you need to know BEFORE you come to church.

  • We will have ONE SERVICE on Sundays at 10:30am, with a limit of 70 people.  Kindly refrain from arriving before 10am, unless you are serving in some capacity (usher, greeter, A/V team, videography, praise and worship, etc…).
  • The service will be LIVESTREAMED on the Onward YOUTUBE channel for those who cannot attend. Here is the link to our channel. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1h7_0H7upoC0r5QtO2QcQQ
  • A word about ADVANCE REGISTRATION. You MUST register online EACH WEEK for the upcoming Sunday. Registration will normally open TUESDAYS for the upcoming Sunday service. Use this link to register (click on service date, and follow instructions, being sure to register the number of people in your household that are coming).  https://reopen.church/r/uJaIXZ9K
  • Those WITHOUT INTERNET are asked to call Peter Cooney at 514-932-2720 to reserve their spot.
  • IF YOU ATTENDED the previous week’s service, please wait until THURSDAY to register for the coming week’s service. That way it will give priority to those who did not attend the previous week to register and attend the upcoming week’s service. You may need to be prepared to attend church every other week, depending on the demand.
  • IF you have any COVID SYMPTOMS you must stay home from church. Covid-19 symptoms are: fever, cough, difficulty breathing, loss of taste or smell, and can also include: soar throat, headaches, aching muscles, loss of appetite, and diarrhea.
  • You must WEAR A MASK when you come into the church building, and throughout the service. Please bring your own mask.  As of July 18, it will be manditory in Quebec to wear a mask in all public indoor spaces, including houses of worship.
  • Avoid PHYSICAL CONTACT with others at church. This includes hugs and handshakes. This is just a common sense safety measure during this pandemic.
  • Upon entry into the church, you will see a table with hand sanitizer pumps and a sign reminding you to SANITIZE YOUR HANDS. Greeters will be there to welcome you and direct you.
  • In terms of SEATING, ushers will be in the foyer to help you be seated according to physical distancing guidelines. To this end, every other pew on the sides has been closed off (with green tape), and every other pew in the center has been taken out to ensure that when you are sitting in any pew, you are 1.5m in distance from someone in front or behind you.  As well, you are asked to sit 1.5m away from anyone not from your household (or in your “bubble”) who is seated on the same pew.  This is as per government guidelines https://www.quebec.ca/en/health/health-issues/a-z/2019-coronavirus/gatherings-events-covid19/#c6273
  • The service will be SHORTER (1 HOUR). This is to help accommodate families (with younger children), as there will be no children’s ministries during the service for the time being.
  • There will be NO SUNDAY SCHOOL or SUPERVISED NURSERY. However, the nursery room is still available for use during the service if parents need to use it. Also, there is a wide-open space in the basement if parents need to slip out of the service with their children. In the meanwhile, we encourage parents to bring activities (coloring/sticker books) for young children to help keep them occupied.
  • Those doing a Scripture reading, prayers, or preaching can remove their mask while they speak on the stage.
  • A word about COMMUNION. On communion Sundays, when you arrive, you will be able to take a self-contained sanitized juice and wafer package, all in one, that you can take to your seat, and all that is required is to peel off the protective cover when it’s time to eat the bread, and the same to drink from the cup.
  • A word about OFFERINGS. Instead of passing a plate, the ushers will collect the offering with offering bags that have a long handle, so that apart from the ushers, no one else will come into contact with it. For those at home, you can still mail in your tithes and offerings, or use the  credit card donation option (via Canadhelps) button, located on top right of homepage. As well, you now have the option of sending an e-transfer. Details are posted on the website (http://www.onwardgospelchurch.com/news/new-option-donate-by-e-transfer/)
  • Following the service, we would ask that people EXIT the church in a way that enables physical distancing requirements to be maintained. Those in the back pews can exit first, followed by those towards the front.  Keep physical distancing regulations in mind during conversations and fellowship.
  • A word about WASHROOMS. For the men’s and women’s washrooms downstairs, there will be disinfectant spray bottles kept on the counters for you to use before/after you touch common surfaces.
  • For the time being, there will be NO ONWARD CAFÉ (refreshments, coffee) before the service as we are trying to minimize the risk of virus spread.

I want to conclude by saying that we are greatly looking forward to seeing you, Lord willing. But let me add this as well. While we are grateful to come together in person, we do not want anyone in the Onward church family to feel pressure to attend. I know many will be nervous about meeting at the church, and that is understandable given that some in the congregation are at higher risk due to their age and/or pre-existing health issues. We all need to acknowledge that meeting together in the church building does carry some unavoidable risk. We are trying to do all we can do as your leaders to minimize that risk based on what we know of the transmission of the virus, but we cannot eliminate all risk.

As you consider and pray through your plans for Sunday service attendance, please know that we want you to feel completely free and at ease to do what you deem best for you and your family at the present time.  This is one of the reasons why it is our intention to livestream the services on youtube.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support through this time.  May God bless each of you.

With Christ’s love,

Pastor Bryan Guinness

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