Letter to the Congregation regarding RE-OPENING Plans

As we plan to return to in-building worship, the Executive of SJR wanted to reach out to share our plans for how we can gather together safely.  Thank you to all those who completed our survey, as since we had a 40% response rate, we are confident that we are able to move ahead, cautiously. 

In our survey, we asked the question of whether or not we should ask about proof of vaccination for attendance to Sunday worship.  We asked this before receiving legal counsel from the United Church of Canada, that we are not legally allowed to ask for vaccination receipts to attend in-building worship services.  That being said, we are still asking that you please be vaccinated if you choose to attend worship in person in order to keep everyone safe.  Online services will continue to be mailed and posted at www.sjruc.ca for those wanting to connect with the church but remain at home.

If you choose to attend any other event inside the church, proof of vaccination is required according to the Ontario Ministry of Health Guidelines.

Worship @ SJR
If you are planning on attending worship, preregistration, masks, & distancing will be required.  Attendance will be limited, with a waiting list for cancellations.  The lift will be available for those that require it. Access to the church will only be from the Sherwood Ave. doors.  Online sign up is now open at https://rsvp.church/r/C1yBpTR9 

A few notes:

  • Please sign up your “bubble,” ie: if you drive someone to church, or socialize with them outside of church, please sign up as one registration/group and sit together.  This allows us to make seats available for others.
  • Phone sign-up for those unable to access the internet is available through the office – leave a message with your phone number so we can confirm with you.  
  • Do not include Sunday School children in the sign up for attending in the Sanctuary.  Parents and guardians you should have received the Sunday School information already, and if you haven’t please contact the office.  We are asking for children to be dropped off at 10:20a.m. using the door near the fenced playground.
  • If the sign-up list for the Worship Service is full, please sign up on the “Wait List” option.  You will hear from the church office if spaces become available.
  • When you arrive you will be screened, offered hand sanitizer, asked to leave offering in the baskets provided.
  • Please observe the distancing markers on the walls and floors and follow traffic flow indicators.
  • Ushers will seat you/your group according to available seating to maximize capacity.  At this time we ask you to remain in this place for the duration of the service. 
  • During the service, masks must remain on and covering nose and mouth and physical distancing must be maintained.
  • At the end of the service, ushers will dismiss people beginning with the front of the Sanctuary, and we ask you to exit the building promptly using the doors indicated, while still observing physical distancing.  Unfortunately there is no Gather and Gab at this time. 

Groups associated with SJR (Scouting program, etc) will be making their return to building as well with each group adhering to the above mentioned precautions. 

We thank everyone for their patience and trust over this last year and a half, as we continue to adapt in this ever-changing time.  Plans continue to evolve and as they do, we will do our best to keep you informed.   

Lynda P, Chair of SJR Executive and Rev. Chris Fickling

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