Christmas Eve at Arlington Woods Church:
Our Christmas Eve Candlelight service will take place in-person and online on Thursday, December 24th at 6pm.
We are continuing to offer the option to attend the in-person service following Ottawa Public Health regulations. Registration is required for attending in-person. You can register BEFORE 5pm on December 24th by clicking here. If you are having any difficulty, please contact Alanna at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Of course, we also understand that many would prefer to join our livestream service from home. The best way to do this is by joining our Youtube livestream. We want this to be meaningful to all who are attending from home, so please have some candles that you can light during the service.
This year's Christmas Eve offering will be given to FAMSAC. FAMSAC provides emergency food to people in our community. You are welcome to donate securely online by visiting our donation page and selecting "Christmas Eve Offering- FAMSAC" in the giving options.
Q&A for attending an in-person service: .
Do I need to let you know that I am coming to an on-site service?
- You are required to register to attend in advance. Registration opens every Thursday. Click here if you would like to register to attend in-person. You will be asked to choose the date and to register everyone in your family who will attend. Please indicate if you need assistance and we will be glad to help in any way we can.
- There is limited seating due to the current 30% maximum occupancy rule so we ask that you please sit where you are directed.
- There will be limited seats available for those visiting which is one reason we are asking all regular attenders to pre-register.
Who should not yet attend in-person but rather continue with the online service option?
- Anyone with a compromised immune system.
- Anyone with COVID-19 or COVID-19 symptoms: cough, fever, chest pain, difficulty breathing within the past 72 hours.
- Anyone who has been exposed to someone that has COVID-19 or is being tested for COVID-19.
- Anyone who doesn’t feel comfortable to worship on-site yet.
- People who have a sensitivity to cleaning products.
Will I be expected to wear a mask if I attend an on-site service?
- Everyone is required to wear a mask while on the premises. Unfortunately, if you cannot wear a mask we encourage you to view our service online.
- If you don’t own a mask or forget yours, one will be provided for you while supplies last.
- All children will be asked to wear a mask. Children under 2 years of age are NOT required to wear a mask. Children under the age of 5 years who refuse to wear a mask or are unable to wear a mask will not be required to do so.
- For more information on who should wear face masks visit the Government of Canada webpage. Link: masks
- Pastors will be following Ottawa Public Health guidelines: “The officiant of a religious ceremony can choose to not wear a mask if standing in an area of the religious space that is separate from the public attending the ceremony. The officiant should use a microphone to project their voice to reduce the risk of respiratory droplets being spread; and not engage in any singing or chanting. The officiant should stand at least 5 metres from the people attending and if there is more than one officiant, they should be spaced at least 2 metres apart from each other and not be facing each other.”
What do I need to know about entering the building and the sanctuary?
- You will need to monitor your own physical distancing when parking and walking towards the building.
- There will be markings on the sidewalk to show the physical distance required as people line up to enter the building.
- You may only enter the building from the door directly beside the parking lot.
- The entrance doors will be propped open 30 minutes prior to the service.
- The exit doors will be propped open when the service is complete and remain open until everyone has left the building.
- The foyer will be used as a hallway with guided access to get from outside to the sanctuary and back to the parking lot afterward. It is not a gathering spot to socialize as we are used to doing.
- When you enter you will be asked if you have any COVID symptoms and provided with hand sanitizer to use before entering the sanctuary. Hand sanitizer will be available upon leaving the building as well.
- Someone will check off the name of your family group and ensure that we have up-to-date contact information.
- An usher will direct you to the next available seat for the size of your group. Please understand that you are not able to choose your seat and must not change locations.
- All families living under the same roof are requested to sit together.
What is the seating arrangement in the sanctuary?
- The seats have been marked and roped off to enable the ushers to easily distinguish which seats are available. Every other pew will be used with a limited number of people per pew, not mixing family groups.
- Depending upon registration numbers, people will be seated in the wings first and then from front to back. Ushers will direct each pew as people exit to ensure that the least amount of crossing paths occurs.
What sanitizing protocol is being taken?
All surfaces will be properly sanitized and wiped down before and after the service.
What will the services be like? What is the same and what has changed?
- We will still come to celebrate, ponder and encounter the Living God through Jesus Christ as a community of believers.
- The service will be approximately one hour long.
- There will be different elements incorporated into your worship experience. You may even be asked to try something new.
- The congregation may be led in singing (following Ottawa Public Health protocol), however, congregants may not sing along at this time.
- Prayer time will still be essential and a valued time during our service. However, we cannot presently offer time at the altar due to physical contact restrictions.
- We will not be able to have any physical contact such as handshakes, fist pumps, hugs, etc. as they breach the current social-distancing rules.
- There will not be a printed bulletin. We encourage everyone to refer to the website for the latest church events and announcements.
- The offering will not be passed throughout the congregation. (Please see below for further details).
- Unfortunately, there will be no food or drink served.
- The library and coat room will be closed for now.
- All children’s ministry rooms will be locked.
- There will be no seating available in the lobby.
Will there be any ministries provided for our children?
- Due to the current health and safety restrictions we cannot provide “in person” children’s ministries during the service at this time. Children who attend must stay with their parents for the duration of the service.
- We will continue to have a children’s moment with Pastor Ben or one of our other kids’ ministry leaders to introduce the week’s teaching videos (and even play a game!) during each Sunday service.
- We will have children’s packets with crayons and colouring/activity sheets available for any child(ren) who join us “in person” with their families. Each packet will be sanitized following the service.
- If you so desire, you may provide a personal device with headphones for your child to watch our weekly kids’ videos online (www.arlingtonwoods.ca/kids) as they sit with you during the service. These videos will also continue to be made available online for families remaining at home. Each week we also send out a KIDZONE email with family discussion questions based on the video lesson and other resources that you could use at home. If you would like to receive our KIDZONE emails let Pastor Ben know at email@example.com.
Will washrooms be available?
- NEW! Due to construction beginning at the church, the only washrooms that are currently available are those downstairs near our kids ministry area. For those unable to navigate the stairs, we will have a volunteer operating the elevator to assist you. Washrooms are available for urgent use only. Please do your best to avoid the need to use a washroom.
- A maximum of 2 people will be allowed in the washroom at any given time. A volunteer in the lobby will let each person know when the washroom becomes available. Social-distancing must be practiced if waiting to use the washroom.
- When re-entering the sanctuary, you will be asked to sit in the back for the remainder of the service and leave in the order directed by the usher. You may meet with others in your family group outside of the building.
- Washrooms will be properly sanitized before and after the service.
How will I exit the building?
- At the end of the service, you will be dismissed by row, by an usher.
- You will exit through the sanctuary doors beside the prayer room and proceed out the parking lot doors. This will remain in effect until all construction of the foyer is completed.
- Although it will be difficult, we ask that the foyer not be a “hang out” space at this time. Feel free to visit with others while maintaining social distancing in the parking lot.
Your cooperation and understanding of these current guidelines are greatly appreciated. We hope that these guidelines help to address the many questions and concerns that people may have as we come back together. Please understand that these guidelines are fluid and subject to change at any time according to our Provincial and Municipal Leaders. We will update you as quickly as possible when these changes occur.