CHURCH UPDATE: AUGUST 7, 2020
We are back in the building! Well almost. Very soon we will be back inside our building to continue to worship God and encourage each other in our faith. Our re-entry date is September 13, 2020! For many of you who have experienced the new reality of shopping for groceries or going to the hardware store, etc. the following procedures will be familiar. However, we are providing specific details to respond to the questions and concerns some have expressed.
Your Leadership Team (Administrative Team and COVID Task Force) have taken strategic steps to create a safe environment to re-enter the building. The safety of our community is essential for us as we move forward realizing that it may look different for each family in our congregation. Our hope is that this document may help you prepare for what to expect upon arrival and departure from the church building.
Do I have to return to the building on September 13th?
Services will be live for those who wish to return to the building on September 13th, but will also be streamed live as we currently do for those who choose to stay home at this time.
How come some people are returning on September 6th?
The only people on-site on September 6th will be the Leadership Team, COVID Task team and those who have volunteered to help. The service will be live-streamed for the congregation as well as providing an opportunity for our volunteers to become familiar with procedures and protocol being implemented on September 13th.
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 (the link will be available closer to September 13th). 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 a live on-site service 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.
- Children under 2 years of age as they are not permitted to wear a mask and all participants are required to wear a mask at this time.
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. If you cannot wear a mask, unfortunately we cannot let you enter.
- If you don’t own a mask or forget yours, one will be provided for you while supplies last.
- As mentioned, children under 2 years of age are not permitted to wear a mask as per the Ministry of Health guidelines and therefore we unfortunately have to ask that they not attend at this time.
- 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 and exit through the front doors on McClellan.
- 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 use 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.
- 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 video (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 continue to be made available online for families remaining at home.
How can I continue to give weekly?
- First of all, we thank you for your faithfulness in giving to the ministries of Arlington Woods Church as we reach our community.
- Please continue to make use of our online giving option.
- Offering may be placed in a plate as you exit the building. Please note, envelopes and cash will be placed in a secure location and processed at the end of the month.
Will washrooms be available?
- Washrooms off the lobby will be 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 front doors of the building.
- Although it will be difficult, we ask that the foyer not be a “hang out” space at this time.
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.
Click below to visit our YouTube channel to view our live-stream videos!
Every Sunday morning we are offering a live, interactive service on our Arlington Woods Church Youtube channel . Make sure to click the subscribe button to receive notifications of new videos and when we go live. Videos also stream to our Facebook page! It has been great to see so many active in the live chat during the service! This is also a great opportunity to invite a friend to join you on Sundays! They can join with just a click! Once our live services commence on September 13th, we will be continuing to stream the services online!
Visit our KIDS page for awesome video content for kids (preschoolers, elementary, and pre-teen) as well as for some helpful parenting resources!
Visit our TEENS page for information on CATALYST YOUTH ONLINE! Every Friday from 6:45-8:45pm we're getting together on ZOOM for game a Bible-based talk, discussion, and a chance to connect with each other while social distancing! CATALYST is for teens grades 6-12.
View our online bulletin for a list of upcoming events and activities that are happening during COVID-19. Even though we are practicing self-isolation, there are still many opportunities to connect with other and grow spiritually during this time. You can also like and follow us on Facebook or contact email@example.com ask ask to join our church email list!
For more information on the City's recommendations during COVID-19, please visit Ottawa Public Health.
If you feel that you might be sick or you have a confirmed case of Covid-19 and you're a part of our church community or in our surrounding neighbourhood, please don't hesitate to contact the church (firstname.lastname@example.org, 613-596-9390) for any assistance you might need. We would be happy to drop food or supplies off at your door if you must be isolated. This is what Arlington Woods Church is here for!
If you are someone from our church who is willing to pick up groceries or supplies for people, provide meals etc... in the event that they are sick or need to be isolated please let us know that you are available by contacting email@example.com.