July 12 UPDATE:
Dear Shoreacres Family
Shoreacres Bible Chapel re-opened for services on July 5th, 2020.
Our plan is to continue to meet in person at the chapel for Sunday morning services. Beginning on July 12th we will make a change to our protocol with respect to masks.
Here is an excerpt from the Halton Region guidance document for places of Worship referenced below:
Require the use of face coverings or non-medical masks
Require anyone entering the premise to wear a face covering or non-medical mask while inside the facility.
Please note that those who are under the age of two, are unable to remove a mask without assistance, or have trouble breathing should not wear a face covering or non-medical mask.
Encourage the proper use and disposal of face coverings and non-medical masks.
Remind congregants, volunteers and staff that even when wearing a face covering or non-medical mask, it is important to continue to follow other public health direction such as practicing physical distancing, washing hands frequently and staying home when ill.
Based on this guidance the elders and deacons have decided to modify our protocol to require the wearing of non-medical masks for those who choose to attend the service in person.
Here are some relevant FAQs which can now be found in the re-opening protocol:
Do we have to wear masks? Yes. As recommended by our local public health unit, non-medical masks should be worn in places of worship
Can we bring our own masks or do we have to use the masks provided? You may use your own mask if you would like, or use one of the masks provided
If I have a medical condition that does not allow me to wear a mask (asthma, etc.) will I need to provide proof of the condition? No, we will rely on the honor system. If you have a legitimate reason to not wear a mask we trust that you will follow the other protocols such as social distancing and hand hygiene to protect yourself and others.
We recognize that you may not agree with this decision. At this time we believe it is the best decision for our testimony and to show our care for all those who attend the meeting in person. If you have specific questions or concerns please reach out to one of the elders or deacons.
On behalf of the Elders and Deacons
If you have further questions, email us : firstname.lastname@example.org
July 4 UPDATE:
Dear Shoreacres Family
As mentioned previously we intend to re-open the chapel for in-person meetings on July 5th. It is important to note that things are not back to normal though. This email will outline the following topics:
Governing Principles for re-opening
Procedure for Sunday Service:
Before the meeting
Order of Service
After the meeting
Governing Principles for Re-opening
We want to be “…diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” (Eph. 4:3) Because, “…how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity…for there the Lord commanded the blessing.” (Psa. 133:3)
We want to “…regard one another as more important and [ourselves];…not merely look[ing] out for [our] own personal interest, but also for the interests of others.” (Phil. 3:3,4) Because, Christ “…gave [us]an example that [we] also should do as [He] did for [us].” (Jn. 13:15)
We want to “have regard for what is honourable, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.” (2 Cor. 8:21) Because we want to act “…in such a way that they may see [our] good works and glorify [our] Father who is in heaven.” (Matt. 5:16)
We want to “submit [ourselves] for the Lord’s sake to every human institution…” (1 Pet. 2:13) Because, “…such is the will of God that by doing right [we] may silence the ignorance of foolish men.” (1 Pet. 2:15)
We want to “…love one another” (Jn. 15:12) Because, “…if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.” (1 Jn. 4:11)
There are also three official guidance documents which impacted our meeting procedure:
Halton Region àCOVID-19 Public Health Guidelines: Places of Worship (link)
Ontario Ministry of Health àCOVID-19 Advice: Religious Services, Rites or Ceremonies (link)
Ontario Workplace Safety and Prevention Services àGuidance on Health and Safety for Places of Worship During COVID-19 (link)
The guiding principles from scripture will not change, but the three official guidance documents will change over time and our procedures will have to change likewise
Procedure for Sunday Service
Before the Meeting
The meeting will start at 10:30am. Please arrive between 10:15am and 10:30am. Music will play in the sanctuary from 10:15-10:30am
Enter the building through the back door (the one with the grey ramp). The ramp has been marked with tape to show 6ft increments. Please maintain physical distance of at least 6 feet from anyone who does not live in your household or is not part of your social bubble.
Once you enter the building proceed directly to the welcome table in front of the sanctuary door. A greeter will walk you through the following steps:
Interview: You will be asked the following questions:
Do you have any symptoms which could be associated with COVID-19 including cough, fever, or shortness of breath? (Yes/No)
Have you come in close contact with a person with symptoms of COVID-19 or someone with w confirmed case of COVID-19 in the past 14 days? (Yes/No)
iii. Have you travelled outside of Canada in the past 14 days? (Yes/No)
If the answer is yes to any of these questions we would request that you not attend the service
The greeter will mark down your name, so we can keep track of everyone who attends each service. This information will be used in case of an outbreak
You will be required to sanitize your hands using the provided hand sanitizer
You will be offered a mask for your personal use. Non-medical masks are recommended when physical distancing is a challenge. For different medical reasons, not everyone can wear non-medical masks
You will be provided with a ‘communion packet’ which includes a wafer and juice to be used during the communion service
An offering basket will be available for you to give your regular offering. Please make your offering on the way into the sanctuary as the basket will not be available after the service.
After you complete the steps at the welcome table you will proceed directly to the main sanctuary. You must sit on the aisle of one of the pews with green tape. Pews have been measured to ensure that the pews marked in green are more than 6 feet apart to maintain physical distancing. Seating is available at either end of each marked pew.
Order of Service
10:30am – 11:00am – Breaking of Bread service
Same format as the virtual Zoom meetings
The service will be pre-arranged. Brothers will pray and share thoughts. There will be songs played, but congregational singing is not permitted at this time
The emblems will not be passed around, but rather we will partake using the individual communion packets
11:00am – 11:10am – announcements, prayer requests, introduce speaker
11:10am – ~11:45am – Message
After the Meeting
The chairman will give instructions to release each row to maintain physical distancing
Please exit the sanctuary promptly, through the back door
If you wish to congregate in the parking lot afterwards please ensure that you maintain physical distancing of 6 feet. We are an example to the neighbourhood, and it is important that we set a good example for those who may be driving/walking by.
All areas of the chapel building apart from the sanctuary and the pathway from the back door through the foyer are off limits. Do not enter the gym, or go downstairs to the basement
You are encouraged not to use the restrooms, but if required everyone should use the upstairs restroom near the back door. Sanitization equipment and instructions will be provided for before and after each use.
No nursery or Sunday school will be provided. Families with children are encouraged to bring the children in to the main service
We will continue to meet virtually on Wednesday evenings at 7pmfor prayer
How long will services run in this modified way? We don’t have a definite timeline yet, and it is likely that the service will evolve over time as government guidelines change
Do we have to wear the masks? Masks will be provided to anyone who wants one. They are not mandatory at this time
Will the live Sunday meeting be streamed on Zoom? Not at this time. The future plan is to do video recordings of the Sunday messages and post them on YouTube for virtual viewing
Will visitors be allowed to attend the Sunday service? Yes. They will need to follow the same protocol as regular attendees, but visitors are encouraged to attend as always