In case you missed it, Ontario announced on Monday that they are allowing churches to begin meeting again effective June 12, regardless of where they are in the province. This came sooner than many of us expected!

And so we’re taking the first steps to figure out when and how we will begin to meet again sometime in the near future.

Earlier this week I sent out a survey about returning to in-person gatherings. Thanks to those who responded.

Here are some of the results:

  • 75% are ready to return right away or with some concerns and precautions.
  • If the church required everyone to wear a mask, 80% are okay with this. 10% aren’t sure.
  • 90% are okay if we checked people’s temperatures (non-touch) as they entered the building.
  • Results are split on the next steps we should take as a church. 20% think we should start meeting right away; 30% think we should meet in smaller groups or limited-size gatherings for a few weeks; 30% want to wait and see; 20% aren’t sure.

I met with our elders today to discuss this feedback and to plan our next steps. Here’s the plan:

  • For the next few weeks, we’re going to continue to meet by Zoom on Sundays and Tuesday nights.
  • Next Thursday night, we will hold an in-person casual get-together at Trillium Park near Ontario Place for those who want to attend (weather permitting). We will honour provincial guidelines (practise physical distancing, wear a face covering if physical distancing is a challenge, wash/disinfect hands thoroughly, avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, and limit each circle to 10 people). You’re invited to join us on Thursday night at 7 p.m. (weather permitting). Note: please don’t attend If you have COVID symptoms, if you’ve been exposed to someone who is symptomatic, or if you have traveled outside the province in the last 14 days.
  • In the next few weeks, we’ll look at moving toward gathering again in person. We have a possible temporary place lined up while we look for a more permanent place. We’ll develop guidelines to do so as safely as possible and in a way that shows honour to those who are more concerned (Romans 15:1-7). And we’ll continue to livestream our services for those who aren’t ready to return.

Please pray for all of this as we move forward. Please also let me know if you have any questions.

We’ll need grace and understanding as we process these steps and learn as we begin to gather again together.

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