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Processes and Procedures for Re-opening for In-Person Worship Services

 

St. Andrew’s Return to Worship
Sunday, September 13 at 10:00 AM
 
On Sunday September 13th St. Andrew’s Whitby will be returning to in-person worship. We are keenly aware that despite the fact that we are in Stage/Phase 3 and have taken all reasonable precautions in terms of cleaning and structuring the return, that there will be those who will decide to wait yet awhile longer. We respect that and encourage you to continue to worship electronically, if you have a computer.
 
Worship, and even entering and exiting the building will be quite different from when we were last together in March. Please read through this email for details. We wish it were different; but the health, safety, security, and peace of mind for all of our congregants comes first and foremost. So here is what you can expect and what we ask:
 
Do You Need to Reserve Your Seat?
We are limited to 30% capacity, which is about 70 people.  At this time we don’t foresee the need to preregister for a seat but this may become necessary in the future.  We will closely monitor the situation.  We will check off your attendance on our congregation list, or record your name for tracking purposes.  Please come a little earlier so the tracking is not a bottleneck.  Thanks.
 
Before Coming: Wellness Check 
If you fall in any of the following categories, we ask that you do not enter the building.

  • Have traveled outside of Canada or had close contact with anyone that has traveled outside of Canada in the past 14 days
  • Have had close contact with anyone with a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19
  • Are awaiting a COVID19 test result
  • If you have one or more of the following symptoms: fever, new or worsening cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, runny nose, sneezing or nasal congestion, hoarse voice, difficulty swallowing, new smell or taste disorder(s), nausea/vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, unexplained fatigue/malaise, chills, headache that are not the consequence of a pre-existing condition.

Last Minute Preparation – Bring a Mask
Unless your physician has advised against it, please bring and wear a mask.  The bibles and hymn books have been removed from the pews.  The scripture reading will be displayed on the overhead, but if you want to follow along, we encourage you to bring your own personal bible.
 
Parking
After parking, please maintain social distancing from other than family members.
 
Entering
Entering the building will be via the east/side door (parking lot) only. Once you enter you will be asked to register for the purpose of contact tracing should it be necessary. Please use the Hand Sanitizer at the table.
 
Once Inside
Please go directly to the sanctuary doors and wait for an usher to seat you.  Please follow the instructions from the ushers regarding seating.  If  you bring a coat, bring it with you to the pew.
 
Seating
In order to accommodate as many as possible, ushers will be seating worshipers, beginning with the seats at the front. We are using every 2nd pew and distancing between individuals and families.  There will be markings on the pews to indicate a 2 metre distance.  Alternate pews will have markings offset, so as not to sit directly behind those in front.   If you have a condition that makes sitting in a different location necessary, please let the usher know. Please, do not arrive late just so you can get a back row seat. It will really mess things up for us. We would suggest you plan to arrive at 9:45 or earlier to avoid congestion at the back of the sanctuary just before the start of the service.
  
Washroom
The main floor washrooms will be open, and we encourage you to use them only if it is urgent.
 
Children’s Programs and Child Care
Children’s programs have been temporarily suspended, however there will be a children’s story during the service.  Child care has been temporarily suspended as well. Families with children will sit together for worship.  Please feel free to bring your own items with you for the children. 
 
The Offering
We would encourage giving via direct deposit (PAR) or online, but there will be an offering plate available at the rear of the sanctuary. Please leave your offering before you are seated, as the plate will not be passed around.  Whichever you choose, we thank you for your faithful and continued support of the ministry in these uncertain times.
 
Exiting
Following worship, we will be exiting the sanctuary row-by-row, beginning from the back. Please wait for the announcement from the minister and follow the directions of the ushers.  We also ask that you exit the building immediately, not pausing to socialize.
 
Coffee After
The serving of coffee and tea following worship has been suspended at this time.
 
In the Parking Lot
Please be aware of social distancing.  If you wish to chat with friends in the parking lot for a few moments, please continue to maintain social distancing. Keeping the mask on is a good idea and recommended.
  
Committee to Reopen Church,
St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church
209 Cochrane Street, Whitby, ON L1N 5H9
Office Tel. No. 905-668-4022
Church Email: standrewswhitby@bellnet.ca 
Church Website: www.worship-with-us.org