Last Updated: Wednesday, June 10, 2020 at 6:00 PM.
In accordance with the Government of Ontario’s closure of all non-essential businesses, the church building is closed and all in person gatherings are cancelled until further notice.
The Congregational Board of the church at a meeting on June 9, 2020 has reviewed the information contained in the Government of Ontario's Stage 2 document about "Re-opening the Province" as it relates to "Places of Worship." It was decided that there will be no change in the current status of the church and/or the process of offering services (as noted above and below) until at least September 1, 2020. This decision will be reviewed at that time.
Should you have any questions or inquiries please call the church phone number at 519-752-8549 and leave a message or email email@example.com.
Live Streaming of Sunday Services.
Due to the COVID 19 Pandemic, we will livestream a Sunday Service each week from the sanctuary until our in-person worship services can resume.
“David Garland, the Chief of Staff for the Solicitor General of Ontario, clarifies that although the wording of the government order did not speak to an exception for churches, it was not the province’s intent to shut down people’s access to worship services that are live streamed from the church building as long as that can be done safely on a very restricted basis. He said it is acceptable for the minister and one or two other people to record/livestream a worship service in the church as long as physical distancing protocols are followed.”
Here is a link to the full article on the United Church of Canada’s pages:
Live Streaming will continue to be presented on the churches Facebook page using Facebook Live. Shortly after the service is completed it is also posted to Fairviews new YouTube Channel. Links to both our Facebook page and the new YouTube Channel can be found on the right side of the main menu at the very top of each page.
An audio (sound) recording will be available on the Ministries/Service Recordings page of this site later in the day of that Sunday or early on the following Monday.
Other Communications related to COVID-19.
This message was sent Friday, June 12 2020 by email.
As spring begins to feel ever more like summer, it is hard to believe that it has been more than three months since we last met in person. While many of us have adjusted and adapted to a new way of being in community, family, society and church, we miss each other. We miss gathering together in person – as families and as a church family.
On Monday (June 8), Premier Doug Ford announced that groups meeting in person would now be able to consist of a maximum of ten people. He also made an announcement concerning the opening of places of worship for the purpose of worship. While most groups meeting would be limited to 10 people, places of worship would be allowed to open for the purpose of worship at a 30% capacity. These announcements raise a number of questions and concerns.
The Board is concerned that churches are an exception to the group meetings. Our church, like many churches, consists of a high proportion of seniors. We’ve heard ample evidence that seniors are at a higher risk of complications due to Covid19. It is troubling that churches would be seen to be an exception to what is otherwise a strict rule.
2.Going back to worship in this time of Covid19 poses numerous challenges and will likely not be the experience many of us are missing. We will be putting together a team of folks who will prepare a reopening plan for the Board to consider. Recommendations and guidelines will likely include the consideration and implementation of some/many of the following:
Strict physical distancing maintained
Possibility of mandatory mask wearing
No singing together and likely no speaking prayers together as doing either of these activities has been seen to cause the virus to spread exponentially farther
No coffee hour
Due to physical distancing, there would be a cap on attendance that would likely be much lower than the maximum 30% occupancy - does this mean we turn people away?
Cleaning and sanitizing will be of an increased priority – what are the custodial implications?
Worshiping together in person is something we look forward to, but not something that we will undertake without thorough planning and preparation.
3. Plans are underway for shared virtual worship throughout the summer with another congregation that will involve the leadership of both churches in every service and provide consistency, familiarity and creativity.
4 .It is our belief that we should not worship in person until it is safe and possible for all who wish to join us to do so. This is especially true as our current method of recording and producing services would not be able to continue without some major changes that will take time and planning to implement as we want to continue to also offer virtual worship once we meet together in person.
5. It is interesting to note that at least two of our mainline Protestant sister denominations have either mandated or strongly suggested to their churches in Ontario that they not consider reopening for public worship until at least September.
And so, on Tuesday June 9th , the Fairview United Church Board passed a motion that worship would continue in a virtual-only format until September. Things will be reassessed as the summer unfolds and a plan to reopen will be developed with everyone’s health and safety at the forefront.
If you have any concerns about the Board’s decision, please do not hesitate to discuss your concerns with Jennifer or any Board member.
Blessings to you and your families,
Jennifer and Beth