COVID-19 PROTOCOL

For the safety of our members and surrounding community, and to ensure that Ancaster Canadian Reformed Church does not become an incubator of the COVID-19 virus, Council has adopted the following protocols. These protocols are effective immediately and will remain in place until further notice.

CORPORATE WORSHIP

  • In-person corporate worship services have resumed with limitations. The government currently allows 30% building capacity.
  • Council is currently inviting 2 wards per service (half the congregation) with some flexibility built in for guests to join as well. If you are a guest wishing to attend our services, please feel free to join us!
  • Singles (who live on their own) are permitted to worship both in the AM and PM services.
  • During the AM service, please sit in the pews with green tape stuck on the ends; during the PM service, please sit in the pews with the yellow tape stuck to the ends. There will be 2 empty pews in between each occupied pew which will more than satisfy the 6′ distance requirements.
  • Since the use of every third row allows us close to 9′ of social distancing, we do not require the use of masks in church.
  • The overflow room has been opened up for additional room to extend social distancing. Additionally, extra pews have been placed against the back wall of the sanctuary for more seating options.
  • After the service, members are requested to exit the sanctuary in procession style similar to weddings and funerals, beginning with the rear pews.
  • Members are encouraged to maintain social distancing as they exit the building and while outside the building.
  • Livestream services will continue to be available Sundays at 9:30 am and 3:30 pm for those unable to attend the in-person services, or those who remain apprehensive about its safety.
    • For those who have had trouble with the livestream, please reach out to your ward elder for help. If this doesn’t resolve the situation, we encourage you to view the archived version which will be available on livestream shortly after the service.
  • Ordination of office bearers will resume in the regular format.
  • Outgoing attestations will be processed and announced as usual.
  • Incoming attestations will be processed and announced as usual.
  • Baptisms will resume with special precautions used for safety.
  • Bi-monthly Lord’s Supper celebration has resumed with special precautions used for safety; including the use of masks, hand sanitizer and social distancing where possible.
  • Weekly church bulletins will be distributed via Church Social.

During the time we are unable to meet and worship together, all members are encouraged to set aside intentional times of family worship and dedicated prayer.

OPERATION OF COUNCIL AND CONSISTORY 

  • Consistory meetings have resumed in-person since the allowable group size is at 10. Consistory is using the catechism room to assist in social distancing.
  • Council continues to meet via Zoom Conferencing since the Council size exceeds the limit of 10 persons.¬†

DEACONS

  • Deacons have resumed their in-person meetings as before, since they meet with 5 or less. Social distancing will be adhered to.
  • While in-person worship has resumed, the deacons are still not passing the collection bag around during the worship service.
  • E-transfers with a title line of “pew collection” can be sent to ancasterdeaconry@gmail.com, the need for a question and answer is no longer required.
  • Donations for door collections, Good Friday collection, or other charitable causes that require a tax receipt can be made online through the website of the charitable cause (preferred), through the Canada helps website:¬†https://www.canadahelps.org/en/, or by cheque or e-transfer to the deaconry.
  • Personal donation jars may be set up in the home for each family to contribute until such times as we meet together again.
  • You may choose to donate what you feel is appropriate when we meet together in the church building again.
  • The deacons encourage all to continue to make giving a part of the worship service according to the instructions found in 1 Corinthians 16: 1-2:

Now about the collection for the Lords people: Do what I told the Galatian churches to do. On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.”

CATECHISM, BIBLE STUDIES, CONGREGATIONAL MEETING

  • Catechism classes details to be determined.
  • Bible study groups continue to only meet remotely.
  • The Congregational Meetings are cancelled until further notice.

SMALL GROUPS

  • All small groups are to suspend in-person meetings, yet stay in touch and encourage each other, especially with seniors and other members who may be more vulnerable. Virtual meetings here could also be an option.

PASTORAL CARE

  • Members are encouraged to reach out to their ward elders and deacon when they are in any need.
  • Elders and Deacons should check in with their ward members and especially those in cases of illness and quarantine.
  • Elders and deacons must ensure all senior members, and others who may be vulnerable, have access to the support they need, including food and supplies.
  • Home visits to be used where required.

BUILDING USAGE

  • Church building may be used if capacity remains at or below 30% for worship, funerals and weddings.
  • Building use for meetings are permitted for up to 10 people and the details can be found here:

https://www.ontario.ca/page/2019-novel-coronavirus#section-1

NOTE: in all cases of building usage, members must follow the guidelines for minimizing the risk and spread of COVID-19 as described by Health Canada:

https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/2019-novel-coronavirus-infection/prevention-risks.html?topic=tilelink

COMMUNICATION

  • On-going communication about our COVID-19 protocols will be communicated via:
    • Church Social – members are encouraged to check their emails regularly especially during this time, as this will be the primary source of correspondance.
    • Website: https://ancasterchurch.on.ca
    • Phone Calls (for members without access to the above methods).