The Metropolitan of Ontario, and Archbishop of Algoma and Moosonee, Anne Germond, made this statement recently. It was made after the House of Bishops were in consultation with health officials. Even if other churches may open earlier, the House of Bishops decided our churches will take a summer rest. Considering all that will be involved in preparing to reopen, the many important protocols that need to be put into place, this is a wise decision and allows for priests, who have recently been working hard in a new context, to take their summer holidays as usual.
We will, of course, continue with online communication and worship resources throughout the summer.
As with so many things now-a-days, this might change by next week. Currently we are not allowed to gather in groups of more than 5 people. Our Priest-on-the Lawn is so popular, we've had more than 5 people dropping by at a time. To manage this, we will next week (if the 5 people rule is still in place) set up two very distinct and distanced groups of 5. We would ask when someone new arrives, those who arrived first would leave and allow others to join. With that being said, please feel free to stagger your arrival, and be prepared to wait on the side walk for people to finish a converation and move on to allow you a seat. We will work hard to provide as much shade as possible.
And most important - we love to see you!
Next Priest on the Lawn will be Monday June 8th, 10:30 am - Noon.
The priests and the wardens are very busy looking at all aspects of regathering and reentry into using our church space. With that said, here are few of the things we are working on...
1. Stocking up on handsantizier and all cleaning and safety protocols for entry and presence in the church.
2. Purchasing equipment that will allow us to record services every Sunday on-going. Finding people who know how to use such equipment and edit and upload. Learning how do worship in new ways to accomodate this new aspect of the gathered community.
3. Figuring out how will gather at a safe distance in the sanctuary. We had already started talking about chairs in the sanctuary, replacing the pews. The wardens will be sharing a detailed proposal with the parish soon, which will make our regathering safer and more comfortable.
4. Our regular June Financial Update will also be coming out in the next week. When the wardens gather weekly, they don't just look at current financial issues, but look at the short and long term implications of our finances going foward. This means for the fall, for 2021 and for the next two to three years. Our goal is to keep you regularly updated on where we are, what we need and what decisions we are considering to adapt to the changes that are inevitable.
Your prayers for your church leaders are truly and deeply appreciated during this time. We want to seek God's wisdom and discernment for all we do. Thank you!!