Calvary's Regathering Plan


June 12, 2020 (Updated July 9, 2020)

Earlier this week, Ontario released the exciting news that places of worship can gather again, as soon as this weekend! We are allowed to reopen our buildings at 30% capacity, as long as we follow proper social distancing protocols. We have been prayerfully forming tentative plans for awhile now, and many of you have already received notice of our plans to regather. With the news this week, we want to update you on our next steps.

With the permission to gather at 30% capacity, we will be able to jump directly to what we called “Stage 3” of our plans. What this means is that each Sunday, we will hold closed services at Main St., by invitation only. We will then invite our small groups, one or two at a time, on a rotational basis, to worship on-site. By holding services at both our usual 9:00 and 11:00 times, we will be able to host at least 2-3 groups every week. There is also a waiting list for anyone else who wants to come each week. We will do our best to follow all the best practices and advice from health agencies. This will include cleaning and sanitizing between services, having hand sanitizer readily available, strongly recommending mask usage, using separate entrances and exits, and always maintaining a 2m distance between people.

In order to organize things properly, when we invite you, we will be asking for a fairly prompt RSVP. So if you are in a small group, stay tuned for these details. We also ask that if you are sick at all: please stay home. If you are particularly vulnerable to catching Covid-19 or developing serious complications from it, please use your good judgment on whether or not to attend.

For those not invited each week, you can sign up on the waiting list here. If you are not yet comfortable, we encourage you to continue to worship from home, following along with the livestreamed service at 9:00. However, as of this weekend, social gatherings of up to 10 people are also permitted. So, (only if you are comfortable and able) we encourage you to gather together with others from church to worship together in your homes. Invite a couple friends or people from your small group. (Note that social distancing still applies here) If you do not have personal connections at Calvary yet, or would like us to connect you with someone for the purpose of worshipping together, we are happy to do so. Please let us know.

Again, we know there will be differences of opinions within our church family regarding the resumption of in-person ministry activities. Some will feel we are being too cautious. Others will feel that we are not being cautious enough. So we ask for your grace and understanding, and we appeal to you to seek unity and love, in the midst of our differences. (Some very good advice on this can be read here or here) If you feel we are being too cautious, we ask that you still honour the health directives we’ve been given, in order to love and honour your brothers and sisters. And on the other hand, if you are not ready or comfortable to return in-person yet, we understand and will not pressure you to be here. "So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding… We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves." (Romans 14:19, 15:1)

We seek to answer a number of questions below, but if you have a question that is not addressed, please don’t hesitate to ask!

In Christ,

Your pastors and elders

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FAQs

What time should I arrive and depart?

If you are invited to the 9:00 service, you are invited to come anytime after 8:00. For the sake of cleaning and maintaining the right numbers, we do ask that you leave the church premises by 10:30. (As you leave, you will be asked to exit by the Evelyn Ave. doors) For those invited to the 11:00 service, please arrive anytime after 10:40, and depart by 12:30.

 

Can I choose which service (9:00 or 11:00) to attend?

Unfortunately, not at this time. We need to keep attendance under the 30% capacity, which is why we are making things by-invite only. When your group is scheduled for a specific service, we ask that you attend that service, even if it’s a little early or late for your liking.

 

Will there be nursery or children’s ministry?

For the time being, no. Nursery care is actually prohibited, and ministry for older children would prove overly prohibitive at this time. All children are welcome and invited to sit with their family during the service. Parents, feel free to bring books, colouring supplies, or other quiet activities for your young children. We will not look down on any noisy children during this time!

 

Do I need to wear a mask?

Yes. Ottawa Public Health has made mask use mandatory for indoor public places. So during any service times that are inside the facilities, we ask you to please wear a mask. Our staff and volunteers will be wearing masks. For the sake of others' consciences and health, and out of compassion for them, please wear one. Children under 2 years old and those medically unable to wear masks are exempt. See the full instructions from OPH here.


Are we allowed to use the washrooms?

We encourage everyone to use the washroom before leaving home, to cut down on the amount ours needs to be used. Our usual washrooms will be off-limits, and we will only have one open for emergency use only.

 

Will we be singing?

Indoor congregational singing is officially not permitted for now. Weather-permitting, we plan to take some of our singing outdoors! While indoors, we will still be using elements of musical worship. We will still have worship leaders who will help stir our hearts to pray and praise the Lord. Those at home will still be able to sing along, and those on-site will be encouraged to worship in other unique ways. If we are able to have some times to sing, we will be taking as many steps as we can to minimize risk. If you still do not feel safe during these possible singing times, you are welcome to sit at the back, abstain, move outside the room, or worship from home.

 

Will we celebrate the Lord’s Supper together?

Eventually, yes. Plans are in process for celebrating the Lord's Supper in a safe and acceptable way in the near future.

 

Is there anything else cancelled or on-hold?

Yes, there will be no official greeting times in-service, as we are not allowed to give handshakes, hugs, or kisses. There will also be no usage of the kitchen or café areas downstairs.

 

I’m elderly, immunocompromised, or otherwise vulnerable to contracting Covid-19. But I still want to attend. May I?

Yes, you may, but please understand that you attend at your own risk. If you do indeed want to come, we would highly encourage using masks or other personal protective equipment, limiting contact with any potentially infected surfaces, and sitting at the very back of room.

 

I’m feeling a bit under the weather. Am I healthy enough to come?

According to the health guidelines we have received, anyone who is sick or has signs of illness (e.g. fever, coughing, sneezing, runny nose, tiredness, shortness of breath) should self-isolate. If you attend and exhibit symptoms of illness, you will be asked to leave.

 

How do I know if my small group is invited on a given week?

Watch your email. You will receive an email from your group leader, asking you to respond to the invitation. In order to help us with planning, please RSVP as promptly as possible. It should take you less than 30 seconds to do so.

 

I’m not in a small group; how can I get invited to the services?

The easy answer? Get into a group! You can sign up for one here. But we also have a waiting list each week for anyone else who wants to join. There is usually extra space!

 

I’m in multiple small groups; when should I attend?

If you are on a small group roster, you should receive an invitation every time your group is invited. You are more than welcome to attend every time you receive an invitation, even from multiple groups. On the other hand, you may consider choosing which group you want to attend with, and declining the invitation at other times to leave space open for others to join.

 

If I’m invited to the service, can I bring a guest?

It’s very possible. Please let us know when you RSVP, and we will do our best to accommodate these requests.

 

Will the current online ministries continue?

Yes, many of our small groups will continue to meet via Zoom for the time being. The daily prayer times will continue 6 days/week (Monday-Saturday, not on Sunday). We will still be having weekly book readings on Thursdays on Facebook. And we will, of course, continue to broadcast our service online each week. Now that we are able to start seeing one another in person, we will not have a post-service “Zoom Hangout” each Sunday.

 

How can I help?

We’re glad you asked! We will only be needing a small crew of servants every week—most notably from the worship, tech, and security teams. If you are on one of these service teams, we would be very thankful for your help as you are able. If you want to join one of those teams, let us know. Also, we will need a cleaning team each Sunday. If you are willing to help with this, please let us know. We plan to ask for volunteers through our small groups as well. But if you are serving, there is a perk: You get to attend worship, even if your small group is not scheduled!

COvid-19 Response

In light of the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, we encourage you to consider the following:

Do Not Be Afraid

  • The Lord is our Shepherd, and he is in control.
  • God is with us (even in isolation).

Exercise Wisdom and Prudence

  • Please stay home as much as possible. We will not be having in-person gatherings for the immediate future.

Love One Another and Love Your Neighbour

  • If you are healthy, consider how you might help serve those affected by the virus.
  • If you are sick, consider how you might best love others.

Pray and Worship Faithfully

  • We will be livestreaming our services on our Facebook page at 9:00 every Sunday. (Also available here on our website)
  • Our weekly Small Groups will be meeting via Zoom video calls at their regularly scheduled times. Please contact your small group leader for info. If you want to join one of these groups, sign up here.
  • As causes of anxiety increase, so does the need for prayer. We will be hosting a live prayer meeting daily on Zoom and Facebook live. Please join us!

If you are in need of care due to COVID-19, please email calvary@calvarybaptistchurch.ca.

If you desire to care for the needs of members of Calvary and those in our community, but you are not certain who or how to help, please contact Pastor Matt or Pastor Kenny and they can direct you.