Reopening Guidelines

Important Note

Before signing up for an in-person service at the bottom of this page, please take the time to read through the details below.

While we are making every effort to minimize risk, we realize that we cannot remove risk entirely. Please note that if you choose to attend an in-person service, you do so at your own risk.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don't hesitate to reach out to the church office.

Public Health Guidelines

Our leadership team has been working closely with Waterloo's Public Health Department to ensure that we are taking the necessary steps and precautions to keep our congregants and community safe as we begin to reopen our church. As Waterloo does not yet have specific reopening guidelines in place for churches, they have recommended that we follow the guidelines that have been laid out by Toronto Public Health at this time.

While we have outlined the specifics of what we are planning to do below, we encourage you to read through the COVID-19 Guidance for Reopening Places of Worship document, as well.

Registration is Required

At this time, we are legally required to limit our in-person gatherings to a subset of our church's capacity. For this reason, we are only allowing 150 attendees to register for each in-person service. If a service is full, we encourage you to join our live stream, and to sign up for a later service instead.

Important Note: If you have not registered for a service, but show up in person anyway, you will not be granted entry.

Precautions / What to Expect

Below is a summary of what you can expect as part of our in-person services. Please also take the time to read the COVID-19 Guidance for Reopening Places of Worship document.

  • Those arriving by car will line up on the sidewalk at the back of the building by the glass doors.
    • Please ensure that you are maintaining a minimum distance of six feet from other families while lined up.
  • Those arriving on foot (including Woodland Terrace residents) will line up on the sidewalk at the front of the building by the glass doors.
    • Please ensure that you are maintaining a minimum distance of six feet from other families while lined up.
    • The hallway connecting the church building to Woodland Terrace will be closed and locked. Please do not attempt to enter or exit the church through the connecting hallway.
  • At the door, you will be greeted by one of our volunteers, who will ask for your name and confirm that you signed up ahead of time.
    • If you have not registered ahead of time, you will not be permitted entry.
  • Once inside, you will be directed to a sanctuary door, where you will find a hand sanitizing station that we encourage you to use.
    • Congregating in the foyer is not permitted.
  • Once in the sanctuary, you will be assigned a pew by one of our ushers.
    • Only every third pew will be open to maintain appropriate physical distancing.
    • Please do not engage in hugging, shaking hands, high fiving, or any other touch greeting with other attendees.
  • After the service, attendees will be dismissed one pew at a time to ensure physical distancing between those leaving.
    • When dismissed, you will be directed out of the building through the doors you originally entered.
    • Once again, congregating in the foyer is not permitted.

Frequently Asked Questions

If there are no seats left, can I still show up?

Unfortunately, no. We are legally required to limit our attendance to no more than 30% of our sanctuary's capacity at this time. If there is no space left for a particular service, we invite you to sign up for the next one, or to consider signing up for one of our Sunday evening services!

Will Sunday School/Children's Church be running, and will the Nursery be open?

At this time, only our service in the sanctuary will be running in person. We invite you and your children to join us online on Sundays for one of our Zoom Sunday School programs.

Our nursery, lounge, and children's church classrooms will not be open, so we ask that parents please be prepared to keep your children with you at all times during the service.

Are masks required?

As church leadership, we strongly recommend that you wear a mask as you enter and leave the building.  Once you are seated, you are free to remove your mask if necessary.

Who is considered at-risk?

  • Anyone over the age of 70
  • Those who have existing medical conditions
    • Asthma
    • Emphysema
    • Cancer
    • etc.
  • If you are taking drugs to suppress immunity for diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis

If you have any concerns about joining in person, we would encourage you to consult with your doctor.

Will restrooms be open?

Restrooms will be available, but we ask that they only be used in emergencies. If you do need to use the restroom, please ensure proper physical distancing within the bathroom facilities.

Will there be congregational singing?

Based on the guidelines provided by Public Health, there will be no congregational singing at this time.

Will the offering plate be passed around?

To limit touching of shared surfaces, the offering plate will not be passed around at this time. Instead, you may instead place your offering into the church office mail slot, or into an offering box that will be available in the foyer. We also continue to offer e-transfer as a giving method.

Registration Form

Once you have read all of the information above, you can sign up for our next service using the link below.

We would ask that you please only sign up for one service at a time to ensure that all those wishing to attend in-person have the opportunity to do so.

We also ask if you sign up, but end up being unable to attend the service, that you please let us know as soon as possible so that we can open up your spot(s) to others who may have missed out.

 

Note: Online registration for each week closes at 6pm on Saturday. Phone registration closes at 6pm on Friday.