Dear Emmanuel,

Here are the guidelines that pastor Don has mentioned in his video from May 25 (you can view this in the thought for the day archive, by clicking on the resources/thought for the day links (there are 4 main guidelines):

1. Meetings should be in groups of 50 or less people;

2. You should stay home if you are ill. We won't be taking people's temperatures, but would encourage you, like other places you would visit, to take appropriate steps to stay safe;

3. We will be asking people to practice Social/physical distancing – 6 ft where possible – or where not possible, to wear a mask;

To help with guideline #3, we would ask groups to use the following guidelines when meeting:

a. Washrooms will now be for single use only – there will be double-sided signs provided to help with this with the words occupied/vacant on them.  When you enter the washroom please turn the sign to 'occupied' and when you leave the washroom please turn to 'vacant'.

b. Please ensure that there is enough space between chairs (6ft/2 meters).

c. Use a room that works for your group (large enough to have proper distancing for the number of people in attendance) – realizing the need to clean high touch areas after. You will probably want to limit your group to one room where possible, to avoid having to clean multiple areas after your group is done.

d. Use an outdoor area where possible. Invite people to bring a lawn chair.

e. Small groups – one option is to use the church building where weather is unfavourable for meeting outdoors.  Please contact the church office to book a room if you would like to meet at the church. Of course, you are welcome to also use a home if the space is appropriate.

f. There will be no welcome cards. 

g. If there is the possibility of having over 50 people present – we will make arrangements to reserve spaces (e.g. a Sunday service).

h. Please avoid congregating at doors.

i. We will provide sanitizer when using the church building. There are several hand-sanitizing stations around the building.

j. In order to minimize touch points, those leading a group should leave the door/s open during event if possible.

4.       Cleaning of building – after each group – all high touch surfaces should be cleaned.

a.       Cleaning materials will be left in the kitchen for this purpose.

Unfortunately, there has not been as much detail as we would have hoped from local/provincial authorities. However, there is an expectation that we as a church would be creative to figure out how to do as much as we can while honoring the above principles. We want to give our ministry leaders the same freedom.

There will be some groups that might be harder to manage – e.g. age might present a challenge with children finding it harder to social distance.

Please try to create a digital option if possible, so people can join on-line if they cannot be there in person.

For any questions, please contact the church office.

We will be relying on each person to do what they can to ensure smooth running of each ministry gathering.  We understand that some of our church family has unique situations that might limit their involvement of face to face gathering, even with the above measures in place.  Please do what is needed to ensure that you and your family are safe.

Please also be aware that while at the church building, there are neighbors, those passing by the parking lot, who will see us and notice how we interact. Let's be a good, positive witness in light of that.

We realize that there will be different views among each person and family who attends Emmanuel – there may be health issues and various situations that will influence this. Above all things, we would ask that we would show grace to each other.

We will be making some announcements soon regarding what summer ministry might look like. We think there are some creative ways we can do this. Keep watching and listening for more information.

In Christ

Pastor Don,

On behalf of the staff and board of Emmanuel