May 18, 2021
The Building Re-Opening Committee (BRC) appointed by our Church Council at the outset of the pandemic has continued its work throughout the twists and turns of our uncertain environment. The Committee is focused on developing and ensuring that we are ready to implement as and when appropriate a plan for a safe, inclusive, creative and gradual re-opening of our church building and facilities.
We all share growing weariness and frustration and the increasing desire and sense of urgency for our spiritual and social well-being to be able once again to worship together and experience our rich diversity of programs in person at TEMC.
We can all be confident and take comfort that there is indeed “light at the end of the tunnel”, and that in the not too distant future, we will be able to gather together again. But as always, our paramount concern and priority is the safety and well-being of our congregation, clergy and staff.
While we must and will continue to be flexible and adaptable in our planning, we can confirm the following update:
- We will continue with pre-recorded online and radio broadcast worship services until at least Labour Day. As was the case with our successful summer program last year, we are fortunate once again to welcome excellent guest preachers for our summer worship services who are committed to working in our current virtual environment. Consistent with this, we will not have weddings with more than 10 people in the church during this period.
- We will continue to monitor closely public health requirements and guidance and the advice of the United Church of Canada, and we will continue to consult with other churches in our community. Our approach to summer worship services above is consistent with other churches’ plans.
- As we work towards a gradual re-opening of our church building, we are committed to being fully inclusive of our diverse, multi-generational congregation, recognizing for example the incremental approach to vaccination and the goal of “herd immunity” pursued by public health authorities. In the spirit of that inclusion, welcome and fairness that are central to our understanding of the life of the church, we will not be restricting attendance at church programs and in-person services based on vaccination status. All individuals, vaccinated or not, will be welcome.
- We will continue to explore creative ways to worship both in person and virtually as circumstances evolve, recognizing the extraordinary reach and benefit now afforded to many worshippers through our extensive online presence.
- We believe that we have demonstrated our faith and resilience as a congregation throughout the pandemic, and while we were thwarted by circumstances beyond our control as we started the re-opening process last fall, we know from that experience that we will - with patience and goodwill - get to the end of this public health crisis together.
Please reach out to any member of the Building Re-Opening Committee with any questions or ideas to email@example.com
The members are:
- Andrew Stirling
- Roger Rowan
- Chris Pinnington
- Elizabeth Greenshields
- Lorraine Diaz
- Michael Loo