Session Update – Nov 23, 2021

Session has been discussing the challenges in opening up our worship services to singing (which increases aerosol production) and balancing the safety of worshipers with this and open access to all. There are no easy answers, and certainly none that will suit all our members: some find our protocols restrictive, and others are not yet with us because they still do not feel safe coming. Session agreed to some changes last week. Notably, singing will begin this coming week, with the choir in their usual place, and the congregation singing at least two hymns in a service.

While we are all no doubt bursting to sing again with all our might, this unfortunately increases the production of aerosols. To increase protection of worshipers so that we can sing, we will be asking at the door for proof of double vaccination (provincial or federal vaccine card, or your vaccination record) or an official medical exemption certificate, plus photo ID – as would be required for attending a public concert. Having these readily at hand when approaching any of our entrances will make entering quicker. We also ask that people please sing in a normal voice, rather than loudly; and we strongly recommend that people wear masks suitable for singing: either a three-layered cloth mask (i.e., one with a middle filter layer) or a standard medical mask (like choir members will be wearing).

All other current protocols will remain in place for the time being, and any future changes in these will be announced in advance so that members can make informed decisions on attending. Should you have any questions about any of these changes, please speak to an elder. Please bear with us as we strive to make worship fulfilling, safe, and as normal as possible. Dr. Bonnie Henry’s encouragement to “be kind, be calm, be safe” reflects the list of the fruit of the Spirit, and one could imagine St. Paul encouraging us to exercise “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, selfcontrol” (Gal. 5:22-23) during these trying times – and against these there is no law (or regulation or protocol).