Tag Archives: Covid

Reopening Onsite Children’s Programmes

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It’s the first day of September and many of our churches are scheduled to reopen for in-person worship services this month. This is raising a number of questions about in-person Sunday school and other children’s ministry programmes. There is so much to consider, especially as our children 12 years and under are not yet able to receive a vaccine against Covid-19, and as infections are once again on the rise.

Should we have in-person Sunday school? Should we stick with Zoom? Are there other options? What do we need to consider? And, how do we know what’s best?

Do you have questions like these?

Are you looking for a place to find some answers?

You are invited to join one of two Zoom gatherings next week to hear some helpful factors to consider as you make these important decisions.

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What Children and Their Families Have to Tell the Church About Their Pandemic Experiences and Church Reopening – Part 1

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What do the children have to say about their away-from-the-church-building experiences of Zoom Sunday school, online worship, and mid-week programming over the course of this past year and a half? 

What has been concerning them the most throughout the pandemic? 

And, what are they looking forward to when we return to our church buildings? 

We only have to ask!

And guess what? Some wonderful and caring people have already started the conversation for us. And, they have some very interesting things to share. 

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Reopening Church Buildings in Ontario – Step Three

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Friends, by now I am sure everyone is aware that we have moved to Step 3 of reopening in the province of Ontario. In terms of Places of Worship (and other religious rites) this is what is now permitted:

Religious services, rites or ceremonies, including wedding services and funeral services (does not apply to receptions): Indoor and outdoor permitted with capacity limited to permit physical distancing of 2 metres.

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Are You Losing Sleep Over Your Congregation’s Future?

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Covid-19 has been a very uncertain and challenging time for congregations, and it appears that for some their congregation’s health might be getting significantly more precarious.

First a little bit of history.

A year ago, when we were all trying to make sense of the pandemic, a sister denomination predicted that they would lose about 20% of their congregations as a consequence of Covid. I agreed at the time; it made sense to me given what I knew about the synod and its congregations. However, as the weeks turned into months, our congregations continued to survive. In fact they seemed to be doing okay. CERB and CEWS helped, as did special grants and gifts. For some congregations, reduced expenses also made a big difference along with a mild winter keeping utilities to a minimum.

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An Attitude of Gratitude

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Then Jesus asked, “Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?” (Luke 17:17, 18)

A few weeks ago I was standing in line at a convenience store. There were two registers open, one of which was the lottery terminal. By the number of tickets in his hand, the fellow behind me clearly had a significant lottery transaction to complete, so when that register opened, I invited him to go first. He thanked me and said; ‘that’s the first nice thing someone has done for me since Covid began.’ I hope he was exaggerating because it sure didn’t feel like much, but my greater fear was that he might have been right.

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Dear Churchgoers

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by Laura Stephens-Reed, Clergy and Congregational Coach, laurastephensreed.com

Reprinted with the permission of the author

I recently posted the thoughts below on my Facebook page. They seemed to strike a chord, so I’m offering them here as well. Lay leaders, judicatory and denominational leaders, and ministers working outside the congregational context, I urge you to share these reflections on behalf of those local church pastors who cannot.

Churchgoers, I know you are tired of this pandemic. I know you want to hug your friends and see their full, unmasked faces on Sunday mornings. I know you are frustrated when your fellow church members start attending services and programs in congregations that are taking fewer precautions. I know you are heartbroken that Advent and Christmas observances won’t look the same this year.

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