Dear Siblings in Ministry,
As anticipated, Premier Ford and the Medical Officer of Health have announced revised gathering limits for Places of Worship in Step Three of Ontario’s Roadmap to Reopen.
Effective Friday, July 16 at 12:01am, Places of Worship in the province of Ontario will be permitted to gather for the purposes of religious services, rites or ceremonies including wedding and funeral services at a capacity that permits physical distancing of 2 meters.
This means that the calculations communicated to you in Bishop Pryse’s pastoral letter last week no longer apply to Places of Worship in Step 3.
A comprehensive outline of all Step 3 regulations can be found HERE. (Details pertaining to Places of Worship can be found at the bottom of the document.)
It remains our strong counsel that congregations in the Eastern Synod should continue to practice good physical distancing protocols, wear a three-layer mask when indoors or when physical distancing is not possible outdoors, refrain from singing, and continue to limit social events such as coffee hours or potlucks where food is shared. When possible, outdoor visits on patios or front lawns are preferable. As always, please also refer to the most current public health directives which can be viewed at the links below.
Please know that the Task Force remains committed to providing updates as they become available. Worship Resources for mediated, hybrid or in-person gatherings continue to be added to our Resource Library. Likewise, the ELCIC Summer Sermon Series can be accessed HERE. Continued opportunities for discussion as part of our “Ok…What’s Next?” series will be announced shortly.
You remain in our prayers! Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if we can support you or those with whom you serve.
Peace to you as you continue to plan and prepare.