The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic has forced congregations to consider alternatives to in person meetings when holding annual and congregational meetings. Whether holding an in person meeting, an electronic meeting, or no meeting at all, this document outlines a number of guidelines and things to consider as congregations plan for those events. At the same time, it also does not pretend to be a “how-to”process of holding a congregational meeting; as each congregation has its own traditions and practices, there is no “one size fits all.”
An electronic meeting may also be referred to as an online, virtual, or e-meeting. A meeting that is held where members are present both in person and by electronic means is known as a hybrid meeting.
Our congregations exist in four provinces, and include those incorporated federally or provincially, and those not incorporated. In addition, each province has its own public health and governmental authorities related to pandemic and emergency situations. Each congregation needs to keep abreast of the pandemic regulations in its own region, so that, for example, it knows the limits for how many people may gather indoors/outdoors for a meeting, while at the same time keeping in mind the space needed for physical distancing (among a number of other factors to consider).