The synod’s Task Force for the Resumption of In-Person Worship has been working since June, 2020. Our initial mandate was to provide resources to enable congregations to assess their own situation and to develop protocols so that they could safely resume worshiping in-person. For some congregations, that meant coming to the difficult decision not to resume in-person worship. For others, in-person worship resumed and then had to pause due to lockdowns in Quebec and Ontario. Public Health guidelines and regulations vary, not just provincially, but also by region.
Over the last 11 months, we have learned that we can worship by using Facebook, Zoom, podcasts, TV ministry and doing devotions provided to us either via email or in hard copy.
To support these various forms of worship, the task force gathered resources from rostered and lay leaders from across the synod. Liturgies and prayers were written, musical pieces shared and children’s activities provided. So many of us have been blessed by the use of these resources during our worship. Thank you to all those who have contributed these gifts to the wider synod community! Our worship has been greatly enriched.
As public health restrictions are now being loosened across the synod, each congregation must consider what does this mean for them. For some it will mean resuming in-person worship, for others, the waiting continues.
There is no right answer. We must all consider our ability to meet public health regulations and more importantly, ensure the wellbeing of all those who might attend worship in-person. We do this for the love of our neighbour. That is discipleship.
While we may not be able to worship as we would like, we are bound together as we lift up our prayers together in gratitude and hope.
Chair, Task Force for the Resumption of In-Person Worship.