Dear Friends in Christ:
As you know, the Provincial Health Officer regularly announces health orders for services of worship in our province. We have protected ourselves and our neighbours during this time of a highly transmissable virus. Due to high vaccination rates and the care and caution of us all, we are now ready to move to different protocols throughout the province.
In his pastoral letter of Feb 16 Bishop John Stephens confirmed the removal of restrictions on gatherings:
We may once again gather for social and community events. Everyone must be vaccinated and must wear a face covering (unless when consuming food or drink while seated), but we may now proceed with some additional activities:
- coffee hour after church
- luncheons and suppers and receptions of all kinds
- meetings in person
- in-person prayer groups, Lenten studies, spiritual education, Bible study, etc.
- Ash Wednesday service
At St. Philip’s, this means the following:
- Vaccine passports and government identification must be presented by those 12 and older to the greeters before admission to worship or events. Please have them ready!
- Since we ask that all participants are vaccinated, there need be no capacity restrictions for worship.
- Masks are required for those five and over everywhere in our buildings, but may be temporarily removed for individuals leading the worship when speaking, reading or singing solo, or for all receiving Communion.
- We strongly encourage physical distancing between households at worship, and elsewhere in the building.
- Communion continues to be in one kind only with all communicants receiving the consecrated bread and the presiding priest consuming the consecrated wine on behalf of the entire community.
- Offertory plates are not to be passed amongst the congregation.
- We exchange the peace without any physical contact (except for those of the same household).
- Masking and physical distancing are required for all pastoral care visits, meetings, and appointments, including when visiting the church office.
- We offer live-streamed services on the website, as well as ZOOM access for some meetings, as desired
Yours in Christ,
-Rev. Lorne Manweiler, Rector