Changes for September 1, 2021

Mill Woods United Church: Updated Pandemic Response for September 1, 2021

As has been the case throughout the entire pandemic, the health and safety of all those entering our church building has been a priority. As we move into a new church year this September, this continues to be the case.

At the same time, and with access to vaccinations readily available, we want to do whatever possible to bring people back into the church building for worship, programming, rentals, and outreach work.

To meet these two overall goals the following motion was passed by Council at an extraordinary meeting on August 23:

Motion: That as of September 1, 2021, the following statements guide our actions:

  1. Mill Woods United Church believes that having people double vaccinated is vital to both the overall safety and health of our church community and to making people comfortable returning to the church building.
  2. Mill Woods United Church expects that those who enter the church building are double vaccinated, medically exempted from being vaccinated, or under the age of 12
  3. All people entering the church building will be required to sign in to attend worship, attend programming, receive services, or provide a service.
  4. Physically distanced seating will continue to be available on Sunday mornings for those who are not comfortable sitting as part of a close group. The seating plan may change from week to week as we monitor how attendees chose to sit and/or alter the setup each Sunday.
  5. Face coverings will be required; double-vaccination is expected; and social distancing opportunities will be provided (modified on August 31 to reflect City of Edmonton mask mandate of August 30, which is to be implemented on September 3rd)
  6. No services will be denied:
    • Online worship will continue for those not yet vaccinated
    • Meetings can be held using both inbuilding and Zoom formats
    • Church outreach services (The Food Bank, The Bread Run, or Clothing Bank) will continue with their current processes.
    • If our staff determine an individual exception needs to be made in any particular situation, that person will be required to wear a face covering and maintain physical distancing while in the building.
  7. These expectations will apply to worship, all rental groups, user groups, outreach work, and overall use of the building
  8. Council will review this on an ongoing basis.

Background:

  • This motion is based on the premise that Mill Woods United Church sees vaccinations as the best way for both the church and our community to return to a sense of normality and that it is important that we state this belief through both our words and our actions.
  • While we are aware that there are some who have chosen not to be vaccinated, the vast majority of those coming to the church building are either double vaccinated, exempt for medical reasons, or under the age of 12.
  • We want to provide all those entering the building the knowledge that we are doing everything possible to keep them heathy and safe. This is particularly important for families with young children who are presently not eligible for vaccinations, and those who have health issues.

Carried.