COVID-19 Update 9

Thursday May 14, 2020

The golfers are out on the fairways. My haircut guy called to say as long as I line-up outside and wear a mask I can get my locks cut. Some restaurants are opening at 50 percent capacity. A few more “non-essential” business’ have the go-ahead to open under limited conditions.
So, what does this mean for us at Mill Woods United Church? For worship? For outreach? For programming and meetings? For staff?
Well, we really don’t know.
Like many places, shutting things down at Mill Woods United Church had to be done quickly and a COVID-19 working group was established to take the lead. A big thank you for the fine work this group has done.
As of today, the guidelines that were established by our COVID-19 working group and which we have followed over the past two months are still in effect. We will:

  • Continue with online Sunday worship only, until at least August 31, 2020
  • Have staff in the building but ask that you only come to the church if absolutely necessary and phone ahead in those cases
  • Continue to have staff and volunteers available and reaching out to members of our church community
  • Ensure the necessary physical distancing, hand sanitizing, and building cleaning are in place for the health and safety of those required to enter the building.

At the same time, members of your Church Council and members of our various committees have begun conversations about what re-opening might look like at some point in the future. While there are many variables and uncertainties, it is important for us to look at all aspects of our church’s operation. Whatever our future brings, we want to be in the best position to do the very best we can.
Guiding our work will be documents from:

  • The Government of Alberta: Guidance for places of worship
  • The United Church of Canada: Safety considerations for re-opening during the pandemic
  • Mill Woods United Church COVID-19 working group: Weekly COVID-19 updates

As we move forward in this planning our key considerations will include:

  • Ensuring the health and safety of all staff, volunteers and members of our church community
  • Nurturing the spiritual needs of members of our church community
  • Continuing efforts to keep regular contacts and connections within our church community
  • Ensuring physical distancing and abiding by maximum group guidelines as established by government
  • Providing a safe and clean environment for whatever occurs within our building

As we work through this challenging work over the next few weeks and months, we will do our very best to keep you informed. A good understanding of what is happening has been important throughout this journey.
At the same time, we are asking for your assistance and ideas. The best decisions are made when we have the most input and information. Please let any one of our Church Council members know your thoughts and ideas. Or get back to me directly.
We have worked hard over many years to support and nurture each other. The challenges of today are unique, but ones we will move beyond together, as we create new beginnings for Mill Woods United Church.
Keep healthy and happy.
A Personal Thank you: Many of you are aware that I am presently dealing with a health concern. I am getting very good care and feel positive about the future. Earlier this week as I arrived home from my first treatment, floating above the chair in front of our house was a great Happy Face balloon and card from the congregation. Thank you for lifting my spirits and making me feel cared for.
Rob McPhee, Council Chairperson