COVID-19 update — Dec. 13, 2020 to Jan. 11, 2021

December 11, 2020

As a result of the latest restrictions put in place by the provincial government, the following motion was passed by your Church Council using an email vote. A great deal of thought and input went into this decision as we weighed issues of safety, need for community, nurturing our spiritual needs, being responsible members of society and balancing the various ways we show care to each other. Our hope is that this four-week period will begin to form the basis for greater healing, leading us once again to come together later in 2021. Christmas 2021 will be a magnificent celebration!

If you have any questions, please talk to any member of council or contact me at 780-974-4167 or rwmcphee@icloud.com. Thank you. Rob McPhee

MOTION: That Council approve the following actions for Mill Woods United Church during the period of December 13, 2020 to January 11, 2021, as part of our overall efforts to respect government and health directives related to COVID-19:

  • Sunday morning in-building worship will be discontinued.
  • Livestreamed worship each Sunday will continue with a minimal number of people in the church required to make this happen.
  • Christmas Eve: The 4:30 pm outdoor gathering will be postponed until December 2021 and the 7:00 pm Family service will be a livestreamed service only.
  • Children’s program resources will continue to be sent to families with young children on a weekly basis.
  • Food Bank pick-up on Tuesdays and Bread Run programming on Saturday morning will continue using strict protocols presently in place.
  • Our Clothing Bank will be closed for this period of time.
  • There will be no in-building Council meetings, choir practices, committee meetings, study groups, social events, or non-essential maintenance planned for this period of time.
  • There will be no be no rental and outside group programming in the building during time.
  • Our staff will work from home except where a physical presence for operational effectiveness, as determined by Council, is required.
  • Everyone is asked to refrain from going into the church building except for essential needs and services. In all cases, please contact the church at 780-463-2202 prior to arriving to ensure staff is in the building to assist you.
  • Those entering the church building will be required to sign in, wear a protective face covering, maintain a physical distance of two meters, and sanitize hands upon entering and leaving.

The following guiding principles and provincial guidelines were used to create the motion above:

Guiding principles

  • Throughout this entire pandemic the following key considerations have directed all our actions.
  • 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

Relevant Provincial Guidelines Effective December 13, 2020

  • Working from home is mandatory unless the employer requires a physical presence for operational effectiveness.
  • Masks are mandatory in all indoor public places and workplaces (December 8, 2020)
  • Faith services limited to 15 percent of fire code occupancy for in-person attendance. (Occupancy capacity of our building is 281 people – 15 percent is 42 people.)
    • Physical distancing between households must be maintained
    • Masks are mandatory
    • Group performance activities, such as choir singing and playing music, are permitted if they are normal worship practices and not for the purpose of entertainment. Performers must wear masks at all times.
  • All indoor and outdoor social gatherings are prohibited (December 8, 2020)