New COVID-19 Restrictions over CHRISTMAS

New COVID-19 Restrictions over CHRISTMAS

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

On Mon. Dec. 13th the provincial government announced that due to the arrival of the COVID-19 omicron variant and the current epidemiology in Nova Scotia, there would be a necessitated return to provincewide restrictions. (These restrictions were communicated to faith groups later in the day via an email from Dr. Strang’s office)

These new restrictions will come into effect on Fri. Dec. 17th @ 9:00 a.m. and among the key restrictions that will impact our life and worship here at Calvin are the following:

A return to a physical distance requirement (as in phase 4) of 6 feet between individuals or between groups of no more than 20 people from the same household or pre-established close social group (bubble group).

  • A return to a gathering limit of 50% of the sanctuary’s indoor capacity to a maximum of 150 people. (50% of capacity at Calvin would normally be about 110 people. However, when the sanctuary’s size and social distancing requirements are taken into account that Session anticipates the actual number to be closer to 75)
  • Masks must remain on throughout worship services except for officiants and/or designated speakers or singers when they are speaking or singing.
  • Due to the highly infectious nature of the Omicron variant it is strongly recommended that there not be congregational singing at this time. If members of the congregation do sing they are required to remain masked.

Proof of vaccination is NOT required in order to attend regular Sunday worship services, or our Christmas Eve service.

  • This can be done using our online seating request forms (look for them to arrive weekly via email) or by calling the church office (902-455-7435)
  • If there are others you would feel comfortable sitting with as a bubble group, we would ask you to please contact those persons directly and to place one seating request form for your group. (By doing so, it can help us to better monitor our seating capacity as requests are being filled to make sure there’s as much room as possible for people.)

Proof of Double Vaccination: Proof of double vaccination is NOT required to attend a regular Sunday morning worship service.

Sunday School: For those attending with children – children’s programming WILL continue during Sunday morning worship services, with children being asked to continue to go directly downstairs to Sunday School upon their arrival at church Sunday mornings. (Parents may pick them up downstairs following the service.)

Seating: Sanctuary pews will once again be marked to ensure physical distancing between individuals who are not of the same household or bubble group. (***Please note that seating will be at either end, or every second pew as marked.)

Masks: Masks remain mandatory for those in attendance, but can be removed by those designated singers and worship leaders when speaking/singing.

Singing: Although social distancing requirements will prohibit the choir from taking part in worship as a group, music in worship will continue to be led by 1 or 2 designated singers. Though congregational singing is discouraged, we would ask anyone who does sing to please do so quietly. (you may also simply hum along should you choose)

Service Streaming & Recording: For those who are perhaps unable, or who feel uncomfortable attending in-person worship at this time, we will:

  • Now offer live-streaming of our worship service each Sunday morning at 11:00 a.m. through our congregational Facebook page. This will allow you to watch the full service, in its entirety, as it happens. (Our hope is to begin live streaming service beginning this Sun. Dec. 19. Please watch for a link to our Facebook page later in the week to help you navigate your way there later it the week.)
  • We will continue to offer edited recordings of our service later in the day through our congregational website.
  • SO WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR COMING TO CALVIN?

    The Session met on the evening of Mon. Dec. 13th, and in light of these new restrictions the Session would invite you please take note of the following changes we’re having to make moving forward at this time:

    Worship Times: We will continue to hold only 1 in-person service of worship each Sunday morning @ 11:00 a.m.

    Pre-booking Seating: In light of the social distancing requirement, and in attempt to make room for as many people as possible to take part in worship, those wishing to attend will once again be asked to pre-book their seats (and to pre-register any children that will be attending) prior to the service.

WHAT ABOUT CHRISTMAS EVE?

Worship Time: We will still be holding an in-person Christmas Eve Service on Fri. Dec. 24th at 7:00 p.m.

Pre-booking Seating: In light of the social distancing requirements, and in attempt to make room for as many people as possible to take part in worship, those wishing to attend will be asked to pre-book their seats prior to the service. This can be done using special online seating request forms (look for them to arrive later this week via email) or by calling the church office (902-455-7435)

Proof of Double Vaccination: Proof of double vaccination is NOT required to attend our in-person Christmas Eve service.

Service Streaming & Recording: For those not attending in-person, our Christmas Eve service will be live-streamed through our Facebook page, with a recording of the service remaining available there for those hoping to watch later.

We realize this is a difficult time of the year to be trying to adjust to new restrictions, and that this can feel like a step ‘backwards’. However, the Session appreciates your patience and your prayerful support as we seek to find our way forward through this season of celebrating Christ’s coming together.
Peace,
Rev. Michael Koslowski
Calvin Presbyterian Church