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Latest Update

Thursday, September 23, 2021

Recently The United Church of Canada General Council Office provided updated legal advice for Communities of Faith in Ontario. On September 22, 2021 the Ontario Vaccine policy will be implemented in Ontario. The passport policy does not apply to places of worship (places of worship are exempt), however, it may apply to your meeting and event spaces.

You can find more information here:

Update on Ontario Vaccine Passports and Mandatory Vaccination Policies – (PDF | 3 pages) September 22, 2021

Please direct specific regulation questions to your local public health unit for best advice.You can also reach out to your Regional Council Congregational Support Minister (Jody Maltby, jmaltby@united-church.ca) or Pastoral Relations Minister. ( Dale Hildebrand, dhildebrand@united-church.ca)


There have been some new developments and updates regarding Infectious Disease Emergency Leave (IDEL) and mandatory vaccinations for church employees.

In summary, IDEL, the temporary provision in the Ontario Employment Standards Act that allows for longer lay-offs and protects an employee’s job status while they are on a lay-off, has been extended to December 31, 2021. It was set to expire on September 25. This means that if you have an employee who was earlier placed on IDEL, that employee does not need to be returned to their job until December 31.

You can find more information here:

Infectious Disease Emergency Leave   (IDEL) Update – (PDF | 3 pages) September 22, 2021

The legal advice around mandatory vaccinations for employees has also been updated. In early summer, the legal advice then was that unless otherwise regulated by the government (e.g., health care workers), employers could run the risk of constructive dismissal if making vaccinations mandatory for their employees. The prevailing direction in Canada is now towards mandatory vaccinations in many workplaces.

The new advice is “not implementing mandatory vaccination policies in a workplace is now the riskier choice, since the obligation of employers to provide a safe workplace outweighs the chance of a human rights code violation or other infringement on the individual.”

You can find more information here:

Mandatory Vaccination Policy – (PDF | 1 page) September 22, 2021

If you are a Community of Faith looking for assistance, please contact Jody Maltby at jmaltby@united-chuch.ca.

If you are an M&P Committee looking for support, please contact Dale Hildebrand at dhildebrand@united-church.ca

Beyond the letter of the law, as people of faith, we are called to uphold the whole community and contribute wherever we can to well-being and safety. We are mindful of all the ways communities of faith have continued to be the church and we continue to hold all of you in our prayers.

Shining Waters Regional Council Staff



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Annual Meetings

Information and General Council updates about Annual Meetings

United in Learning Webinars

Previously recorded webinars on Covid Response 

United Church of Canada

Emergency funding, reopening, and more…

Jody Maltby headshot

Lead Staff

Jody Maltby, Staff Lead: Support to the Region and Communities for Faith, is the first point of contact for communities of faith.
Phone: 416-231-7680 | 1-800-268-3781 Ext. 6226


Employment Resources

Employment Guidance for Communities of Faith during COVID-19​ PLEASE READ THIS DOCUMENT FIRST Updated March 9, 2021

GCE Extends Temporary Amendment of ByLaws re: Pastoral Relations for urgent decisions related to call or appointment. Updated August 27, 2020  GCE web page for original decision Temporarily Amends Pastoral Relations Policies

Infectious Disease Emergency Leave (IDEL) Update – September 22, 2021 (PDF | 3 pages)

Mandatory Vaccination Policy Update – September 22, 2021 (PDF | 2 pages) Updated UCC legal guidance on the mandatory vaccination policy.

Vaccinations and Church Employees June 28, 2021 (PDF | 1 page)  Guidance on vaccination concerns when returning to in-person gatherings.

ADP United in Learning Webinar, 04.14.20 Slides from webinar.  

Lay Leaders Zoom Meeting April 14, 2020 View the recording of the information session with lay leadership in the region and Shining Waters Staff and General Secretary Nora Sanders. View past sessions on our YouTube channel. 

Employee and Family Assistance Program

Regional Staff

Dale Hildebrand, Pastoral Relations Minister
Phone: 416-231-7680 | 1-800-268-3781 Extension: 6261
Email: dhildebrand@united-church.ca
(South of HWY 407)

Todd McDonald, Pastoral Relations Minister
Phone: 416-231-7680 | 1-800-268-3781 Extension: 6235
Email: tmcdonald@united-church.ca
(North of HWY 407)




CEBA The Canadian Emergency Business Account (CEBA) program has been extended and all applicants now have until March 31, 2021 to apply. Remember these applications require regional approval.  Regional Staff contacts: Jody Maltby or Kim Uyede-Kai.  For more information: https://ceba-cuec.ca/

Vaccine Passports and Mandatory Vaccination Policies Updated September 22, 2021 (PDF | 2 pages) 

Considerations Before Making Financial Decisions Updated December 1, 2020. (PDF | 4 pages)

COVID-19 and Insurance: Frequently Asked Questions and Answers August 1, 2020 Information from Erik Mathiesen. (PDF | 3 pages)

CanadaHelps and The United Church United in Learning Webinar May 28, 2020

Regional Council Implementation of Temporary Change to Pastoral Relations Policies April 28, 2020 (PDF | 2 pages)

United Church of Canada Emergency Support  April 27, 2020 Information on denominational ways to bridge the financial strain on communities of faith and link to loan application form.

Governance in Congregations during COVID-19 April 16, 2020

Toronto United Church Council TUCC COVID-19 April Update includes the Investing in Ministry Fund, camping ministries, Innovative Ministry Centre, the Centre for Church Development and Leadership and property management information. April 13, 2020

Generosity in Unprecedented Times Practical, recommended, tools to invite an ongoing commitment from the Philantrhropy Unit, March 28, 2020. (PDF | 5 pages)

Governance during COVID-19 Pandemic, Shining Waters Regional Council, March 20, 2020. (PDF | 3 pages)

The United Church of Canada Emergency Plan Revised March 2020 – (PDF | 22 pages)

Regional Staff

Jody Maltby, Staff Lead: Support to the Region and Communities for Faith 
Phone: 416-231-7680 | 1-800-268-3781 Ext. 6226 
E-mail: jmaltby@united-church.ca

Pastoral Care


Ways Churches Can Offer Connection and Care During Social Distancing A resource to share from The Presbyterian Church in Canada, Summer 2020

Outline for a Zoom gathering at the time of death, shared by Karen Hilfman, April 28, 2020

Grieving and Remembering at Home, ideas from Susie Henderson, April 28, 2020

Moderator Asks to delay funerals March 24, 2020

6 Tips to Avoid “Zoom Fatigue” in the Age of COVID-19, by Leah D. Schade April 3, 2020

Talking with Children about COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Talking Points from Jeffrey Dale, Shining Waters Regional Council  March 20, 2020

How to Talk to Children About the Coronavirus Pandemic by Alan Wolfelt at the Center for Loss and Life Transition,  March 19, 2020

Things That Matter YouTube Channel by Diane Strickland

Pastoral Care for Grieving Families A Google Doc from our partner church in the U.S. The United Church of Christ

Responsive Prayer Model for On-Line Funeral Google Doc from the United Church of Christ


Reopening Buildings

Reopening: Shining Waters Regional Council

Reopening: Wider United Church Resources

Reopening: General Articles

Video Library


Regional Updates

SWRC Covid-19 Update – Vaccination Policies for Churches

As Ontario prepares to enter Phase 2 of reopening, ministry personnel and Communities of Faith naturally have questions about how to safely be together once again. One of the many concerns that has surfaced is whether Communities of Faith can require worshippers and staff to be vaccinated before returning to in-person gatherings.