Yesterday the Ontario Government announced enhanced public health and workplace safety measures in the COVID-19 pandemic in effect for all of Ontario (Enhancing Public Health and Workplace Safety Measures in the Province-wide Shutdown, Jan. 12, 2021). The maximum allowance for indoor and outdoor gatherings for places of worship remains at 10 and masks must be worn both outdoors and indoors when not alone (see page 12).
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. The “stay-at-home” order requires each of us to review our practices and to work together. For those communities of faith producing live-stream or pre-recorded worship, we urge you to consider how you might further reduce the number of people gathering in church buildings. For all church employees and volunteers, we ask you to work remotely from home unless it is absolutely essential to be on site. (see page 8). Outreach and front-line ministries will continue to use the public health protocols that have been issued previously.
In this time of greater restriction please continue to practice self-care and to reach out and connect with others by phone or online. In Shining Waters Regional Council we have two upcoming opportunities to gather: with Ministry Personnel on January 19 at 10 AM; and with Lay Leaders on January 28 at 7 PM (emails with details and zoom links to follow closer to the dates in question). Regional Council staff are available for support and discernment.
We are in this together. We are holding you in our prayers. God is with us, we are not alone.