Returning to Church

Your Official Board has consulted with The United Church of Canada and local health authorities and developed a plan to return to in-person worship in September.  We are writing to you to lay out the safety precautions we will put in place to protect those people who wish to return to in-person worship.  We urge you to consider carefully and weigh the risks to yourself and your family before returning to church. For those who are at risk, on-line worship will continue.

How it will work

  • Each Sunday there will be one in-person worship and one on-line worship service.  These services will alternate between the two churches with in-person worship occurring at one church in its regular time slot and on-line worship occurring in the alternate time slot.  We will begin in-person worship at Tottenham United on September 13th, and worship at Rich Hill the following week. A schedule is attached.

Coming to Church 

  • If you feel ill, please do not come to church.
  • You must wear a mask.  There will be a supply of masks available.
  • We will sanitize door handles and commonly touched surfaces before and after worship. 
  • Although there will be music, there will be no congregational singing.  
  • Offering will be collected in a box located at the rear of the church.
  • Pews will be marked so that people can adequately social distance.  Just for fun, we can return to the old tradition of each family claiming a pew and putting their name on it!
  • Everyone will be asked to “sign-in” when they arrive in the event someone becomes ill and we have to do contact tracing.
  • There will be no refreshments after the service
  • Please do not shake hands or hug.
  • Please refrain from using the washrooms unless absolutely necessary. 

On-Line Worship

  • On-line worship using Zoom will continue.  We are working on recording the in-person services so you can view them at home.  If you would like a paper copy of the service sent to you in advance, please contact the church at 905-936-3091 and leave a message.

Sunday School

  • For the time being, there will be no Sunday School.  Our teachers are working on ways to keep our kids connected and learn Jesus’ message from home.  Kids are always welcome at in-person worship, however, the activity table will not be available.  There will be activity packages to use and take home.   

Meetings and Gatherings

  • Committee meetings will continue on-line
  • In-person gatherings will be determined on a case-by-case basis in consultation with the Official Board.  For example, if the UCW wishes to have an in-person gathering, they should first advise the Official Board and adhere to the guidelines set out in its COVID19 Policy.  

Fundraising Events

  • All fundraising events have been cancelled for the time being.  That means our resources are quite limited.  Your financial support for our ministry is very much appreciated.  
  • We are working on publishing a book of wisdom writings from our members as a fundraiser.  If you have written poems, hymn lyrics, a short story, or would like to share some pictures or drawings, please consider submitting them for publication to [email protected] or drop them off at TUC.  Submit as much material as you wish.  All submissions must be original works to avoid copyright issues. 

Though these precautions may seem alien to how we have always worshipped, it is important that we care for the most vulnerable among us.  We will keep a close eye on the situation and changes are likely as new information becomes available.  In the event of a spike in COVID19 cases, we may have to cancel in-person worship, or expand programming as the situation improves.

God is calling us to a new thing.  It is difficult to see clearly what that is right now, but there is ample evidence in our sacred story that it will be something good.  Have faith.  Care for each other.  Love God.

In Faith, 

Your Official Board

Craig Laing, Chair 

Ruth Stanford, Secretary

Pat Abernethy, Treasurer

Jennifer Gilbert, Congregational Life Chair

Kim Bodnar, Sunday School Co-Ordinator

Anne Skeates, Ministry & Personnel Chair

Lynda Hastings, RH UCW

Velma Wace, TUC UCW