Christian Reformed Church of St. Albert
COVID-19 Information and Protocols
Dec 2020 Update: Alberta government has recommended worship services to be online only for the time being.
Thank you for your commitment to being a church family together through this pandemic period. As of December 8, 2020 the Alberta government has reduced the in-person services to a maximum of 15% of the building capacity and are recommending online-only services. Council has decided to do our part in reducing the spread of COVID-19 and will be moving back to online-only worship services until further notice (early 2021).
The notes below will be retained for those that need to be at the church to facilitate the online-only worhsip services, or for reference when we return to in-person services in 2021.
Our goal will continue to be to worship in a safe way. To this end we will be following the guidelines for worship assemblies as outlined by Alberta Health Services (AHS). This means that our worship has significant changes, at least for a while. We trust in your patience and understanding as a congregation during this time of transition. We are also thankful to the Lord for keeping us through this time, and trust in His wisdom and guidance as we move ahead.
Below are the guidelines we currently have in place for when we return to in-person worship.
1. We ask that you pre-register using our website (details below). This allows us to ensure that we do not exceed the safe limits of our capacity (current AHS guidelines allow us ___ people). Pre-registration also ensures a smooth and safe arrival into the sanctuary. If you are unable to register on-line beforehand, please call the church office during office hours to pre-register.
2. AHS identifies people who are at increased risk of serious health effects from Covid-19 as persons over 65 or those with pre-existing medical conditions. We are taking precautions to minimize the risk for all who attend, however we cannot eliminate that risk completely. If you or someone in your home is experiencing symptoms of Covid such as a fever, new onset of cough or worsening chronic cough, new or worsening shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, sore throat, runny nose (children exempt from this one) we ask that you not attend for 14 days. This is in compliance with AHS recommendations, and for the safety of all attendees. We will continue to provide on-line worship services for all who are not able to attend in person.
3. The use of non-medical nose and mouth coverings is mandatory for all who come to worship. We will have disposable masks available at the door if you have not brought one. In the interest and commitment to environmental responsibility, we encourage reusable cloth masks whenever possible. NOTE! Children are included in this requirement, except for children under 2 years old.
4. You will be welcomed at the door by an usher/greeter who will respond to any questions you might have. AHS requires that the host church ask all who enter a few questions about their health. Your name will be identified on our list of pre-registered attendees. We will need to ask for a primary phone number. This information will be held for two weeks. Health monitoring and contact tracing are an essential part of a successful relaunch. Please arrive at church in time to give us opportunity to work through the procedures so we can begin worship at 10.30. We also require that you practice social distancing while waiting for your turn to enter the building.
5. Hand sanitizers are available throughout the church. We ask that you clean your hands upon entering and exiting the building.
6. You will be escorted into the sanctuary by an usher and led to your seat. It is required that you maintain a two meter space between yourself and people who are not in your cohort or household. We will ensure that such a space is also maintained between the congregation and the worship team. Throughout your time at church, please refrain from handshakes, hugs, or any type of physical contact with those who are not in your ‘bubble’.
7. AHS mandates that we are not able to provide nursery ministry, so please keep your young ones with you. We will be making extra effort to engage our children in our worship times.
8. Congregational singing is strongly discouraged, unfortunately, since it has proven to be a primary way in which germs can spread. If you find a need to sing, you must be wearing a face mask. We invite you to use other means to engage in worship, i.e. humming, actions, mouthing the words, and clapping.
9. Offerings will be restricted to checks (no cash please) dropped into a basket at the conclusion of the service as you exit the sanctuary. We continue to encourage and appreciate your online giving (firstname.lastname@example.org).
10. Exiting the sanctuary will be done one row at a time to ensure a smooth exit and social distancing. The ushers will be available to help with this.
11. Following the service, we are asked to exit the building directly. Once outside, everyone is welcome to socialize with others, but with attention to the two meter distancing rule.
As we open and gather for in-person worship, we recognize that this is an unusual time, and our format for worship reflects this. Again, our goal is to enjoy worshiping our Lord as a community of faith together in a safe way. We realize that not everyone may be comfortable with a return to in-person worship just yet. This is completely understandable. As noted, we plan to continue our online worship ministry to accommodate any who are not able to join in person.
Here is how to pre-register for your attendance at a Sunday service:
2. Click on the box “Church Service at 10:30” under the Sunday date.
3. Fill in the appropriate information. Please use a primary email address that you access regularly. Providing up to date contact information is an important part of AHS re-opening strategy for places of worship, and is an integral part of contact tracing. The information will be deleted after two weeks. Please only register for your own immediate family.
4. If you are unable to register online, please contact Alex at the Church Office during office hours (Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 9am-2pm), or send an e-mail to email@example.com.
If you have any questions regarding our reopening protocol or your own circumstances as they relate to our re-opening and in-person worship, please contact Alex in the Church Office during office hours (Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday from 9am-2pm), or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your patience and understanding, and for your support and blessing over the past four months. May the Spirit of the Lord give us wisdom and guide us as we look ahead in faith to the future he has prepared for us as his church. And may the grace and peace be ours in abundance in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, (II Peter 1.2).
St. Albert CRC Council
With No Sunday School right now, we have a great Kids Zone set up in the sanctuary. This table is set up for kids to come and pick a few things to keep them involved during the service. Books, activity sheets, crayons, dancing rings, and memory verse cards.
All are welcome. Wiggle, giggles and all!