Dear Friends and Family of Erin Mills United Church,
EMUC has been closed since March as directed by the provincial government. An EMUC Ropening Committee was formed a few weeks ago to determine how and when the church may be reopened. The committee has provided an update of this important work.
Update from the EMUC Reopening Committee
The Reopening Committee is continuing to evaluate and monitor the Covid-19 pandemic situation and the provincial, regional, and United Church of Canada recommendations for reopening. Each church will ultimately have their own specific plan. The Reopening Committee meetings will be ongoing, occurring approximately once a week.
Leadership Circle and Opening the Doors to the Congregation
At the Leadership Circle meeting on June 16, 2020, the Reopening Committee presented a multi-phased plan for reopening the church. Each phase reopens to more users, and each phase requires definitive groundwork to make opening safe. The plan incorporates a risk/benefit analysis, potential protocols, and necessary steps prior to reopening to Tina and Kathi, small groups, rentals, and finally for worship services.
The Leadership Circle gave careful consideration to the Covid-19 health and safety concerns of all users, and made the decision that until we can be confident that it is safe to reopen the doore to our congregation, EMUC will continue the Zoom worship services through August.
Influencing factors for this decision include:
- majority of the congregation are at risk - vulnerable age and/or health groups
- our 30% room capacity plus distancing protocols would cap attendance at 45. How could we say, "You can come, but you can't"?
- we would need to wear masks during the service
- there would be no singing, no passing the peace, no hymn books or bibles
- there would be no kitchen use
- no fellowship/coffee hour after service
- Kathi is on vacation in July
For now, Zoom worship services still provide more than in-person worship does. Zoom gives us "face" time (i.e.,no masks!) where we can see and visit each other, pray together, hear Rev. Kathi's message, listen to and sing hymns, and sip on coffee - safely in our homes.
At the end of August/beginning of September, the Leadership Circle and the Reopening Committee will re-evaluate the situation and decision.
Other Groups Might Be Able to Use the Church Before We Do
It might be possible for some of the rental groups that use the church to return before we do, provided they meet criteria and follow protocols for safe use determined by the governments. the United Church of Canada, and the EMUC Reopening Committee. There are many issues to consider, including but not limited to the number of people and how the space will be used, entry protocols, cleaning protocols, and screening and contact tracing if needed for each individual group.
The Reopening Committee and Leadership Circle will work with the rental groups to ensure that everything is done in accordance with all governing bodies' guidelines and our own EMUC protocols. This might involve revisions of rental contrats and will be under discussion with each group individually. There is no set date for reopening to any group for now.
Please Stay Tuned...
The Reopening Committee is working hard to ensure that we can reopen safely. We will continue to update you as things progress.
Our ministry staff coninues to work from home. We regularly monitor emails and phone messages left on the church answering machine. Tina will be in the building occasionally to check on things and do some administrative tasks. The Leadership Circle and key committees continue to meet virtually. Our benevolent activities continue so, if you are aware of a need in the community, please leave a message (905-820-9466) and we will respond to the best of our ability. If you require help with grocery or pharmacy shopping, contact us.
Sunday worship is being offered online. To receive the link for the service each week, "Join our Email List" found on this page. You will also receive the Friday Message and other key communication emails.
To make donations to operations, mission and service, the benevolent fund and the Deacon's Cupboard Food Bank, click the "Donate to our Mission" on this page which takes you to Canada Helps or you can mail a cheque to EMUC at 3010 The Collegeway, Mississauga, ON., L5L 4X9. Please mark the envelope "Attention Envelope Secretary".
Thank you to everyone for your support!
We are on this journey together. Through it all, remember that God is with us, closer than ever, and we will get through this together.
Stay safe! Practice physical distancing!
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