Update on New COVID-19 Restrictions
On November 12, 2020, the Province of Alberta announced a series of targeted restrictions aimed at curbing the rise of COVID-19 cases in the province. The Town of Cochrane had already, earlier in the week, activated its mandatory masking bylaw. How do these affect Grace Church?
In brief, we are still able to hold our weekly public worship service at Frank Wills Hall, each Sunday at 10 AM, and aside from masks the new guidelines do not yet appear to affect us much. Other than having now to wear masks, there are no new restrictions on our Children's Sunday School ministry or other discipleship activities such as our Men's and Women's studies or baptism and membership classes, and so these will continue.
The most significant change is the mandatory mask bylaw already mentioned, which applies to all public indoor spaces, and to public events held in private spaces such as Frank Wills Hall. Accordingly, until the Town gives further notice, those attending our Sunday services, children's Sunday School, and weeknight Youth, Men's, and Women's studies will need to wear a mask (unless they are under 5 years old or prevented by a medical condition).
The province announced a limit of 1/3 of facility capacity on religious services in regions affected by the enhanced measures (that is, places where COVID case counts are above 50 per 100,000 people--so, if they are purple on this map). At time of writing, Cochrane is just below that threshold, but was over it earlier in the week. We are closely monitoring our attendance, but given the large capacity of Frank Wills Hall, our regular attendance has not yet risen to a point where we would need to make changes. So, the cap on religious gatherings does not appear to affect us at this time.
In a letter further explaining the new enhanced measures sent to faith communities by Dr. Deena Hinshaw yesterday, singing in religious services was neither prohibited nor grouped in with the new enhanced measures regarding "group singing" or "performances." In light of that letter, we will continue to sing in our worship services.
Sunday School and weeknight studies
Other than having now to wear masks, there are no new restrictions on our Children's Sunday School ministry or other discipleship activities such as our Men's and Women's studies or baptism and membership classes, and so these will continue.
Please remain careful!
While we're thankful we're still able to worship in person, we also must remind any who are feeling sick, especially those having cold/flu-like symptoms to remain home. Therefore, we continue to stream the service via Zoom, for the benefit of those who are not yet able to join us in person. Please contact us to join the Zoom stream.
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