~ Message from Senior Pastor
The pandemic has brought upon us an unprecedented time when Church physical worship came to a halt. As we get adjusted to online worship, I deeply believe that, just like me, you have this kindling desire in your heart to return to Church and worship together. Such is the desperate longing and fervent joy expressed by the poet in Psalms for communal worship:
I rejoiced with those who said to me, “Let us go to the house of the Lord.” (Ps.122:1)
The pandemic has also made us rethink the true meaning of communal worship:
• Communal worship is a manifestation that we all belong to the body of Christ. We gather to show our care for each other, pray for each other, or simply reach out with a smile to express our deep bonding.
• Communal worship is a manifestation that we all belong to our master Sheppard. We are His sheep, and we hear His voice and follow Him together.
• Communal worship is a manifestation that we all belong to the family of God. Like any family, we are closely bonded with each other and staying close to each other.
When we worship together, we can experience the presence of God among us and manifest our belonging in Christ.
At this point, our Church is set to restart worship service by phases and welcome you to rejoin our in-person worship. The Church COVID-19 Steering Committee is making cautious and detailed arrangements, in accordance with guidelines from the Public Health Department. We want to ensure that the worship venue and all worship goers adhere to the health standards without jeopardizing anyone’s health and safety.
Considering the current pandemic situation, we have to regrettably say that we are still far from the day of worshipping as a whole congregation. We will move toward that goal step-by-step while continuing to offer online worship.
I would ask that you read through the reopening guidelines and with a prayerful heart, and seriously consider if you would opt for rejoining or serving at in-person worship. If you decide to stay home for worship, please pray for the Church in the same way that the Psalmist did:
For the sake of the house of the LORD our God,I will seek your prosperity. Ps. 122:8-9
Rev. Dr. Matthew Chiu
SCAC Worship Re-Opening Guidelines
I. Before You Come…
Should I Attend?
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, chills, cough, trouble breathing, sore throat, trouble swallowing, runny or stuff nose, decrease or loss of taste or smell, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, pink eye, headache, very tired, sore muscles or joints); if someone in your household have one or more of the above symptoms and/or are waiting for test result after experiencing symptoms; if you have been notified as a close contact of someone with COVID-19 or been told to stay home and self-isolate; travelled internationally in the last 14 days, please join our online worship and seek medical help as needed.
Capacity and Registration
In order to help us adhere to the capacity limit and maintaining the 6 feet distancing requirement, you will need to register ahead. If you register online, you will receive a ticket by email. If you do not have online access, please call church office for a ticket number.
Before You Leave Home
- To conduct a self assessment. If you have above symptoms of COVID-19, travelled internationally in the last 14 days, or close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19, please stay home and join our worship online. Please seek medical help as needed.
- To bring your face covering. Anyone who attends worship at SCAC will be required to wear face covering.
- To bring your ticket or a small paper with your name and ticket number, for contact tracing in case Toronto Public Health requires.
- To visit washroom before leaving home. With social distancing, the washroom useable facilities are reduced. It is no fun to line up for the washroom.
As we will likely need a bit more time to enter the building, please arrive 20 minutes earlier.
II. When You Get Here…
With reduced seating capacity, our parking lot will be far less full. Please leave one full space in between your vehicle and the next vehicle, to help us maintain social distancing in the parking lot as we arrive and leave.
Please put on face covering prior to exiting your vehicle and proceed to the Main Entrance. The use of a single entrance allows us to check in all those who enter the building. Outside the building, people may start lining up to enter. Please adhere to social distancing guidelines and remain at least 6 feet from others wherever possible. Our Welcome Team will give you a quick squirt of hand sanitizer. If you have skin sensitivities, please bring you own sanitizing product. You will then be asked to drop off your ticket or the small paper with your name and ticket number in a designated box. We will check your temperature while you proceed to the foyer area.
III. Once You Finish Checking In…
Entering the Sanctuary
Once you are in the foyer, ushers will direct you to the available entrances to the sanctuary and available seats. We will seat from the front of the sanctuary towards the back as people come in. We have marked off every other row to maintain distance between each worshipper. Inside the row itself, feel free to sit with your family but leave 3 seats between you and the next family or worshipper.
You are welcomed to sing or hum along, as Public Health has given us permission to sing in worship with face covering on and social distancing. Pastor will be preaching behind clear plastic shields and will not be wearing masks. On the day of Holy Communion, church elders will give out individual set upon entering the sanctuary. We will no longer pass offering bags during the service. Please give your offering by mail or e-Transfer. Secure offering boxes will also be available for you to use on your way entering the sanctuary (main campus only).
Personal Hygiene and Sanitizing Practices
We have been working hard to sanitize washroom and all high touch areas. There will be hand sanitization stations across our building so that you can sanitize your hands regularly. After service, we will have a cleaning team to sanitize the sanctuary, meeting place and public areas.
IV. When you leave…
To maintain social distancing, we will have a new protocol for leaving the sanctuary. The sanctuary is divided into zones. Specific exit is assigned for each zone. The Chairperson will provide instructions at the end of the service and our ushers will be there to facilitate a socially distant exit.
What if someone takes off their face coverings or isn’t following social distancing protocols?
Kindly ask them to put their face covering back on or maintain proper distance. If they refuse to do so, please request assistance from our ushers or pastoral staff.
Are you sure I’ll be safe?
We can’t guarantee that you’ll be safe. We can only guarantee that we have done more than what the government requires to keep you safe. Additionally, we will continue to provide online worship services for those who are not yet comfortable gathering in person.
What if you find out that someone who has attended a service has contracted COVID-19?
We will be transparent. For privacy reasons, we would not disclose the name of the individual(s) who has been diagnosed, but we will inform you that someone has tested positive. The information collected during the registration will allow us to directly contact every person/family that attended the service the COVID-19 patient attended.