Hello North Peace Church Family, Pastor Andrew here. Wanted to take a couple of minutes and share where we are at as a church and some steps we are taking moving forward to begin holding in-person services.
When the province began to announce easing of restrictions we began to discuss with Northern Health how we could safely hold services again. After discussion with them we were told that we could hold services as long as 2 requirements were met:
- No more than 50 people were gathered in our building.
- We made room for people to social distance (be 2 metres apart in our services)
Now the reason that we want to begin holding in-person services again is, large gatherings are going to continued to be banned for quite some time - perhaps even another year. So we want to gather in smaller, safer groups to worship together, be challenged by God’s word together, and safely fellowship with one another.
Online services are great and we are very blessed to be able to livestream but it is not the same as the church body gathered in person. Now I think as we lay out what this will look like, we need to remember to show each other grace during this time. Our church gatherings will look different and that’s ok. Some of you will not want to meet in person and that’s ok. Some of you think we should have been meeting in-person all along and that’s ok. As followers of Jesus we want to be unified and show each other much grace.
So allow me real quick to share what we’ve done as far as safety precautions and then I’ll explain what our services will look like.
- We have marked out and taped off the pews in our sanctuary so that family groups can safely sit 2 metres apart.
- We will have hand sanitizer stations and make the building as clean and sanitized as possible each week.
- The front doors will be open only - that way we can keep track of how many people enter the building and it is a bigger entrance - so you can park in the back lot and then take a lovely stroll to the front entrance!
- There will be no kids zone programs downstairs - kids will be in the service sitting with their families. Emily, our children’s director, will provide colouring sheets each week and we are asking families to bring their own crayons or markers so we don’t have to sanitize them each week.
- No offering bags will be passed around - we will have a dropbox in the lobby or you can do e-transfers if you’d like to support the church.
- Still navigating what communion will look like moving forward.
- Obviously if you are feeling sick at all please stay home and watch the livestream from your house.
So starting June 7th we will have 4 services on a Sunday
- 8:00am, 9:45am, 11:30am, and a 6pm watch party (which I’ll explain in a moment)
- We will continue to livestream the 9:45am service on our website, YouTube and Facebook - for those who feel uncomfortable attending in person or if it is not your Sunday to attend
- We had almost 300 people respond to our survey so in order to fit everyone we had to divide it up based on last name. One Sunday, if your last name begins with A-J you will be able to attend in person and if not, you can watch the livestream from home. And then the next Sunday if your last name begins with K-Z you can attend in person and if not watch the livestream. So you will be able to attend an in-person service every other Sunday.
- We will post a schedule on our website and remind you each week if it is an A-J Sunday or a K-Z Sunday.
- Monday morning each week, registration will open for the upcoming Sunday’s services. We asked a number of people if they would rather pre-register and have a guaranteed spot in the service of just show up and hope they get in. Everyone said they would rather pre-register and know they have a seat in a service.
- So free tickets will be available on our website and Facebook for each of the services and then once a service fills up you will know there is no more room in that service and you can pick a different one. (so you might not get your preferred service each time) - if you or people you know don’t do internet, they can call the church office throughout the week to register for a service.
- The evening service will be a watch party. Meaning it will not be live worship or live preaching but a pre-recorded video of it. We have bought an 8 ft by 15 ft screen that will go at the very front of the stage and make it feel very life-like. The point of the evening service would be if you were unable to register for any of the morning services you still have an opportunity to come to the church and watch the service and fellowship with other people at 6pm.
- The evening service will be based on a first come-first serve basis. No registration required for the evening watch party.
So, a couple of things to help us make this process run as smoothly as possible:
- Please do not just “show up” on a Sunday hoping to get into a service. Register online through Facebook or our website just to make sure we do not exceed 50 people.
- Please only register for a service if it is the Sunday of your last name. If your last name begins with A-J and it is the Sunday for K-Z to attend, please stay home and watch the livestream.
- Please only come max 10 minutes before the service starts - so for example if your service is 9:45am please come at 9:35am. We want to make sure there is not a lot of crossover between services which puts us over 50 people in the building.
- Lastly, please show grace as we navigate this. This is not normal and it will take some time getting used to but it will become easier as we go along.
We will begin in-person services on June 7th, for last names beginning with A-J. Registration for those services will open up on June 1st. If you have any questions feel free to message us on our Facebook page or contact the church office.