To the Byron Community Church Family
Greetings in the strong name of Jesus! Thank you for your ongoing prayer and financial support of Byron Community Church. Even in these unprecedented times, God is faithful and it is on Him that we rely.
On behalf of the Elders, Council and Staff I would like to bring you up to date on our plans for physically reintegrating our community and reopening our church building. As indicated in the online service a couple of weeks ago, we are looking toward using our facilities for weekly gatherings starting on September 13, 2020.
As you can imagine, this decision was not taken lightly. The Elders have been closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation throughout the summer months and met with Gillian Kernaghan, Elaine Thurgood, Pastor John and Pastor Josh a few weeks ago to talk through what reopening might look like for BCC. Since Gillian and Elaine are both on the frontlines of the COVID-19 efforts in London, their input is greatly appreciated. They agreed to create protocols for our community to keep us safe and within the legal requirements for reopening. A video of these protocols is available on our website, (click on COVID-19 Update on the home page) or you can request a copy from the church office. If you have not seen this video yet, you will want to check it out!
You may be aware of the Ontario government’s regulations surrounding churches and places of worship which state that we are permitted to have a maximum of 30% of our building’s capacity inside at any one time. This translates to 65 people for BCC.
To that end, we have instituted some interim rules that will need to be followed if you desire to join us in person:
· Registration is mandatory. To be fair to all, you will have to register each week for the following Sunday’s gathering. One person from each family or social circle can register for the whole group. Registration will be available online at byroncommunitychurch.com or by phoning the church office at 519.473.3210. Registration will be available from Monday morning until noon on Thursday.
· Face masks are mandatory. If you do not think you can wear a mask for 1 hour, please continue to participate using the online service.
· Seating will be assigned. So that we can maintain proper physical distancing, you and your family/social circle will be assigned seating in the auditorium.
· No Fellowship time or Hospitality. We will not be permitted to visit in the foyer before or after our gathering. When you enter the church, you will be met and shown to your seat by one of our ushers. At the end of our gathering, you will be dismissed by row. While the good weather continues, we encourage physically distanced parking lot visits.
· There will be no childcare or Sunday School. To mitigate risks, we have made the hard decision to not offer childcare or Sunday School during our gathering time. To that end, our gatherings will be child-friendly, with music, scripture reading, prayer time, a short devotional and other like features. The weekly service featuring the sermon will continue to be podcasted and available on the church’s YouTube channel.
· Building access is limited. When you come to the Sunday Gathering, you will enter and exit the church using the front doors only. Besides the auditorium the only other area open will be the main floor washrooms. If you use the washroom, please use the disinfectant wipes provided to clean any surfaces you have touched with your hands.
If you feel uncomfortable or just not ready to gather, please do not feel any pressure to attend! We encourage you and anyone with compromised health issues to continue to participate through our online service. If you have questions or concerns not addressed here, please feel free to reach out to the church office or directly to Patrick Cavenagh, Pastor John, or myself (phone numbers and email addresses in the church directory).
Important safety info as we re-open: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZPuB93iqOY
For the latest update click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnRi-vjvhhY&feature=youtu.be
As you may have heard in the media, today Ontario is moving to Phase 2 in their COVID-19 response. This change allows for the opening up of more business and increases social engagement opportunities. Phase 2 also allows “places of worship” to open to 30% of their capacity with proper social distancing protocols in place.
Last night, the Elders met with Church Council chair, Dr Gillian Kernaghan and Pastors John and Josh to discuss how this might look for our community. We talked through possibilities, reviewed what other churches are planning to do and considered the logistics of keeping our community safe in our facility. Since a number of our family are in the COVID-19 vulnerable population, we came to the conclusion that we must err on the side of caution and remain closed for Sunday services. While we will continue to monitor the government guidelines and will review the situation several times in the coming weeks, we are looking to remain in our current state until September 2020.
Services will continue to be available online:
For video versions available on youtube click here.
For audio only podcasts click here.