Today it was announced as part of the provincial government’s recovery plan that we are moving to the Yellow Phase. This means that religious services of 50 people or fewer are allowed indoors or outdoors as of May 29th (Note: a later update from the province has changed this to June 5).
We are, therefore, able to continue the opening of our buildings to congregations provided we adhere to provincial guidelines. We should note that for the purposes of the COVID-19 provincial recovery strategy church corporations have been placed in the business category.
The most important of the guidelines is that an operational plan needs to be made for each type of gathering. This document must be on the premises and available for inspection should it be required by a provincial inspector. The 50 includes those officiating.
With regard to Holy Communion, the guideline given by the provincial government to denominational leaders is that it should be administered “safely”. Personally, I would still give it in one kind, the bread, but I am aware that there are some who prefer to do so in both kinds. I am therefore lifting the moratorium on Communion in two kinds, though people should not drink from the same cup and should follow all public health guidelines.
Although church buildings can open for services they do not have to. I am aware that some have taken the decision, due to local circumstances, to remain closed at present. That is perfectly acceptable to me.
Let us continue to pray for our Province, our country and the world as we navigate our way through this pandemic.
In Christ’s service,
See our Church Operational Plan page for more details on the provincial phases and required operational plans.