Dear Members and Friends of Nashwaaksis United Church,

On behalf of our Church Council, I am pleased to inform you that we will be returning to in-person worship services, beginning Sunday, September 27, 2020!

For those unable to attend physically, the services will be recorded and then posted online by Monday afternoon.


Please see the guidelines below for our in-person gatherings.  Please note you will need to pre-register for all upcoming services.


In order to comply with provincial government requirements around physical distancing, contact tracing, etc., we have put a plan in

place to make our worship services as safe as possible. Here are the key things you need to know:

 

1) We will have limited seating to ensure appropriate physical distancing. Our maximum capacity is approximately 75 people.

 

2) Because of limited seating, you will need to register in advance to attend the service. Registration can be done through an

online form (a link will be sent out in the weekly congregational email and posted to our Facebook page and church website) or by

calling the church office at 458-9452. Registration should be done no later than Thursday afternoon each week. If the number of

people registered to attend exceeds our maximum capacity, those who are unable to be accommodated will be given first

priority to attend the next service.

 

3) Anyone attending the service must be able to answer “No” to all of the New Brunswick Government COVID-19 screening

questions: https://www2.gnb.ca/content/dam/gnb/Departments/h-s/pdf/ScreeningEF.pdf

 

4) Masks will be REQUIRED for everyone attending the worship service (except for those who meet the government criteria for not wearing one).

 

5) When you arrive at the church, proceed directly to the gymnasium and NOT the sanctuary, ensuring that you maintain a

2-metre distance from others at all times. Please sanitize your hands upon arrival. Your contact tracing information will be confirmed

in the gym and an usher will then take you to your pew. Please keep your jacket and other belongings with you in the pew.

 

6) If you wish to make your offering by cash or cheque, an offering plate will be available near the entrance to the sanctuary.

The offering plate will not be passed during the worship service. Pre-Authorized Remittance (PAR) is still the preferred method

for receiving donations at this time.

 

7) At the conclusion of the service, the ushers will dismiss the congregation by rows to help maintain appropriate physical distancing.

 

8) Once you have been dismissed by the ushers, please proceed outside and do not gather in the foyer.

 

9) There will be NO COFFEE HOUR following the service due to the associated health risks.

 

10) There will be NO NURSERY or Sunday School at this time. Individually packaged activity bags with colouring pages and crayons

will be available for children to use during the worship service.

 

Please plan to arrive at least 15 to 20 minutes early for the church service in order to allow time for check-in and being seated by the ushers.

 

We anticipate that there will be a few “hiccups” during the first few weeks as we adjust to the “new normal” of gathering for church

in this way. Please bear with us as we adjust to the new protocols.

 

If you have any questions, please let me know and I’ll do my best to answer them. My email address is revnathan@nashwaaksisunited.ca

or you can leave me a message at the church office.

 

Yours in faith,

Rev. Nathan Wright

Minister of Worship and Pastoral Care

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

UPDATE ON CHURCH BUILDING RE-OPENING (May 23, 2020)

 

As I’m sure you all are aware, the Province of New Brunswick has moved into the next phase of re-opening. This new phase has reduced some restrictions and increased the number of people permitted to gather up to a maximum of 50 (with appropriate social distancing and/or masks). You might be wondering what this means for our congregation in terms of re-opening the church building and returning to in-person worship services.

 

Our Church Council met this week and made the following decision: We will NOT be re-opening the building nor returning to in-person worship services at this time. We will continue to offer our worship services online.

 

There are a number of reasons for this decision, all based on what is in the best interest of protecting the health and well-being of our members.

 

First, the limit of 50 people will not accommodate our normal Sunday worshipping community. Once the maximum of 50 people is reached, we would need to turn people away at the door and not allow them to enter the building. Because of this, we would need to offer multiple worship services each Sunday and follow all provincial requirements for fully sanitizing the building between each worship service.

 

Second, current public health guidance recommends that people who are considered vulnerable (including older adults) should avoid public gatherings. Given the demographic of our membership, it would not be prudent to put our older members at risk by holding in-person worship services.

 

Third, the United Church of Canada has issued the following directive: "Singing by the congregation and the choir must be avoided. Communal singing poses serious risks! Scientific evidence shows that the forceful breathing action of singing disperses the plume of aerosolized droplets from a singer’s mouth much further than six feet. Public health officials have said that masks can’t completely contain such forcefully expelled mist. Tests have proven that microscopic ‘droplet nuclei’ that can contain the virus remain suspended in the air for up to 3 hours.” It is hard to imagine having our worship services without any singing!

 

The Church Council will re-evaluate the decision about when to re-open the building as the public health situation evolves and will update the congregation accordingly.
 

We ask you to please remember that your financial support of the church is especially important during this time. Although we will not be meeting face-to-face for Sunday worship, the church’s expenses will continue. We still need to pay for insurance, heat, electricity, salaries, etc.

 

If you usually make your offering through envelopes, please consider mailing your offering to the church or dropping it off in the church’s mailbox (next to the back door). You might also wish to consider changing to PAR and having your monthly offering automatically deducted from your account. You can do this by emailing Maureen O’Hara at: ohara.maureen.mo@gmail.com

 

Donations can also be made by credit card at: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/nashwaaksis-united-church/

 

Yours in faith,

Rev. Nathan Wright

Minister of Worship & Pastoral Care