Dear Members and Friends of Nashwaaksis United Church,

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