Posted: December 2, 2021
Dear Salmon Arm Church Family,
Predictions are risky business, no matter who the source of information may be. I had hoped, and last week I had said there was good reason to believe we would be able to sail through the December and the holidays without any major changes to COVID protocols. Sadly, I was wrong. As of Tuesday, November 30, Dr. Bonnie Henry the chief medical officer in British Columbia said, participants in worship gatherings will now be required to: 1) wear face masks, AND 2) limit attendance to 50% seating capacity if all participants are not fully vaccinated.
Our church remains committed to serving all members and visitors regardless of one’s vaccination status. Therefore, if you are able AND healthy please join us for worship this Sabbath December 4th. For those who will worship with us this Sabbath, I would like to take a moment to share with you the changes you can expect.
Before discussing these changes, I would like to step back a moment and reflect on the seriousness of the COVID-19 health crisis. First, know and remember that COVID is a deadly condition. Because of the recent outbreak that affected many of our church members, some extremely seriously—we decided to temporally close church to give time to see how the situation would develop. It seems the situation has improved and as long as everyone attending abides by the most important protocol. And what is that you ask? If you haven’t guessed, the best prevention is—IF you feel sick OR are sick OR have any symptoms—stay home. This is the best way for us to be a transmission-free environment. Remember, our goal is to seek optimal health. We must all do our best to keep ourselves healthy and other safe and healthy.
With this background in mind, we decided it was prudent and responsible to implement the following church guidelines. Winter time increases the risk of illness and thus transmission, therefore, we must increase our measures in order to keep people safe. Here’s what you can expect this Sabbath:
- Masks are required for ages 5 and up (unless there is a medical reason not to)
- Sanitize your hands frequently, especially when entering
- No handshaking or hugs — and social distance as much as possible .
- The children’s song service which comes before the Sabbath school classes should happen in the larger fellowship hall area, not in the corner
- Seating: attendees will be seated every other pew and we will utilize the fellowship hall for overflow
- When singing, wear a mask!
- The lambs offering will not be collected after the children’s story but there will be two children with collection bags at the end of the service
- We will dismiss one side at a time and encourage people to exit the upper lobby and as much as possible visit outside, rather than congregating in the upper lobby.
- No potluck until further notice....
AGAIN, if you do not feel well, please stay home.
- Also, if you have COVID you are required to stay home for 10 days from the first sign of symptoms OR until you feel better—whichever is longer. It is vital that all of us abide by this in order to slow the spread of COVID..
- We sincerely ask that each of you read the following attachment (click here) before attending church. This will help you to better understand the guidelines for isolation and self-monitoring in reference to COVID-19.
- Note: please RECOGNIZE that even if you only have a runny nose, this could be a symptom of COVID, either stay home or get tested to find out. This was actually the case for one of the children in our congregation who recently tested positive..
- Finally — the Committee is still reviewing additional concerns and ways to strive for optimal health so we can be a transmission-free environment. Please pray for our church. Be part of the solution. This is a messy and challenging time but together we can get through this! And, if you have something on your heart and talk to talk please reach out. Reach out to me or one of the elders and let us know your questions, concerns, or needs. Each of you are loved and prayed for. Hang in there ❤️