- Churches will remain closed for in-person worship. Bishop Jane has made the decision that church closures are being extended due to the increasing numbers of COVID. More information will be provided as we are updated. You can also go onto the diocesan website for more information: https://edmonton.anglican.ca
- Church services will continue online, Immanuel Wetaskiwin Facebook Live video, 10 am, broadcast from Rev. Hugh and Fiona's home: https://www.facebook.com/immanuelwetaskiwin/ Please note the services start at 10 am.
- Let's all look out for one another as we did with the first wave of COVID. If anyone has any concerns or needs, please call Rev. Hugh or any one of the church corporation members:
- Rev. Hugh: 780-312-9974 (cell)
- Carol Blair, Rector's Warden: 780-231-5873 (cell)
- Shirley Fordice, People's Warden: 780-361-9719 (cell)
Please call anyone in our parish family to connect and stay connected with each other.
You will need to complete a COVID-19 self-assessment before attending church. Here is the link to the online assessment tool: https://myhealth.alberta.ca/journey/covid-19/Pages/Assessment.aspx
These are the questions that are asked on the assessment. If you answer YES to any of the questions or if you are feeling unwell, please do not come to church as we are working to keep everyone safe during this unprecedented time.
- Are you experiencing any of the following: severe difficulty breathing (e.g., struggling for each breath, speaking in single words), severe chest pain, having a very hard time waking up, feeling confused, lost consciousness?
- Are you experiencing any of the following: shortness of breath at rest, inability to lie down because of difficulty breathing, chronic health conditions that you are having difficulty managing because of your current respiratory illness?
- Do you have any of the following: fever, new onset of cough or worsening of chronic cough, new or worsening shortness of breath, new or worsening difficulty breathing, sore throat, runny nose?
- Do you have any of the following: chills, painful swallowing, stuffy nose, headache, muscle or joint ache, feeling unwell, fatigue or severe exhaustion, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or unexplained loss of appetite, loss of sense of smell or taste, conjunctivitis (pink eye)?
- In the past 14 days, did you return from travel outside of Canada, or did you have close contact with someone who is confirmed as having COVID-19?
Thank you for completing the self-assessment each time before attending church.
Here are some of the plans in preparation for re-opening the church as submitted by Carol Blair, Rector's Warden:
- COVID planning for re-opening the church. As you might expect, we are required to implement numerous precautions to keep everyone safe. We will be providing an information package through a special newsletter to everyone about the plans. Following is a snapshot of some of the requirements that will change the way we usually do things for your consideration and any planning that you may need to do to be prepared. Some of these practices are becoming commonplace in other public places so they won’t be entirely unfamiliar to you. Detailed information is available on the Diocesan website as well as the Government of Alberta website on COVID precautions for Worship Gatherings.
- Everyone will need to confirm that they are free of potential COVID symptoms in terms of coughs, fevers, etc. I expect most of you are familiar with the signs posted outside of public places that list potential COVID symptoms and, if anyone is experiencing them, they are asked to not enter the premises. An online assessment tool is also available. Everyone coming to the church will need to verbally confirm that they’ve completed the assessment. These signs will also be posted at the church entrance.
- Masks will be required. We encourage everyone to use reusable masks as we will have only a small supply of disposable masks – plus we want to minimize the use of disposable items to support our “green” ministry. If you’re not currently using reusable masks, you may wish to check out stores/websites where they can be purchased or make your own. I’m struck that some interesting masks might be made reflecting our Christian beliefs? Another opportunity for our individual creativity to shine!
- Physical distancing will be practised at all times from entry into and throughout the church. The pews will clearly indicate where parishioners may or may not sit. Of course family/friend cohorts (i.e. those who are in regular contact) can sit together.
- Hand sanitizer will be required upon entering the church, sanctuary and prior to Eucharist; and again, after exiting these areas.
- No service books, bibles or hymnals will be available. If you would like to use one of these, you are asked to bring your personal copy please. As per our usual practice, the full service will be on a PowerPoint.
- No congregational singing.
- No congregational handshakes, hugs, or any other kind of physical touch.
- Eucharist will be bread (wafers) only, distributed in individual condiment cups.
- No coffee hour. Many of us will miss our time of fellowship after the service, but, at least, we’ll have a chance to see one another and have a brief visit.
- Plans for Sunday School - Our regular Sunday School has changed its format to a Wednesday evening, "Wednesday Wonders'. This approach assures that the children continue in their Christian education while reducing the risk of any infection to other members of the congregation who gather on Sundays. Church School will meet every second Wednesday from 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM starting on Sept. 9.
Rev. Hugh has made a video for our return to church called "Back to Church? All You Need to Know to Participate in Safety". It can be found on Immanuel's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/immanuelwetaskiwin/.
The complete resource of Covid-19 Information from Alberta Health Services on Guidelines for Places of Worship can be found here (updated June 22, 2020): https://open.alberta.ca/dataset/2be831dd-d83e-42da-b634-6bc6d5232d1a/resource/a6490934-bf3e-4e6d-9531-2822d6482f9f/download/covid-19-relaunch-guidance-places-of-worship-2020-0622.pdf