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3063821622

office@westportalchurch.ca

Last updated Friday, July 3

Watch the video for our latest update, or see a written summary below.

Additional details & resources can be found in the linked PDF or by scrolling down.

Download In-Home Re-Opening PDF here

-We will be hosting a few soft openings during the first 2 Sundays of July. These are not open to the general public. We are using these Sundays to test our guidelines before we consider opening more broadly. We hope to provide more information next week about how you can register with us if you’d like to attend our service on July 19th (or any of the following Sundays).

-We want to prepare you for what you can expect when you join us on a Sunday. We will have welcome signs outside our entrance marking the beginning and endpoint of a physically-distanced line to ensure safe traffic flow into our facility.  Wherever possible we will have doors propped open to minimize touch-points and hand sanitizer will be available upon the entry and exit of our building.  From our entrance, you will be directed to our sanctuary doors where ushers will direct you to the next available seats (depending on the size of your family or group).  We have taken many of the chairs out of our sanctuary to ensure a safe distance is kept between people.

-You will be encouraged to keep all personal items with you (we’ve taken all our coat hangers down to minimize areas of our facility prone to congestion).  There will be no food or beverage service offered.  Our water fountain has been turned off.  You will need to bring your own coffee or water if desired.  There will not be colouring pages or handouts available for young children.  At this time we’re not able to offer any supervised child care.  Our toddler room has been closed.  Our nursery remains open for parents to use at their discretion, but all toys have been removed to minimize the spread of germs.

-We are exploring a few options for incorporating some informal announcements prior to our live stream and possibly a prayer time after our live stream has ended.  At least for the next few weeks, there will be no worship singing offered in our service (as this is considered a high-risk activity).  Additionally, it is also likely the speaker will address the camera instead of the small group in our building as our primary audience remains unable to join us.  Once our morning has concluded you will be dismissed in a controlled manner to minimize congestion in our foyer.

-The experience we’re able to invite you into is going to feel very different than what you are used to. We hope that these first weeks will lay the groundwork from which we’ll be able to gather with increased freedom (as our government continues to grant greater flexibility for large group gatherings).

-We will keep you in the loop with any updates, changes or information on a weekly basis.

Here is what we’d like you to consider…

-Extended household – a group of 3-5 families (up to a maximum of 15 people) who are allowed to be in closer contact with one another. Not just 15 people at a time, but always the same 15 people. These groups are allowed to be in the same house together and, while safe practices are encouraged, strict physical distancing is not necessary.

-If your extended household isn’t already maxed out, we would like to encourage you to consider gathering with 1-2 other WP families. Consider:

    • Gathering together to watch our live stream on Sunday morning.
    • Visit, connect, pray for each other.
    • Use the conversation guide that accompanies our teaching notes to chat a bit about the morning’s topic.
    • If your extended household is already full consider watching our live stream together with some of them.
    • You may also be able to meet in someone’s back yard during the week as physical distancing can be maintained easier in this setting.

 

Our intention isn’t to push anyone beyond what they’re comfortable with so be sensitive to this as you engage with others.

Keep reading for more details on our recommendation. There are also several other documents and links where you can find more information.

In-Home Re-Opening

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We are now encouraging people to gather, under the government guidelines of an extended household, with 1-2 other families (or a few close friends) for the purpose of Christian community (consider watching our Sunday morning live stream together—connect, interact, pray, in other words…be the church).  If your extended household is already full, consider if there are people within your current group who you could connect with in this way.

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An Extended (or Virtual) Household is – people in the same extended household group without high-risk people (in other words, a small group of people who are in consistent contact together)

  • Can be 3 – 5 households (families) up to a maximum of 15 people
  • Should always be the SAME (10 – 15) people (not 15 people at a time)
  • Safe practices are encouraged, but strict physical distancing is NOT mandatory

Information & Resources:

  1. For more information on what an extended household is or how to form one (How to form an extended household group)
  2. For more information on safe guidelines for in-home gatherings (cleaning & sanitizing protocols) (Cleaning and Disinfection Information for Private Homes)

    We would encourage…

      • Sanitizing or washing of hands upon entry
      • Sanitize (or wipe down) high contact/touch surfaces prior to & after visit
      • Wherever possible minimize shared touchpoints ( provide a separate hand towel in the bathroom for each family unit)
      • Minimize all physical touch/contact
      • Practice proper cough & sneeze etiquette (into tissue or bend of elbow)
  3. Food protocols (Find out more)

Sharing food is considered a high-risk activity.  If you choose to do this…

    • Wash or sanitize hands before sharing food
    • Minimize common touchpoints (individually pre-packaged drinks, meals, snacks; have only one person serving with gloved hands, etc.)

 

There are a number of reasons why you may not be able to connect (or feel comfortable connecting) in this way under the guidelines of an extended household.  If so, we would encourage you then to explore the possibility of connecting with others from West Portal under the guidelines of general public or private gatherings.

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A General (Public or Private) Gatherings is – any small or large gathering with people who are NOT part of your extended household

  • Can be up to 30 people inside (effective June 22nd) or outdoors
  • Does NOT need to be the same people (simply 30 at a time)
  • Strict physical distancing practices ARE mandatory

 

Information & Resources:

  1. For more information on physical distancing guidelines for general gatherings click here.
  2. Food protocols (see above)