Dear Knox Friends,
A brief update on life at Knox!
As we have heard from our public health officials, high vaccination rates (91% in Ontario adults), high natural immunity, declining pressures on our hospitals and available treatment options mean we are finally in a position to remove many of the mandates that have been implemented during the last two years.
We are aware that it will take some time for our worshipping community to adjust, that there are a variety of comfort levels surrounding protocols and that there are a few members of our church who are immunocompromised and waiting for a fourth vaccination at the end of this month. We are also aware that it has been a long two years, our children need to re-learn what public worship is, and we all need to sing, greet one another with a smile and begin to rebuild our strong faith community.
After reviewing public health guidelines, our church is revising our Covid 19 measures as follows:
This Sunday March 20th – showing proof of vaccination and contact tracing in Rodney Hall will no longer be required. Masks are required while in the building. We will continue to observe physical distancing in the sanctuary. You are invited to enter from the parking lot, Mitchell Street or the front entrances.
Next Sunday March 27th – in line with the province’s public health guidance, we will be removing the mandatory mask requirements while seated in the sanctuary. If you are able, we are encouraging masks as we move through the narthex, foyer and Rodney Hall. Please be kind and respectful. There are a variety of reasons why people choose to wear or not wear a mask. Most of these reasons are medical in nature. Physical Distancing will continue in the sanctuary.
- Choir practices will be resuming very soon.
- We will not be singing hymns during Lent. On Easter Sunday, we look forward to breaking into song with a full choir!
- Sunday School continues each week, with the children joining in the opening portion of worship before being dismissed to their classes.
- The Christian Education committee will be discussing opening the nursery at their next meeting.
- The children will return to moving to the front of the church for the children’s time on Easter Sunday.
- Because we are blessed with a large sanctuary, we are hoping to continue to encourage physical distancing for as long as possible. This may mean that ushers direct traffic a little more in the sanctuary!
- In times past, coming to church with the sniffles or a little cough was the norm. During this time when Covid 19 is transitioning to an endemic phase, we are all reminded to worship at home if we are exhibiting any symptoms. We are grateful to have our service livestreamed every Sunday from our sanctuary.
Two years ago, we all thought that we would be back to church in a few weeks time. Little did we know what lay ahead. This extended time apart has been difficult. It has also served as a reminder that it is a privilege and a blessing to gather for worship. I look forward to the months ahead and reflect on the last two years with gratitude for each of you.
In Galatians 5, we are told that the fruit of the Spirit is: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. I have witnessed these fruits in all of you, as we navigated changing restrictions, communicated various comfort levels, turned on a dime, sat masked and silent in our sanctuary or tuned in to online church at home. As we move back into our sanctuary more fully, may we continue to nurture these blessings so that others might see these fruits and recognize the Spirit at work in us.