9:30 am! Why so early?
Elora UC people are used to worship begin at 11:00. (Though the Bethany folks think that’s too late, and like theirs at 9:20!) Eventually the Elora UC services will return to their 11:00 time.
But we need to keep our online services too. With physical distancing requirements, we cannot accommodate everyone in our sanctuary. As important, many are not able or ready to return to large gatherings. And some cannot join us in-person, even in the best times.
So we’re installing equipment that will allow us to broadcast our Sunday services over the internet. We’ll then be able to combine our in-person and online worshippers in one service. Until that’s ready, though, we need to keep our online worship separate.
So Online Worship is continuing too?
Definitely. For many, the experience of praising God together while online has been excellent. We’re keeping it going. For now, we’ll continue using Zoom as we have for these many months. The online service will be at 11:00 am.
Find our more about our online worship by clicking here
Is Worship be like it was before?
In some important ways, yes! We’re praying together, hear and reflect on the Scriptures, and enjoy God’s Presence in a place that’s meaningful to many of us. However, some things are different.
We aren’t singing together, at least for the time being. We are enjoying music, played on our organ, piano, or other instruments. We also have pre-recorded music. And sometimes, soloists singing.
There aren’t as many people as we’re used to having. Physical distancing requirements mean we need to cap our capacity at about 18 households/groups, as well as volunteers. Since household/group sizes can vary from 1-6 people, the total number we can have varies from 30-100 (compared to our normal capacity of 260).
We can’t rush over and greet each other. Certainly many of us want to. The need to protect one another’s health, however, means we need to keep that 2 metre/6 feet distance. Sorry.
We can’t have our fellowship time after worship. We hope we can resume it soon, but for the time being we need to leave the building soon after the service ends.
Where do I Sit?
We’re siting individually, in households, or in small groups. Each is distanced from the others. The Sanctuary is laid out to help this happen. Ushers will guide you to your seat.
Basically, your household is the people you live with. It might be one person. Or it might be a few. Or, it might be some people from different households (such as a couple of friends) who agree to sit together during the service. If you’d like to sit with people who are not in your household, please make arrangements with them beforehand and make sure you register together.
What about Masks? Sanitizing? Vaccinations?
Everyone needs to wear a mask within our building. Please bring your own. Or, you can use one that we’ll provide. If you cannot wear a mask, please continue to enjoy our worship online.
Some people are helping in ways that will put them physically close to people. They wear medical masks and eye protection (goggles). People who are leading worship from the sanctuary platform at a distance from others can take off their mask while doing this.
Everyone needs to use hand sanitizer when they arrive. Please use it at other times too. We have plenty.
Before and after the service, the Sanctuary and other spaces are disinfected. This helps keep all those who use our building safe.
Everyone is strongly encouraged to be fully vaccinated. The vaccines are safe, effective, and part of our collective effort to overcome this disease.
Unfortunately, some people are ineligible for vaccination at this time. This includes children younger than 12, and people with some medical conditions. That’s why we aren’t making vaccinations mandatory to come to worship. For their safety, it is important that everyone else be vaccinated. If you have not been vaccinated, please speak with your doctor for reliable and up-to-date information about its effectiveness and safety.
What about Bethany?
The Bethany Board is still deciding about resuming in-person worship. At this point, we hope we can start up again in November, but that might change. In the meantime, please join us for worship online or the in-person services at Elora UC.
What if things change?
We hope this is the beginning of a gradual return to doing things together. Still . . . when this all began we thought we’d be back after 3 weeks, not 78! So we are continuing to be flexible, adapting to the changing pandemic situation, the needs of our congregation and community, and unforeseen things that happen. We’ve learned how to do that! And we’ll keep you well-informed as we go along.
Will we ever be going back to normal? No. A lot has changed, and we will continue to envision what our congregation’s worship and mission will be in the future.
Can I Help?
Yes! We need people to serve as Greeters, Ushers, Cleaners, and Tech System operators. We’ll train you and give you plenty of support. Please let us know if you’re interested (email@example.com | 519-846-0122)
We are pre-registering for worship.
To keep our worship gatherings as safe as possible, we’re needing to limit the number of people who can attend. We don’t want to have to turn people away at the door.
So having an idea how many are coming beforehand and the size of their household/groups is important. Your pre-registration will help us. If we reach our capacity, we’ll let you know (so be sure to include contact information). Please pre-register by the end of Saturday.
We pray. We hear the Bible read, and someone (usually our minister Greg) offers reflections on the Bible’s meaning for us today.
How Will I Know What to Do? When you arrive, one of our greeters will give you a printed outline of the morning’s activities. You’ll find it also has information about things going on in the church. Words and information are also projected at the front of the worship space (the sanctuary). The worship leaders will give clear instructions for everyone to follow along.
What About My Kids? Many Sundays we will have Children’s Worship activities. It’s a friendly environment where they discover about God, themselves, and our world. During these pandemic days, we are offering Children’s Worship online. We hope to start having it in-person soon as well. Contact Barb Smith-Young to find out more.
What Do I Have to Wear? Whatever you are comfortable in. Some dress up. Others come casual. We have a relaxed style.
Where Do I Sit? We’ve designated seating areas to ensure physical distancing. Some are better suited to groups of 1-2, and others are better for 3-6 people. Your usher help you find a seat that’s right for you.
Should I Bring Money? You don’t need to. As our guest, sharing your time with us is the gift we are most thankful for. If you’d like to give, we have an offering plate at the entrance to the sanctuary. Please put your offering there. You can find out other ways to give here.
What about Music? We love to sing! During normal times, we use a blend of traditional hymns and newer songs. These days, its’ recommended that we avoid group singing. Still, we’ll have great music to listen to.
Betty Weinstein and Inkyoung Lee are our music leaders. Want to find our more about Elora UC’s music ministry, including our Adult Choir and Praise Team? Please contact our church office (firstname.lastname@example.org).
What Happens After? Our after-worship community and refreshment times are on hold for now. We are eager to begin them again. They are great for meeting new people and finding out more about us.
More Questions? You can talk with one of our greeters, or anyone you see leading the worship service. You can also speak with Greg Smith-Young.