Re-Opening Statement

Elmwood MB Church Re-opening Plan – Addendum 1

June, 2020

Assembled by the re-opening committee of

Jack Funk, Lori Dueck, Michelle Giesbrecht and Shonet Stoesz


We are so grateful to have had the opportunity to meet as a church family last Sunday. Some of the practical aspects of our meeting looked different than we are used to, so we thank you for the grace you have extended, as we discern best practices for re-opening in compliance to Phase 3 guidelines.


After observing how everything went last Sunday, we recognize that there are opportunities to improve some of the processes. Please note the following changes that will be implemented for next Sunday morning (July 5).


  1. Arrival & Seating

  • The balcony will be opened immediately (entry point being the front door opening to Henderson Hwy), along with the north and south doors.

  • Seating on the north side of the sanctuary will accommodate those who use the elevator and/or prefer not to manage stairs to the balcony.

  • For those who require seating on the main floor and prefer not to manage stairs, please arrive at the North Door by 9:45 if possible, providing the ushers a few extra minutes to ensure you have a suitable spot.

  • If managing stairs is okay for you and your family, please arrive at the South Door or Front Door, to be seated on the south side of the sanctuary or balcony respectively.

  • Seating in the basement area will be opened only if required, and at the direction of the ushers.

  • Once seated, please do not change spots, unless directed to do so.

  • Hymnals have been removed from the church pews, but will be available on tables at entrances to seating zones, along with bulletins and offering plates.


2. Exiting at end of service

  • At end of service, ushers will dismiss us by row starting from the back of the sanctuary, to ensure physical distancing is maintained.

  • Please refrain from lingering or congregating in the foyer after service, particularly near exit areas. Socializing outdoors is okay, provided physical distancing is maintained.


3. General reminders (that we’ve all heard since COVID-19 became a reality)

  • Wash your hands frequently

  • Cough/sneeze into your elbow

  • Maintain physical distancing

  • If you’re feeling unwell, stay home

** Government regulations continue to evolve regarding restrictions due to

COVID-19; please be aware that the re-opening strategy at EMBC is subject to

change if and as required.


Elmwood MB Church Re-opening Plan

June, 2020


Assembled by the re-opening committee of

Jack Funk, Lori Dueck, Michelle Giesbrecht and Shonet Stoesz


In compliance with the government’s Phase 1 & 2 re-opening plans, we have not met in person on Sunday mornings since mid-March. The recently announced Phase 3 of the re-opening plan came into effect on June 21. The plan increases the number of people who can safely meet indoors, so we propose EMBC re-opens on June 28 and take the required steps to be in compliance of the guidelines set out in Phase 3.


Our Sunday morning gatherings will look differently as we comply with legislated restrictions that allow us to meet together as safely as possible, but we are grateful for the opportunity to be together again. Thank you for your grace as we navigate this together. Please be aware that these restrictions may change with little notice.


The guidelines as outlined in Phase 3 are summarized as follows:

“Indoor gatherings are permitted with a maximum group size of 30 per cent of the site's capacity**, provided the group can be physically divided into sub-groups of 50 or fewer. Each sub-group must be able to arrive, depart and participate in the gathering without co-mingling with members from any other sub-group. Adequate physical distancing must continue to be provided for all participants”.


** As of June 28, EMBC’s maximum capacity for attendance on Sunday mornings is 150 people.


What do these guidelines mean for EMBC, and what can we expect when we come to church on a Sunday morning?


1. Arrival & Seating

  • Sunday service will start at 10:00 am. Church doors will open at 9:30 am.

  • On arrival, Greeters will record your name on an attendance sheet, so the church has accurate records of who was in attendance that Sunday, should any public health follow up be required.

  • There will be three (3) entrances and seating “zones” open on Sunday morning; each zone will seat a maximum number of 50 people. Greeters at each entrance and Ushers will be available to provide direction as needed.

  • North door (elevator side) – if entering here you will be seated on the north side of the sanctuary, and exit the building through the same door at end of service.

  • South door (large parking lot side) – if entering here you will be seated on the south side of the sanctuary, and exit the building through the same door at end of service.

  • Balcony – this space will be opened only if/when more than 100 people are in attendance or seating spaces on the main level are full. The front doors opening to Henderson Hwy will be the entrance point. The south stairway will be used as entry to the balcony, and the other will be used to depart the balcony.

  • Seating spaces in each zone have been identified by a strip of green tape on the pew; designated spaces allow for physical distancing. Each space will accommodate one family unit, or two individuals (if the two individuals are not from the same household, they should sit 6 feet apart).

  • Bulletins and offering plates will be placed at entrances to the sanctuary and balcony.

  • Ushers will be available to help you find a seat. At end of service, they will dismiss us by row to ensure physical distancing is maintained.

  • We ask that you refrain from lingering in the foyer after service, and encourage socializing to take place outdoors, or across pews within your seating zone (keeping physical distancing guidelines in mind).

  • Intermingling between the three seating zones is not allowed indoors, but may be done outdoors after the service (keeping physical distancing guidelines in mind).

  • The Sunday service will be available via livestream for those unable to attend in person.

2. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • Hand sanitizer will be available at each entrance; we ask that you use sanitizer on entering and departing the building.

  • Masks are welcome but not mandatory; if wearing one increases your comfort level, we encourage you to bring one with you.

3. Washroom use

  • Each seating zone will have an assigned washroom for use, each of which has been converted to a single stall washroom. One person may be in the washroom at a time, and others will be asked to wait in line outside the washroom until the previous person has exited.

  • North side sanctuary – this group will have access to the washroom on the main level. The lineup will be in the library.

  • South side sanctuary – this group will have access to the men’s washroom in the basement.

  • Balcony – this group will have access to the women’s washroom in the basement, using the stairwell that goes from the balcony directly to the basement.

4. Childcare

  • Baby Den will be closed for general use, but the entrance area and nursing room will be open for nursing Moms and infants.

  • If young children are unable to stay through the service, the following areas will be available for use. Supervision of these areas and monitoring of physical distancing is the responsibility of parents using the space with their children.

  • North side sanctuary – Coffee Garden space on the main level.

  • South side sanctuary – south side of the basement area.

  • Balcony – north side of the basement area.

5. Food and Beverages

  • Coffee service will be suspended while the re-opening restrictions are in place. If coffee is required during the service, please bring your own.

  • Bottled water will be available.

  • The kitchen will be closed and the water fountain will be out of service.

6. Library and Youth Room

  • The library is closed for general use at initial opening. It will re-open for use on Sundays at a later date (to be determined). It will be open during weekday office hours.

  • The youth room will be closed.

7. General reminders (that we’ve all heard since COVID 19 became a reality)

  • Wash your hands frequently

  • Cough/sneeze into your elbow

  • Maintain physical distancing

  • If you’re feeling unwell, stay home

** Government regulations continue to evolve regarding restrictions due to COVID 19; please be aware that the re-opening strategy at EMBC is subject to change if and as required.

154 views

©2020 by Elmwood Mennonite Brethren Church