July 24, 2020 – Significant updates are indicated by blue lettering.
Hello Pilgrim Baptist Fellowship church family,
We are writing to you with great anticipation to gather together once again for corporate worship Sunday, June 28th! The elders and other members in our congregation have been working on our plan as we look to gather safely and in accordance with Provincial and Municipal Public Health standards. Apart from following the provincial guidelines, and contacting the municipal office, we have also received specific guidelines from the Infectious Disease Center of Hamilton. And had conversations with them regarding what they would like to see us do to gather again. We understand that some might feel like we are doing too much and others might feel we are not doing enough. We ask for grace as we begin to gather again. Please take the time to read through the details and be prepared for Sunday.
First, before you consider joining us physically on Sunday, we need you to consider the following: Are you having any signs or symptoms of COVID-19? Cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, fever? If you are not feeling well, please stay home. Have you come in contact with anyone who is confirmed to have COVID-19? Please stay home. If you are elderly or have compromised immune system, please stay home. To assist you with this self-assessment, you can complete this online health-screening questionnaire.
So, if you are healthy and pass the above self-assessment criteria, you are welcome and encouraged to come on Sunday, but this is at your own discretion as to whether you are comfortable or not. We plan to have the sermon audio up on our website by early Sunday afternoon and the video of the sermon up by Monday, for those who are unable to join us.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
- We have worked out that a comfortable seating capacity for our auditorium (SDA building), including upstairs, is 280 people. Therefore, 30% capacity would be 84 people. To take it one step further, we are limiting ourselves to a capacity of 75 (60 downstairs and 15 upstairs). Since our normal meeting numbers would be less than this, we anticipate not having to turn away anyone.
- Our service begins at 10:00 am but we ask you to arrive at 9:45 if possible, which will allow time for seating to occur while maintaining social distancing.
- All books and papers have been removed from pews. Please do not leave personal materials in the pews.
- Physical distancing regulations must be maintained, i.e., 2-metres (6 feet) between people not in the same household.
- Traffic flow: the ushers will provide guidance to help ensure distancing during movement.
- Attendees will be encouraged to practice good handwashing and hygiene techniques, particularly after coming in contact with high touch areas. Hand sanitizer from a bottle is provided in different locations in the facility, i.e.:
- Back entry way to the auditorium
- In the auditorium by the piano
- Both back child care rooms set aside for mothers with infants
- As of July 20th, 2020, the city of Hamilton has issued a requirement for all people to wear a mask inside public buildings. Therefore, we expect everyone attending our services to wear one at all times while they are inside our building, unless you choose to apply one of the exemptions to yourself or your children. See details of the by-law and exemptions here
- Please bring your own mask as we have a limited supply for visitors.
- No Sunday School or coffee/snacks will be offered.
- No Nursery. However, both rooms at the back of the auditorium will be set aside for women who need to take their infants out. Maximum of two ladies each with their infant per room. That should enable us to still maintain social distancing. Hand sanitizer will be available in these two rooms.
- ALL people will enter the building through the front door, the one closest to Concession Street. The other door (side door) will remain locked from the outside.
- No one is allowed in the basement level of the building. It is under renovation and will be blocked off.
- Please use the single washroom on the auditorium level. Approach it through the front door near the piano. Washroom will be on the end on your left. Only one person in the washroom at a time, unless it’s a parent with a child.
- We will work to make our meeting space clean and safe. All frequently-touched surfaces will be wiped/sprayed down before and after our service, e.g., door handles, railings, pews, music stands and pulpit.
- Pews will be marked with tape, and some blocked by tape, to indicate acceptable seating areas. Please respect these designated seating areas designed to help ensure physical distancing. There is additional seating available upstairs but this will be for adults only, unless children are accompanied at all times by a parent.
- Members and regular attenders are asked to fill up front sections of the auditorium first and leave the back one or two rows of available pews for visitors and parents with babies.
- There will not be a formal collection. But there will be a place to drop off your offering.
- Please be diligent after the service to maintain physical distancing whether you are inside or outside the building.
- In case of an emergency evacuation of the building, please proceed in an orderly and safe manner to the main entrance near the back of the auditorium. The alternate emergency exit will be through the front of the auditorium next to the piano and then taking the stairs on the left to the door leading outside to the parking lot.
- Any visitors attending our services will be asked to observe the screening questions posted on the sign on the main entrance door to the building and to don a mask before entering.
- Additional usher duties at this time are:
- The usher positioned at main front entrance door will:
- If necessary, remind people that wearing a mask is expected.
- ask visitors to read the sign and follow the directions for basic COVID19 screening.
- direct people toward the auditorium
- remind people, as necessary, to maintain physical distancing
- Other ushers to be positioned near entrance to auditorium and will:
- Direct, or lead, people to suitable seats
- Remind people, as necessary, to maintain physical distancing
- provide any other guidance as needed
- Assist in wipe down of surfaces before and after the service.
NOTE: This is all subject to change based on government directives in the days to come and our own internal required adjustments. This is our plan for now and we will keep you posted about changes in the days ahead.
Hagop Tchobanian, Elder
Benno Kurvits, Elder
- The usher positioned at main front entrance door will: