(This letter was sent out via e-blast June 11, 2021)
Dear friends of St. Olave’s,
As of June 11, the Government of Ontario’s reopening plan allows churches to reopen their buildings at a space capacity of 15%. It’s further anticipated that the capacity limit will be increased to 25% sometime in July. Although the prospect of immediately reopening is appealing for many reasons, St. Olave’s will continue offering Sunday worship online through the summer, and will reopen for in-person worship September 12, 2021.
There are a number of reasons for this decision. Many of the restrictions mandated by the diocese will continue to dictate the way in which churches will worship in-person. We are also aware of the amount of work required to ensure that all health requirements are met and must balance this effort with the current efforts to provide online worship. In the fall, we are planning to begin live streaming our Sunday services to our YouTube channel for those who can’t or do not yet wish to attend in-person. This will require buying and installing new recording equipment and training volunteers to use it. This important preparation work will be taking place during the summer.
Beginning on September 12 (Gathering Sunday), we intend to begin live streaming the 10:30 a.m. Sunday services, and will discontinue the pre-recorded services that we have been offering throughout the pandemic. Our Junior Church will also be restarting. Those who are ready to return to in-person worship will be able to do so, and those who do not yet feel comfortable joining us in-person can still worship with us by watching the live streamed service.
Of course, all of these plans are subject to change and depend on the government or diocesan regulations that are in place at the time. But we look forward to the day we will once again gather as a community at 360 Windermere Avenue. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask any of us.
Sharm, Janice, Carol, Allan, Rob and Alexandra
St. Olave’s Wardens and Clergy