Regathering: What to Expect
We are excited to regather for in-person services beginning Sunday, August 2. While we’re thrilled to physically come together as a church family to praise Jesus, we want to do so in a safe way. Please know that we’ve taken several precautions to ensure a healthy environment in our church building. For more information about the steps taken and what in-person worship will look like, please refer to the FAQ’s below.
Please note that children’s programming will not be available on Sunday, August 2, and will look to resume at a later date.
For the sake of everyone’s protection and best interest, we are recommending everyone age 5 and older to wear a mask when entering the church building. Anyone who is unable to wear a mask due to a medical reason, please let us know. And for those who are not able to provide their own mask, please ask about getting a mask upon registration before the service.
- What decision triggers will be used to move between stages?
- Will SGAC move backward through the stages?
- When are we going to return to normal practices?
- Will services be at their normal times?
- Do I need to pre-register?
- Will seating be limited?
- When should I arrive?
- Can I invite guests?
- What can I expect when I arrive?
- What should I do when I arrive?
- What if I’m uncomfortable attending?
- Who needs should stay home?
- What if I pre-register but need to cancel or change?
- I’m not comfortable registering online. What do I do?
- Who can I sit next to?
- What extra cleaning are you doing?
- Can I visit with friends before/after the service?
- What are the hygiene requirements?
- Do I have to wear a mask?
- How are you maintaining physical distancing?
- Where should I sit?
- Can I Sing?
1. Decisions to move between the phases will be made by the Board of Elders in consideration of Alberta’s relaunch strategy. At this time, exact dates cannot be determined due to the evolving nature of the pandemic. The Board of Elders will communicate decisions when they are made.
3. "Normal" does not align well with today's global situation. What will continue to be the same is our belief in Jesus, our will to worship and pray in all circumstances, and that SGAC is a place to praise God. However, we would ask congregants not to expect the Church to look and feel exactly the same as they did in late February or early March. We believe our Government is taking necessary precautions to help prevent further spread of a dangerous virus and as such we are taking measures to keep people safe according to the current standards. We do not know when the standards will change nor the content of new standards. We do not know if standards will be restricted at some point along the way based on a new outbreak. Even the standards announced that allow us to congregate were accelerated versus the original stated plan to reopen Churches in September.
As we move through the stages of this relaunch plan, following public health guidance, restrictions will be lifted and measures relaxed. We will be doing our best to embrace new practices that align with our belief that loving people and worshiping with them wherever they may be is central to our culture.
4. At this time, we will be hosting just one service on Sunday, currently at 10 AM. We know that many will be looking forward to gathering again, while others won’t be as eager. That’s no problem. We are going to continue to create experiences online for you to engage with. And when you are ready to come back, we’ll be ready for you!
5. Yes! To adhere to physical distancing protocols and avoid over-crowding, everyone is encouraged register in advance in order to help us better prepare for you. Please register online every week for the service here. Shortly after registering, you will receive an email confirming your registration. (Please check your junk mail folder.)
6. Yes. In order to follow physical distancing guidelines, there will be a reduced amount of our regular worship service seating capacity in the Sanctuary. We will take measures to accommodate the growing crowd.
8. Absolutely! If they are not part of your cohort, please have them make their own booking so we know how many groups we have coming. If you would like to sit together (with physical distancing), please let us know when you register.
9. Please practice physical distancing by remaining 2 metres from others. Entrance to the facility will only be through the main lobby doors, with lining up outside of the building. Building doors may be marked either “ENTRANCE ONLY” or “EXIT ONLY” for one-way flow to make it easier to ensure physical distancing. Once inside, you will be directed to sanitize your hands, and a host greet you at the registration table.
10. Please practice physical distancing by remaining 2 metre from others, and follow the marked locations in the building. Volunteers and staff will be on hand to answer any questions and able to help. Building doors may be marked either “ENTRANCE ONLY” or “EXIT ONLY” for one-way flow to make it easier to ensure physical distancing.
If you have children in grades 1 to 6 attending Children's ministry you will be directed to the children’s registration station(s) to get their name tags and will be directed to their drop off locations. One parent must escort their child to the classroom. All children need to be picked up by one parent using the supplied pick up tag. There are limited spaces available for the children. Pre-registration is encouraged.
You will then be seated by an usher in a manner that maintains physical distancing. After the service, the ushers will direct you to the exits or child pickup locations.
11. Please don’t feel any pressure to attend church in person. Whether it’s because you or someone you love is at a higher risk of COVID-19 complications, or you just are not comfortable around larger groups of people, we want to encourage you to continue to engage online.
12. To protect everyone, before you attend, you must complete the online AHS COVID-19 self-assessment, and if told to self-isolate, you may not attend.
You may not attend if, in the past 14 days, you have had:
- a fever
- new or worsening respiratory symptoms such as a cough
- sore throat or runny nose
- any nausea, vomiting or diarrhea
- have traveled outside of Canada
- had close contact without appropriate PPE with anyone who has any of the above.
We encourage you to join us online if you are unable to attend in person.
15. You can sit with your household contacts as well as a cohort group you may belong to. We encourage booking as a cohort group as sitting as a cohort group will allow us to accommodate more people in the building.
16. The solutions we have chosen to use are Oxivir (that has a 30secs - 1 minute kill time) and Vert2Go Saber (5-min kill time), both are Diversey Inc. products. These are two of several hard surface disinfectants listed by Health Canada to be effective against SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
There will be at least one on-site janitorial staff on Sundays to support the staff and volunteers in keeping our church facility safe and clean for everyone who attends the service. Our main focus while the church is in use, ie: before, during and after the church service, is to clean, followed by disinfect, the bathroom every 15-20 minutes, and to clean (as much as possible and as time permit, disinfect) frequently touched surfaces and areas that are visibly dirty.
Cleaning and disinfecting are only a part of a broad approach we will be taking to lessen and to prevent the transmission of Covid-19 in our church during the relaunch period. To help slow the spread of this virus, we can all be responsible to consistently and strictly adhere to good hygiene, and public health measures, including frequent hand washing, physical distancing and wear masks, when necessary.
Disinfectant wipes will be supplied for the offering terminals to allow users to disinfect the terminal and surface before and after use.
17. During this time, we ask that you practice safe physical distancing by going directly to your seat and, following the service, directly to the parking lot. There is an opportunity to interact and socialize in the parking lot. Please remain 2 metres apart and refrain from hugging, handshaking, and any other physical contact.
18. Everyone is asked to use hand sanitizer when they enter and leave the facility, after they use the washroom and if they have children in Children’s Ministries, after they drop off their children. Hand sanitizer stations are available at all entrances and exits and throughout the building.
19. We want to support the recommendation by the Alberta Government - it is recommended masks be worn in all public places, and while attending worship services. The exception is our platform presenters, who will not be masked when they are on the platform. Wearing a mask protects others and makes it a safer environment for everyone. We encourage you to bring your own mask, but If you are unable to provide your own mask, please ask at registration, and we will supply one for you or your family.
20. Everyone who wants to attend a service is encouraged to pre-register online. The capacity of each service in the Sanctuary will be limited to ensure physical distancing can be maintained, and ushers will seat people to maintain space between household cohorts. When we meet the Sanctuary capacity we will look to accommodate the growing crowd. There are some situations where physical distancing may not be able to be fully maintained (such as registering, picking up children or using the washroom), which wearing a mask when in the building will be beneficial.
21. Our ushers will seat you based on the room you registered for. Only family members from the same household should sit together, or your cohort group, leaving them and others to account for proper physical distancing. Please listen to directions for dismissal.