In-Person Services are Returning

An Invitation:

At long last there is an invitation to return to in-person church at Olivet, starting this Sunday, December 5th! And, there is a lot of ‘context’ to put around it.

The responses to the Olivet Church Reopening Survey overwhelmingly indicated that the Olivet congregation would like to see the church open to in-person services. To that end, the church reopening committee has outlined what a church service under COVID conditions will look like.

This is ‘Phase One’. It will not be quite the in-person worship experience you are used to. There are still many COVID protocols required for the time being, but, it’s definitely a step closer than watching it on a screen. We hope this will meet the short term needs of the Society.

The most difficult part of this process has been to TRY to find a re-opening solution that fits everyone. It became clear that that isn’t possible at this time. The challenge is creating the desired conditions for in-person worship that a majority will feel comfortable with. There is not a one-size-fits-all solution.

While most survey respondents indicated a desire not to have separate services based on vaccination status, in the end, it seems the only way to accommodate the needs of the society – providing opportunities for in-person worship for everyone who desires it – is to provide opportunities for both, separately; for now. The committee and board have chosen to provide “Open to All” and “Vaccinated Only” services on alternate Sundays. This proposal is seen as a short-term solution to an unfortunate situation. We are starting with a ‘Vaccinated Only’ service this Sunday.

The bigger invitation and ‘call’ then, is truly about maintaining charity and ‘goodwill towards others’. It is a call for patience, a call for compassion, understanding and acceptance, a call for deep humility and self-examination, so that as we move forward, beyond COVID, we can maintain love and respect for others and return to unity as a congregation.

Attached below is the detailed ‘Re-Opening Plan’. You can also click on this link to go to the Olivet Church Website, where you’ll find a number of documents which lay out all the details of the temporary changes that are necessary to worship in-person at this time. The “Cole’s Notes” version is this:

  • Congregants will register each week between 10:00AM Monday and 12:00 NOON Friday via the online Save-A-Seat portal, or by calling the office (only if unable to use the Save-A-Seat application; we aim to avoid a glut of calls to the office), on a first-come-first-served basis, due to capacity limitations.
  • Congregants should arrive at 10:15 or earlier, as there will be a screening process on arrival
  • Social distancing is required
  • Proper mask-wearing (covering nose, mouth and chin) is required at all times
  • There will be no singing
  • There will be no gathering anywhere in the building
  • Each week congregants will choose to attend either the ‘Vaccinated Only’ services or the ‘Open to All’ services
  • Livestreaming of services will continue to be available

In mid-January, we will re-evaluate the plan and adjust as necessary. The Olivet Board and reopening committee is committed to keeping Olivet Church open unless the government (Toronto Public Health or Government of Ontario) requires us to shut down again.

If anyone has questions or concerns, they may contact committee point-person Barb Horigan at [email protected] She will forward all feedback to this committee for awareness and/or consideration.

Thank you all!

Save-A-Seat

Save your seat for the Sunday Service here!

COVID-19 Active Screening Tool for Patrons

This document outlines the COVID-19 screening protocol that will be in place when you arrive at the church.

Reopening Plan

Click here to read the full reopening plan.