This week the leadership team met to discuss the restart of Sunday morning services.
Reviewing the criteria that we set for a potential restart (the results of our congregational survey, current provincial guidance, the experiences of other churches, and an internal risk assessment) we have decided to wait a little bit longer before re-opening.
The congregational survey clearly told us that we need to proceed with caution. This week a “COVID19 watch” was declared for Calgary Centre (our church neighbourhood). While a few city churches have restarted we think we need a bit more time to clearly assess the pandemic implications of these starts. While our internal risk assessment has shown us that we can open, we’ve decided that a slow move in this direction is our best way forward.
To that end we will continue with online services — in the current format — for the next few weeks. During this time, we will finish building our live-streaming technology. Once we are able to live-stream, the plan is to move our service recordings back into the sanctuary on Sunday mornings. This will happen sometime in August. At this point you’ll be able to access a live service (via a link) at 9:30 am on Sundays, and a recorded service on YouTube (shortly after the live service ends).
The plan is to do a couple of live services with nobody in attendance initially (so that we can work out the technological kinks and give our welcoming team some time to practice our COVID19 protocols). Once this is done, we will slowly open up the service to attendees in subsequent weeks.
During this time, we will continue to weigh all of our criteria for re-opening. If everything looks good, we will reopen.
Of course, all of this is playing out in a very fluid context. Ultimately the pandemic will set our timing. As church leaders we are committed to continuing to listen and discern our best way forward.
Thank you for all of your input in this process. We pray that God will continue to keep you in this unsettled time.
Your Marda Loop Church Leadership Team