Grassroots Campaign to expand worship services in Ontario

19 Aug 2020 Grassroots Campaign to expand worship services in Ontario

From mid-March until June 12th, our congregations have been unable to gather together for corporate worship. Since June 12th, the Province of Ontario has allowed church services to resume with a 30% capacity cap. Since that time, the vast majority of municipalities and counties in Ontario have enacted mask bylaws.

Church communities and the work of our churches amongst their members and their neighbourhoods is extremely limited by these capacity requirements.

As a result of ongoing limits and restrictions, our church communities and the work of our churches amongst their members and their neighbourhoods is extremely limited by these capacity requirements.

As masks are now required in most locations, we would like to respectfully urge the province to consider allowing for further expansion of the worship service limits. As churches are also required to follow social distancing protocols, capacity is still practically limited from normal capacity. Thus, it would be reasonable for the Province of Ontario to raise or remove this capacity limit as has been done successfully in Alberta.

We’ve heard from sources that the Ontario Government is open to loosening the restrictions on church service capacities but that they haven’t heard much of a call for that.

We’ve heard from sources that the Ontario Government is open to loosening the restrictions on church service capacities but that they haven’t heard much of a call for that.

So, would you join us in calling on the Ontario Government to expand worship services? 

We particularly appreciate the approach and tone that the Alberta government took in applying their church reopening policy as seen in this quote:

“We also recognize that places of worship are structured environments with respected leaders who will work with their congregation to ensure measures are in place. Attendance caps have been removed with the knowledge that each faith community’s leadership will be responsible for ensuring that measures are taken to prevent spread within their community.”[1]

 

What can I do?

  1. Send this EasyMail to your MPP encouraging them to relay your concerns to the Ontario Government about expanding services.

2. Reach out to your Elder or Pastor and respectfully encourage them to consider editing and sending a version of the draft letter linked here on behalf of your church.

Throughout the COVID 19 pandemic ARPA Canada has sought to help our supporters engage with the government and ensure that worship services are kept front and center in the minds of the Government officials. Thanks to your help many churches signed on to the reopenontariochurches.ca letter. Many of you have continued to use EasyMail to express concern and to encourage the government to remove barriers to worship services and allow more of our brothers and sisters to join us together in corporate worship of our God.

Watch the Quick Updates episode from Wednesday, August 19th that references this campaign. You can also click this link – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=skg_NH5lHkc&feature=youtu.be


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