Health Precautions in Response to COVID-19

The Official Board of Scarboro United Church has voted to limit access to our building until the end of April, at which time, they will reevaluate based on the information available. All worship services during this time will be virtual, and you can listen to our Sunday sermons here, as usual.

How to access the Virtual Worship Service - click here (or you can call in to 587-328-1099) and enter the Meeting ID: 110 706 570 when prompted.

Stay connected and keep up with our daily themes and discussion topics here

 


 

Friday, March 20, 2020

Dear Scarboro United Church family,

It is with a heavy heart that I am writing today. The board of Scarboro United Church has made the hard decision to temporarily suspend all in-person gatherings and activities taking place within our building after some incredibly difficult conversations. This difficult decision was made with the utmost care and best of intentions in order to protect the health and safety of the wider community and to do our part to “flatten the curve.”

Luckily, we know that church is not defined by a building (as beautiful as our space is, and as much as it is a part of our identity). 

We will continue to be a community for one another, finding new and creative ways to connect and reflect, even when we are not physically together. Please look around you, note who in your circle of friends or chosen family may be struggling. Reach out to them with a phone call, text or email. As you do so, know that you heed the words of Christ in the gospel of John: This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. (John 15.12-13)

Let us lay down our lives as we know them. Because loving our neighbour as ourselves is a reminder that even if your risks from this virus are relatively low, there are many in our city to whom it poses a significant threat. Please take this into account as you decide how you will implement the government's recommendations.

Our staff are looking into ways to continue our individual and small group ministries without face to face contact. We will also be sharing ways that as a community we can contribute to the efforts to address the needs of the vulnerable. If you identify a need in the community that needs our attention, please contact the office.

The staff will still be working through this time. You can connect with us through all of the same ways, aside from physically coming into the building. Emails and phone messages will be checked and answered Monday to Thursdays, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. As always we are here to support you. If you or someone you know needs spiritual or emotional support quickly please call the church at 403-244-1161 and follow the prompts for the emergency line. Otherwise please leave us a message or send us an email and we will respond as soon as possible.

Watch your weekly e-news and the website as this is how we will keep in touch and stay updated on what we are doing as Scarboro United Church. You can also interact with us online through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at @scarborounited. We will be worshipping this Sunday virtually via zoom, and you can find the instructions for doing so below.

As we venture into this uncharted territory, I would like to remind us all to try not to be overwhelmed by the information, opinions, and emotion that surrounds us. Please turn to reliable sources for your news regarding the global pandemic that is COVID-19. We recommend checking the Alberta Health Services website for the most complete and up to date information in our area https://www.albertahealthservices.ca/topics/Page16997.aspx and the government of Alberta’s site https://www.alberta.ca/coronavirus-info-for-albertans.aspx

Also, please be sure to thank those in your lives who are still working through this time to provide essential services and safety to us all. 

Friends, as we adapt and find new ways of being church, let us remember who we are and what we believe. Let us live into the words of our New Creed, specifically our call to be the church, to celebrate God’s presence, to live with respect in Creation, to love and serve others, all the while knowing that In life, in death, in life beyond death, God is with us. We are not alone. Thanks be to God.

 


 

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Dear Friends,

The Official Board of Scarboro United Church has voted to limit access to our building until the end of April, at which time, they will reevaluate based on the information available. This decision was made in order to protect the health of our congregation, renters, user groups, and the wider community. While we will not be meeting in person, we will continue to be an active church community. Keep an eye on our website and social media for updates about ways to get involved, connect and support each other. Sunday services will be virtual, and full instructions on how to access them will be posted on Friday. Rev. Erin and the staff will continue to serve, and messages will be checked regularly between 10am-4pm Monday to Thursday. Please do not hesitate to reach out.

 


 

Friday, March 13, 2020

Dear Scarboro United Church Family,

Greetings of peace in this Lenten season,

As you are aware, COVID-19 has been declared a pandemic, and the Chief Medical Officer of Alberta has recommended cancellation of any large gatherings of over 250 people. We want to be careful but not fearful in this time. This Sunday, there will still be a worship service at Scarboro United Church. We have already been intentional in our gathering to reduce our risks by limiting physical contact and being aware of those in our community who are immune compromised. We will continue to do so, knowing that the best medical guidance about avoiding infection and preventing further spread is to pay attention to hand hygiene and to maintain social distance. (This will likely be the one of only times that I will encourage you to sit farther apart in church.)

I am sad to say that our PIE Day celebrations have been postponed. We will reschedule for later in the year, when we are not distracted and overwhelmed by the news that surrounds us. The good news is that we can and will continue to be public, intentional and explicit in our welcome and affirmation of LGBTQ2+ folks in our community. In the meantime, we will turn our attention to that which demands it: COVID-19.

Additionally, if you have made the choice to self isolate out of concern for your own health, or that of others, know that we affirm your decision. Our Creator set the precedent of Sabbath for rest and restoration. Jesus was one who took time apart as well. 

Know that we are not defined as a church by our attendance at worship on Sunday mornings. As we try to remain cautious but connected, we will continue to be the church. It is demonstrated in our reaching out to one another via text, email or phone call. We show who we are when contacting the church office to offer delivery of supplies to those who are isolated in our community. We will continue to be the church for one another as we let the office know of those among us who are in need of pastoral care, and as we find creative ways to let one another know that we are loved and not alone. Our community is not defined by proximity.

Should you choose to attend worship on Sunday, our best practices are outlined below: 

  1. There continues to be hand sanitizer available both for the sanctuary and the office entrances, please make use of it as you enter and exit the building. 
  2. Please cover coughs and sneezes and wash your hands afterwards.
  3. We also encourage you to also take at least 20 seconds to wash your hands with soap and water rubbing all surfaces - or use an alcohol hand sanitizer. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  4. Greet people with non-touching greetings - as we welcome one another to worship, and as we pass the peace (but not our germs!)
  5. We will refrain from passing the offering plates, instead having stations at the front and back of the sanctuary in which to place our givings. 
  6. We do ask anyone who has any symptoms of being ill (fever, coughing and difficulty breathing), if you have travelled in the last 14 days, or if you have had close contact with anyone who is currently under quarantine, please stay home and look after your physical health.

For more information, visit the following resources:

Alberta Health Services
Government of Canada
CDC