Knox Church has resumed safe and limited "In-Person Worship" services. This document has been updated November 4, 2021. All paragraphs in full-bold text include updates.
This document outlines everything you need to know for keeping yourself and others safe and healthy. For those unable to join us for various reasons related to the pandemic or otherwise, please know our worship services will continue to be available online via our YouTube channel, and this website. Also, if the situation with the pandemic worsens again, plans for 'In-Person Worship' will be reconsidered and possibly postponed.
GUIDELINES FOR ATTENDING: Plans are in place for anyone attending worship to do so safely and in compliance with Ottawa Public Health directives. Please review and be prepared to follow the guidelines below.
- Arrival: To help decrease potential waiting or crowding in the Narthex, arriving early will be very helpful.
- Entry: The Narthex doors will be the only main point of entry. For people in need of a more accessible entrance, the Garden Courtyard Doors will also be available.
- Face Masks: Unless you have a medical condition which prohibits wearing a mask, everyone is required to wear one inside the sanctuary. Before entering, fasten your facemask. If you do not have one, there will be a supply available.
- Hand Sanitizer: Please sanitize your hands upon entry and exit from the sanctuary.
- Sign In: Ottawa Public Health has directed churches to record worship attendees for purposes of contact-tracing. You will be asked to sign-in when you arrive. Contact information will be used ONLY if a need arises for contact-tracing and will be shredded after 30 days.
- Physical Distancing: Maintain a 2 metre distance at all times from others not in your family (or bubble) at all times.
- Seating: Every second church pew is available for seating and each pew is marked with available seating either in the centre or near the aisle ends.
- Restrooms: Two restrooms are available. Down the North Narthex Stairs across from the Nursery and in Geneva Hall. Please follow all sanitation procedures as noted in Restrooms.
- Exit: At the conclusion of worship, people will be invited to exit, row by row from the back toward the front, through the centre and two outside aisles. Please refrain from mingling inside the sanctuary or gathering in the Narthex or outside exit doors.
OTHER CHANGES AFFECTING WORSHIP: Though we will make every effort to have a worshipful environment, our time together will be different than usual, including the following changes in order to help us be together safely:
- Bulletin: We have recently resumed Sunday hand-outs of a simple two-sided half-sheet including our Sunday Liturgy and main contact information. All other information of events and news at Knox will continue to be included in our weekly email Knox Newsletter. If you are not yet a subscriber to the Knox Newsletter, send an email to email@example.com to subscribe.
- Congregational Singing: We have recently welcomed congregational singing during worship services again. Masks continue to be required, also while singing, and people are encouraged to sing modestly.
- Child Care: Until it is safe to do so, our downstairs nursery will not be open, though there are spaces available in our cloak rooms for parents to be with children, and single-use craft-bags are also available for children to bring into the sanctuary.
- Sunday School: While weather permits, our Sunday School ministry is meeting outdoors, usually in the Garden Courtyard. Sunday School children and youth are dismissed during the early part of worship (usually after 15-20 minutes).
- Coffee Hour: Though we are still not able to have Coffee Hour after worship in Geneva Hall, we do now have refreshments available for enjoying, weather permitting, in the Garden Courtyard.
- Offerings: Instead of passing offering plates during worship, all donations will be received at the exit doors. Online giving options also continue to be available.
OTHER PRECAUTIONS WE HAVE TAKEN: Knox has a Contingency Committee which has been working diligently to help create a Sunday Worship environment where we will be able to meet safely and in compliance with direction from Ottawa Public Health. To that end, in addition to the above-mentioned temporary changes and guidelines for worship, we also want you to know about the following practices:
- Sanitizing: Extra measures will be taken each week to ensure all areas in the sanctuary are thoroughly cleaned.
- Limiting Touch Points: To decrease the amount of spaces people touch, all doors will be opened in advance for entry and exit from the sanctuary and building. For your own safety and that of others, please minimize touching doors and other surfaces.
- Staff/Volunteers Screening: For everyone’s well being, Knox Staff and leadership will complete a self-assessment each Sunday morning. Anyone exhibiting COVID19 symptoms will be asked to remain home. All staff and volunteers in any leadership roles on Sundays are also required to demonstrate proof of being fully vaccinated.
- Removal of Items: Due to increased understanding of COVID19 spread mainly via areosol particles rather than contagions remaining live on surfaces, Hymnals and Bibles have recently been replaced into the church pew racks.