covid-19 updates

Guiding Principles for Health Orders (2021/10/20)

Since the pandemic began in March 2020, as a staff and Elders Board, we have been working diligently to implement and cooperate with the latest and ever-evolving health guidelines from the province. Our aim, throughout this pandemic, has been to act above the minimum standard required by the province and our city – living not by the letter of the law, but by the spirit in which it was given. We believe we should be guided by a love for neighbour and care for the vulnerable.

On Tuesday Oct.5, the board of elders and the pastoral staff met to discuss the most recent health measures. We unanimously agreed that beginning October 17, 2021, we will offer a vaccine optional service at 9:30am as well as a vaccine required service at 11:00am.


Here is what this means:

Beginning October 17, the 9:30am service will continue to be open to everyone, regardless of vaccination status with the following restrictions:

  • Masks must be worn at all times
  • Capacity is limited to 33% (about 115 people)
  • We will keep socially distant seating
  • Pre-registration is requested
  • Nursery is open, and preschool supervision is provided
  • This is following our current practices since resuming in-person worship this Summer.

Beginning October 17, the 11:00 service will be open to everyone who is able to provide a proof of vaccination status with the following procedures:

  • Masks must be worn at all times
  • Must be able to provide proof of vaccination upon entry
  • There is no capacity limits, or socially distant seating required
  • Pre-registration is requested
  • Children’s ministry up to grade 6 will run during the service

This is a difficult time for all of us that requires difficult decisions. These measures are temporary, and we will review them with medical experts regularly. We will continue to offer online services that allow you to stay connected with the community from the safety of your home.
We believe that by offering a service that requires a proof a vaccination in addition to our services where proof of vaccine is not required, we can provide a worship space for those in our congregation and community that have not been back to in-person worship in 20 months due to health and safety concerns.


It is our position that by offering this additional service requiring proof of vaccination, we are being more inclusive to our congregation and community. This service is not meant to divide or even make a value judgement between those who are vaccinated and those who are not. All are welcome at MAC, and we want to do our best to reach and minister to all demographics in our society.


Below is a FAQ section for your reference

If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to any of our Elders or Staff. We would love to talk and help
Press on!

Stafford Greer
on behalf of the Board of Elders and Pastors of MAC

FAQ

Can children who are not eligible to be vaccinated attend the Vaccination-Required service with their vaccinated parents?
Yes! Children who are not eligible to be vaccinated are able to attend with their vaccinated parents just like they would at restaurants and other restricted spaces in line with the Public Health Orders.


Is having a vaccine-required service dividing the church?
We are not making a value judgement about people or their decision to be vaccinated or not. We believe that offering a vaccine-required service is actually working to help bring unity to the church. We know that there are many people who long to be back in worship together with other believers, but feel that attending large gatherings of people who aren’t vaccinated puts them, their children, or others at risk and as such have chosen not to return to their church family. We want to provide a space for everyone to feel safe in attending and believe that providing a space like this is a loving thing to do.


What about families that aren’t all vaccinated?
We will continue to offer the 9:30am service without any vaccine requirements for families to attend together. Please join us!


Is the 9:30 service only for those who are not vaccinated?
No, not at all! The 9:30 service will continue to operate just like we have been – will not ask or assume anything about vaccination status of those attending the 9:30.


Am I able to continue to serve on a volunteer team if I am not vaccinated?
Absolutely! There are many serving opportunities available on different teams and we would LOVE to have you serve with us! However, volunteering during the 11:00am service will require a proof of vaccination for any volunteer position.


Do I really need to show my vaccine card when I show up to the 11am service?
Yes. We ask that everyone attending the 11am service show their vaccination or QR code when entering the building. This is required by the current health order, and helps demonstrate to everyone who has chosen to attend the vaccine-required service that we are taking these measures seriously and can trust that everyone present has also been vaccinated. I know this may feel weird, and we appreciate your understanding in the process.


I don’t like these decisions, am I allowed to grumble and complain?
We totally get that not everyone will agree with these decisions. In fact, it took a lot of dialogue at our elder and staff meeting for all of us to really understand why we would go this route. In the end, we were unanimous that this was the best way forward for our church at this moment in time. If you need more time to process, or have further questions, or even just want to get something off your chest, please talk with any of the elders or staff. We will all make time to hear and dialogue with you, and realize that we may still disagree. However, we ask that for the sake of unity, that disagreement not turn into grumbling or complaining.