This document has been created to further communicate our response to Covid-19 and is subject to change.
On Monday, December 21st, 2020, the provincial government gave notice that a province-wide lockdown will begin starting on December 26th, and last for at least 28 days. The hospital strain in some regions of Ontario is clearly a major concern. We pray for those families affected by Covid and especially the ones who are very ill.
When we heard the news on Monday, our hearts sank for another reason as well. The new lockdown measures affect in-person worship services with even more limitations on our capacity. This is a reminder that we need to continue to pray for our government-as the Scriptures direct us in 1 Timothy 2:2.
We would like to know if you desire to meet and worship ‘in-person.’ We are thinking about creative ways to move forward, though our gathered numbers would be limited to up to 10 persons. To give you an idea, we are considering multiple services (evening/mid-week/other). We are also considering other ‘online’ meeting opportunities.
Our current plan is to have one Sunday morning service at 10 am, continuing with streaming and FM Drive-In options. You might find it interesting to note that we have been averaging indoors roughly 45 persons at the 9am service and 30 persons at the 11 am.
We want to hear from you. So please contact us (as soon as you can) if you would like to be a part of in-person worship services through this lockdown period, or if you would like to connect with an online group for Bible study and/or fellowship.
Thank you for your prayers and support. Know that our heart’s desire is to be responsive and supportive of the whole congregation.
We are truly grateful to God for each of you and pray God’s blessings of peace to you and your loved ones this Christmas.
Pastor Ben and Pastor Brenda
Email Ben: email@example.com
Email Brenda: firstname.lastname@example.org
We will evaluate how things go in the coming weeks and make adjustments if needed. Thank you for your patience and prayers.
Pastor Brenda and I have made a short video with more information, and communicates what you can expect. We hope you will watch it in preparation for Sunday.
When you enter Gilmour, please use the South doors (double doors) and then exit using the North door (single).
Please note the signage posted at the entrance and throughout the building that clearly communicates our requirement to self-identify and not enter the building if you have travelled outside of Canada in the last 14 days, believe you could have been exposed to someone with COVID-like symptoms, or if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms: respiratory issues, fever, or cough.
Small groups of 10 or less may meet in the church if they follow the social distancing guidelines and cleaning procedures as indicated.
Please note the available hand sanitizer at the entrance and exit, the markings on floor which include directional arrows for traffic flow, and the modified seating arrangement in the sanctuary.
The church is being thoroughly cleaned each week, currently on Wednesdays or Fridays.
We ask that anyone using the church will wipe down surfaces they have touched with the provided
sanitizers and paper towels (found in lower level of church, outside the kitchen).
When you enter Gilmour, please use the South doors (double doors) and then exit using the
North door (single). Please note the signage posted at the entrance and throughout the building
that clearly communicates our requirement to self-identify and not enter the building if you have
travelled outside of Canada in the last 14 days, believe you could have been exposed to
someone with COVID-like symptoms, or if you are experiencing any of the following symptoms:
respiratory issues, fever, or cough.
Please note the cleaning directions as posted at the washroom doors.
Please wash your hands for 20 seconds using soap and water. When soap and water is
not readily available, using hand sanitizer with 60% alcohol content can be effective when
it is applied properly (nickel-sized portion) and massaged between each finger, over the
tips of fingernails and applied to the lower wrist until the hands are dry.
We want to emphasize the proven effectiveness of hand hygiene which many experts
agree is the single-most important method of reducing and preventing the spread of
After washroom use, we ask that you take a disinfectant wipe and re-enter the washroom
using it to wipe down all areas touched. Start with door handles on both sides of the door;
then paper towel dispenser; soap dispenser, sink taps; then toilet handle. Discard used
disinfectant wipes in the waste can provided.
Parents/guardians please accompany children under 10.
Face coverings will be mandatory at both services, and for the duration of the service, including singing. That said, we want those with face-covering exemptions to feel comfortable and welcome to worship at Gilmour. Therefore, we respectfully ask those with exemptions to attend the 11 am service.
Why are face coverings mandatory?
This is a valid question given the fact that there are so few Covid cases in our region, the effectiveness of face coverings, and the previous exemption given to places of worship. That said, the reason we are following the Peterborough Public Health mandate in this instance is three-fold. First of all, it is a measure of protection and safety. Secondly, it comes from our government leaders to whom we submit. Thirdly, and this is related to the second, I (Pastor Ben) believe the legislation has not crossed a Biblical line. God’s Word must be our line in the sand. When the law of the land is not contrary to Scripture we should do our best to follow it. When a government law is given that is contrary to Scripture, the choice is obvious-we must choose the Bible. First and foremost, we are Christ-followers and citizens of the eternal Kingdom of God. And we submit to God and His Word first. As I see it, the face-covering mandate does not cross a Scriptural line.
Having said all of that, I know that there are devoted Christ-followers on both ends of the face-covering spectrum. With God’s help, please pray that we can live out Ephesians 4:1-6, even with our differences.
What about exemptions to face coverings?
There are exemptions for face coverings. Please note the section below. And know that it is my hope and prayer that the Gilmour family will respect those who are wearing face coverings and those who, for a variety of reasons, will join us in worship without a face covering. Let’s keep our focus vertical as we gather to worship the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!
Link to the current directive affecting our area: https://www.peterboroughpublichealth.ca/novel-coronavirus-covid-19/covid-19-mandatory-face-coverings/faq-owners-operators/