Good afternoon, all. The peace of Christ be with you all.
Members of the spiritual growth committee and I had a discussion yesterday afternoon. It was suggested and agreed by those there that it would probably be best at this point if we were to cancel the hymn sing scheduled for Sunday at this time.
This is due to a couple of reasons. Firstly, the stricter gathering legislation put forth by the government a couple of days ago has caused some logistical issues. From what I gather, worship services are to go by the older number restrictions, but any type of socializing, outdoor gathering, or other events are subject to the new limits. While the hymn sing is a service in some sense, as we are praying and worshipping through music, the fellowship/socializing aspects complicate things. As well, many parks and municipalities are placing the new 10/25 limit on all activities on their property, regardless of whether it is a service or not. We feel that at an event like this, the blurred lines between worship and socializing would be too hard to discern and enforce.
Secondly, there are further concerns with the singing itself. The latest public worship guidelines from the province are suggesting that plexiglass be used along with social distancing for any singing, indoor or outdoor. This would be hard to arrange for Sunday, and will need to be taken into consideration when we do go back into our sanctuaries.
Finally, they are calling for rain on Saturday evening and Sunday, so it wouldn’t be ideal for an outdoor event in any case. The church lawn doesn’t offer a lot of protection, and the conservation area wouldn’t allow for social distancing with all under the shelter.
This is definitely a hard decision to make. I, like many of you, find a lot of our spiritual grounding in the ability to make music together. However, now is a time to live out the call of our Saviour to care for the most vulnerable. It is also important to show our local communities that we are as committed as they are to prevent any spread wherever possible.
This does not mean that we cannot make music together at all. Our musicians and worship planners are hard at work discerning and coordinating about other ways to offer music ministry at this time. Pre-recorded beloved hymns from our talented musicians, music for our retirement homes, and other options are all on the table. Any ideas that you might have as to how we can make a joyful noise while still staying safe is greatly appreciated!
Blessings to you all, and be well!
Yours in Christ,