December 12, 2020
Suspension of in-person worship – Starting December 14
To the people of St. Andrew’s Church, Fergus,
Grace and peace from God our Father, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.
As many of you will know, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph will move into the Red Zone regarding COVID-19 on Monday, Dec. 14. And that will be for 28 days.
The Session believes that it is wise and prudent to stop in-person worship services. The restrictions in the Red Zone is that theatres and cinemas must close, restaurants can only have 10 people inside the restaurant, and other gatherings in “event” sites are limited to 10 people. While churches are not required to follow those rules – the Session believes that it is wise and prudent for St. Andrew’s to take these rules seriously and apply them to ourselves.
The Session does not take this decision lightly. We do this because we believe that it is wise to follow the advice of public health officials, we believe it says that we are in solidarity with others in the community who are being restricted.
So what does this mean in practical terms?
- There will be in-person worship on Dec. 13 (tomorrow) at 10 am. (The Red Zone rules come into effect on Dec. 14).
- There will be no in-person worship on Thurs., Dec. 17 or Sunday, Dec. 20. The on-line service will be available and there will be services on Wightman and Cogeco.
- There will be no in-person Christmas Eve Services. An online service is being prepared and will be available also on Wightman.
- No in-person worship on Dec. 27, Dec. 31, Jan. 3, Jan. 7 or Jan. 10. On-line services will be available for the Sundays (Dec. 27, Jan. 3, Jan. 10).
During this time we will have daily devotional material available – both electronically (e-mail and on the website) and in hard copy available at the church.
Some may be wondering about donations to the church. Donations can be mailed in, put in the mailbox at the manse (put the envelope in the box, step into the breeze way and ring the door bell, someone will come and see you and you can tell them the envelope is in the mail box), donations can be made by electronic transfer and pre-authorized remittance can be set up by contacting the church office. Those who have not yet received their offering envelopes can drop by the church (the church office will be open this coming week (Dec. 14-18) and then hit and miss between Dec. 20 and Jan. 5) and pick up their envelopes in faith mail.
We understand that this decision will be hard on people, we grieve the fact that there will be no Christmas Eve services to attend. It is sad. But we know also that the light of Christ still shines, shines in the darkness, and that even though we may not be able to gather that does not stop the light from shining – for nothing not even COVID-19 can stop the light of Christ from shining. In that hope and promise we live.
If you have any questions about any of this, please contact Peter Bush or an elder.
Yours in Christ,
August 21, 2020
Re-opening of in-person worship – Starting Sept. 3
Let me begin by saying that St. Andrew’s, Fergus will continue to post our services on youtube on Saturday afternoons so that people can watch them on Sundays in their homes. We will also continue to be broadcast on Wightman and Cogeco.
The following description of how to be part of in-person worship at St. Andrew’s has been developed from reading the Public Health guidelines and talking to other congregations that have re-opened for in-person worship.
For September and up until Thanksgiving there will be two worship services.
- One on Thursday evening at 7 pm, with Joan Wilson playing. AND
- One on Sunday at 10 am, with the worship band playing.
Once we have become comfortable with moving in and out of the sanctuary in the new reality, and have the disinfecting protocols working efficiently we will re-visit service times.
- Please call the church to book space at whichever service you plan to attend. This will help us in maximizing the space in the building while maintaining 6 ft of social distance. As well, we need a record of those who attended worship – and calling ahead will get you on the list and speed the process of coming into the building.
- To enter the building please use the entrance by the kitchen/the school side of the building if at all possible. The window allows less chance of people getting too close to each other. The Tower St. entrance is very congested not allowing for 6 feet of distance. We are seeking to reserve save the Tower St. entrance for those needing the elevator and for those using the handicapped parking.
- When you arrive at the church please put on a mask. If you do not have a mask, we will have masks available. Those persons who have medical or allergy reasons they can not wear a mask will be exempted – but at a minimum we hope that people will wear masks until they have found their seats.
- There will be hand sanitizing stations at the entry doors.
- Entry to the sanctuary will be from the hallway and in the door by the drumkit. Please follow the red dots at 6ft of distancing.
- At the tall clock an usher will tell you where you will be seated.
- There will be singing – singing will be with masks on, remaining seated, and singing quietly.
- There will be offering plates in obvious places in the sanctuary for offering, the plates will not be passed.
- There will be a children’s time, with children remaining with their families.
- Sunday school will be available on Sundays for those families who wish to have children involved in the Sunday School. The Sunday School program will take place in the Fellowship Hall with social distance in place.
- We would ask people to leave in an orderly fashion keeping 6 ft of distance maintained. Once people have left the building you are welcome to visit with others, with 6 ft of distance. Please move clear of the doors so others can get out of the building.
We put together a short video showing the process for coming to church, check it out: https://youtu.be/kznaRhS2nhU
If you have questions please call the church or e-mail – firstname.lastname@example.org
June 18, 2020
About Re-opening Church
In-person Worship will wait until September: The Session (the elders) have decided that St. Andrew’s Church will re-open for worship on Sept. 3. Until that time, we will continue with the taping of services and them being uploaded to Youtube. The decision was made for a number of reasons among them being
- many other congregations are waiting until Sept.
- acting out of abundance of caution; public health officials continue to be concerned about church gatherings
- this will allow staff to have holidays.
Small Groups/Fellowship Groups/Prayer Groups will start on July 6: St. Andrew’s Church will re-open for small gatherings (10 people or fewer) on July 6, 2020. Gatherings include Study groups, Prayer groups, Fellowship groups, other gatherings. The gatherings will take place in the Fellowship Hall where chairs will be set up at 6 ft of distance and will be for no more than 90 minutes. Disinfecting protocols and other rules will be in place.
There will be two time slots per day Monday – Thursday each week for group bookings. Groups wishing to gather must book a time slot with the Church Office.
June 9, 2020
Many in the congregation will have heard the Premier's announcement that churches can open for worship (at 30% capacity). St. Andrew's will NOT be opening this Sunday (June 14). The Session will be making a more detailed announcement in the coming days about plans for re-opening.
March 19, 2020
Greetings in the name of the Lord Jesus,
The Session of St. Andrew’s Church, Fergus met last night, March 18, 2020. There are a number of things we need to communicate to the congregation.
A. The first group of things relate to what is happening at St. Andrew’s.
1. Worship gatherings (this includes both 9 am and 11 am Sunday worship services) are suspended until further notice.
Worship will continue in the following manner.
A taped service will be available at the www.standrewsfergus.org website. On that page if you move the cursor to “Ministries” and under that click on “Sermon” you will find a file named “March 22, 2020”. Click on it and you will have the taped service. In the regular Friday e-mail from the church that includes the bulletin – you will also receive an order of service that you can use to participate in the taped service.
We ask for your patience as we seek to make the taped service participatory and engaging. There is a difference leading worship and preaching to a sanctuary with 70 or 100 people, and doing it virtually for individuals and families in their homes.
This service will also be available on Cogeco and Wightman in the week following.
2. Sunday School is suspended until further notice.
3. Bible studies/small groups (including the Lent Study) are suspended until further notice.
4. Holy Donuts is suspended until further notice.
5. The Spring Bling Thing is postponed to a later date, which will be announced.
6. The April St. Andrew’s Kitchen (April 8) is cancelled.
7. Any meetings that may take place in St. Andrew’s building must adhere to these rules: a. people must be at least 6 feet apart from each other, and b. gatherings of more than 10 people will not be allowed.
8. Wednesday morning prayer at 8 am will continue for the present time meeting in the sanctuary. The Tuesday evening prayer group will continue to meet at the present time meeting in the parlour. These continue as a context for prayer.
9. For those who are wondering about their offerings – you can mail them to the church (the mail is still functioning), you can call the church and someone will come and pick up your offering. We thank those who are using PAR (Pre-Authorized Remittance).
B. The second group of things are about how we will care for each other.
1. If you or people you know of are in need of people to go shopping for them, please contact the church and we will have people pick up the needed supplies and deliver them.
2. If you are feeling lonely and want someone to talk to, you are welcome to call the church. Or call an elder. You can call Peter at 204-298-7120.
3. Please call people from the church to say “Hi”, to talk, to laugh together.
4. Please PRAY for those who are ill, for health care professionals, government officials, nursing home and care facility staff, persons in self isolation and their families, and for those who are overwhelmed with anxiety.
5. Wash your hands. A lot. For at least as long as it takes to sing Happy Birthday, or the first verse of Amazing Grace, or say the Lord’s Prayer.
Jesus said these words to his followers when they were worried and stressed – “Do not be afraid, little flock.” (Luke 12:32a)
Yours in Christ,
St. Andrew’s Church, Fergus