Recently, our Re-Opening Task Group, SSUC Board and Ministry Team have been developing a re-opening plan that would see us resuming in-person spiritual gatherings in September, with some informal outdoor gatherings being planned for late July and August. After considering the Alberta government’s accelerated summer re-opening schedule, our staff’s summer plans and a survey of the SSUC community’s comfort levels, we have decided to take a more cautious, measured and manageable plan that aims for a September 12th re-opening to in-person attendance at our Sunday gatherings.
We invited you to complete a survey of your comfort in returning to in-person gatherings, and your feedback was helpful to the task group’s recommendations – thank you! Some of you are anxious to return, some of you prefer to take a wait-and-see approach, and a majority of you are hoping we can return cautiously and with some safety protocols in place to start.
Another factor in deciding to aim for a return in the fall is to give our staff some much-needed vacation time. Our ministry team has been working very hard to bring us excellent livestream experiences for the past 15 months. In order for us to have an enthusiastic welcome back to our all-ages programming in the fall, all our staff must have time to rest, play, get away and simply recharge this summer.
As it has been throughout the pandemic, our first priority is that we can be safe when we are together as a community. The month of September will be a phased re-opening for us, meaning that although there may not be any provincial restrictions, we will begin with some safety protocols around the number of participants, our seating distance and mandatory masking. In other words, we will ease into our return and it won’t immediately look and feel like it did before. We will evaluate in these first weeks back so that we can continue making informed decisions about next phases that will see us returning to the gatherings we recognize and love. And if you choose to continue joining us online, our digital community is important to us! We’ll be continuing our high-quality livestreaming so that no matter how you choose join us, you will be part of the action.
We miss being together very much, and thanks to the hard work of our re-opening task group, we are developing a detailed re-opening protocol and we’re greatly anticipating our chance to be face to face again! You will hear more from us about details of our September in-person spiritual gatherings, as well as some summer opportunities to gather informally on the church lawn for community building activities.
With appreciation for your support, patience, and commitment to the SSUC community,