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Expectations and Guidelines for Upcoming Livestream Services

To our Brothers and Sisters in Christ at Willoughby Church,

On June 14, the hope for WC is to begin live-streaming our services from our own sanctuary building, and we’d love to have some of you there to join us! Below is a written list of what you can expect, along with some guidelines, which have also been articulated in the video.

Again, we recognize that this is a far-cry from what we’d hoped to see happen the first time we gather again in the Sanctuary. We want you to know that in no way is this our attempt at ‘going back to doing church.’ We are still in a season of wilderness as a dispersed church body, and we join with our other brothers and sisters around the world to lament this current reality.

If anything, we want to acknowledge that our hope in this season is not to ‘go back’ to anything, but rather to head towards whatever God has for us as a congregation—be that something which looks similar to previous worship services, or something that looks a little different.

For Willoughby, this idea of a livestreamed, in-person service for 50 people is something we as a Leadership Team desired to explore—and we are more than willing to shift gears again if we deem it necessary to do so. ‘Tis the season for trying new things!

Should we discern that this approach is not sustainable, we will likely adjust to hosting a livestreamed service without the other 45 participants in the pews. But should we continue in this route and all goes well, we may shift to hosting two or three services so as to give more of our members an opportunity to attend. If that becomes the case, appropriate sanitization of the benches will occur between the services.

Either way, we encourage you to continue meeting in homes with others in your ‘bubble’ if you will not be attending in-person. Of course, we also encourage those of you who would consider yourselves in the vulnerable or at-risk category to take in the service via the livestream in the safety of your homes.

Below is an outline of what the ‘in-person’ experience will look like, along with the necessary guidelines for attending:

  1. Please register online and do the self-assessment before you come.

  2. Make sure to visit the bathroom before arriving at the church building. Washrooms will be for emergencies only.

  3. After you drive into the parking lot, please make your way to the East-side sanctuary door. (You will not be entering through the Lobby.) You will each enter directly into the Sanctuary through the East side doors, and then will be leaving out the West side doors.

  4. If you arrive at the same time as other families or individuals, please be reminded to maintain physical distancing as you walk and greet one another. The last thing the Pastors want to be doing is policing you or holding yard sticks between you.

  5. As you approach the Sanctuary doors, please utilize the hand sanitizer which will be available.

  6. There will be no paper bulletins.

  7. SONLiFE and nursery will not be provided. Your children may take colouring papers and markers, etc but everything you take in must leave with you. You will be seated in a scattered fashion throughout the Sanctuary, with pews in-between households.

  1. All Bibles, hymnals, and cushions will be removed so as to minimize contact and sanitation.

  2. The service will be approx. 45 minutes in length with every piece being a bit condensed. But there will still be the regular liturgical ‘movements’: Welcome & Greeting, songs with liturgy, prayers, a message, a response song, and a parting blessing.

  3. With regards to worship, the Pastors will take care of all the tech needs, and we will have one or two musicians who can provide a few songs for us.

  4. Other than the musician(s), there will be no singing permitted. (Too many germs flying around.) You will be encouraged to listen, to reflect, to hum along if you like, and to use this space as a more contemplative time for worship.

  5. If you feel like you’ve got a tickle in your nose or throat, please make sure to sneeze or cough into your shirt.

  6. At this point, we will continue to refrain from partaking in communion together until the restrictions are eased and more of those at home can gather together as well.

  7. There will not be an offering taken, but we will have a basket at the door on the way out if you desire to bring your tithings to the service.

  8. All doors will remain open, so you will never need to touch a door handle. We will also have the fans running for air circulation.

If you would like to sign-up for a service, please see the email link and follow the directions to register online. As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please just let us know.

May God grant us His grace and wisdom in this season as we continue to discern His direction!

Many blessings,
The Pastors and Covid-19 Response Team