(July 8 2020) Hey Summerside,
We are opening our door to in-person services on July 19. The service is going to look and feel a bit different, but the significant part is that we will be worshipping together. I cannot overstate the importance of God’s people gathering together. Church Online is good, but it’s not enough. If you have underlying health conditions or a situation that prevents you from attending in person, make use of Church Online. But if you can attend, please prayerfully consider doing so.
- We are opening on July 19, 2020.
- We will have services at 9:30am and repeated at 11:00am.
- Please register for a service through the Church Center App, or by going to summersidechurch.ca/events .
- No Child Care is possible during this season, but children are welcome. Each service will only be 45 minutes. All of the spaces that have typically been used by children's ministry will be inaccessible. Photocopied colouring pages, worksheets, and kid-friendly sermon notes will be available, but parents will be responsible for bringing crayons, pencils, etc. from home. Feel free to also bring along some quiet activities from home (books, fidget toys, digital devices with earphones, etc.).
- We are encouraging people to come a few minutes prior to the service, but to leave the building immediately after the service so we can sanitize our building for the next service. If you can help with this (it will take no longer than 10 minutes and all supplies will be provided), please contact the church office at firstname.lastname@example.org .
What will it look like?
- Dedicated ENTRANCE and EXIT doors. You will ENTER the church through the main doors (under the carport) only and proceed directly into the auditorium.
- Upon entering the building, we encourage you to use the hand sanitizer available and refrain from shaking hands or hugging those outside of your family unit.
- All Welcome Team Members will be wearing masks. Please feel free to wear a mask if you’d feel more comfortable.
- We’ve taken out the rows of chairs and have replaced them with tables (large and small), and smaller groups of chairs – all properly distanced. We’re asking families to sit together around a table, and singles or couples to sit in the smaller groups of chairs.
- While singing is technically permitted, during the music, you may also worship through prayer, reflection, silence, or even journaling.
- We will have live announcements, welcome, and benedictions. However, for the meantime, the service will include pre-recorded videos such as we have for Church Online. Why? At this point, we don’t have the tech infrastructure to live-stream our services. Our staff and team members are simply not able to do both a recorded service, then two live services. We will work to ensure that we have live preaching as soon as we are able.
- We ask that you immediately leave the building after the service as there will be no refreshments/fellowship time provided.
- You will EXIT through the patio door in the rear of the foyer. To maintain social distancing upon exiting, we will dismiss seating groups at staggered times after the service.
Our Commitment Remains:
- To ensuring that we are continuing our mission to be Everyday Disciples who make Disciples Every day.
- To providing high quality on-line and in-person services.
- To adjusting the plan we have in place, if required.
The Finer Print:
- Parents, your kids MUST stay with you AT ALL TIMES.
- Please don’t sit at a large table if you are a single or a couple. Let’s keep these available for larger groups and, instead, find a spot in the smaller chair groupings.
- Please be patient with our staff. They love you; they are working harder than ever, and doing everything they can, to make our re-launch a success. Give them the same grace Jesus has given you.
I know this will look different than what we’ve been used to. That’s OK. For 2000 years, the Church of Jesus has been adapting, responding, and both growing and thriving in the midst of difficult situations. The core our of ministry remains un-changed: We exist to bring glory to Jesus’ name. At Summerside, we do that by being Everyday Disciples who make Disciples Every Day.
(June 10 2020) Hey Summerside,
As you have likely heard, churches in Ontario are now permitted to meet in-person at up to 30% of their total capacity. This is significant news and we’re excited about seeing some restrictions lifted. Maybe you’re wondering, “What does this mean for Summerside?” Well, I’m glad that you asked!
Here’s what I can tell you. First, we will not rush into anything in an unwise way. We want to gain clarity from the government about what expectations remain in place. We don’t want to develop a plan, then launch in-person services, only to have to cancel or radically adjust what we’re doing. We still need more information.
Second, we know that navigating COVID is a personal decision. We will not seek to force or pressure people into attending. To ensure this is the case, we’ll continue to offer Church Online for the foreseeable future. So, don’t worry, we won’t leave you behind. More than likely, at some point in the late summer or early fall, we will have a combination of in-person services and digital/video services. We want to ensure that you can follow your conscience and feel safe in whatever form of worship in which you choose to be a part.
Third, as I lead and manage our staff, I am working to ensure that whatever plan we put in place sets them up for long term success and doesn’t needlessly burden them beyond what is reasonable. There’s no point in rushing things only to burn our staff out. They have been working tirelessly over the past three months and seeking to minister in a completely new context. It’s felt like starting a new job every month! Whatever our plan entails, it will have to be realistic. Finally, here’s my promise to you: I will do everything I can to ensure that we communicate clearly, often, and through a variety of platforms. We welcome input and feedback but, at this point, we’re still gathering information, seeking clarity in our plans, and working to develop an approach that makes sense.
Let me just mention a few items that might help bring even more clarity:
1. Our offices will remain closed until September. Our staff have home offices set up, have developed routines and rhythms, and are being effective. There is no benefit at this point in reopening the church offices and mandating that everyone come to the physical building to do their work.
2. Regarding our church budget, by now we usually have a new one approved to begin our fiscal year on July 1. Since we have not been able to have a meeting to approve a new budget, the elders are considering a continuation of the current budget in the interim, until we can have a meeting in the Fall to approve a new budget.
3. We don’t know when we’ll be able to gather in person for Sunday services, but this much we know, we will not be starting them in the month of June, at the very least. We need more time to plan, organize, and gather the information we require to make this a success.
On a final note, since we are continually working to improve our video recording quality. Let me invite those of you who are able, to consider giving a special gift, above your regular gifts, to the Increasing our Impact Campaign of 2020. Earlier this year, we unveiled a campaign to purchase, install, and roll out the technology we need for high-quality streaming. The need has never been greater. Over the past few months, we’ve secured some of the items we require but, in the coming months, we’ll need to purchase between $5-10,000 worth of tech equipment so that we can begin to record in the auditorium at an even higher quality. Consider giving to this initiative. If you are interested, you can simply designate a gift to the Building Fund, which will be used for this campaign.
Our ministry continues. It’s just a bit different!
As of March 22, Summerside Community Church Sunday services and weekly ministries on site are suspended in lieu of an interim strategy outlined here:
- Sunday Services:
- 9am – Church Online (open chat before and after)
- 10am – Church Online (open chat before and after)
- Posted here: Summerside Church Online
- Corporate Prayer Initiatives:
- Tuesdays - 8pm
- Thursdays - 4pm
- Saturdays 10am
- List of prayer items posted on Facebook and updated on the website HERE
- Wednesday Night Youth Group – Games, Teaching, Small Groups
Jr. High (Grades 6-8) – 6:30pm on Zoom app
Sr. High (Grades 9-12) – 7:30pm on Zoom app
- Emmaus Youth Discord Channel - Text and Voice chat for students and parents
- Contact Pastor Luke or Tyler Legouffe to get connected.
- Kids’ Ministry:
- Join our Facebook page HERE
- To get connected with our kids’ ministry and find some great ideas for discipling your kids, email Michele Bouma at: Summerside Kids
- Trauma occurs when our assumptions about reality are challenged in a significant way. The Trauma Healing Institute has a helpful resource for parents and children HERE
- Community Groups:
- Community groups are made for times like these! Your group can still connect via social media, video calls, phone calls, etc. Care and love one another.
- Additional Avenues for Care and Support:
- How to Handle an Unexpected Period of Isolation HERE
- Healing from Trauma from COVID-19 HERE
- Spiritual Resources in Dealing with Trauma HERE
- The link to the videos is HERE. There’s an introduction and 4 discussion sessions, along with PDFs. Each video is only 5-10 minutes in length.
-A video conversation with Trish Pauls, a registered psychotherapist, on your mental health during COVID HERE
If you need anything or require assistance
- Please email us as email@example.com
- Or call: 519-680-3541 (please leave a message)
- What we encourage during this time:
1. Meaningful personal devotions - prayer, scripture, meditation, thankfulness.
2. Intentional Family Worship - We’re offering online training to get your started in family worship HERE
3. Community Group Engagement: Call, connect, and support the other people in your community group.
4. Keep up to date on Facebook and our e-newsletter.
5. Continue to be generous. Click HERE more information on how to give.
Together, we can continue to grow, learn, and follow Christ together. We exist “to make EveryDay Disciples who Glorify God Every Day”.
Let’s keep doing just that!