COVID-19 Updates and Resources
We are collecting information about the COVID-19 virus and its effects on the EOORC and the United Church of Canada.
New information will be posted here as soon as it becomes available.
Vaccination Policies in Congregations 24Jun2021 written by United Church of Canada, Legal Counsel
Governance during the Pandemic Information and documents related to the temporary amendments to pastoral relations policies
Reopening Churches During COVID-19 Guidance for those responsible for making decisions in all parts of the church, and things to consider before moving from one phase to another. As of May 7, 2020.
United Church Emergency Support. Denominational ways to bridge the financial strain on communities of faith.This is a short-term emergency loan program for congregations during the pandemic.
COVID-19 letter from Rev Adam Hanley – April 20 A letter from Rev Adam Hanley, Program Coordinator for Ministry Personnel Vitality
Congregational Finances During the Pandemic Webinar Join us for up-to-the-minute information on wise ways to manage the financial impact the pandemic is having on our congregations.
Congregational Programming During the Pandemic Join us for some expert tips on making your online worship a meaningful experience for your members and those who are tuning in for the first time.
From Moderator Richard Bott Folow-up to Easter Appeal
Some good information here: Keeping congregational finances on track during the pandemic
If you missed the webinar, Congregational Finances During the Pandemic, you can view the recording here.
Moderator’s Easter Message 2020 Blessed Eastertide, beloved. Remember: Christ is with us.
National multi-faith prayer effort hopes to unite Canadians. Ottawa Archbishop Terrence Prendergast and Rabbi Dr. Reuven P. Bulka, former co-president of the Canadian Jewish Congress have co-authored a National Prayer for Canada
Indigenous Elders write to the church on COVID-19 March 26, 2020
Letter from the Reverend Alan Hall, Executive Officer Ministry and Employment General Council Office March 20, 2020 about Ministry Personnel during the crisis.
Resources for Worship & Well-being During COVID-19 Communique from UCC, March 19, 2020
Pastoral Letter to Ministers and congregations on Covid-19 March 16, From Nora Sanders, General Secretary, UCC
From Moderator, Richard Bott March 13, 2020, Letter
United Church of Canada Statement, March 5, 2020 COVID-19
Website for Église unie du Canada
Faith Communities and COVID-19 Tips and resources for members and congregations during the COVID-19 pandemic from the United Church of Canada General Council Office. Please keep checking this page as it gets updated frequently.
Offering Support in Anxious Times by Rev. Diane Strickland. Diane is a Certified Community and Workplace Traumatologist & Critical Incident Responder and in this article offers advice to church leaders as they continue to serve their communities during COVID-19.
Worship Online during COVID-19
Tips and resources for members and congregations
Guidance for congregations in this time of COVID-19
United Church of Canada Emergency Plan
From Morneau Shepel, our Employee and Family Assistance Plan (EFAP) provider:
- CoronaVirus_Tips to protect yourself and others_English
- CoronaVirus_Tips to protect yourself and others_French
- COVID-19 how we can help English
- COVID-19 how we can help French
LifeWorks EFAP website
Proof of Vaccine Policy
September 22, 2021 – Legal opinion sent to Ontario Regional Councils on the vaccine policy from the United Church’s counsel. Legal Response to Ontario Vaccine Passports
September 17. 2021 – Rev. Daniel Hayward, Acting Minister for Pastoral Relations, has written an article about COVID-19 Vaccines and Church Re-openings. Read it here: A Perspective on COVID-19 Vaccines and Church Re-opening
September 15, 2021 — An excerpt from TVO: Ontario’s New Vaccine Certificate What You Need To Know
“The requirement for a vaccine passport will not apply to churches or other places of worship or to most outdoor spaces — such as bar and restaurant patios — but will apply to outdoor nightclubs because of the dense crowds. It will also not apply to grocery stores or pharmacies, or to people under 12 (who cannot yet be vaccinated) and those with clear medical exemptions.”
September 14, 2021 — As the province continues to respond to the fourth wave of the pandemic driven by the highly transmissible Delta variant, the government is further protecting Ontarians through continued actions that encourage every eligible person to get vaccinated and help stop the spread of COVID-19. Read more.
On Friday, July 16, 2021 Ontario will move into Stage 3
Below are the guidelines for religious services, taken directly from the Ontario regulation 520/21 made under the Reopening Ontario (A Flexible Response to COVID-19) Act, 2020
Indoor wedding, funeral or religious service, rite or ceremony
6. (1) This section applies with respect to gatherings for the purposes of a wedding, a funeral or a religious service, rite or ceremony, if the gathering is held in a building or structure other than a private dwelling.
(2) No person shall attend a gathering to which this section applies unless the following conditions are met:
1. The number of persons occupying any room in the building or structure while attending the gathering must be limited to the number that can maintain a physical distance of at least two metres from every other person in the room.
2. All persons attending the gathering must comply with public health guidance on physical distancing.
Outdoor wedding, funeral or religious service, rite or ceremony
7. (1) This section applies with respect to outdoor gatherings for the purposes of a wedding, a funeral or a religious service, rite or ceremony.
(2) No person shall attend a gathering to which this section applies unless the following condition is met:
1. All persons attending the gathering must comply with public health guidance on physical distancing.
Outaouais Region, Quebec – Level 1
Places of worship
Maximum 250 people. If the place of worship occupies an entire building, the limit applies to the building. Weddings ceremony and funerals are also limited to 250 people. They must stay seated during the event. An attendance register is mandatory for these ceremonies. The reception following the ceremony is limited to 25 people if it takes place indoors, and 50 people if it takes place outdoors.
A distance of at least 1 metre must be maintained between people if they are not talking or if they are talking quietly, and 2 metres if they are talking or singing, even when they stay in their seat and do not move about, unless they are from the same private home or the equivalent. A procedure mask or face covering must be worn. The procedure mask or face covering can be taken off when the person is in their seat, is silent or speaks only in a low voice
During the ceremony, an audience of 250 people maximum is allowed as long as they remain seated. This limit exclude funeral home workers and volunteers inside or outside the funeral home. During the viewing of the body or ashes of the deceased, as well as during the expression of condolences to the next of kin, it is permitted to have 50 people at the same time inside the premises. An attendance register must be kept and a mask or face covering must be worn inside. Face coverings or masks can be removed when people are seated. Distancing between people who do not reside at the same address must be respected.
Resources from Public Health Agency of Canada
Additional Resources: COVID-19 Vaccine Resources
Re-opening Ontario Stage 2
As of June 30th, outdoor religious services, rites, or ceremonies, including wedding services and funeral services, capped at the number of people that can maintain a physical distance of two metres.
Re-opening Ontario Stage 1
Capacity of weddings, funerals, and religious services, rites or ceremonies are limited to 15% capacity of the room indoors or limited to the number of person who can maintain physical distancing outdoors.
- Indoor social gatherings associated with these services such as receptions are prohibited, except for with members of the same household or one other person from outside that household who lives alone.
- Outdoor social gatherings associated with these services are limited to a maximum of 10, with physical distancing.
- Drive-in services are permitted, with restrictions.
Government of Ontario April 3, 2021
- COVID-19 shutdown: enhanced public health and workplace safety measures
Weddings, funerals and other religious services, rites or ceremonies
- physical distancing must be maintained
- guests must wear masks or face coverings
- capacity limits:
- indoors: 15% capacity of the room
- outside: the number of people that can maintain two metres physical distance from each other
Drive-in services, rites or ceremonies permitted, subject to certain conditions. Virtual services permitted.
COVID-19 and Reopening for In-church Worship
A letter from Rev. Whit Strong, Pastoral Relations COVID and reopening – March 15, 2021
COVI9-19 and Return-to-Work Expectations
Q&A from Rev Marlene Britton, Ministry and Employment Unit, United Church of Canada COVID-19, employees
Holding Annual General Meetings in 2021
At the 2021 Winter Meeting on February 27th, Rev Rosemary Lambie gave a presentation about holding AGMs in 2021 while the pandemic continues. Her presentation can be viewed here: Annual Meetings Presentation by R. Lambie
Ontario Province Wide Shutdown, beginning December 26, 2020
See page 7 for rules about religious services: provincewide-shutdown-deck-december-21-2020-final
EOORC Pulpit Supply for Communities of Faith December 9, 2020
Recalling Laid Off Employees
A message from Rev Whitman Strong, Pastoral Relations, August 24, 2020 Recalling laid off employees
Ottawa Public Health
“Safely Opening Our Churches” June 15, 2020
Letter From Rev Whit Strong providing direction and resources on how and when to open churches in the EOORC
Communique from EOORC Executive and Finance Committee
Three important items of information for Pastoral Charges and Communities of Faith: Finance communique, April 17, 2020
Ottawa Communities of Faith
You can add your online Easter Worship Service to the link provided in the article. Where to watch Good Friday and Easter Sunday services online
A letter from Rev Rosemary Lambie, Executive Minister
The letter contains important information for all Communities of Faith about the status of the EOORC and the UCC during the crisis.
If you are having a lot of meetings on Zoom these days, have a look at these two documents provided by David Stafford, who teaches at Algonquin College.
Resources for Youth and Children
Dana Ducette, YAYA Minister has compiled a list of useful resources and activities for children, youth and even adults.
Zoom Conversation for EOORC Ministry Personnel
Join Whit Strong every Thursday on Zoom every Thursday at 1 p.m. until May 14. Sign in here: https://united-church.zoom.us/j/957231406
2020 Annual Meeting News
Tuesday, March 24, 2020 In the past few weeks, the EOORC executive has been discussing the pandemic, taking votes and trying to secure another date and place for the Annual Meeting. A decision has been reached that the meeting is postponed until October 16 and 17, 2020. Further, the executive confirmed that the meeting will be held at the Nav Centre in Cornwall. The Celebration of Ministry will be held at Knox-St. Paul’s United Church, Cornwall on Saturday evening October 17, 2020.
The current Executive will continue to provide leadership until the October elections have been conducted. More information will be forthcoming once life settles down and the planning team has made adjustments. Questions about registration can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Updated Letter from EOORC Sub-Executive, March 18, 2020
Letter from the EOORC Sub-Executive, March 15, 2020
EOORC Worship Services Online
Please see a list of Communities of Faith who have online worship services.