Dear brothers and sisters:
We continue to pray that everyone is staying well, healthy and safe during this pandemic. Since our last update on July 16, as far as we know, due God’s mercy and protection and to your diligence in following infection control guidelines, none of our church attendees have been infected with Covid-19.
The COVID ALERT APP from the Canadian government is a great tool for notification if you have been in contact with someone diagnosed with Covid-19. To install on your smart phone, download at:
In this update, we will summarize our draft guidance for the church re-opening now and going forward. We will be hosting a virtual Town hall meeting on Aug 30 Sunday 7:30pm on Zoom to seek your valuable input and answer all questions before we finalize our Covid-19 guidance.
I. Our General Guiding Principles
II. Summary of survey results
III. Requirements for coming to the church during any stage
IV. Church Re-opening Stages
V. Specific guidance for each stage
I. Our General Guiding Principles
- We will balance government recommendations with an extra margin of safety and caution and the principles and practices of our Christian Faith and our church.
- We will consider all health and occupational safety concerns.
- We will work within the law and government guidelines since these so far have not had areas of conflict with our beliefs.
- We recognize that our congregations are interconnected as a community of families which has members attending different congregations.
- The pastoral team will have input before we finalize any guidelines.
- We will take a proactive approach. We will anticipate future developments rather than only react to present and past developments.
- The Covid-19 Crisis Response Team welcomes everyone’s feedback, comments, suggestions and questions. We strive to reflect our values of love, faith, hope, unity, truth and transparency in this process and in our decisions and implementation. Our contact is: 7. firstname.lastname@example.org (416) 499-0111 x 101.
- Each lead pastor may decide to implement each stage at a later date than this guidance’s earliest dates in accordance with the needs and resources in each congregation.
II. Summary of survey results (On appendix)
III. Requirements for coming to the church during any stage
To ensure the safety and health of everyone and to follow government guidelines, whenever anyone comes to the church, we require that:
- They are not ill (no fever, no cough, no shortness of breath, no vomiting, no diarrhea etc.) and not have conditions that decrease their immune response (e.g. elderly). They should self-check their temperature before leaving their home.
- They have not travelled outside of Canada or been in contact with anyone with confirmed or suspected Covid-19 in the last 14 days.
- They maintain physical distancing of at least 2 meters.
- They follow frequent meticulous hand washing and hand sanitization.
- They wear a face covering.
- They disinfect all equipment after use. e.g. Microphones, musical instruments, music stands etc. Disposable microphone covers will be provided.
- Whenever possible, items should not be shared to minimize spread of pathogens through touch. E.g. sheet music, books etc.
- No food or drink are allowed in the gyms and sanctuaries A and B except for a personal container of water. (no coffee, tea or other beverages that cause a mess when spilled.)
- Singing and wind instruments are not allowed indoors.
- The maximum number in a group in a room is the lower of the number that permits physical distancing of 2 meters or 30% of the room capacity. One of the group members must take a photo or video (with the exact time and location information in the digital file attribute) of the entire group as a record in case that there is a need for future contact tracing. This photo must be emailed to email@example.com. Privacy will be respected and this photo will only be used for contact tracing if needed. The person sending the email must have the names and contact information of each person in the photo and be able to produce this information if requested.
- Each person must supply and wear their own face covering.
- The church will supply one face shield to anyone involved in ministry at the church who requires one to speak. Each person is responsible for disinfecting it after each use, storing it at home and re-using it. Acceptance of this face shield signifies that person’s agreement to release the church of any liability from its use.
- They must use only the designated entrances and exits. They must walk only in the direction of the arrows.
- Church attendees must not enter into the Grace Nursery School area since they have re-opened and have to follow strict infection control protocol from the government.
- Each attendee will be provided with a pair of gloves and one sheet of paper towel to disinfect any surface he/she has touches after the end of each meeting. Spray bottles with disinfectant will be available to spray on the paper towel. The surfaces will be dampened with the paper towel and allowed to air dry. After discarding the gloves and paper towel, he/she must use hand sanitizer to disinfect his/her hands.
- Only the south side washrooms will be opened. There is a limit on the number of persons allowed in the washroom at each time.
- A person using the toilet is to pick up a disposal toilet seat cover before entering the washroom. The cover is to be flushed down the toilet after use. Everyone after washroom use must wash his/her hands with soap and water and dry with a paper towel. The same paper towel must be used to open the washroom door before being discarded in the waste bin outside of each washroom.
- Room use must be prebooked with Queenie at firstname.lastname@example.org (416) 499-0111 x 101 at least 1 week in advance. Information needed for booking are the person responsible and his/her contact info, the number of attendees expected and the time slot required. In booking the room, the person booking the room agrees to bear the responsibility that all guidelines are followed by his/her group.
- All children must stay with their parents.
- Families or social bubbles can sit together.
IV. Church Re-opening Stages:
- Live steaming at church NOW
- Prayer meeting (virtual and in person) NOW
- Cell groups- meeting at church or at home (virtual and in person) OCT 5 (tentative)
- Adult Worship NOV 8 (tentative)
- Adult Sunday School (virtual and in person)
- Children activities. (difficult to social distance, keep face covering on, maintain meticulous hand hygiene)
- Use of the gyms for sports, sharing food & drinks
- New normal church function (virtual and/or in person subject to ministry needs)
At present, for our church, we are open for stage 1 and 2 of the above with the lead pastors making the decisions for each congregation.
Further re-opening of new stages will be based on the above General Guiding Principles and be subject to available human, organizational, financial, supply and equipment and technological resources.
V. Specific guidance for each stage
Stage 3 – in-person cell groups:
Tentatively reopen starting Oct 5. We want to observe the effects of schools reopening first. Cells may consider forming social bubbles within cells where face coverings are not required.
1a) Outdoor gatherings – ensure that there is physical distancing of at
least 2 meters. Follow Toronto Public Health guidelines:
b) Indoor gatherings – limit of 10 people if at home. Face covering
and physical distancing of 2 meters required. Follow Toronto
Public Health guidelines in 1a.
c) Indoor gatherings at church – follow (III) Requirements For Coming
To The Church During Any Stage above. Follow Toronto Public
Health guidelines in 1a. The large class rooms and the large gym
(four large groups at a time.) will be available for booking.
Stage 4 – in-person worship service:
Tentatively reopen starting Nov 8. We want to observe the effects of cell group reopening first.
- Everyone is to sit on designated colour coded seats only.
- There will be no on site singing or communion elements.
- Pre-registration will be required. Allocation based on “first come first served” basis and equalizing opportunity for all.
Refer to the City of Toronto specific guidance for the reopening of churches for more details: https://www.toronto.ca/home/covid-19/covid-19-reopening-recovery-rebuild/covid-19-reopening-guidelines-for-businesses-organizations/covid-19-guidance-faith-based-organizations/
Your continued prayers would be appreciated.
Psalm 91: 1-6 (NIV)
１Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
2 I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
3 Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
4 He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
5 You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
6 nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
If you have any comments, suggestions, feedback or questions, please contact us through email@example.com
Grace and peace,
Covid-19 Response Team
Aug 23, 2020
Rev Chan – representing the church staff
Queenie – representing the Cantonese congregation
Edwin – representing the Mandarin congregation
Sylvia – representing the English congregation
Felicity – representing the Children congregation
TK – team lead and representing the church Board of Directors
加拿大政府策劃的COVID ALERT 軟件是一個很好的應用軟件，若過去十四天曾接觸新冠肺炎確診者時便會發出警示，大家可從下列網頁下載該軟件到手機中：
- 歡迎大家向應變小組提出查詢、意見和回饋。我們盼望在訂定和執行各項措施的過程中，能反映和高舉愛、信心、盼望、合一、合乎真理和高透明度等價值觀。聯絡我們，可電郵 firstname.lastname@example.org 或致電 (416) 499-0111內線 101。
- 使用教會設施必須最遲於聚會前一週向行政幹事高太Queenie預約（可電郵至18. email@example.com或至電 (416) 499-0111 x 101）。預約時必須提供下列資料：聚會負責人名字及聯絡資料、出席人數、聚會時間。預約者必須承諾負責確保予會人士遵守所有指引。
- 家庭成員或同一社交圈（social bubbles）的人可同坐。
葛非執事 Edwin (國語事工代表)
司徒靜姬姊妹 Sylvia (英語事工代表)
陳張筱敏執事 Felicity (兒童事工代表)
Appendix：Summary of survey results 附錄：問卷調查結果
1) 334 responses received. 收回問卷334份
2) Personal info 個人資料
3) When would you feel comfortable attending church in a physical
location with the above restrictions? 你會出席教會實體聚會的取向是
|I’m ready now|
|20 (9.8%)||14 (19.4%)||10 (20%)||1 (7.7%)|
|After schools have opened|
|36 (17.6%)||22 (30.6%)||18 (36%)||2 (15.4%)|
|After second wave|
|64 (31.2%)||37 (51.4%)||24 (48%)||4 (30.8%)|
|After a vaccine is available|
|170 (82.9%)||70 (97.2%)||46 (92%)||11 (84.6%)|
|35 (17.1%)||2 (2.8%)||4 (8%)||2 (15.4%)|
4) What concerns do you have that may keep you from returning? 有
|This part has no translation from Chinese to English 此部分沒有把英文翻譯成中文|
⦁ Have chance to infect covid 19, and current online worship is
⦁ The safety protocols of Children Ministry
⦁ Too Long, more exposure opportunities
⦁ share the washroom
⦁ If there are so many limitations from the above (i.e. no singing, so
social gathering, must stay 6 feet apart), then I think we might as
well worship from home. A “church” does not need to be at
“church”. The point for me personally is to worship in unity,
fellowship and build relationships with our community and our
brothers and sisters but if at this time we can’t, it will be best to
not return yet. The safety of our seniors and those who are at
high risk is priority I find…
⦁ As a cell leader, there may be members who have people in their social circle that are high risk. Even if most of my members are comfortable with coming in, I wish not to exclude the ones who don’t have the freedom to choose that option. Since online cell ministry has been working well so far, I will let it stay as is until there’s a vaccine or any other situation that allows everyone to safely be outside.
⦁ Contact tracing is a major concern, are we going to contact trace ourselves or enforce the usage of the federal contact tracing app. Another concern is a clear re-closing procedure that can be triggered if a set of conditions are met (i.e. re-close facilities if a member is confirmed to have contracted COVID) this will add clarity in the case that we reopen.
⦁ As the COVID-19 requirements from City of Toronto have too much restrictions on interpersonal interactions, it almost makes no difference to worshipping online… In such case I’d support the idea of worshipping at home for the time being, especially when a second wave is coming back now.
⦁ I live alone on my own and returning to church physically means that I will be exposed myself to a large group of people and thus the risk of contracting covid 19 will greatly increased. The current online worship and sunday school sessions seem to work well with me.
⦁ I have kids , so I don’t know where to put them if there is no children’s program. Even of there are children’s program., I would be certain that it’s hard to keep social distancing and the cleanliness of the environment.
⦁ with the limitation/ guideline above, it seems to be too much efforts for all come in worship then go with no talks, hard to avoid physical contacts especially between teens or kids…
⦁ My father is over the age of 60 and if he contracts COVID risks dying, I also generally think it will be unwise to reopen the church until some form of vaccine will be released
⦁ No singing on stage. No fellowship before and after worship. At this point still a lot of restriction and I do not see the point of going in church to worship.
⦁ People not appropriately spaced out due to a lack of spacing, either within the congregation or as congregations transition in and out of the sanctuary.
⦁ People not following rules, and disregarding safety. People not caring about hygiene. People making fun of others who do and saying it is no big deal.
⦁ Toddler will have difficulty maintaining social distance and good hand hygiene. I work in hospital, scared to bring germs to church. I am pregnant.
⦁ It’s not easy to keep social distance when many people in the church. Using washroom is another concern. Keeping kids to follow social distance
⦁ My career will meet lots of people even keep the guideline still worry get infection and cannot assure myself will become a spreader or not
⦁ i live with my elderly parents and in cottage country, i’d prefer to keep them safe and not bring anything back to the community here.
⦁ We can ensure our elderly parents to attend on line worship weekly, which was inconsistent when attending church in physical location
⦁ What does children Sunday school look like in the future given kids aren’t as careful regarding social distancing with other kids
⦁ It is probably not worth risking reopening the church. The virus is still spreading. we can still meet together online.
⦁ One of my family member is immunocompromise, also my job environment is close contact with patients.
⦁ The hygiene in public area. It is risky to get infected by Covid19 with groups gathering at church.
⦁ Not too many; think precautions will be in place so it’ll be safer than going to the grocery store.
⦁ People who are non compliant to meeting guidelines or are misinformed regarding safety procedures.
⦁ cannot see the reason of returning when we cannot have close contact with one another anyway.
⦁ Unclear understanding of long-term risks of virus. Concerns of transmission to loved ones.
⦁ Seniors are better not to join big groups. There maybe problems with using the washrooms.
⦁ Not contracting the coronavirus; I don’t know if we have to follow the social-bubble rule
⦁ I have minor chronic coughing (not covid related) but that could cause panic to others
⦁ other people not distancing outside of church, washrooms, areas with high interaction
⦁ Too many rules to follow, missing the singing part and concerning using the restroom.
⦁ Too many people in one place at one time. Very dangerous for spreading COVID-19
⦁ Proper cleaning of surfaces people touch, especially door handles and pews
⦁ People coming out of the country don’t self quarantine/ self isolation.
⦁ Physical distancing and the air ventilation and the washroom hygiene.
⦁ I have no concerns as far as we are following government guidelines.
⦁ It would take more time & effort to clean the premises than worship.
⦁ I just still don’t feel comfortable to large group of gathering.
⦁ Mom is old, don’t want to get her infected if I get the virus.
⦁ Too many ppl concentrated in an indoor space for over an hour
⦁ I don’t think that my spouse feels comfortable returning
⦁ Written control plan for COVID in plan before reopening
⦁ How cleaning/sanitization will work in the sanctuaries
⦁ As long as mask is mandatory than there is no concern
⦁ Regularly visiting parents who are over 75 years old
⦁ my family often needs to take care of grandparents
⦁ To avoid being infected as I have chronic illness
⦁ I am at high risk of contracting Covid infection
⦁ we have kids attending English ministry as well
⦁ no singing allowed, wear mask at all time.
⦁ Catching Covid and getting my family sick
⦁ Don’t want to give burden to the church.
⦁ All the restrictions, better stay online
⦁ I’m elderly, so at a high risk category
⦁ Social distancing is hard to practise.
⦁ Sometimes an urge to WC during service
⦁ It is fine with online Sunday Worship
⦁ spreading it to the young and elderly
⦁ human mistake/not discipline enough
⦁ covid carriers with no symptom
⦁ I don’t want to take any risk
⦁ meet with many people indoor
⦁ Immunocompromised high risk
⦁ The risk of spreading virus
⦁ I am immunity suppressed.
⦁ Immunocompromised spouse
⦁ Concern about the kids.
⦁ personal health issues
⦁ Baby can not wear mask
⦁ 6 feet social distance
⦁ There is still a risk!
⦁ Living with a senior.
⦁ No children’s program
⦁ My weak immune system
⦁ How well is Cleaning
⦁ It is too dangerous.
⦁ fear to be infected.
⦁ Proximity to others
⦁ Asymptomatic spread
⦁ People too crowded
⦁ Washroom, air flow
⦁ Risk of infection
⦁ washroom cleaning
⦁ Sanctuary chairs
⦁ Covid19 concern
⦁ Out break again
⦁ No vaccines yet
⦁ Social bubbles
⦁ 對疫情很有戒心, 始終多人聚會也是冒險. 家中有老人家
⦁ 主要是衛生問題 及 各人會否遵守距離，時時帶上口罩。
⦁ 跟隨政府所有對Covid 19 防疫措施。
⦁ 如果仍有人數限制，社交距離及其他的指引，根本上滿足不到實體聚會的意義 : [不能唱歌,台上也不可唱歌 • 不可提供飲食 (現場沒有聖餐) • 崇拜前後不可有任何相交活動 • 避免任何身體接觸 • 崇拜前後不可有任何相交活動 ] 相信真正回去參加實體聚會的人也不會太多。反之在網上崇拜，好些項目可以進行。
5) In the last two months, how many times have you attended online
|Almost every week|
|10 (3%)||7 (2.1%)||16 (4.8%)||85 (25.7%)||213 (64.4%)|
6) Are you attending worship less often online than you were in
|Same as before|
|273 (82.5%)||32 (9.7%)||3 (0.9%)|
7) Would you be comfortable in smaller settings (6-10 people)
watching the worship together (friends, extended family, small
groups, etc.)? 如果以小組(6-10人) 形式集體(家人/朋友/小組的人走在一
|Yes 會||No 不會|
|124 (39.5%)||124 (39.5%) 190 (60.5%)|
8) If you have children (Grade 6 and under), how many times have
they accessed the KLS children online meeting in last 2 months? 若
|Almost every week|
|30 (39.5%)||5 (6.6%)||15 (19.7%)||9 (11.8%)||17 (22.4%)|
9) For the pastoral sharing videos 就每週的教牧分享短片
|I watch them whenever it is available 我每次都會觀看||99 (30.9%)|
|I watched only a few times 我只看了數次 111 (34.7%)||111 (34.7%)|
|I don’t watch it 沒有觀看 72 (22.5%)||72 (22.5%)|
|Not applicable 不適用||23 (7.2%)|
|I find them encouraging 對我有幫助||62 (19.4%)|
|Not much help to me 對我沒有幫助||3 (0.9%)|
10) Do you know the difference between “social gathering” limit and
“social bubble” limit? 你明白「聚會」人數限制與「社交生活圈」人數
|Yes 明白兩者的分別||No 不知道有何分別|
|254 (76.5%)||78 (23.5%)|
11) Other comments/suggestion/questions for the church leadership.
|This part has no translation from Chinese to English 此部分沒有把英文翻譯成中文|
⦁ It’s a tough time for everyone especially the pastoral staffs. It’s very hard to cope with such a rapid and dramatic situation. Really appreciate your team effort! There are many more adjustments have to be made in this tough time, and high likely after the pandemic. +oil!
⦁ Reopen requires lots of manpower and I don’t think we have enough. If only 60 people can attend out of 200, is not worth to spend that much manpower. Why not keep online worship till vaccine available
⦁ 1. Since the pandemic hit, there has been lots of teaching available from the church, but very little in terms of creating fellowship opportunities; more of that would be nice imo. I had to start my own backyard fellowship/outreach ministry in order to get what I would consider as sufficient fellowship. 2. Can we make worship happen? Even if we cannot sing indoors, there are many other ways we can worship together (which I have suggested many times). Can we PLEASE make it happen? (It’s one of the 5 pillars, right?). If you want me to be completely transparent about this issue, please contact me so we can discuss this further (this is xxx). 3. May I suggest that if we re-open that we keep an attendance record for all gatherings? It’ll give us the opportunity to notify the right people immediately if someone is discovered to have contracted covid. 4. Can we consider how we can get more people involved to serve even if we cannot re-open yet? (For school, the kids still wanted to worship, so we gathered every day online to do so, and we put songs together for the rest of the students. Some of the kids logged many hours into the ministry. I’m wondering if we can empower people to still serve at this time..as I’m concerned that there are less people serving and we’ll have a shortage of ministry people/ministries when we reopen. God bless
⦁ I think unless everyone can obey the rules, there is no point in reopening. It will create bigger rift and also some people will feel they’re privileged or left out. Culturally, I believe it will create bigger riffs between people.
⦁ People are going to ask about enforcement and how to handle breaches of guidelines. It would be clear to communicate what the church will and will not do in case of rule breaking.
⦁ Physical + streaming could happen together to cater to members personal choice. I believed most will understand and respect to follow whatever decision leaders have.
⦁ I think pastor Fanco and a lot of the leaders in church have been doing an excellent job in leading the church through this pandemic. Please keep up the good work.
⦁ Please put pastoral sharing online. Please change the online sharing meeting to G suite, for I know some people did not attend Sunday school for the video app.
⦁ Sunday attendees need to pre-register in the future in order to monitor the number of people in the premise.
⦁ The online worship is a very good option. I think it should be continued even after the pandemic is over.
⦁ Is it possible to do live recordings so everyone wins? Attending in person or online.
⦁ Yes it’s a difficult and weird time for all of us… let’s go slowly and safely…
⦁ Thank you all and Pastors to set up the online services!
⦁ Use science and avoid peer pressure to make decisions
⦁ Thank you for all you do. God bless. Stay strong.
⦁ They all did good jobs during the pandemic period
⦁ Thank you brothers and sisters and pastors!
⦁ Thank you for doing everything for us.
⦁ pray for vaccine
⦁ 感謝你們加倍的勞苦，願 神祝福你們和家人，讓你們有休息。神是教會的元帥，為教會在新冠狀病毒新常態的情況下，牧養信徒，向朋友傳福音，籌算經費等，仰望耶和華我們的主。
⦁ 不要急於恢復實體聚會 ，盡量使用細胞小組以電話維繫各人，尤其要注意去幫助那些不善甚至不懂運用新通訊科技及軟件的長者。
⦁ 可考虑先由不同小 组或祈禱会開始，作逐步重開。 (長者们在各样稳定後才鼓励返，for their safety)
⦁ 請提升講道和敬拜質素. 不是消費心態, 但若果不能領敬拜者到神面前, 只是對教會或這群體忠誠, 是毫無意義的