Limited Re-Opening Plan at Westminster [Updated]

Limited Re-Opening Plan at Westminster [Updated]
[Updated on June 27, 2021]

The purpose of this post is to let you know about the limited re-opening plan at Westminster Church in Barrie, Canada. Previously, the Ontario Government had a colour-coded system. That system has been changed. This plan is in line with the Government’s updated rollout.

(This post corresponds to the announcement Pastor Ruttan made during the announcements in the worship service on June 13, 2021, and then the follow-up announcement he made on June 27, 2021.)

Keep in mind that this is new for everyone and you should anticipate that changes may be required.

Session (our elders) have approved the following plan to emphasize safety while focusing on God’s plan for our church. Think ‘walk not run.’

-Live-streamed worship services will continue to be the core methodology until COVID-19 restrictions are significantly reduced. (We were live-streaming before the pandemic, and will continue to do so throughout and also afterward.)

However, effective immediately Stage 1 Provincial Guidelines will be implemented:

-We will expand attendance during the worship service from the current 6 to a maximum of 24 (the maximum number we can accommodate to the guideline of 15% while social distancing.)

-We will be contacting individuals and their caregivers who (a) can’t effectively access a streamed service, or (b) are alone. This list reuses the names we obtained via our congregation calling initiative last year when we last anticipated a previous limited reopening. Should you (or someone you know) fall into any of these categories and are not called by this Wednesday, June 16th please call the Office at 705-728-0541.

-Currently, this group occupies our full capacity under the government guidelines. If and when that changes we will notify the congregation.

-We are developing a registration and rotation process which will be fair and impartial if we have the seating capacity. Details will be published when the numbers warrant.

-Please note that nursery, and Sunday school will not be offered during stage 1.

-It has been announced that Stage 2 re-opening will take place on June 30th, 2021. We had hoped to expand the in-person capacity from 15% to 25% as per the government guidelines, but those guidelines indicate that we still need to maintain physical distancing measures. In light of that, we are already at capacity for Stage 2 re-opening as well.

-We are, however, exploring options about how to creatively expand capacity in other ways. Stay tuned.

-In addition, we will announce our plans for when our other programs will restart at the church building such as nursery care, Sunday School, youth groups, other groups, junior or senior choirs etc.

-In order to assist us in our planning, we are conducing a congregational survey to access your willingness to participate in worship and groups in person. You can access the online version through SurveyMonkey here. The deadline is June 30th. Hard copies are available at the church office on request. 705-728-0541.

-If you have questions, please contact elder Steve Sainsbury at or 705-220-9016.

Things are moving ahead! 


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