Gathering Plan – June 2020

Things in our world seem to be changing at a daily rate. Part of the challenge as church leaders is to keep up with those changes and make decisions as fast as change comes. And what we’ve discovered is that not everything we do works. Is there a perfect solution to an imperfect time? Absolutely not. But we’ve been listening to some of the feedback we’ve received, and we feel we can do better.
Starting Sunday, June 28, our church will be physically meeting on site for only ONE SERVICE AT 10am.  The sermon will be live – not on video as previously planned. However, at this point we will not have congregational singing and we strongly encourage everyone to wear a mask. We will keep listening to the province and following the suggested protocols very closely. Our Facebook service will continue to stream at 9 and 11 am on our Emmanuel Barrie Facebook page.

If you attend our 10am service in our church building you can expect:

  • A live host, prayer and special music from the stage, but no singing for congregants
  • A live sermon from one of our Emmanuel pastors
  • All services will be family-friendly (no childcare will be available). 
  • Family units will sit together, while remaining socially distanced from other families
  • It is a requirement that individuals/families register in advance if they wish to attend our 10am Sunday Service. Registration will be available weekly through the link above. 

These plans are dependent on unprecedented changes to our world. We will hold them loosely and pivot when needed. We are concerned for those whose health or age put them at greater risk for illness. It is hard to stay home and miss out, and that’s why we will continue to provide high-quality online services and make our pastors and staff available for care and connection.

We’ll love each other by putting the needs of others above our own preferences. 

  • MASKS ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED. We hope at least 95% of those attending will bring a mask and wear it while we are together.  We want to respect the advice of the provincial government and health experts in this matter. 
  • We understand that more than half of our church family is not yet comfortable gathering together. We love you and want to support you.  We trust that you will continue to participate in our Facebook Live Services on Sundays at 9am and 11am. 
  • For now, we will enjoy live special music together, but we will not sing along.   This is in acknowledgement that singing is a higher-risk activity and discouraged by the Medical Officer of Health for Simcoe Muskoka, Dr. Charles Gardner MD. 
  • We agree to follow the self-assessment tool provided by the Ontario government 
  • For now, all other programs are on hold or online. This includes the library, the church office etc.  

We’ll follow the guidelines provided by our governing authorities. 

  • Stay 2m apart while entering, worshipping, and exiting. 
  • Seating as household/bubble and only at 30% capacity of our spaces (at most) 
  • Welcome teams and staff will wear a mask. 
  • Children and families are part of the service. There will be no separate children’s programming provided.
  • Cleaning and disinfecting high-touch areas is planned and resourced with both volunteers and staff. Hand sanitizer will be provided at the entrances and exits. 
  • We will save our socializing for other times. For now, the café is closed, and we encourage everyone to head home when the service ends. 
  • Offering receptacles will be available for those who wish to tithe, and online giving is encouraged as well. 

We enthusiastically support everyone’s choices about gathering (or not). 

  • Some in our church family are ready to gather and others are not. That is okay. Online services will continue on Facebook Live, at 9am & 11am.
  • We will avoid any action or activity that creates higher risk of virus transmission, including hand shaking and hugs and passing an offering plate or a communion tray. 

We will be organized and set expectations clearly 

  • We will communicate changes and expectations each week via email, social media and the website. 
  • Sign up for Sunday services on our website weekly. 
  • We will utilize the signup info to communicate expectations as well as follow up if contact tracing is required.  
  • Welcome teams will help us line up, get seated and exit in a way that maintains social distancing. Those who would like to help with welcome and clean up are encouraged to contact Kathy Slessor. 


  • Will the washrooms be available? Yes, but please minimize the lines by using the washroom at home. 
  • What can I do to help? Come 15 minutes early and be patient while we seat everyone. If you would like to join a welcome or clean up team, contact Kathy Slessor. 
  • Do I have to wear a mask? We hope at least 95% of those attending will bring a mask and wear it while we are together.  We want to respect the advice of the provincial government and health experts in this matter. We will have a few disposable masks available, but we hope most people will bring their own.