Breaking News about Pandemic Response in our Faith Communities

Two pieces of news for our faith communities today. The first is simply a reminder of the changes to Health Directives for Step 1 in the provincial plan. The second piece feels almost too good to be true. First the immediate news about Step 1 in the Provincial Roadmap. As of May 30, Step 1 in the Provincial plan does bring some openings to our faith communities. Step 1 allows 30% of seating capacity or 150 people, whichever is less, at all INDOOR ceremonial gatherings. Continue reading →

Guidelines for places of Worship during the Pandemic- May 14, 2021

Provincial Health Directives related to Faith Communities– May, 2021 As of May 14, Provincial Health Directives continue to allow for faith communities to meet in worship with a limit of 30 people (not including the worship leaders) while rigorously following Health Directives.  Non-ceremonial guidelines for worship spaces also remain unchanged. Synod supports the Provincial Health Directives for Places of Worship as a non-negotiable basic standard for our faith communities. The provincial government and health authority also released on May 4, a Provincial 3-Step Roadmap to Reopening based on vaccination Continue reading →

Guidelines for places of Worship during the Pandemic- March 19, 2021

Provincial Health Directives for places of worship – March 19, 2021 Provincial Health Directives as of March 19, 2021 allow for faith communities to meet in worship with a limit of 1/3 of capacity (to a maximum of 150) while rigorously following Health Directives. With the COVID variants suddenly appearing in Regina last week, that Health Directive has been amended to restrict Regina faith communities to a hard cap of 30 participants. Synod supports provincial Health Directives as a non-negotiable basic standard for our faith Continue reading →

COVID-19 February 2021 Update

With pandemic numbers still high, and with Health Authority Directives unchanged for the next three weeks, Synod leadership met in a virtual Town Hall across the synod Friday, Jan 29th. Pastor Ali Tote and Bishop Sid presented on the state of the pandemic at present and the recommendation to retain synod guidelines that were set in place on November of 2020 for the duration of the Health Order (until Feb. 19), at which time Synod will convene a Town Hall to review guidelines. Upon discussion, Continue reading →

Annual meetings during a Pandemic

Happy new year, everyone. As annual meeting time approaches our congregations, church leadership across the synod is in the process of discerning how to conduct their annual meetings in pandemic times. It is particularly difficult task given the way the ‘world’ changes around us, and the way the Health Directives change responding to that world. For some congregations, it may still be possible to meet in person following Health Directives. For others, a virtual meeting will be necessary. For others, a hybrid of face to Continue reading →

COVID -19 November 2020 Update

With the latest phase of the pandemic upon us and new Health Directives appearing from the Sask Health Authority, Synod presents updated Guidelines for the faith communities  based on the Town Hall consultations earlier this week. Bishop’s letter on response to COVID Nov 27, 2020 Revised Synod Guidelines Nov 27, 2020

COVID-19 and Re-opening Sask Synod worship spaces in the fall of 2020

With fall approaching and schools re-opening, synod consulted with the rostered leaders and faith community leadership about issues regarding re-opening worship spaces in the fall. Below are the Sask Synod resources generated: The bishop’s letter outlining the process; the synod’s recommendations; revised guidelines and checklist. Bishop’s letter on reopening worship spaces Recommendation and Rationale to Re-open worship spaces Revised Guidelines for re-opening worship spaces Revised Checklist for re-opening worship spaces

COVID-19 and Phase 3 decisions re reopening worship spaces

With the provincial government’s announcement in June 2020 of re-open Saskatchewan phase 3, the decision regarding whether to reopen worship spaces has come to our congregations. Engaging that question brings with it necessary questions of what specific preparations are required of congregations considering reopening physical worship. Synod has brought in Rev. Dr. Ali Tote–a member of our roster and an epidemiologist– to consult with the roster of ministers and the roster of congregations and to produce with Bishop Sid. These guidelines are related to the Continue reading →

COVID-19 and Gathering for Worship

Our Saskatchewan Synod (ELCIC) churches will follow the direction of our Health authorities and will not be gathering for worship during the COVID-19 pandemic. But we will still be the church. We will still worship together. Your congregation may be livestreaming their services through the internet. Often you are invited to join breakout rooms for virtual ‘coffee time’ afterward. Or your congregation may have decided to invite members to join one of the services offered online. National church has collected that list. Online worship services Continue reading →

COVID-19 and Passing the Offering Plate

Our churches have always depended on funding the ministry of the congregation by gathering 52 Sundays each year and ‘passing the plate’. During COVID-19 we will not be able to gather together in our churches for an extended period of time. During that time we will need to find alternative ways of funding our congregations. Our national and synodical treasurers met by video conference to discuss this. They produced a concise, practical guide to “Giving Alternatives” during COVID-19. The treasurers also provided  a sample template Continue reading →