This announcement is to follow-up on the after-service discussion that took place on Sunday, December 19, 2021 with those who were in attendance at the Church, and to ensure everyone who was unable to attend in person receives the same information as well. The Manitoba Government announced updated Health Restrictions on Friday, December 17, 2021, with intentions of being effective as of Tuesday, December 21, 2021 at 12:01am. The main restriction that we are reviewing has to do with allowances for worship services. Here is summary of these changes:
- Religious Services are limited to 50 per cent capacity with proof of vaccination, or 25 per cent capacity or a total of 25 people, whichever is lower, when proof of vaccination is not required; cohorts may be implemented where groups can be physically divided.
- The noted restrictions have a current anticipated expiration of 3 weeks from the effective date of Tuesday, December 21, 2021
As a group we discussed the merits of both options, and with input from about 40 people present we determined that Garden Park Church will now require proof of vaccination in order to allow us to hold the maximum allowed in attendance, which is 50% of our 200 person capacity, or up to 100 people. We are asking that everyone who wishes to attend service in person, please arrange to show the greeter your proof of vaccination card on your next visit, and we will document by your name on the contact sheet that proof was provided. This way you will only have to show proof of vaccination once. If there are any visitors requesting to join you at a service, we request that you assist the Church by pre-screening your guest to ensure they have proof of vaccination that can be shown when they come to visit, otherwise we suggest that your visitor defer their visit to the Church until a future date.
It is with sincere heartache that we need to take such a position, as we feel there should be no restriction on access to worship. However with the limited options available, and to ensure we can continue to hold open in-person service to as many people as possible, this was the only reasonable option. We appreciate and thank all those who shared their opinions, and who support this direction, and we pray for everyone to continue staying safe. Please also remember that all are welcome to join the online worship courtesy of our Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/gardenparkchurch).