Outdoor service for September 20 has been cancelled

 

Summary:

The rise in COVID-19 cases over the last week and messaging from the government has led Brookside to decide to cancel the outdoor service scheduled for September 20. This is out of an abundance of caution and with only the best in mind for our community.

The details:

While the weather is sunny, other factors have changed in our community that have led us to reconsider the wisdom of holding an in-person gathering on September 20.

This week, government and health officials have repeatedly raised the alarm about the dramatic rise in COVID-19 cases in Ottawa. This coincides with many students in the area returning to in-person classes at school and more outbreaks at numerous care institutions across the city. Because of the significant potential for this latest increase in cases to gain momentum if it is not reigned in quickly, the government introduced new limits to crowd sizes at social gatherings.

As we noted earlier in the week, these crowd size restrictions do not apply to organized events like the outdoor service that we had planned for Sunday morning at Brookside. However, this nuance has not been well reported in the media, and therefore many people believe that all gatherings fall under the new guidelines. So we are concerned that our neighbours who see us holding a gathering will assume we are flaunting the rules and don’t care about the well-being of our community.

The government has clearly indicated that the current rate of infection is alarming. Any large gathering, even one with the safety precautions we had planned, includes an element of risk, and those organizing and assisting with the event have felt some concern for themselves and those they are connected to. So while we could gather, we need to think about whether we should gather. We want to be part of the solution in stopping the spread and reducing everyone’s exposure.

So Brookside has decided to cancel the outdoor service for September 20. Many of us were looking forward to getting together for the first time in a long while, and will be very disappointed by this news. We are sorry for that. But we hope you understand that we are trying to do what is best for our community.

Proverbs 3:5-6
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding.
Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”

 

Sep 20 in-person outdoor service @ 10:30am

It’s been 6 months in the making, but Brookside is having its first in-person event on Sep 20 2020 at 10:30am. Come out for a Sunday morning service, outdoors on the Brookside property at 1078 Klondike Road.

What about the new restrictions on the size of gatherings?

The new gathering limits that the provincial government announced on Thursday do not apply to properly planned and supervised events held by organizations. For example, convention centres and theatres are not impacted by the new restrictions. An event like this, with appropriate protocols/precautions and staffing/supervision like we have in place, is perfectly acceptable under the new government rules.

About the service

It should be about 45 minutes long, with singing and more! Please plan on showing up a few minutes early to allow for screening, and also be prepared for some delays during dismissal.

We have capacity for 80 attendees plus our event volunteers. When we reach 80 people, we will need to close access to the service in order to comply with government mandates on the size of gatherings.

GET THE LYRICS FOR THE SERVICE HERE

The lyrics are available either as a PDF you can print at home or as a mobile webpage here.

You will need to bring…

  • your own chairs
  • masks for you and your family
  • water or coffee (refreshments will not be provided)
  • appropriate clothing for the weather and the sun (there will be no shade)
  • a great attitude as we figure this out!
  • Registration is not required, but capacity is limited to 80 attendees.

No one should feel any pressure to attend this event. If you are uncomfortable or part of a vulnerable category, feel free to stay at home.  The online service will still be available at 9am that morning on YouTube and Facebook.

The regular online pre-service gathering at 8:30am will also be happening, as usual – check the Brookside Brief email newsletter for the link to get in on that.

Planning on coming? Here’s what you need to know…

Check out the what-to-expect video…

If you have symptoms, please stay home.
Covid-19 can show up as a wide variety of symptoms, including fever, cough, fatigue, and many more. Consider making use of the Province of Ontario self-assessment tool here. If you have symptoms, please stay home and take in the streaming service instead. 

Upon arrival

  • Everyone will be parking on one side of the building, and then walking over to the other parking lot for seating. Note that this is not a drive-in service – you will not be able to stay in your vehicle and participate in the service.
  • Please pay attention to the parking attendants and park where they indicate.
  • Put your masks on before leaving your car.
  • Walk around the front of the building to get to the seating area. Do not walk across the back of the building.

Observe social distancing

  • Please ensure you and your household stay 2 metres / 6 feet apart from other households at all times.
  • No handshakes, no hugs – we’re not being unfriendly, we’re just being safe.

Screening and tracing

  • After parking, you can join one of the screening lines at the front of the building.
  • As you join a line, a gloved volunteer will give you a pen and a screening card, one per household. This will ensure everyone is screened upon arrival, and will provide us with contact tracing information should it be needed. Fill in this card while waiting in line. Answer the screening questions as a household.
  • Please observe the spacing indicators to maintain your distance from other households while in line.

Seating and socializing

  • Following screening, an usher will guide you to an appropriately sized seating area for your household.
  • You will not get to choose where you are seated. The ushers will guide you to the next available spot.
  • You can feel free to socialize with those around you from a distance, but please do not leave your seating area.

Masks

  • Everyone (infants excluded) is expected to be wearing a mask whenever they are not in their seating area.
  • While inside your seating area, you can remove your mask. If you need to leave your seating area, please put your mask on.

Bathrooms

  • Bathrooms are available for emergency use only.
  • Only one household will be allowed in the bathrooms at a time. Access the bathrooms through the front door of the building, where a volunteer will let you in when no other household is in the building.
  • Wear your mask if you are heading to the bathroom.
  • When you are finished in the bathrooms, make use of the container of wipes in the bathroom to wipe down every surface you touched – seats, handles, taps, etc.

Weather

  • If the weather looks like it may not cooperate, we will make a call on whether or not to cancel by about 6pm on Saturday evening.
  • In the event of cancellation, we will post notices on the Brookside website and we will send out a message to the Brookside Brief email newsletter list.
  • Dress for the weather. There will not be any shade available, so come prepared for that as well. 

After the service

  • Unfortunately, to facilitate an orderly exit, you will need to wait until it is your turn before you are able to head out..  Please stay in your seating area until an usher indicates that you can head to your vehicle.
  • When leaving for your vehicle, please have your mask on.
  • Please head straight to your vehicle and proceed out of the parking lot so that others behind you are not delayed.