Guidelines for In-person Worship
ESG’s Reopening Work Group has developed a plan for ESG in compliance with Ontario Ministry of Health’s and The City of Toronto’s evolving COVID-19 Guidelines and Bylaws for the reopening of places of worship. It is our responsibility to consider carefully how to prevent infection among our staff, members and visitors to ESG, while at the same time giving you the best possible in-person faith experience.
Please review the following guidelines for attending in-person worship at ESG.
Before you come to worship
- Register in advance: In order to maintain physical distancing in the church, we have a limited number of seats available for worship. An online registration system is now available, so you can be assured of having a seat. Registration will close each week on Saturday at 2:30 pm for the following Sunday morning services.
- Cancel anytime: If you are not feeling well on Sunday morning, or if you have been asked to quarantine by a health professional, it is very important that you do not come to worship. You may cancel your registration easily online.
When you arrive at ESG
- Arrive early: The entrance doors at street level on Lytton Blvd. will open at 10:00 am, and we ask that you arrive by 10:20 am.
- Wear a mask: In accordance with the City of Toronto bylaw, masks or face coverings that cover your nose, mouth and chin must be worn in the church building. If you do not have a mask we will provide you with one.
- Screening: You must self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms before coming to the building by answering health questions. You can use the Ontario COVID Customer Screening Tool.
- Check-In: Greeters will meet you at the welcome desk to sign you in.
- Remember hand hygiene: Hand sanitizer will be available at check in, and throughout the church in various locations.
In the Sanctuary
- Follow usher’s directions: Ushers will guide you to your safely spaced seating. Family groups and people in the same household may sit together.
- Children remain with family: Children must stay throughout the service with their family. Church School and Youth Group will not take place at ESG. Kate Littler, our Family Ministry Coordinator and Aidan Legault, our Youth Leader, will deliver these programs online.
- Enjoy listening: There will be live music with organ/piano and a soloist at a distance from the congregation and behind a plexiglass barrier.
- Refrain from singing: No full choir or congregational singing is permitted. We look forward to being able to sing again together in future, but at this time, we can enjoy listening together.
- No bulletins or hymn books: There will be no paper bulletins or hymn books; we will project service content on the video screens.
- Refreshments not served: There will be no food or drink served. You may bring your own water bottle.
- Remain seated: After you are seated, please do not walk around to visit with other congregation members.
After the Service
- Exit with distance from others: After the service concludes, please remember to practice physical distancing, and remain 2 metres from others as you leave the sanctuary. Ushers will guide you to exit through the Tower Doors. For those who need an accessible exit, please use the elevator and exit through the street level doors.
- Access washrooms as needed: One washroom available beside the welcome desk on the main level, and two washrooms are available on the lower level opposite the elevator.
- Refrain from socializing: Please do not socialize in the church building. At this time, we will need to smile at friends and wave or talk at a distance outside the church away from the exits.
Although our Sunday in-person experience will feel quite different than what we are all used to, we must all follow the guidance of Toronto Public Health to protect the health and safety of all those attending. We look forward to worshiping together with you in whatever way you feel comfortable.
We will continue to offer online worship, presented by live streaming on Sunday mornings, so you can still watch from home in real time or later if you prefer to do so.
Special note: in accordance with guidelines set out by Toronto Public Health, every reasonable precaution has been and will continue to be taken by Eglinton St. George’s United Church to protect your health and wellbeing. There can be no guarantees of complete protection, however, due to the higher risks of contracting viral infection through larger gatherings.
Please do not enter the church if you have any of the following: fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, difficulty breathing, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell, not feeling well in any way.