Guidelines for In-person Worship

Welcome Back! Together, in person again!

As we move into Advent and through Christmas, we look forward to offering a warm welcome to more members, supporters, guests and newcomers in our beautiful sanctuary and creating fun outdoor experiences for children, teenagers and their families to safely gather.

We are grateful to our COVID Response Team and our wonderful Worship staff and volunteers who balance creating enriching in-person worship experiences with our duty of care for all – our seniors, parents, grandparents, children and young people.

We continue to operate within with Ontario Ministry of Health and Toronto Public Health evolving COVID-19 Guidelines and Bylaws for faith-based organizations.

Proof of Vaccination

Starting on November 21st, proof of vaccination (a printed or digital copy of your proof of vaccination and ID) is required for community members attending ESG services each Sunday.

Happily, we know from our recent survey that 98% of you tell us you are double vaccinated and that implementing this vaccine protocol provides comfort to return to in-person worship for 87% of survey responders.

Pre-approved vaccination list: If you prefer to show us your proof of vaccination just once, you can give permission for your name to be added to ESG’s pre-approved master vaccination list. The next time you come to worship, we will have a record of you providing proof of vaccination. The purpose of this list is for verifying proof of vaccination only until June 30, 2022.

Please read the full Proof of Vaccination Policy for details.

Before you come to worship

  • We encourage you to reserve your spot in advance by 2:30 pm on Saturdays each week. In order to maintain physical distancing in the church, we have a limited number of seats available for worship. This allows us to record attendance for the purpose of contact tracing more efficiently and reduces time lining up when you arrive on Sundays.
  • If you prefer not to reserve in advance, you are still welcome to attend. When you arrive at church we will record your name, email and phone number for the purpose of contact tracing.
  • If you are feeling unwell, please stay at home. You can also consult Toronto Public Health guidance on health self-screening.

When you arrive at ESG

  • On street parking: ESG is located in an area of North Toronto where nearby and convenient on-street parking options are plentiful. We also have a special arrangement for relaxed enforcement of parking regulations by the City of Toronto on Sunday mornings on the south side of Lytton Boulevard.
  • Please arrive early: The entrance doors at street level on Lytton Blvd. will open at 10:00 am, and we suggest that you arrive by 10:20 am.
  • We will continue to exercise the now well-understood mandatory practices of wearing masks and two-metre physical distancing.
  • Our Greeters will welcome you, help you find a spot in the sanctuary and answer any questions you may have.
  • Children will stay with their families throughout the service. Our Church School and Youth Group gather online only. 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.
  • Singing: Congregation members may hum or sing softly behind their masks during worship as directed by the minister.

Online live-streamed church is still a great option.

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.

We are grateful to be able to offer this alternative to those who may not yet be vaccinated, may not yet feel ready to return, prefer to “go to church” whenever they wish, or who simply have become comfortable with the virtual alternative. Thanks to our talented Ministerial team, musicians, producer and volunteer members who make this possible each week.

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.