2020-09-08 PUC Opening Letter


Portland United Church Reopening Update Letter

On Wednesday, August 26, your Portland United Church Council agreed to reopen the church for Sunday services on Sunday, September 20 at 9:15 AM. 

Our reopening plans are closely tied with Elgin United Church’s proposal as they plan to reopen on Sunday, Sept. 20 at 11 AM.

Your church council felt it was very important to continue with virtual church services for those who either cannot or do not want to attend large gatherings due to COVID-19 concerns.

We believe that our joint plan with Elgin accomplishes two objectives –

  1. Reopening the physical church for those who wish to attend a physical service and
  2. Providing a virtual service for those who prefer not to attend a physical service.

The Elgin service will be a full in person service and will be video recorded for the virtual service that will be posted on the Internet by the following Tuesday.

The Portland service will be a combination of in person announcements, scripture readings, and sermon and will be supplemented with hymns that can be found on the web that align with the hymns chosen by Reverend Takouhi.

A reopening process has been approved by the regional council and it includes the following key points:

  1. There will be a hand sanitizing station for everyone to use before entering the church through the Friendship Hall.
  2. Please bring all your personal belongings with you to your seat – there will be no use of the coat racks
  3. As each person enters the Friendship Hall their name will be gathered to facilitate contact tracing if required
  4. Everyone must wear a mask (please bring your own)
  5. Everyone must socially distance in the church, so only every other pew will be used – two people in each center pew and two (or more if a family is seated together)               in each outside pew – depending on how many families attend with more than 2 people, the seating capacity is 30-39 people.
  6. There will be no singing or communion
  7. There will be no passing of the plate for collection, but there will be a collection plate near the exit from the church to collect your donations
  8. When the service has completed,
  • Everyone will exit through the Friendship Hall while continuing with social distancing
  • There will be no tea, coffee, or snacks after Church and there will be no gathering in the Friendship Hall
  • Please proceed directly to the parking lot
  • Please use the washroom at home before attending service to limit the use of the washroom in the Friendship Hall.
  • If you do need to use the washroom in the Friendship Hall,
  • You will be asked to sanitize it once you are finished – directions and supplies will be provided in the washroom
  • Once we reach capacity,
  • We may be able to provide overflow seating in the choir pews and
  • We will determine that on a case by case basis.
  • A full list of our processes and a seating plan can be found on the Church Facebook page.