Covid-19 Response

 

BACKGROUND: On March 13, 2020, St. Augustine’s formed a COVID-19 Response Team in anticipation of the needs of our parish at this time. Soon after, a protocol of physical distancing was adopted by the Anglican Diocese of Calgary, leading to the suspension of in-person meetings and services at St. Augustine’s. During that time our Response Team studied the options and developed a plan for public worship that observed safety protocols. During the summer of 2020, the Province of Alberta approved public worship and religious meetings that follow strict guidelines. This led to the resumption of in-person worship at St. Augustine's for a short time. However, the threat of mounting COVID cases over the Christmas holiday saw public worship suspended into the spring of 2021, including Lent, Easter and beyond. In April, the Diocese announced rigorous new restrictions on worship services, limiting total participation to five people. June 2021 saw a dramatic increase in vaccinations and a corresponding drop in infections and hospitalizations, leading to the relaxation of restrictions throughout the province.

  

CURRENT SITUATION: On July 6, Parish Corporation met to discuss the latest directions from the Anglican Diocese of Calgary, and determined that we can scale back some of the restrictions we have had on worship at St. Augustine’s, but with a few continued precautions:

  • You can attend without registering.

  • You cannot attend if you exhibit any Covid-related symptoms (new cough, runny nose, difficulty breathing, fever). Stay home and join us via livestream video, and get tested by Alberta Health. (call 811)

  • Social distancing is still in effect; you will be seated by a sidesperson.

  • Everyone attending must wear a mask when entering and moving throughout the building, but these can be removed when seated and for the spoken parts of the service.

  • Masks must still be worn when singing and when going to the front for communion.

  • Children under 12 do not have to wear a mask.

  • You may pass the peace by waving or saying hello, but no physical contact is allowed.

  • Communion will be offered in both kinds by intinction (wafer dipped in the wine). Please just tell the servers if you do not want to receive the wine.

  • You may kneel when taking communion.

  • For the time being, fellowship after the service will be outside and in the courtyard with bottled water and pre-packaged snacks.

 

LIVESTREAM WORSHIP CONTINUES: Although official restrictions have relaxed, some people are not yet ready to participate in public worship. Others are not able to attend for various reasons. Therefore, St. Augustine’s continues to record and “livestream” services of prayer and worship. The church has installed audiovisual equipment that allows parishioners to watch events on a home computer or mobile device. Livestream links for Sunday worship and The Daily Office are posted on this website approximately 15 minutes prior to each event. Go to this page to view live and recorded events.