As we learn more about how to be together again, during COVID-19, we will need to be flexible, patient, kind, and listen to each other carefully to adjust these guidelines (that the province and Diocese of Toronto ask that we work within,) to fit our own particular situation at St. Matthew the Apostle, Oriole.
Our first priority must be the safety of all who worship with us. The church building will be subjected to a thorough cleaning after every service. Those leading worship, the Altar Guild, musicians and sidespersons have all been trained in what is now our new normal way of worshipping together.
The principles of mask-wearing, hand sanitization and physical distancing are the three most important things we can do to keep each other safe.
If you are feeling unwell (cough, shortness of breath, nausea, fever, runny nose, etc.) please do not come to church until you are feeling well. Also, do not attend church if you have returned from an international trip within the last 14 days.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes. We have one service of Holy Eucharist at 10:00 a.m. each Sunday and we will begin a monthly 8:00 a.m. service on October 18. When arriving for the service, please enter by the south (George Henry) or east doors only. The North door is reserved for those with accessibility needs. Please plan to arrive 5 or 10 minutes early in order to facilitate contact tracing and physical distancing requirements. We will continue to record the Sunday service and put it up on YouTube.
Provincial health regulations allow us to have a maximum of 50 people at worship or 30% of our seating capacity, whichever is smaller. For St. Matthew’s, this number is approximately 40, including those leading worship and musicians. We are required to keep a contact list of all those attending worship. In order to facilitate contract tracing and physical distancing requirements, it will be necessary for those who wish to attend worship to register in advance. We will be using a service called Eventbrite where you can register, for free, online to attend a church service. This is the link: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/sunday-services-tickets-118839057821?aff=ebdssbdestsearch You do not need to print or bring your “tickets” to the service. We will print a list of those who register and your name will be checked against it when you enter. For those unable to register online, please contact the church office (416 494 7020, ext. 1 or firstname.lastname@example.org) and you we will be happy to register you on Eventbrite. Registration closes at noon on the Friday before each Sunday.
We will pray together for ourselves, our community, our church and the world. We will hear and respond to Scripture as usual. We will be in the presence of our Christian family.
Some pews in the church have been blocked off. The ones that remain each have 2 places marked in green tape, 2 metres (6 feet) apart. You may sit on the marked spot. Another person from your household may sit next to you, nearest the end of the pew. The Diocesan video shows clearly how to maintain physical distancing when taking communion. There are marks on the floor to help you do this, and we will be walking you through the instructions before each service. The sidespersons have been trained to direct you as well. Exchanging the Peace must remain physically distanced: no hugging, handshakes, fistbumps, etc.—get creative while keeping your distance.
In conformity with Public Health guidelines, every person over the age of two (2) years must wear a mask from the moment they enter the building until they leave. While the Diocese suggests churches can supply cloth masks during worship, we will not be doing so at St. Matthew’s. Please bring your own mask and take it home with you. We will have a small number of masks for those who forget their own. We ask you to dispose of these masks at home.
The washrooms are marked with a sign saying how many people are allowed in at a time – one (1) person, or two (2) people from the same household. You are asked to wipe down all surfaces that you touch (wipes, etc. provided) as you leave the washroom.
Unfortunately, we are not able to safely offer a children’s program on Sundays at this time. Children are welcome to join their family in church. Feel free to bring a book, quiet toy or snacks for your children, but please do not share them. We will also have papers and pencils/markers for kids to use in church and then take home with them. Please ask a sidesperson for these.
Yes, children are welcome at our service. We recommend you prepare a bag of quiet activities for your child(ren) they can make use of during the service or they can use the papers and pencils/markers, available from any sidesperson. Remember, you will be part of a live taping for our online service.
We are not allowed to pass the collection plate during the service. A plate will be put on a stand close to the entrance to the worship space for you to leave your offering either before or after the service. We appreciate your continued financial support during this challenging time. Alternately, you can still contribute if yo go to our GIVE page on this website.
Yes, our services will continue to be recorded and posted on our YouTube Channel where you will be able to see it anytime after 9:00 a.m. on the Monday after the Sunday service.
Anointing with oil is not permitted at this time except as part of a private pastoral care visit. We will still be offering prayers for healing on the last Sunday of each month as previously (but without anointing).
You may make your donation(s) using one or several of the options on the giving page of this website.
Currently the Fellowship Hall will not be open. We will provide updates for reopening our Fellowship Hall as information becomes available to us.
To learn what to expect at church service, take a look at this video Bishop Andrew Asbil and Rev. Canon Joanne Davies, Chaplin at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and St John’s Rehabilitation Hospital prepared for the reopening of public worship following established protocols and guidelines that have been developed in consultation with provincial guidelines, public health, the Regional Deans and faith communities across the country.