February 4th, 2022 Update:
In alignment with the Province of Ontario’s easing of COVID restrictions, and the decision made by Parkdale’s Council, in-person services will resume starting next Sunday, February 13th. There is a 50% capacity limit, however pre-registration will not be required at this time unless the numbers exceed the limit. The ushers will be on hand to check for proof of full vaccination – if you have already shown proof before the lockdown and your name is on the list you will not be required to show proof again. Face masks are mandatory at all times.
December 24th, 2021 Update:
A blessed Christmas greeting to you all. We remember that Jesus is the reason for this season.
The Council and the Pastoral Staff have unanimously agreed to pause in-person worship services starting December 25. The Lessons and Carols service on Dec. 26th will be a reprise of the service from last year (2020).
We pray that God will continue to bless us with wisdom, faithfulness, love, courage and consideration for others. The duration of this pause will depend on both the COVID public health and protocol Advisories as well as the discernment of our Council. There is no set date for a return to in-person worship. We will monitor the evolving situation.
In the meantime, let us hold each other and this world that God so loves, in prayer.
We know that by God’s grace we will get through this, and that the pandemic will end. Moreover, we are not unprepared for this. Everything we have been doing for the last 21 months has prepared us. We know how to worship online and have developed the skills and ability to do it well. And we are encouraged by the care we have for each other at Parkdale. We have in place a network of pastoral care supporters and visitors as well as many study groups that enable us to keep in touch and stay connected. If you want more information about any of these let us know. We have a prayer group that receives confidential prayer requests and lifts them up to God daily on our behalf. Caring Kitchens is still available to provide a meal for those in need of some comfort.
We are not alone in this and you are not alone. Your pastoral staff is ready and willing to support you.
May God continue to bless us and everyone.
Anthony, Alcris and Huda
December 20th, 2021 Update:
Due to the new round of restrictions put out by Ottawa Public Health, because of the Omicron variant, the church is back to 50% capacity for in-person services. This includes both Christmas Eve services. All other protocols are still in place – masks, distancing and hand sanitizing.
Pre-registration will be required until further notice. You can pre-register for in-person services by contacting the office at email@example.com or by phone at 613-728-8656. Just indicate all names of those wanting to attend and which service you would like to attend.
It is still mandatory to show proof of double-vaccination and wear masks. Ushers will be at the door to have congregants sign in and show proof of vaccination so please have yours ready upon arrival. Government issued Proof of Vaccination document on paper or via your smartphone, which contains your QR code is to be used. You will be asked to show proof of vaccination if your name is not on the master list of those who have already done so.
All people in attendance should maintain two metre (six feet) physical distancing from every other person, except from their caregiver or from members of the person’s household.
We look forward to and enjoy in-person services and we want to make sure that everyone is kept safe.
November 3rd, 2021 Update:
Ontario has now removed capacity limits for in-person worship services so it is no longer necessary to pre-register for Parkdale’s Sunday services. However, it is still mandatory to show proof of double-vaccination and wear masks. Ushers will be at the door to have congregants sign in and show proof of vaccination so please have yours ready upon arrival. Once checked, your name will go on a list for future services so that you won’t need to be checked in again.
Children and youth are welcome to worship with their families in the sanctuary and to join the one room Sunday School during the service. Physical distancing, sanitizing, and masking are mandatory for children and youth as well.
The Nursery is open but not staffed. Parents are welcome to use the nursery and are kindly asked to leave any used toys in the bin assigned for this purpose to be sanitized for the following week.
Note: Online Sunday School will continue on Sunday mornings from 9-10 AM.
September 19th, 2021 Update:
We have resumed in-person Sunday worship services. With mandatory masks and physical distancing we can accommodate 80 people each week. You must register in advance through the office from 9-4, Monday to Friday, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 613-728-8656.
September 5th, 2021 Update:
Resumption of In-Person Worship & Activities
COVID related announcement: As we prepare for in-person activities within the church facility, we will be adopting the following policy: All persons participating in activities inside the church who are eligible to receive a vaccination will be required to either attest to their having received a double vaccination greater than two weeks prior, show a letter from a physician stating that they cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons, or provide evidence of a negative rapid or PCR COVID test result no older than 72 hours. Mask wearing and social distancing protocols will continue to be followed.
We will revisit this policy as necessary in the weeks and months ahead, informed by our public health leaders.
If you are eligible for vaccination but have been unable to receive one due to transportation issues, mobility challenges, etc., please contact the church office and we will do our best to assist you.
August 15th, 2021 Update:
Resumption of In-Person Worship – September 12, 2021
Barring any prohibition from Public Health officials and/or an official statement from the Province of Ontario, we will be resuming in-person worship services as of September 12, 2021. For September 12, Rev. Bailey has reserved the Parkdale Park, (just behind the Parkdale Market and the gas station) for our outdoor Rally Sunday. It will be an intergenerational outside worship service, adhering to Covid-19 protocols.
REMEMBER: YOU MUST REGISTER FOR THIS SERVICE WITH THE CHURCH OFFICE IF PLANNING TO COME. PLEASE EMAIL OR TELEPHONE JOANNE IN THE OFFICE –613 728-8656, AS WE NEED TO KNOW HOW MANY ARE ATTENDING.
Please bring your folding chairs. A few chairs will be provided, but we need to know how many are attending. You are asked to park in the Parkdale Church’s parking lots and walk one block down to the Park. If the weather is forecasted to be inclement – like last year when we reserved the park – we will hold the service at Parkdale Church. Spacing and capacity guidelines will be in effect, which is why we need to know who is coming. Let us pray for this re-opening. It will be so, so awesome to see each other again…
We are also pleased to announce that Ottawa Public Health will be partnering with us on that day by erecting a pop-up Vaccination clinic near the Park to provide vaccines for anyone who is eligible.
March 19, 2021 Update:
As Ottawa is moving into the RED category, no in-person services are currently planned, as we await further developments.
December 22nd Update:
As you undoubtedly know, the situation with respect to the COVID 19 pandemic is becoming more serious. In light of this changing context, and in the interest of the health and safety of all concerned, we have made the difficult decision to cut off registration for in-person attendance at our Christmas Eve service at noon, Tuesday, December 22. Unfortunately, we will not be able to accommodate you if you have not registered prior to this. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause but we are sure that you will understand and appreciate the reason for this decision. The Christmas Eve service will still be available via a live stream on Christmas Eve at 8:00 PM – no registration required. Feel free to view online either on Christmas Eve or via a recorded version later.
December 10th Update:
During this season of Advent, the special time in the Christian year when we focus on waiting, we are especially cognizant of the desire of some of you to return to in-person worship. We have been waiting since the middle of March for some indication that the pandemic is letting up; we continue to wait, but we wait in hope.
As part of a phased approach for a re-opening, we are beginning to offer the ability to pre-register to attend particular services in-person. Of course, the in-person worship experience will be somewhat different. Your health and safety are very important and we will be operating in full respect of all COVID-19 guidelines.
Click [HERE] to learn what this will mean for in-person worship.
June 12th Update:
Dear People of Parkdale United,
Greetings in Christ name.
These months of Pandemic lockdown have indeed been a challenge in many ways. Among other things we have missed worshipping and fellowship and studying and eating together.
I am sure that most of you have heard that Premier Ford has announced that here in Ottawa, places of worship can open up for worship services at 30% of capacity. Now we can imagine that so many of us who long to get back to communal worship, might be excited by this possibility, and that is understandable. We know that some will still have reservations for this kind of gather.
This news came without warning and so your Parkdale United Church Council held an emergency meeting last night, in order to discuss what we should do with this news. After our lengthy and prayerful deliberations, weighing the wisdom and health concerns in reopening, the Council passed the following motion:
“In spite of encouraging news from the province, the Council has decided not to open for Sunday, in-person worship until the Fall. The Council would like to resume in-person services as soon as possible, but we want to make sure that this is done in a safe and responsible manner in accordance with the Provincial guidelines.
This motion aligns with the wisdom and recommendations of the Eastern Ontario Outaouais Regional Council of The United Church of Canada
2020-06-11_068 MOTION (L. Stronski/L. Suddaby) that the Eastern Ontario Outaouais Regional Council Executive;
- a) strongly recommend that no churches reopen for public worship before Labour Day weekend;
- b) expects that every Community of Faith prepare guidelines for reopening and submit their plan to the Regional Council (wstrong@united- church.ca), two weeks prior to their proposed opening date;
- c) agrees to post and circulate the information and resources pertaining to safely reopening Communities of Faith;
- d) strongly encourage Communities of faith to be in touch with their local health units;
- e) expects that every Community of Faith create a separate plan with guidelines for reopening building to rentals and community activities or Community groups; and
- f) Continue to provide information, as developments require. Carried
While we look forward to meeting together in person at some point, we want to make sure that we will do so in a manner that ensures the safety of all to the extent possible. Towards that end, when we are able to resume in-person worship at Parkdale, we will still need to follow the guidelines with which we are all now familiar, such as staying at home if you are not feeling well. We will recommend the wearing of face masks and the use of hand sanitizer by everyone. Entrance to the building will be controlled and a distance of two metres between persons not in the same family or pod will be regulated at the entrance, in hallways, in the Sunday School and in the sanctuary.
As per the guidelines, we will keep a record of all in attendance at every service for contact tracing purposes. At the present time there can be no congregational singing. Social distancing will be monitored outside washrooms and washrooms and other high contact areas will be cleaned on a regular basis. We will not be able to hold coffee hour and we cannot mingle in the hallway before or after church. We are in the very early days of determining exactly how all this will be managed and there are many questions for which we do not have answers. We will continue to receive direction from the City and the province and the United Church of Canada. We will do our best to keep you apprised of decisions as they are made over coming weeks and months. While all of this sounds very different from the church that we are used to, we have to remember that the pandemic is not over and it is our responsibility to keep God’s children safe.
We are very aware that the need for additional cleaning and monitoring of social distancing will require more volunteers – at the door, in the hallway, outside washrooms, in the Sunday school, in the sanctuary. Please give some thought to how you can help make church a happy and safe experience when our doors reopen; we are counting on you to come, to grow, and to serve. We are grateful to God for accompanying us on this new reality. We will continue to provide the recorded worship services each Sunday. Let us continue to look out for one another, hold each other in prayer and support financially the ongoing ministry of the congregation
Rev. Anthony and Rev. Alcris
Changes to our schedule
There will be no services at the church until we hear that large gatherings are again allowed. We are streaming the Sunday morning services over the internet. These can be accessed on the church web site www.parkdaleunitedchurch.ca.
We are sending out a worship bulletin by email that you may use at home on Sunday mornings.
- There will be no groups or meetings at the church for the foreseeable future.
- Children, youth, young adults and IGNITE gatherings, activities and events have been cancelled until further notice.
- The meeting to receive the recommendation from the Search Committee for the new Minister for Youth and Young Families will be rescheduled for when church services resume
The church office remains open, and we welcome any calls for assistance (613-728-8656).
Buddy system: In these disconnected times, we have set up a buddy system for Parkdale people to remain connected to each other by phone. If you would like to be connected to a buddy, and/or to be a buddy to one or more people, please let the office know at 613-728-8656, or by email at email@example.com. We encourage everyone to have regular phone contact with church friends.
Email list: An email list is being used for regular updates. If you would like your email address to be added to the list, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Youth, children and families: Parkdale’s youth, teachers and leaders will be offering live and recorded children’s stories, prayers and songs. Our family and children’s gathering will be Sunday mornings at 10am. If you would like to join us and did not receive an invitation to last Sunday’s Children’s service, please provide us with the best email address to send our invitation.
Youth and young adults: We met and will continue to meet Sunday nights at 9pm. If you would like to join us and did not receive an invitation, please provide us with the best email address for upcoming gatherings.
Junior Youth: (grades 6-8) – will gather online Wednesday evenings from 7:30-8pm. Please contact Camille if you are interested and/or have not been receiving the children/youth emails.
IGNITE (ages 25-35ish) Please let Camille (email@example.com) know if you would like to join this group. We have a book club starting soon and are planning online gatherings.
As we continue with our ministries, and indeed as requests for help are increasing, we depend on donations from our congregation. We hope that you will continue to provide your offerings, even though we are not in church. We can suggest three ways of doing that:
- A donation through Canada Helps, indicating that the donation is to go to Parkdale United Church – Ottawa
-Go to our website: Parkdaleunitedchurch.ca.
-on the home page is a button/link that says “Donate Now through CanadaHelps.org”
-click on this button and it will take you directly to the form to donate to our church
- Sending a cheque in the mail (429 Parkdale Ave., Ottawa, K1Y 1H3)
- Pre-Authorized Remittance (PAR)Givings can also be made directly through your bank account or credit card using Pre-Authorized Remittance (PAR). Givings are deducted automatically from your bank account or charged to your credit card once a month. Using PAR ensures steady, predictable revenue to support the church PAR forms and information can be printed from the church website (parkdaleunitedchurch.ca)
We thank all of you who have donated already via any of these methods and welcome your continuing support. Your numerous responses via CanadaHelps and PAR, and mailed in envelopes in the past week have been very encouraging.
North Street United Church
Our jars for North Street United Church in Jamaica are empty of course. If you can gather together anything for North Street, we would be happy to count it after the pandemic is over. In the interim, if you want to send a donation electronically using CanadaHelps, see the instructions above. In the ‘FUND’ box, choose ‘Other’ (the last one on the dropdown list) and in the ‘MESSAGE’ box enter “North Street – Jamaica”.
Continuing in Prayer and Support:
In these times, as in all times, we are trusting God to grant us wisdom, mercy and faith. As a community of faith and followers of Jesus we are reminded of the numerous times the Bible counsels us not to ‘be afraid’. Normally, this exhortation is accompanied by God’s promise to be with us. God being with us inspires and empowers us to be ‘with’ each other. We do this by praying for one another and reaching out by phone, facetime, Facebook, email, WhatsApp…you name it. Let’s just stay connected. We send love and wish everyone comfort and good health, and look forward to hearing from you. May God bless us all.
COVID-19: MessageS from Ottawa Public Health: How can you protect yourself and your family?
To reduce the spread of germs including the flu and the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) we recommend that you:
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth unless you have just washed your hands with soap
- Cover your cough and sneeze with a tissue or into your arm, not your hand
- If you are a return traveler (including travel to the United States of America) OR have MILD symptoms – you MUST self-isolate. Most people with MILD symptoms will recover at home with no issues. You are helping limit the spread of the virus by staying at home.
- Social distancingrefers to creating physical distance between ourselves so that we can limit the spread of the virus. Social distancing by all is IMPERATIVE to limit transmission in the community, to protect vulnerable populations and outbreaks in institutions. We must ‘flatten the curve’ so we don’t see spikes in cases. By this, I mean that we want to slow down transmission of the virus and lessen the number of cases in the community that happen at the same time, so that our health system continues to work properly. Having a sharp increase of cases in a small timeframe will overload our healthcare resources and have more severe impacts on our community. Social distancing is important for everyone at this time, but especially important for our older adult community (55+). Do NOT gather in groups of more than 10 people. Practice social distancing.
- Social distancing does not mean emotional distancing. Check in with others by phone or other technology. Check in with yourself. It’s ok not to be ok. Please know that help is available, and we encourage you to reach out to Distress Centre of Ottawa to connect with someone at 613-238-3311 if needed.
Case Management and Privacy
- We have received many questions from people who feel they are at risk, including many people expressing concern about being in the same location as someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 or who may have symptoms of COVID-19.
I would like to clarify a few points:
- Given the transmission of COVID-19, we are all at risk. Social distancing, proper hand hygiene, not touching your face and self-isolation (when directed) are the best ways to reduce your personal risk at this time.
- A close contact of a case of COVID-19, is someone who has lived with, provided care for, or spent longer periods of time with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Case and contact management is a role of public health to help identify who may have been in close contact with a confirmed case. Ottawa Public Health will contact you directly if you have been identified as a close contact.
- OPH works closely with each confirmed case of COVID-19 to create a list of close contacts that require follow-up. If you have been contacted by Ottawa Public Health, follow the advice provided to you by the nurse.
- I have been made aware that certain residents have received a phone call asking for credit card information from Ottawa Public Health (OPH). OPH (or any health unit) will not ask you for credit card information. Do not give your credit card information out if you receive a call or message similar to this. Fraudulent activity during a situation like this is deplorable. I encourage you to report it to Ottawa Police Services.
- Thank you to all residents of the City of Ottawa for your ongoing patience and cooperation. We are all in this together, and we need everyone to do their part- whether providing an essential service or staying inside – to be able to slow the transmission of the COVID-19 virus in our community and protect our health system and loved ones who depend on it.
Dr. Vera Etches, Medical Officer of Health, Ottawa Public Healt