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Willow Park Church's Response to COVID-19

During the last six months, it has been so good seeing so many of you online during all of our weekend experiences, online Zoom gatherings and at WillowOne Prayer. God has truly blessed Willow Park Church with a strong sense of community. Recently in July we announced that WPC would be re-engaging with in-person gatherings.

In light of Dr. Bonnie Henry’s announcement on May 6 and new recommendations that went into effect on May 19, we began planning our building reopening plan at our 3 church locations with appropriate safety guidelines. 

In addition to the reopening plan given to us by our province, we listened to the results of a church survey as many of you indicated a readiness to begin to gather and reconnect on-campus and to reopen the buildings. On August 2nd, we started a limited re-opening with Sunday church service gatherings of 50 or less, as per provincial guidelines.

Although we have re-opened in a limited capacity, we continue recommend that certain individuals remain at home and not attend the church’s gatherings. Medical experts find those at who highest risk are: 

  • People with underlying medical conditions: chronic lung disease; moderate to severe asthma; serious heart conditions; immune-compromised; diabetes; chronic kidney disease/undergoing dialysis and/or liver disease.

  • Anyone with fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat or chills. 

Please know if you are part of the population considered vulnerable or are uncomfortable coming in person, we encourage you to continue to worship with us online.

We are continually reviewing the latest BC Health guidelines and recommendations, and we are implementing extra safety and sanitation procedures in order to protect everyone attending at one of our locations. 

We have dedicated entry and exit points, defined traffic patterns, ongoing sanitization in all areas before and after each gathering and an adjusted seating plan to accommodate reasonable spacing between family households.  

We encourage people to wear masks or other personal protection equipment but only require the wearing of masks when we are singing (as per current provincial health guidelines).  

We also require pre-registration every time a person wishes to attend gatherings at any of our locations. This allows us to keep our attendance capacity in line with provincial health guidelines as well as aid us with contact tracing (if that is ever needed).

When you arrive at any of our locations, you can expect a TOUCHLESS EXPERIENCE. 

  • We hold doors open for you. 

  • We do not pass out connect cards, pens, sermon note cards or the offering containers, etc. 

  • We do our very best to create a clean, safe and secure gathering for everyone involved. 

  • We do not be serve food or drinks in our buildings.

  • The people who call Willow Park Church their church home have a strong sense of community. It is not uncommon, prior to quarantine, to see people hugging and shaking hands all over our campuses. During this time, we ask that you refrain from shaking hands and hugging. 

  • The seating in all of these smaller ‘cluster’ rooms is properly physically distanced (of course you can sit closer together with your own family/household bubble). 

  • We are not opening up Kids Ministry (nursery, pre-school or elementary) in the buildings at this time.

Willow Park Church's Core Health and Hygiene Practice

The health and hygiene practices that under-gird these new allowances and continued easing of restrictions are:

  • We will stay informed, be prepared, and follow public health advice. The BC Government and the BC Centre for Disease Control websites are our primary sources of information.

  • Proper cleaning of workspace, gym, sanctuary and common spaces more often.

  • Consider using non-medical masks when physical distancing isn’t possible.

  • We encourage everyone in the practice of good hygiene:

    • Frequent hand washing

    • Avoid touching your face

    • Cough into your sleeve

    • Disinfect frequently touched surfaces

    • No handshaking or hugging

    • Stay at home and away from others if you’re feeling ill

    • Maintain physical distancing outside your household

    • Small numbers of contacts

    • Keep a safe distance from others

The pandemic is a fluid situation and restrictions may change, so paying attention to news and updates is essential.

Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about our COVID-19 response.

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