Some of us drive hybrid vehicles which, as many know, operate on multiple energy systems. Gone are the days of gasoline-only vehicles as cars are now powered by a range of energy systems. This concept is now being considered by churches across the world. As many churches are planning the return to 'in person' gatherings, we have been considering how we might utilize multiple forms of gatherings and offer the best of both worlds (both virtual and in-person) as we move forward. This is the concept behind the 'Hybrid Church'. The hybrid church seeks to offer the best parts of in-person and virtual experiences in order to offer a broader range of ministry experiences to all. As we look ahead at Northwood, some of our ministries will be offered, as in the past, as an in-person gathering; however, others may be offered with the option of either 'in person' or 'virtual'. And, some ministry programming may be presented in an entirely virtual format. The hybrid church allows for a broad expression of ministry! It is exciting to see God alive in this brave new world that we now move into. Below, you can read about all of the details that have been decided to gently move us into the next chapter of our ministry. Rest assured, your Board will continue to review how things are unfolding and will welcome your feedback. May God continue to guide us into the next phase of our ministry together.
An update from Chairperson David:
The Ministry Board held a special meeting on Tuesday night to decide on in-person worship at Northwood.
To be inclusive and flexible, a hybrid worship format that would simultaneously video stream in-person worship service onto YouTube was touted to the membership and was overwhelmingly supported by the membership. Every member’s thoughts were collected on sticky notes and discussed in-depth to conclude.
Guidelines provided by the executive minister for our region was also reviewed and taken into consideration in the following decision making
- The church is to be made ready for In-person worship on 5th of September
- All COVID-19 safety procedures outlined in Step 3 manifesto of the Provincial Health Authority are expected to be strictly adhered to and in addition
- Congregants will be asked to wear a face mask while inside the church
- Worship leader and designated soloist/musician are to be exempted from masking up while the service is in progress
- No coffee/tea or snacks to be made available in the church
Worship format details, including serving/receiving communion, receiving and handling of congregational offerings would be finalized by the worship committee and notified to the congregants before the 5th.
Northwood’s traditional Welcome Back Sunday, the Sunday after the Labor-day long weekend which falls on 12th of September would be the Grand opening day for in-person worship at Northwood.
Provided that the Provincial Health Authority doesn’t revert back to Step 2 on September 7th we would continue to adopt and improve on these practices going forward through the fall season.
Small group ministries would also be allowed into the church subject to these conditions