Back to Church!

Sunday, September 13th is Back to Church Sunday at St Mary Magdalene! As our diocese permits churches to carefully reopen, we are delighted that more than 90 parishioners plan to return to church this fall. Some of our members will not feel able to return to a group setting, and we will continue to provide online services and distribute printed copies and DVDs on request.

For those who are able to attend services in person, here is what you need to know.

Health and Safety
The diocese has established cautious and detailed guidelines to ensure safety during worship, which your Churchwardens, Preparedness Committee, Altar Guild, Sexton, Musical Director, Greeters and Clergy have fully implemented:

  • Everyone planning to come to church must check themselves for any COVID-19 symptoms. Please do not come to church if you have symptoms or have reason to believe you may have been exposed to the virus.
  • The church will be carefully cleaned, and all touch points sanitized before every service. There will be a full hour between services to allow for cleaning and to avoid clustering of people.
  • A maximum of 50 people can be in the church.
  • Pews are roped off, so everyone is seated at least 6 feet away from everyone else. Members of the same household or "social circle" can sit together.
  • Service books have been removed.
  • Everyone must always wear a mask in the church.
  • Greeters will be at the front and back entrances, and the elevator will be available for those who need it.
  • On arrival your attendance will be recorded in the (hopefully unlikely) event contact tracing is required. You will be asked to sanitize your hands.
  • Collection plates will not be used during the service. Baskets to receive your offering will be available at the entrances.
  • Greeters will help ensure people remain physically distanced as you find your seat.
  • Congregational singing is not permitted. A soloist is allowed.
  • We will exchange a gesture of peace from our places, maintaining physical distance.
  • Only the bread will be offered when you receive communion.
  • The priest will carefully hand-sanitize, and then bring communion to everyone in the pews, being careful not to touch anyone. If accidental contact occurs, the priest will sanitize before continuing.
  • After the priest has put the bread in your hand and moved on, you remove your mask to receive your communion, then put your mask back on.
  • At the end of the service we will not gather for fellowship at the back of the church. Greeters will help you exit the church row by row maintaining physical distance. We will have opportunity to chat outside after the service (weather permitting, of course).

Service Times and Format
The first service will be at 9:00 a.m. as before

  • The traditional language (BCP) service will be followed.
  • Instead of using service books, the liturgy will be displayed using the overhead projectors.
  • There is no music for this service.

The second service will be at 11:00 a.m. (a half hour later than before to allow for cleaning)

  • The contemporary language (BAS) service will be followed.
  • Instead of using service books, the liturgy will be displayed using the overhead projectors.
  • There will be organ and other instrumental music, and hopefully a soloist to sing parts of the service, but no group singing.
  • This service will be live-streamed and recorded, so you will be able to watch from home at 11:00 on Sundays, or anytime afterwards, if you cannot attend in person.

Which Service to Attend
We are only allowed to admit a total of 50 people, and as some people have switched to the early service, we expect to be able to accommodate everyone who wants to come.

You Raised the Roof!

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

It is a great pleasure to congratulate the congregation and friends of St. Mary Magdalene for having completely paid for the roof of the Church through their generous donations.

The amazing part of this successful endeavour is that fundraising for the roof began and was completed during the lockdown of Covid-19.

The roof looks absolutely great. We hope you think so too. As has been said, the roof's 50-year written guarantee is a gift from our congregation to future congregations, to relieve them of the periodic financial angst of having to replace the roof every 10 to 15 years or so.

That's not all, there is more for this remarkable congregation to celebrate! As most of us know, Church overhead costs continue even through such trying times as we are experiencing. But, your continued generosity in maintaining your weekly and monthly givings mean that the church has been able to so far, meet our operating obligations.

Thank you to each one of you for helping to keep our Parish healthy as we prepare to return to in-church services. A team is diligently working on the implementation of the guidelines of the Diocesan Amber Stage to safely open St. Mary Magdalene and welcome us back. You'll hear more about this in the coming days.

Thank you all so very much, stay safe and keep your loved ones close.

With respect and admiration,
John Clarke, Herb Stone, Kathy Condie, Janet Howes, Brian Pinkerton,

2020-06-18 Roof 2

Annual Vestry Meeting Looks to the Future

Fifty members of the Parish attended the 2020 Annual Vestry Meeting following the service on Sunday, February 2nd. The meeting received reports which included a modest surplus for 2019 and a target for a balanced budget in 2020. The meeting also heard of plans to hire an Assistant Curate (a newly ordained assistant minister) to join the staff for two years and increase our focus on youth and family ministry. The state of the church roof was discussed, and plans were approved to replace the roof, and launch a fundraising campaign to cover the cost.

The Annual Reports for 2019 can be found here.

The Financials Reports for 2019 and Budget for 2020 can be found here.

2020-02-02 Vestry Meeting 3
2020-02-02 Vestry Meeting 6
2020-02-02 Vestry Meeting 2