Red First Aid Cross with heart beat rhythmCaring for You, Our Family of Churches, Re-Opening After the Pandemic

COVID-19 has created many challenges for our family of churches. We continue to make every effort to keep you informed about how to best mitigate its impact on your church. To that end, we will continue updating resources for you as we develop them.
As you read through the resources below, if you don’t find what you need assistance with, please email Kristi Pollard with your question or concern. Be sure to include your church name and role at your church.

Resources for your Church during COVID-19

Ontario COVID Public Health Measures and Advise

As regions start allowing workplaces and businesses to re-open with restrictions, ensure that you are aware of the church’s obligation as a workplace and meeting place. Review the Ontario Ministry of Health requirements and your local Public Health Unit guidance.

As of February 17 at 12:01am, indoor religious services, rites and ceremonies (including weddings and funerals) are capped at the number of people that can maintain two metres of physical distance, with no limit if proof of vaccination is required. There will be no limit on attendees at outdoor religious services, rites or ceremonies. Indoor social gatherings are capped at 50 people (capped outdoor at 100 people).

As of March 1, if public health indicators continue to improve, capacity limits will be lifted in all indoor public settings. Proof of vaccination requirements will be lifted. Other protective measures (e.g. mask requirements and screening) will continue to be in place. Local public health units may deploy regional responses based on local health indicators.

Ontario Province-Wide Step Three Re-Opening

Individuals are required to wear a mask or face covering in the indoor areas of businesses or organizations that are open. Wearing a mask or face covering is now recommended outdoors when you can’t physically distance more than two metres.

For religious services, indoor and outdoor activity permitted with capacity limited to permit physical distancing of two metres.

Please check your local public health unit’s guidance for places of worship. The Toronto, Halton and Southwestern units have updated their guidance for Step 3 of the Ontario Reopening Roadmap. Depending on your region, there are different recommendations on congregational singing during in person worship services.

Changes in Gathering Limits in Ontario

Wondering what the recent changes in gathering limits in Ontario mean for your church? You can read the details from the Ontario government webpage here. Still have questions? We recommend you reach out to your local public health unit and/or local MP for further guidance, as needed.

Quebec Confinement Measures

Information on restrictions can be found here. Please refer to your local public health unit for specific information related to your region.

Join CBOQ this fall for a new webinar series especially designed with you in mind. Each month we’ll guide you through topical discussions with practical next steps and resources that will help you navigate the COVID reality.

Sign up below and spend an hour each month in the company of leaders and churches like yours who want to navigate well the challenges and opportunities before us.

A view from the pew –September 9 at 10 am

When churches closed some people missed the in-person gatherings and struggled to worship at home while others discovered a new found freedom of online services. Some church goers found the pandemic gave them time to rediscover the important things in life while others endured a deeply stressful time. Did the church get it right? How have you responded? Join us for a conversations with members from various CBOQ churches as we reflect on what our churches did during the pandemic and what we would like to see happen now.

Join the Conversation

Or contact us for the Zoom link

CBOQ Pastors are invited to join us via Zoom for an online prayer experience. We gather each Tuesday at 11 am for about a 25 minute prayer experience. The format will depend on the number of participants. Please join us on Zoom as follows:

Meeting ID: 274 732 250
Password: 483985

If you need suggestions regarding tools to help your church get online, the following have free options that may help you plan video or phone conferencing opportunities.

Additional resources:

Church Finances

You are leading through unprecedented times. During times of crisis, congregations need to be even wiser in stewarding their financial resources. To help you, we have created a guide of four conversations you can have with key people to help your church build its leadership capacity as you tackle new financial realities.

Resources for Charities and Not-for-Profits

For Carters resources on COVID-19 for Charities and NFPs, click here.

Being faithful to God and others during this COVID-19 crisis isn’t easy, is it? Navigating your financial challenges, difficult HR decisions and leadership opportunities is difficult, but we are people of hope. This crisis is an opportunity for your church to continue to build disciples of Jesus that are engaged in mission.

But how do you do this when your ways of gathering and worship have been disrupted? How do you lead through high emotion, high stakes critical conversations? And how do you lead with pressing new financial realities?

Need some ideas for ministry during the pandemic? Download 100+ Ideas for Pastors and Churches.

For assistance with your church’s next generation ministry, CBOQ recommends the following resources:

Youth Ministry
Children’s Ministry

If your church is considering running a day camp this summer, we encourage you to be in touch with your legal council and local public health unit as well as to read the guidance documents provided by the government to ensure you are in compliance with all necessary requirements and have the necessary procedures, policies and waivers in place. You can read the documents below:

Additional Children’s Ministry Resources

Parent Resources

Government Resources

The Public Guardian Trustee (Ontario) has developed temporary guidelines to allow charities that are in danger of closing to access the income and capital of restricted purpose trust funds when necessary to enable them to continue their day-to-day operations. You can read the full statement here.

The government has announced an extension of CEWS to September 25. You can read further details on this program here, including how to apply and eligibility criteria.

In addition, you may find this overview of CEWS for charities from Carters helpful.

On March 19, the Ontario legislature passed the Employment Standards Amendment Act (Infectious Diseases Emergencies), 2020 to provide job-protected leave for employees in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A page with a list of ways the Canadian government is supporting businesses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic can be found here.

As of January 1, 2021 the Charities Directorate is returned to the filing deadline of the Form T3010, Registered Charity Information Return, to six months following your year end. Charities are encouraged to register for online services. You will find more information here.

Moving Forward

As your church responds to these new updates from the government, we encourage you to use the resource document, Starting the Next Phase, which we created to help prepare your church for the next phase.

You can access the full reopening plan for Ontario here: “A Framework for Re-Opening our Province” (ON) and for Quebec here: “Gradual resumption of activities under the COVID-19-related pause” (QC).

Ontario and Quebec Government Actions Concerning COVID-19

You can access information about government actions concerning COVID-19 in our two provinces here: