Caring for You, Our Family of Churches, During 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 Re-Opening

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.

Ontario Ministry of Health Issued Updated Screening Questions for Work Places on February 10, 2021

Inspectors have been checking workplaces to ensure that screening occurs and is documented, as well as, to see the workplace COVID-19 Plan. The person responsible for a business or organization that is permitted to be open must ensure that workers are screened for COVID-19 before they go to work or start their shift each day. Screening should occur before or immediately upon arrival at the workplace at the beginning of the worker’s shift or workday. This screening tool can be completed either online before going to work or on-site before starting the workday. A worker may only enter the workplace if they have passed the screening. Anyone who does not pass screening should be advised not to enter the workplace and that they should self-isolate, ideally at home, and call their health care provider or Telehealth Ontario (1-866-797-0000) to get advice or an assessment, including if they need a COVID-19 test.

Additionally, the Ontario Ministry of Health offered updated questions for screening people who come into the building for services and meetings.

Use the following link to build your workplace COVID-19 safety plan:

Ontario Province-Wide Shutdown

On January 12, the Ontario government declared a second provincial COVID-19 emergency stay-at-home order and enhanced enforcement measures to reduce mobility.  This is in response to the threat to the province’s hospital system and alarming risks to long-term care homes.

The state of emergency is effective as of January 13 at 12:01am and includes a decreased limit of five people at outdoor organized public gatherings. 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.

Effective January 14 at 12:01am, the government is issuing a stay-at-home order requiring everyone to remain at home with exceptions for essential purposes, such as going to the grocery store or pharmacy, accessing health care services, for exercise or for essential work. All businesses must ensure that any employee who can work from home, does work from home.

Schools and child care centres in Windsor-Essex, Peel, Toronto, York and Hamilton will not return to in-person instruction until February 10, 2021.

The province has declared new enforcement measures, providing authority to all enforcement and provincial offences officers, including the OPP, local police forces, bylaw officers, and provincial workplace inspectors to issue tickets to individuals who do not comply.

Toronto Public Health Workplace Measures

On January 4th, Toronto Public Health advised workplaces to report outbreaks of two or more people who test positive. They will be sharing information with the public on workplace outbreaks in an effort to limit COVID-19 spread. Updated workplace safety guide is provided, including minimizing employees travelling together in a car and maintaining physical distancing within the work environment. Please click here for more information.

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

From January 8 to February 8, the province is instituting additional confinement measures as Quebec is on maximum alert. More information on the restrictions and curfew can be found here. Please refer to your local public health unit for specific information related to your region.

Resources for Charities and Not-for-Profits

The Carters September Charity and Not-for-Profit law update provides information on recent legal developments and risk management considerations that may be helpful to the operations and management of your church.

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

For information on annual meetings of federal corporations, visit the Corporations Canada webpage.

Church Finances

Today 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.

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.

Redefining the Church – January 14 at 10 am

Why does this moment call for a reshaping of the church and how can we embrace the opportunities before us?

Join the Conversation

Or contact us for the Zoom link

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.

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

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

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.

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 August 29. The Canada Emergency Wage Subsidy provides a 75% wage subsidy to eligible employers retroactive from March 15, 2020 to August 29, 2020. 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 part of government actions taken in dealing with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Charities Directorate is extending the filing deadline to December 31, 2020, for all charities with a Form T3010, Registered Charity Information Return due between March 18, 2020 and December 31, 2020. Charities are encouraged to register for online services. You will find more information here.

The government is allowing small businesses to remit 10% lower on employer income tax remittance for a period up to June 20. The maximum amount allowed is $1,375 per employee to a maximum organizational amount of $25,000. You can find more information on the government website.

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:

For Ontario

Our churches in Ontario that have have questions about temporary measures including closures and essential workplaces, can call Ontario’s Stop the Spread Business Information Line at 1-888-444-3659.