One of the things that has been a constant throughout this pandemic is that the information and recommendations are constantly changing! I know that we are all feeling a great deal of pandemic fatigue, and at the same time, excitement to be able to gather together in person again. I commend you for your work in these challenging circumstances. Please know that I regularly pray for all the Communities of Faith within our Region, and their leaders.
I am writing today to provide clarification with respect to vaccine passports. Since the implementation of the vaccine passport requirements, we have been provided with some quantified guidance:
- Vaccine passports are not required for in person worship regardless of the size of the gathering, including for any post worship gathering.
- Vaccine passports are required for non-worship events with groups of 50 or more, but not required for gatherings in the church with less than 50 people, regardless of their purpose.
- Vaccine passports are not required for wedding or funeral services, but are required for the reception following, if there is one.
Here’s the link to the Province of BC Vaccination and Immunization Vaccine Card website: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/vaccinecard.html
I truly appreciate your understanding as we gain greater understanding of the requirements and adjust our guidance accordingly. This notice is also on the COVID-19 Support page on our website.
Please be aware that the Pacific Mountain Regional Council is strongly recommending that Community of Faiths require participants to mask, even though that exceeds the provincial requirement. I also note that these are the minimum requirements, and each congregation, through their board, can choose to have additional requirements if you feel that is necessary in order to provide care for your members. Your regional staff are available to help you work through some of these questions, as needed.
Proof of Vaccination
Some Community of Faiths have wondered whether they can require proof of vaccination for worship. The legal advice we have received is that this is a difficult position to take, and if you wish to do so, we encourage you to seek independent legal guidance in the matter.
We are reminded that in all we do, we are not alone
As we navigate these strange times the word of the hymn “We have this Ministry” help to remind of as our call in this time:
We have this ministry and we are not discouraged,
It is by God’s own power that we may live and serve.
Openly we share God’s word, speaking truth as we believe,
Praying that the shadowed world may healing light receive,
We have this ministry, O God receive our living.