Covid-19 Response

 

BACKGROUND: On March 13, 2020, St. Augustine’s formed a COVID-19 Response Team in anticipation of the needs of our parish at this time. Soon after, a protocol of physical distancing was adopted by the Anglican Diocese of Calgary, leading to the suspension of in-person meetings and services at St. Augustine’s. During that time our Response Team studied the options and developed a plan for public worship that observed safety protocols. During the summer of 2020, the Province of Alberta approved public worship and religious meetings that follow strict guidelines. This led to the resumption of in-person worship at St. Augustine's for a short time. However, the threat of mounting COVID cases over the Christmas holiday saw public worship suspended into the spring of 2021, including Lent, Easter and beyond. In April, the Diocese announced rigorous new restrictions on worship services, limiting total participation to five people. June 2021 saw a welcome increase in vaccinations and a corresponding drop in infections and hospitalizations, leading to the relaxation of restrictions throughout the province. At the end of the summer, however, the rate of illness and hospitalization climbed once again leading to a return to restrictions on in-person worship. 

CURRENT SITUATION: By order of the Anglican Diocese of Calgary, in-person worship is suspended for four weeks beginning Monday, September 20, and this includes Sunday and Thursday services. The first Sunday affected is Sunday, September 26. The Bishop’s letter including the rationale for the Covid Task-Force decision can be found in its entirety here. In short, out of love and concern for our over-burdened healthcare system and those who most need it, we will err on the side of caution and do all we can to mitigate the risk of community transmission of this disease during this crucial time. In person church meetings are also suspended (except for NA and AA meetings).

LIVESTREAM WORSHIP CONTINUES: Although official restrictions have come and gone throughout the pandemic, some people are not yet ready to participate in public worship. Others are not able to attend for various reasons. Therefore, St. Augustine’s continues to record and “livestream” services of prayer and worship. The church has invested in audiovisual equipment that allows parishioners to watch events on a home computer or mobile device. Livestream links for Sunday worship and The Daily Office are posted on this website approximately 15 minutes prior to each event. Go to this page to view live and recorded events.