This notice is especially important for called or appointed ministers in a community of faith, pastoral charge supervisor, or anyone who offers provide pulpit supply (such as a retired minister or a licensed lay worship leader).

Many of you will be aware that new guidelines for mask use and private gatherings were issued by the provincial government, effective Friday November 6.  Tricia Gerhard, the United Church representative to the faith leaders in dialogue with government officials, clarified the following key points in a meeting on November 5:

In the cities of Regina, Saskatoon, and Prince Albert,

  • Masks are required at all times, for all people, in places of worship.  Speakers (in worship) who are at a podium 3 or more metres away from other people can speak without a mask.  However, the mask mandate stands for soloists and other leadership, or if there cannot be 3 metres or more between the preacher and the front row of worshippers.
  • Private gatherings held in a private dwelling on behalf of church communities (family weddings, baptisms, funerals, study groups, etc.) have a maximum of 10 participants, including ministry personnel.

While only required in the larger cities, these guidelines are strongly recommended throughout the province for the next 28 days.  This means that Advent 1 will fall within this timeline.  As we have said throughout this pandemic, the regional council leadership and staff can only offer background information for communities of faith – local context will impact how strongly you might heed this recommendation if you serve outside of Regina, Saskatoon or Prince Albert.

No further restrictions have been made to the number of people permitted to gather in public places of worship at this time.  As further information becomes available, we will distribute updates to you and to the leadership in your congregations.  Here are a few links for background information:

The indoor mandatory masking requirements are found here.  A helpful article on aerosol transmission (and why masks are useful) is found here.

Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns, or if there is further information that would be helpful as you support communities of faith in our Regional Council.  These are challenging times, and we need to continue to support one another while maintaining health and safety.

Blessings on your ministry,
Tracy Murton,
Pastoral Relations Minister, Living Skies Regional Council