December 2, 2021                                                                                 Printable PDF

Dear Friends,

This is a follow up to the letter that I released yesterday regarding the changes to the Proof of Vaccine (PoV) mandate for places of worship from the current public health order.  These changes are effective immediately.  Several of you have reached out with questions seeking clarification and guidance around some issues that were not necessarily clear in the mandate.  After corresponding with a member of the Business Response Team, I have further clarifications around what does and does not require PoV.

PoV is not required for the following:

  • Regular community worship
  • Coffee following worship
  • Funeral services
  • Lunches following immediately after funeral services
  • Wedding ceremonies
  • Bible Study and Prayer groups
  • Youth group
  • 12 Step Groups
  • 5th Step meetings
  • Congregational choir practice
  • Pastoral care visits with the minister
  • Funeral or wedding planning meetings
  • Drop-ins i.e. individuals seeking support for food etc.

Children under the age of 11 will continue to be exempt from the PoV mandate, and at this point the Health Authority and the Government are not looking to make children part of the vaccination mandate.  That being said, anyone over the age of 12 will be required to show PoV for any of the events that fall into the required category.

PoV is required for the following:

  • Meetings (Committee and governance)
  • Workshops
  • Non-church related choir and band practices
  • Concerts, festivals, recitals
  • Private music lessons for those over 12
  • Fowl suppers, banquets, fundraising teas, seated meals
  • Recitals, festivals, performances
  • Exercise groups, Sports classes
  • Adults in charge of children’s programming – i.e. daycares, Scouting/Guiding etc.
  • English as Second Language classes, newcomers classes
  • Garage sales, thrift sales, bazaars
  • Social gatherings

The waiver that was developed for tenants at Saskatoon: St. Paul’s is now available on the Regional Council website – look for the “Downloadable Sample Tenant Waiver”.  You will note that it includes clauses that are specific to the rental agreement in place in that context.  Each community of faith needs to make its own decision regarding guidelines appropriate for their context, taking into consideration many different factors.  I want to express my gratitude to Mitchell Anderson and the leadership team at St. Paul’s for generously sharing this document so that we might more easily meet these new guidelines.

I know this is challenging.  There are grey areas, and places where this doesn’t make sense.  The most important thing to keep in mind is that our main objective is to meet or exceed the mandate to the best of our abilities, keeping in mind our call to care for neighbour and ourselves.  What we do should be and is rooted in the care and love we show one another in faith, not attempting to avoid paying a fine.  Continue masking, continue social distancing, continue doing what you can to minimize your risk.  Again, if you have questions please do not hesitate to reach out.  We, at the Regional level, are doing our best to get clear guidelines to you as they become available to us.

Tricia Gerhard
Chair, Living Skies Regional Council Executive

Tracy Murton
Pastoral Relations Minister