Chemainus United Church services have resumed in a different fashion outside for the time being. (Photo by Don Bodger)

United Church members gathering in the garden

Sunday service takes on a modified format outside the church

The great outdoors has become the backdrop for the Chemainus United Church since the resumption of Sunday services on July 12.

“We had a short, modified service in our side garden, ” noted Jamie Stephen, chairman of the church board.

About 35 congregants attended the first service connected to the church since March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Related: Bridging the gap in church services no easy feat

“Everyone brought their own chair and spaced themselves appropriately but there was only taped music, no singing, which felt a bit strange,” Stephen added.

There was a sign-in sheet at the site in case of a need for contact tracing and hand sanitizers, but no gathering for coffee afterwards.

“Some members wore masks and there was no socializing so it was an unusual gathering, but people seemed to appreciate the opportunity to see each other in a congregational setting once more,” Stephen indicated.

The scenario was the same for the following week July 19.

The Chemainus United Church board approved the format for the remainder of the summer, weather and provincial health guidelines permitting, so these 10 a.m. services will continue unless the weather is poor.

“In that case, we would notify congregants at short notice that the service in the garden would be cancelled and they could read a printed version ‘on line’,” Stephen explained.

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