Keeping Each Other Safe


As we continue to move through the COVID-19 pandemic, the congregations in Valhalla Parish seek to keep ourselves and each other safe whenever gathering in person.

As reiterated by the Rev. Michael Garner (MSc, MDiv), health advisor to the Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa, COVID is an airborne virus whose current variants are primarily transmitted through aerosols and droplets (i.e. breathing, singing, speaking). 

As a Christian community, it is our moral responsibility and our joy to consider the ways in which our various practices can (even inadvertently) impact one another. As members of the Body of Christ, Jesus invites us to love our neighbours as ourselves, seeking the well-being and thriving of all who we encounter.

As we consider our collective responsibility to one another, we ought—like Jesus—to centre the needs of the most vulnerable, especially those  who are immunocompromised, those unable to be vaccinated, and those in other high-risk groups.

Our commitment to loving our neighbours also includes members of our communities who—for whatever reason—are unable to wear a face covering for prolonged periods of time. 

With this in mind, Valhalla Parish is taking the following precautions as a way of caring for the most vulnerable in our community while also providing some leeway within these guidelines. 

  • Self-Screening: If you are feeling at all unwell, are symptomatic, or have been recently exposed to someone with COVID-19, please stay home (but feel free to reach out for pastoral and practical care!)
  • Masks: are highly recommended and requested to be worn as a way of living into our commitment to caring for one another through reducing transmission. Leaders in visible positions of leadership including clergy and licensed lay ministers, and members of council should wear masks in worship unless medically prohibited. Communion administrators must wear masks during the distribution of communion. 

If you forget yours, we have spares you can take

  • Ventilation: remains a top priority to mitigating the effects of airborne virus. The furnace fan will always be on, and we will open side windows to create a cross-breeze while in service.
  • Passing the Peace: we pass the peace while remaining respectful of people’s comfort levels with physical contact. Bowing, fist bumps, elbow bumps, and eye contact remain good ways of greeting one another and sharing Christ’s peace with each other. It’s always important to check in with people before touching them.
  • Communion continues to be in one kind only, with communicants receiving the consecrated bread

- Last Edited October 2022