In-person Worship - How to Register and What to Expect
REGISTER to attend In-person Worship by noon on the Friday before the Sunday service.
Full COVID–19 Vaccination Required at Fairlawn Effective November 21, 2021
To our Fairlawn family,
Gathering in worship is at the heart of who we are and what we do as the people of God. We have been thankful we are able to offer both in-person worship as well as our online services. Throughout the pandemic, the Re-entry Task Group continues to evolve our church entry protocols, based on guidelines from Toronto Public Health.
These ongoing protocols were designed to ensure the safest experience possible and at the same time, create a welcoming and supportive place for us to gather.
We have a duty of care for our Community of Faith and staff to provide as safe and secure an environment as we can and to mitigate the risks of COVID-19 as much as possible. The policy was developed with these goals in mind.
Proof of Vaccination
Fairlawn Avenue United Church is joining other North Toronto Cluster churches in the neighbourhood with its own vaccine mandate. As of November 21, 2021, we will require all members of our Community of Faith, with the exception of the medical exemption noted below, entering the church building to be fully vaccinated (two doses) against the COVID-19 virus.
- We will ask you to show proof of this.
- If you do not show proof of your full vaccination status, you will not be allowed to enter the building for any purpose.
There are several ways you can provide proof of vaccination.
You will be required to show your proof of vaccination only once. It will be noted on a master record and no further proof is required.
- Present your certificate in digital or paper form or the original vaccination receipt of your second dose, on Sunday mornings before worship to the designated volunteer who will note receipt. If you show a paper certificate it will be returned to you.
- Email a copy of your certificate as a PDF to Church Administer Joanne Christie at . Once reviewed and noted, the PDF will be deleted.
- Mail a paper copy of your vaccine certificate to Rev Douglas duCharme at the Fairlawn office, 28 Fairlawn Avenue, Toronto, ON, M5M 1S7, marked confidential. The sealed envelopes will be collected once weekly, noted by Joanne Christie and a confirming email sent to you that your vaccine certificate has been received, noted and shredded.
- Arrange a Zoom video call with Joanne Christie to show your vaccine certificate.
Note: You can obtain a digital certificate from Ontario Health at https://covid19.ontariohealth.ca
Those with a medical exemption from receiving a COVID-19 vaccine and who are in receipt of a medical practitioner’s letter confirming their exemption may enter the building. The Ontario Government policy requires that this letter include the following:
- The name and contact information of the physician or nurse practitioner who wrote the letter of exemption.
- A logo or letterhead identifying the physician or nurse practitioner.
- A statement that there is a medical reason for your exemption for being fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
- The time period for the medical exemption.
There is no requirement to state the reason for the medical exemption on the letter and we will not ask you for a reason.
Medical exemption letters may be shown in person on Sunday mornings before service to the designated volunteer outside the lobby door. This volunteer will note the letter and return it to the individual. It will not be retained, and you will not be asked for it again.
Capacity, bubbles, and live music
- Increased capacity: we have opened the east transept for seating which will allow us to increase our capacity to 64.
- Sitting together: those who identify as a household, or an individual attached to a household can sit together in church. This can also apply to two individual persons in separate households who have ongoing contact. The easiest way to indicate this is by registering those in your bubble on the same registration form.
- Live music: we will be introducing our soloists (masked and distanced) back into worship services, starting December 5 – we know you have missed them! Watch Greetings! for details!
- No more paper: we will no longer require that you complete the COVID-19 Self-Assessment screening in paper format. The screening will be confirmed verbally by our volunteers before you enter the building.
We have procedures in place to reduce the risks. These include:
- requiring proof of double vaccination on entry
- masking at all times while in the building
- maintaining social distancing within the sanctuary as well as other parts of the building
- providing hand sanitizers at entrances
- disinfecting high-touch surfaces and cleaning after services
As noted in the relaxation of restrictions announced by the Ontario government effective October 25, 2021, all institutions can increase the capacity inside the building once proof of vaccination is required.
The sanctuary at Fairlawn is not well-ventilated so we will not yet operate at full capacity. However, as vaccines provide an extra layer of protection, we will be able to increase our capacity from 45 to 64.
Children between the ages of 5 -11 are now eligible for COVID vaccination .
Our Community of Faith includes vulnerable parishioners. We want to create as safe a building as possible. We are unfortunately not able to welcome children to in-person services who are not yet vaccinated. Once fully vaccinated (2 doses), children are welcome to sit with their parents or guardians in the sanctuary. There is no Spirit Space. Some of our North Toronto Cluster churches have recorded online programming for children for your viewing. You can check out the Rosedale UC and Leaside UC programs.
There is always a risk
It is important to note that this approach is not foolproof against COVID-19, and, in fact, we acknowledge that even fully vaccinated individuals may not be 100% protected from the virus. We all understand that vaccination greatly reduces the severity of the extent of the illness. We ask that you do your own risk assessment to decide if you want to participate in in-person activities.
If you aren’t able to attend in-person worship for any reason, we invite you to continue to worship online through our YouTube channel every Sunday as well as enjoy the online music bulletins curated by Eleanor Daley, Director of Music. You can also visit the Fairlawn website at www.fairlawnchurch.ca for other online offerings that we hope you will continue to enjoy.
We want to hear from you
We acknowledge that this policy includes a lot of information, and you may have questions or concerns. Please let us know. We want to hear from you. You can contact Rosemary Pryde, the Lead for the Re-entry Task Group at or Mary Ellen Richardson Chair, Governing Council at