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March 15 2020

Hello, St James United Community,

Your leadership has been carefully considering what precautions and responses we need to take to ensure all of us are kept healthy and cared for amid the Coronavirus Pandemic. The following decisions and guidelines are intended to help each of us take the necessary precautions. Still, we also need to each consider what we need to do to ensure we do not impact the rest of the community in a way that may put others at risk.  We know that many of you are concerned about it. We want to share the steps we're taking to minimize risk at St James United Church.

The measures we're taking have been developed following best practices in responding to COVID-19, consulting with health officials, in light of recent government guidelines, and following recommendations set forth by the United Church of Canada.

We are implementing these changes in the best interest of the collective health of everyone who interacts at St James United Church.

As of March 15, 2020, the leadership team has decided to close the church for a minimum of three weeks. This closure includes March 22nd,29th, and April 5th. A decision will be made on April 2nd regarding further cancellations.

An announcement will be posted on Facebook if there is a change at on our Website, Voice Mail at the Church Office, and an email sent to advise of upcoming Sunday Worship.

During our cancellation we will be reviewing how we can deliver some form of service online. We encourage you to listen to our services online if you are not able to attend in person. If you are a regular member of our congregation and would like to watch our live broadcast, please email

Please keep giving if you are able. We know when the church is canceled or members cannot attend, we lose substantial dollars, which are much needed for our ministry. PLEASE consider signing up for PAR  (automatic bank withdrawal) or sending in post-dated cheques. A PAR application is found on our Website at

When we do return, we will be making interim changes to some of our routines and rituals in response to COVID-19 (coronavirus).


Please do not come to church if you are feeling ill or have a fever. If you have been traveling, please pay particular attention to any symptoms and if in doubt, please stay home and tune in to our web-based worship services.  

Changes to Sunday services include:

Door Greeters and Ushers have been instructed not to shake hands or give hugs, but rather a warm verbal greeting to minimize person-to-person contact.

Please spread out when finding a seat. There are lots of pew space so please put some distance between you and others.

Collection/Offering plates will be at the entrances to the Sanctuary – please drop your offering there before or after service.

Communion is under review.


Funerals and weddings are under review


Greeting the Minister after Service – we will not shake hands but exchange greetings.  

If you have concerns or questions, please call Health Link at 811 to speak to a registered nurse. Do not call 811 for general questions or information. Instead, you should check the Website first, and then, if necessary, call 1-833-784-4397 (a broad info line that's just been set up). 811 should be reserved for folks who are concerned they may have been exposed or may be ill themselves and are looking for direction regarding the next steps. To learn more about best practices to protect against coronavirus (COVID-19) and for public health updates, please visit the Nova Scotia government site here:

Here are some tips to help protect yourself:

  • Practice good hand hygiene

  • Wash or sanitize hands often, particularly:

    • before and after preparing or eating food

    • after touching pets

    • after handling waste, dirty laundry or bathroom use

    • whenever hands look dirty

    • after shaking hands

    • Use cough and sneeze etiquette

  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue. Dispose used tissues in the garbage and wash your hands, or use an alcohol-based hand rub immediately after.

  • If you don't have a tissue, cough and sneeze into your elbow, not your hand.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Clean high-touch surfaces and objects often


Viruses can live on surfaces for several days. Frequent cleaning and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces and objects can reduce germs and prevent infection. You should clean at least once a day, or more if needed.


Clean and disinfect items like doorknobs, light switches, railings, toilets, and tabletops daily. Wash with soapy water first. Then disinfect using household cleaning products, following the directions on the label, or a solution of 1 part bleach to 9 parts water.


Disinfect phones, remote controls, computers, and other handheld devices with 70% alcohol or wipes.

Wash or launder clothing, sheets, and towels regularly.


Dispose of garbage regularly. Wash hands after.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me or email

Kind Regards,

Rev. Helene Burns

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