Life Around Tobermory United…From The Desk Of The Lazy Theologian Thrift Shop Soft Opening July 31st

Submitted by Brad Inglis

Well, some traditions just might re-emerge but the one thing we know for certain is that nothing will be the same. That sounds so dramatic but I believe it to be true. How we shop, how we visit, how we worship; work environments will be changed forever, even how we receive medical care will look different. By the time this article is released, I hope that a total mandatory mask protocol is in place when using indoor public spaces. Why do we do it? To protect one another, visitors and locals alike. 

Certainly, our local businesses have led the way in raising awareness of the immediacy and importance of mask use. Of course, the Peninsula Family Health Team has been sounding the alarm (in a good and proactive way). But the businesses have made the urgency real for us. All of us know either a business owner or shop keeper or staff. Those faces are the daily faces in our lives and connect us to their families. This isn’t some commercial that we watch on TV. These are the people who we know and love and are looking to keep us safe as well as themselves and their family and friends. The urgency and compassion of all of the folks who spoke out and wrote to the Grey-Bruce Health Unit – were messages of love. And in the process, we learned further valuable information that will help break down myths about this disease and give us good, concrete ways to keep ourselves safe.

Thrift Shop Soft Opening 

I’m happy to report that the Thrift Shop will test the waters this summer with a gentle opening. We will not be accepting clothing this year, hours will be different and the floor plan has changed. Thanks to a dedicated group of volunteers, the path inside of the shop is more conducive to social distancing. There will be the main entrance where masks will be mandatory and hand sanitizing is required. The number in the shop will be limited and there will be arrows on the floor. 

Dropping off donations has changed too. No longer can we accept donations on the days we are open. Our first drop off day will be Saturday July 25th 1 to 4 pm and Monday and Tuesday July 27th and 28th 1 to 4 pm. The Shop itself will be open to receive customers on Friday July 31st and Saturday August 1st from 1 to 4 pm and will be open Friday and Saturday each week throughout August. Drop off days will only be Monday and Tuesday of each week 1 to 4 pm. We have also created a separate exit for shoppers. 

All of this is in place for the sole purpose of keeping shoppers, volunteers and donors safe while trying to re-create this long-standing tradition and generate funds for the church and community outreach fund. Volunteers are working according to their comfort level being out in public and we want to thank them as well as those who can’t volunteer this year, because it has taken the wisdom and support of this collective group who have made the Thrift Shop what it is. 

And with that ongoing support, we will move forward in new and creative ways. So yes we will take donations, yes the hours have been modified for this year, yes please bring your own mask, yes if you think you would like to volunteer, we always need the help and you can contact Liz Reier at or call me on my number below. 

Church is open. Maybe not in the traditional ways but I am happy to connect with folks and you can contact me below. We do have Sunday worship on Youtube and the channel is, what else? From the desk of the Lazy Theologian. 

Blessings to you in these uncertain times, from everyone at Tobermory United. 

Brad Inglis is the minister at Tobermory United Church. He can be reached at

519-596-2821 (Home)