We reopened the doors of our sanctuary this past summer as part of our new hybrid worship. If you're interested in coming but don't know what exactly to expect, read on!
What Covid-19 safety precautions will be in place? We've come up with a list of protocols that will keep us safe while we're together, which should look pretty familiar by this point:
Social distancing: we'll be maintaining 6 feet of distance at all times.
Cleaning/sanitation: The church will be cleaned before each use of the sanctuary, and we'll have hand sanitizer stations set up around the sanctuary and our check-in station.
Air filtration: We'll be keeping the doors open as much as possible during the summer and also be adding HEPA filters soon.
Will we be required to wear masks inside the church? Yes. Anyone who is reading, speaking, or leading worship will take off their masks while they're using the microphone, but for the most part, everyone will be wearing masks throughout the service.
At our last vestry meeting, we had a long discussion about what to do, and how to best act out of an abundance of love--a phrase that's been our guidepost as we've discerned our way through this pandemic season. We know that the vaccine is not yet an option for our youngest members, and that the immunocompromised may continue to be at higher risk. Rather than single them out, we've decided to join in loving solidarity with them by continuing to wear masks while we're indoors together
What happens when I attend in person? We're asking everyone to still check in at our greeters desk located by the doors to the sanctuary. If you are a regular, you don't have to leave your information because we already have it. If you are new, we will ask for contact information for contact tracing.
How will we pass the peace? We now have wifi in the sanctuary, so we'll continue to pass the peace and ask for prayers of the people via the YouTube live chat.
Will we use bulletins? We have paper bulletins for those who would like them as well as a digital bulletin where you can follow the order of service on your mobile device by scanning the QR code in your pew.
Will we celebrate Eucharist? We will! In May, we began celebrating Eucharist outdoors on the church steps after our Morning Prayer hybrid service, and have continued to do as long as the weather permitted. With the weather growing colder, we will be returning to the full Eucharist service indoors on November 7. The Eucharist will be served "in one kind" which means that only bread will be served to those gathered. We ask that you remain masked while receiving and take the bread back to your pew to consume it.
Can I bring my kids? Yes! We have several options for families:
Children are invited to leave for their worship before the gospel reading and our children's worship leader leads them to the rectory next door. They will return right before the Eucharist so they can participate.
We have a quiet play area in the back of the sanctuary with a comfy rug and chairs, books, and coloring pages.
We also have a "decompressing" area set aside in the rectory for any families that want or need a break and quiet space. There is a glider and diaper changing station set up for new parents.
Can I watch from home? Yes, you can--you can view our service livestream from our YouTube page, as usual. We continue to use Zoom as our platform, so even though the cameras will be sharper and you'll be seeing the front of the sanctuary, the format for the livestream will look similar to what it's been throughout the pandemic. You can even participate from home: we are always looking for readers! Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you're interested.