June 18, 2020 Guidelines for Return to In-Person Worship
We are, all of us in our Christ Church family, longing to return to our familiar and treasured communal worship and fellowship which has been overturned by the current health crisis.
At Bishop Susan’s direction, the Vestry established a team of lay leaders and key members of our church with experience and expertise to develop a plan to resume in-person group worship as soon as prudently possible.
That plan that has been developed and approved by the Vestry. It has as its paramount priority the health and safety of all of God’s children in this parish. It is aligned with the direction and guidance of our Bishop as well as all City, County, State, and federal guidelines.
Accordingly, there will be significant restrictions on the manner in which we conduct our resumed in-person worship, at least in the early stages. The plan is designed to be modified as conditions and guidance change. The ultimate goal of course is to fully resume our beloved traditional in-person communal worship.
In the meantime, we will continue to participate in communal worship services online at least until unrestricted in-person communal worship is possible.
The purpose of this message is to let you know what to expect when we resume in-person worship. Additional information will be provided by e-bulletins, letters, Fr Michael’s ‘fireside chats’, phone contact, and other means. The full plan document will be posted on the Church website and paper copies will be available by contacting the Church Office. Nobody is going to be really thrilled by this but right now it’s the right thing to do and here it is:
- Initial in-person services will be Sunday Morning Prayer in the church courtyard at 9am.
- The first service is planned for Sunday, June 28.
- We will use a 4-person team for ushers, greeters, readers. Ushers will seat you.
- Attendance will be limited to 36 due to social distancing guidelines, seated or standing.
- Social distancing does not apply within family groups
- Accordingly, attendance must be by reservation (info will be provided early next week)
- Out of concern, high-risk individuals are discouraged, but not prohibited from attending:
- Age 65 or older
- Serious underlying medical condition or severely overweight
- Chronic heart condition, diabetes, lung or liver disease or asthma
- Any immune-compromised condition
- Any physical contact (other than within family groups) is regretfully prohibited
- Masks will be provided if needed and must be worn at all times.
That’s it in a nutshell. There will be more to follow. Believe me, none of us are pleased with this, but it is what it is. We are yearning to get back together and this is the first step we must take on that journey. We need to be patient, we need to endure this time, we need to remain filled with hope in the Holy Spirit. I found a bit of solace in the Epistle we heard just this Sunday:
“…suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us”. Romans 5
We will get through this together.
Yours in Christ,