Following the state’s relaxation of pandemic guidelines this week, the Bishop’s Pandemic Task Force met and issued new guidance for parish worship. Our own regathering task force also met and we are introducing some changes in response. We are being particularly cautious around the question of singing. Note that we continue our practice of not changing everything at once, and of being deliberate in evaluating one set of changes before adding more. Here are some details:
- Anyone serving in the chancel (as clergy, singers, altar servers etc) and anyone involved in children’s ministry is required to be vaccinated.
- Masks are no longer required for vaccinated persons, but we invite you to wear a mask in solidarity with those who are unvaccinated or unsure of their immune status. Anyone over the age of 2 who is not vaccinated should continue to wear a mask.
- Effective immediately we will no longer use the “Pez dispensers” to administer the Communion host: the priest will place the host in the communicant’s hand. We have not yet found a good solution for safely distributing the wine. Communion will continue to be distributed at standing stations.
- Starting on June 27 we will introduce a recessional hymn at the end of the 10:30 service. We request that you wear a mask to sing. This will be the first stage in a gradual lengthening of the 10:30 service.
- On June 27, as part of our farewell to Jeff, we will have a coffee hour. Refreshments will be served by a masked and gloved individual; we will not have self-serve. This will be an experiment! On July 4 we will have a parish picnic so no coffee hour will be planned.
- We plan to soon designate a portion of the nave where masks will be required: this will encompass the Prayground space and will be available if families or unvaccinated persons choose to sit there. The Prayground happens to be located immediately under the exhaust fan.
- We are working on some improvements to the nursery and hope to reopen it before too long.
- If your group is eager to once again meet in person, I’m happy to let you know that we can now take reservations for cathedral spaces for evenings, Wednesday through Sunday. Attendance numbers may be limited depending on the space, and we encourage everyone to open windows and doors while they are meeting.
I very much appreciate your patience as our task force continues to prayerfully consider how best to protect our community.
Your sister in Christ,