COVID-19 PRECAUTIONS IN EFFECT AT THIS TIME
Although positive test results and hospitalizations appear to fluctuate widely in our area, we are open for in-person worship at this time, and we hope this will continue indefinitely. A number of reasonable and sensible precautions are in effect. Please see the following questions and answers, and don’t hesitate to contact the Church Office if you have any additional questions or concerns.
Should I come to church or stay home?
If you know or suspect that you have been exposed to COVID-19, you should not come to church for at least ten days after the most recent exposure. In addition, any family members who live with you should also refrain from attending until ten days after their exposure to you. If you stay home, please join us on Facebook, either live at 9:30 AM or at a time of your convenience by viewing the recording of the service.
Am I required to wear a mask in church?
Rather than creating a “checklist” of reasons to wear or not wear a mask, we simply require that everyone be masked at all times except when consuming Holy Communion*. Individual exceptions for health reasons will be honored with due consideration for the well-being of all – please make the minister aware of them and follow his counsel, which may include sitting in an isolated area of the church.
* The reader(s) may be unmasked while reading the lessons, and the minister may do so during the sermon. In such cases, those removing their masks are sufficiently distant from everyone else to minimize the chance of contagion.
Where may I sit?
Please continue to maintain the distancing indicated by the blue tape. Members who live in the same household may share a pew. All others should choose a separate pew.
What should I do at the Sign of Peace?
Continue to safely greet others without making physical contact or moving away from your pew. A nod of the head, wave, or peace sign are all appropriate. Family members may safely contact each other only.
How should I receive Holy Communion?
Beginning with the First Sunday of Advent (November 28, 2021), those who are able will resume receiving Communion by coming forward into the chancel and kneeling at the altar rail. Those who are not able should remain in their pews, and Communion will be brought to them.
Everyone will receive the bread (Body of Christ / Host / wafer). The priest will place the Host in the palm of your hand, and if you do not choose to also receive the wine, you should lift your mask briefly to consume it and then replace your mask.
Keep in mind that the Church has long taught that the fullness of Communion (the Body and Blood of Christ) is always received, even it you only take it under one form (either bread or wine alone).
Those who wish to receive Communion under both forms (bread and wine) should hold the wafer between their thumb and first finger and lightly dip or “tap” it into the paten (plate) containing a small amount of wine, taking care that their fingers do not touch the wine in the paten. This method of adding the wine to the bread is an ancient method of distributing Communion called intinction.
Finally, those who wish to come forward to receive a blessing or spiritual Communion should do so and cross their arms across their chest. (Updated November, 2021)
Is it all right to sing?
With your mask on, you should feel free to sing softly.
How may we socialize outside the service?
Outdoors, masks are optional but may be worn if you prefer.
Indoors, if you are wearing a mask, keep it on. If you are not wearing your mask and you want to speak with someone who is wearing a mask, ask if they would prefer you put yours on.
When the monthly coffee hour resumes, the same mask guidelines will be in effect as in the church. Refreshments will be served cafeteria-style – the server, wearing mask and gloves, will hand you a plate of whatever you ask for, but you cannot serve yourself from an open plate or bowl. If necessary or advisable, a family member or friend may get your plate for you.
For meetings: if everyone is fully vaccinated, masks are optional if there is unanimous consent to do so. Refreshments may be provided, but cannot be self-service.
If you have any questions, please ask Father Tom.