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The Return to Sanctuary Worship: How You Can Help Us Plan?

From the Interim Rector
The Return to Sanctuary Worship
How You Can Help Us Plan

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

Even though we do not know the exact day of our return to “Sanctuary Worship” at St. David’s, the Protocol Committee and I have been working on specific, safe practices to be in place and to be prepared well in advance of that long-awaited date.

We understand that “comfort levels” will vary greatly among all of you. Some will return immediately, while others will not be ready to return for a longer time. This is absolutely to be expected and implies no judgment either way. Actually, it depends on your best wisdom and advice from your doctor. However, it will help us to know how many of you to expect, especially on those first few Sundays of our return to worship.

What to expect when you return

The following are recommendations from the St. David’s Protocol Committee. They have made extensive and exhaustive research into the “best practices” of over forty parishes nationwide, including Episcopal and other denominations.(See appendix in this Friday’s Weekly Illumination). Most parishes will return to their sanctuaries in “Phases,” with “Phase I” having the most “dramatic” and far-reaching precautions. Our capacity for services are: Jeffords Hall (Holds 166 with distancing) and the Sanctuary (Holds 74 with distancing). Service times are to be determined. Virtual services will continue for those who remain at home. Phase I precautions include:

Phase I Precautions: St. David’s will…

Require reservations, or “registering” beforehand to ensure your place
Require masks to be worn
Provide hand sanitizer stations
Prop doors open so people do not have to touch handles
Require social distancing seating in worship space
Set up one-way foot traffic entering and exiting the building and worship space
Remove all prayer books, hymnals, paper, pens, etc. from worship space
Provide single-use bulletins for worship services
Eliminate passing the offering plate and have a central “basket” for offerings
Eliminate Sunday School, nursery, coffee hour and other small group gatherings
Eliminate passing the peace and shaking hands
Limit the number of worship services to allow sanitizing of buildings.

Your responses are an integral part of the worship planning at St. David’s. Please complete the three-question survey as soon as possible. Thank you for your love of this wonderful parish!

Grace and Peace,

The Rev. C. Dean Taylor

 

BEGIN SURVEY 

Comments(6)

  1. Reply
    Margot Swann says

    I agree with all the recommendations above and am immensely grateful to all who have been working on this.
    I do wonder how you will manage Communion. Though I have no concerns whatsoever about the wine or host disseminating Covid, I wonder how you will do it.

    • Reply
      Dean says

      Thanks, Margot! We’re not sure how communion will be handled, but probably at the very beginning (What we’re calling “Phase I,” or the first couple of weeks of reentry), we will probably not be distributing the wine from the common cup. We’ll be letting the parish know what to expect as we go along.

    • Reply
      Dean Taylor says

      Thanks, Margot, for your words of thanks and encouragement. The staff is really working hard on these issues, and we should all be grateful for their good work ! We’re not sure about how, exactly, communion would work, but probably, in the first few weeks of our return to on-site worship (what the committee is calling “Phase I”) we will probably not use the “common cup” for wine. That’s all we know for now, but stay tuned!

  2. Reply
    Louise Barden says

    What about singing? No singing? Singing with masks on?

  3. Reply
    Dean Taylor says

    Good question. I have heard that singing will not happen at the beginning few weeks of our return (what we’re calling “Phase I” of our return to on-site worship), but personally, I can’t see why singing with a mask on would be an issue. But stay tuned!

  4. Reply
    Dean Taylor says

    Thanks, Margot, for your words of thanks and encouragement. The staff is really working hard on these issues, and we should all be grateful for their good work ! We’re not sure about how, exactly, communion would work, but probably, in the first few weeks of our return to on-site worship (what the committee is calling “Phase I”) we will probably not use the “common cup” for wine. That’s all we know for now, but stay tuned!

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