The last few months have proved challenging in so many ways. We miss you all so much, and we know how much you all miss seeing each other as well. Please know that we have been praying for each and every one of you during these difficult times.
As businesses and places of worship begin to reopen, some of you may be wondering, “What about St. James’?” As Anglicans, we are no strangers to striking a balance. While we have a deeply rooted desire to gather together to glorify God through our communal worship, these times have introduced another point of consideration: how we honor Christ’s example of caring for and protecting the sick and the vulnerable in our communities.
Over the last month, our Reopening Safely Task Force has been meeting regularly and reviewing guidelines prepared by the state, county, diocese, and ecumenical partners regarding in-person worship. And while we do not yet have a concrete date for our reopening, we have developed a comprehensive list of procedures and protocols to ensure that when we do resume in-person worship, we will be doing so in the safest and most responsible manner possible.. Of course, no matter how careful we are, the threat of transmitting COVID-19 remains a reality.
While the complete list of precautions we will be taking will soon be made available, we wanted to share with you some of the restrictions for in-person worship which will shape our liturgy and interactions with others:
- If you are in a vulnerable group, experiencing any symptoms, or simply are not yet comfortable worshipping in person at this time, we encourage you to remain at home and participate in our virtual worship offerings – our online worship will continue even as we resume in-person worship
- Face masks will be required for all parishioners, except those under the age of two
- Social distancing will be required – parishioners will be asked to enter the church and to be seated front-to-back at the closest available marked pew and will be asked to exit the church in a back-to-front fashion
- Parishioners will be asked to refrain from congregational singing and spoken responses during the service
- At this time, Communion will only be distributed in the form of the Sacred Bread
- Post-service fellowship, Church School, and childcare will not be offered at this time
In order to plan appropriately for these upcoming changes, it would be helpful if you were to fill out a brief questionnaire.
We hope that you remain safe and healthy and know that we look forward to the day when we can all worship safely around Christ’s table.
The Rev. Dr. Kate Cress, Rector
The Rev. Jon Feuss
Dr. George Marks
The Rev. James Lee Walker