Question: Why did we wait to open even though we’re permitted?
Response: To minimize the prospect of having to close again after a very short time of reopening, we built in a “Trend Cushion” to insure that our County’s status is stable within (or below) the "Red Tier." Schools in our county have been following the same practice of caution as each move downward in the “Tiers” takes place.
Question: Why do things look different in the sanctuary seating?
Response: We want to make risk-reducing distance easy and smooth. We will re-adjust our seating arrangements after conditions have stabilized and physical distances are no longer a necessary and best-practice.
Question: Why are we all filling out Contact Cards?
Response: Cards serve as a vital precaution to help in "contact-tracing" for communicable disease follow-up and prevention in the unlikely event that someone attending the service contracts COVID-19. Please do your part by being sure your name is on a card turned in at the end. Cards may serve an additional purpose if you wish to share thanksgivings or intercessions with the clergy and/or the prayer chain.
Question: In the "Extra Care" service, what is Communion Under Special Circumstances, and how is it different?
Response: The Book of Common Prayer (2019) makes provision for situations in which a gathering is sharing pre-consecrated sacrament and is being led by a deacon or bishop-appointed Eucharistic minister (see p. 142 of BCP2019).
Fr. Nathan will be presiding in the Extra Care service and has chosen to adapt these rubrics as one of several ways to keep this service concise in time-frame (which is one of the ways that exposure-risk can be further reduced).
The Communion in this service starts with a spoken Doxology, continues with the Lord’s Prayer, followed by the Ministration of Communion, and concludes with the Post-Communion Prayer, the Blessing, and the Sending.
Question: How and why are we sharing the Peace in Touchless ways?
Response: Sharing the peace is both liturgically vital and congregationally valued. We want to shared the peace in meaningful, predictable and risk-minimizing ways. Sharing the peace through the peace-sign gesture or a simple bow keeps the goal of meaningful connection while doing so at risk-minimizing distances. If we all adopt a “Touchless Gesture” goal, it makes this part of the service more predictable, taking the guess-work out of what another person may be comfortable doing (bowing, elbow-bump, fist-bump, handshake…?).
Question: Why are we keeping the two service areas separate?
Response: To minimize risk to those who need the Extra Care precautions, we’re keeping the entry, service, and exit spaces completely separate on Sunday mornings. This also makes it possible for us to forego cleaning between the two services that might otherwise be necessary if there were a common area shared by the two services.
Question: What are we doing to sanitize before and after the services?
Response: Even prior to pandemic conditions, our cleaning service has been sanitizing in a manner that upholds best practices for pandemic-conditions cleaning. Because our sanctuary seating is cloth-surfaced and we do not have back-to-back services, we do not need to spray-sanitize the cloth--any viruses or germs will die naturally well in advance of the following week’s service.
Question: What access to restrooms will be available?
Response: Official guidelines no longer require a full-bathroom cleaning after each user. When using the restrooms, please take all precautions you might in a public restroom and wash hands thoroughly afterward.
Question: Will childcare be available?
Response: Regrettably, no, due to difficulties of complying with childcare guidelines given our smaller congregational size. Parents with younger children are welcome in the 10:15 service. If bringing younger children, consider how well they do with masks and with staying seated with you. There is one small room that is enclosed and has service-sound available on the right side of the sanctuary for one family.