Getting back to “Normal”! Revised Covid protocols

On May 19, 2021 the Bishop and the Diocesan Covid-19 Task Force issued the following adjustments to the Covid-19 protocols. What a blessing it is to return to “normal” on Pentecost Sunday, also known as the birthday of the church.
 
● Social Distancing no longer must be maintained. All capacity restrictions are lifted.
 
● Only unvaccinated persons must wear a mask indoors if social distancing cannot be maintained.
 
● No longer need entrance procedures. May enter and exit through all doors of the church.
 
● Books of Common Prayer and Hymnals may be returned to the pews.
 
● No longer need to sanitize the church.
 
● Sharing the Peace is permitted but minimization of physical contact should be considered.
 
● Ushers may return to pre-pandemic normal.
 
● Congregations may use collections plates.
 
● CDC guidelines tell us that singing by fully vaccinated people wearing masks is safe. Therefore, congregational singing, choirs or vocal solos is permitted as congregations feel comfortable.
 
● Coffee Hour and other social gatherings with food and drinks may resume. Individually wrapped food is strongly recommended or have designated individuals who hand out food.
 
Our first Coffee Hour will be next Sunday, May 30th before the 10 am service. For the time being, it will take place on the second floor, in the kitchen and gathering areas. The Parish Life Committee requests that parishioners volunteer to oversee/serve.
 
● Presentation of the gifts is permitted.
 
● There are no restrictions on how people may approach the altar/receive communion. It is recommended that hand sanitizer is available in the church for those who wish to use it.
 
● Communicants will receive only the host.
 
● Baptisms, Funerals/Burials, and Weddings may resume following the same guidelines as indicated above. 
 
● Use of facility by ministry partners is permitted.
 
As we move forward in this new dispensation, I would strongly urge extreme caution with Christian tolerance and careful consideration of our fellow family members in this community of faith and our neighbors. They may wish to continue wearing protective masks or face covering and we should respect their choice to exercise that right. Furthermore, I encourage each of us to exercise compassion in considering the health and safety of our unvaccinated children and young people, persons who possess compromised immune system and/or underlying health conditions. Let us be mindful of the command from our Lord to LOVE and CARE for the ‘least among us’. As we rejoice at the good news on the lifting of restrictions, may our actions be informed by grace and mercy as we return to some semblance of living and relearn the art of living life under more freedom and less anxiety. – Bishop San
 
Click here to read Bishop San’s pastoral letter.