After listening to the community, to the Vestry, and to the Lord, it is clear that we are ready move into greater freedom with regard to our COVID protocols during our Sunday services. Here are the changes you will see beginning May 2nd:
· Those speaking at the microphones will remove their masks. We will sanitize the microphones between speakers, or use separate microphones. We will continue to maintain appropriate distance between the speakers and the congregation.
· Deacon Sallie and I will wear masks during the processional and recessional. Deacon Sallie will wear a mask while preparing the table, and she and I will both wear masks while distributing communion. I will not wear a mask while celebrating, but the elements will be covered. We will continue sanitizing our hands. It may also encourage many of you to know that both Deacon Sallie and I are fully vaccinated.
· We will cease taking temperatures as people enter Gray’s Event Center. Please do stay at home if you are experiencing any COVID-type symptoms (fever, cough, congestion, fatigue, etc.). The other safety protocols remain a priority as well: wearing masks, washing hands, social distancing, engaging in extended conversation outside.
· We will once again encourage congregational singing. Keep your masks on, but join in the hymns and praise!
We are aware, of course, that after May 15th Virginia is increasing the number of people permitted at gatherings. We will explore whether this means we can also increase the number of people who can join us on Sunday mornings. At the least, this does mean we can have up to 250 people join us outside for Church in the Park on Pentecost, May 23rd! Please make sure you have that date on your calendar, pre-register when the time comes, and pack your picnic baskets and lawn chairs.
I’m looking forward to being with you on Sunday, preaching, celebrating, and greeting you from the front without a mask for the first time since my arrival!
Your Pastor in Christ,