Letter on Regathering

Family and friends of Christ Church,

I am excited to announce our plans to regather for in-person worship. We have a bit of AV work to do before this happens but as long as that gets done on time we will hopefully regather on October 11, 2020. As we know, COVID has changed our lives in many ways; including the way we will worship on Sunday mornings. I will give you a brief overview here but for the details please look at the policy found below. This policy applies to the 10 a.m. and the 8 a.m. where appropriate.

 

Since not everyone will feel comfortable joining us in person or for those who are unable for other reasons, we will continue our Facebook live stream at 10 a.m. Sunday mornings. As such, if you believe you are at high risk or if you are feeling ill; have a cough, fever, or other symptoms of the virus, please stay home and watch us on Facebook. Seating will be limited. Thought we don't anticipate runnig out of room, we will not admit more people than we have capacity.

 

When arriving on Sunday morning, you must have a mask on to enter the building. The mask needs to remain on throughout the service. This is in an effort to reduce exposure and our viral load. All parishioners must enter through the main church entrance (not the fellowship hall). At the entrance, there will be hand sanitizer for your use. You can pick up the daily readings. An inclusive bulletin will be available for those who do not bring their own prayer book. Please maintain adequate distance from others while approaching the building. An usher will take you to a seat that will be 6ft away from other parishioners. Please remain toward the assigned edge of your pew. You may sit in your family group (people living in the same house). If your family group is three or more you will be assigned an entire pew. The pew in front and back of you will be closed off. We will have no prayer books or hymnals in the pews. You are welcome to bring your own prayer book or you may use the provided inclusive bulletin. (If you do not have your own prayer book and would like one, please let Fr. Steve know.) At this time, we will have music but no singing. As it was when the COVID first broke out, we will also not exchange the peace by physical touch. You may wave, nod, bow, or do so by other means. The alms basin will also be at the entrance of the church. You may offer your donation when you arrive or when you leave. When it is time for communion, you will remain in your seat. Communion will be distributed by the priest to you in your pew. You will receive bread only (no wine). This change will reduce our movement and maintain appropriate distancing to one another. At the end of the service, please exit in an orderly manner with the back pews first. And remember not to gather or visit with one another on the sidewalks or by your cars. Unfortunately, we will not be able to have an in-person coffee hour at this time. Instead, we will be offering coffee hour by Zoom. This is a wonderful technology in which everyone can see one another’s smiling face and socialize together. The Vestry has been meeting this way for months and it has worked out very well) Coffee hour will begin at 11:15 am, giving people time to get home and logged into their computer. Coffee hour will last 40 minutes; the maximum duration for meetings in our free Zoom account. (Please see the Weekly Update for more information and the weekly login credentials).

I understand that worship will be different and that there will be aspects that we miss. The Vestry has worked hard to create this plan that considers your wellbeing and has been approved by the Diocese. So again, please look over the policy. Meeting in person is a group effort and if we cannot work together in following the procedures we will have to close the doors again. If you are an oblationer/usher, a reader, or an acolyte I will be touching base with you about the specific changes.

  • Things we have done to keep our neighbors safe:

    • Increased the filtration of our HVAC system

    • Cleaning Church, bathrooms, sinks, etc. every week

    • Ensure everyone wears masks and remains socially distanced.

    • Offer hand sanitizer on entrance and exit.

    • Reduced our in-person time worship to 40 minutes

    • Eliminated singing which has been shown to increase the spread of disease.

  • Before we leave home:

    • Make sure you are not ill

    • Consider your risk factors.

    • Bring a mask

    • Bring a prayer book (if you have one)
      or a device with the seasonal Rite I or Rite II  service bulletin downloaded on it.

  • At church

    • Sanitize your hands

    • Keep at least 6 ft. apart

    • Keep your mask on at all times

    • Enjoy worshiping together

I look forward to seeing and hearing you in person without a device in between us. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Me or any of the Vestry members. My number is 979-234-3437
Vestry: Bobbe Nolan – Sr Warden, Mary Jane Thornton – Jr Warden, Linda Balas, Ted Wimberley, Jo Lou Parks, and Heath Hayner

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© 2018 by Christ Episcopal Church

Photo Credit - Amy Duval 2016