|WHAT CAN YOU EXPECT IF YOU ATTEND IN-PERSON WORSHIP AT ST. LUKE’S OR CHURCH OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD?
• WORSHIP BULLETINS: UPDATE! Out of an abundance of caution, everyone attending in-person worship is encouraged to download the bulletin to your smartphone or tablet, thus minimizing the risk of virus transmission. However, beginning this Sunday a small number of printed bulletins will be available. You will find them in the pews.
Those wishing to attend in person worship at either St. Luke’s or Church of the Good Shepherd will need to RSVP by Friday,
by emailing the church office of the church they will be attending:
St. Luke’s – email@example.com
Good Shepherd – firstname.lastname@example.org
• CANCELLATIONS: Much like we monitor the weather in winter to determine if it is safe to open our church building for worship or other church activities, so too during this time of pandemic, we will be monitoring the constantly evolving public health data each week. Along with the senior wardens of each church, Mother Pamela and I will monitor the status of the COVID situation in St. Louis County. Should it become necessary, in-person worship will be suspended until such time as we can safely return to in-persons worship. In the event such a decision is made, we will endeavor to communicate this information to every parishioner by means of email, social media, and the parish websites. If in-person worship does have to be suspended, both virtual worship services (ZOOM Church) as well as outdoor worship services will be considered, depending on circumstances such as the weather.
• AT RISK MEMBERS: Those older than 65 years old, with a compromised health condition or caring for the sick in any way, are encouraged to refrain from in-person worship at this time. Anyone who is ill, has a fever, cough, respiratory infection, etc., should stay home as an act of justice to the whole community.
• PHYSICAL DISTANCING: Physical distancing of at least six (6) feet, is to be observed and signified by signs, tape, or other means. This includes both indoor and outdoor areas.
• NUMBER IN ATTENDANCE: In-person worship offered indoors will be limited in attendance, depending on the guidelines set by public authorities, currently 25% of seating capacity.
• CONGREGATIONAL SEATING: Mindful of limitations and the physical layout of the church, seating will be clearly marked to allow for physical distancing (seating people in alternating pews with a 2- pew separation or seating in different sections). *Those living in the same household may sit together without distancing.
• FACE COVERINGS/MASKS: Masks are to be worn by everyone, including the clergy, when approaching church and inside church (except for those under 2 years old per CDC guidelines).
• COLLECTION: Baskets or offering plates will not be passed from person to person.
• FONTS AND HOLY WATER RECEPTACLES: All containers for Holy Water will be drained and left empty at this time.
• MUSIC/SINGING: Music is considered an element of prayer and is therefore an important part of worship. Singing during in-person worship is strongly discouraged. Health experts indicate that singing produces 6-10x more droplets from our mouths than speaking. Keeping singing to a minimum is advised and the congregation should not remove their masks to sing. Instrumental music is encouraged.
• HOLY COMMUNION: Distribution of Holy Communion will be in “one kind,” that is, communicants will receive only the bread.
• COFFEE HOUR & FELLOWSHIP: Though much loved as a time for connection with one another, coffee hour and other after worship fellowship is suspended for the time being. No food or beverages are to be offered. Parishioners are encouraged to limit their interactions with one another, maintaining a safe distance of at least 6 ft.
• HELP SPREAD THE WORD: It has been more than six months since we have been able to gather on Sundays for in-person worship. Help us out! Phone or email your friends and family, or forward this E-News to them, so they know.
In Christ, Fr. Earl Mahan, Rector