The Latest from the Rector
With yesterday afternoon's newest recommendations from the CDC, we are immediately implementing changes affecting our food pantry, Social Services and a number of other ministries at GSP.
All of us know that the most vulnerable population right now is the homeless community, folks who have meager resources at hand to take even the most basic steps to protect themselves and others. Caring for these individuals is part of our DNA at GSP and how we understand our calling as Jesus people.
Protecting our vulnerable population of volunteers and parishioners though, is just as essential, and it is my first responsibility. This conundrum is right up there with the most difficult decisions I have had to make. But after consultation with our food pantry leaders, Social Service and church leaders, here is what I have decided:
Beginning immediately, we have suspended the indoor cafe in the food pantry. Guests will no longer be able to sit in the hall. We will offer food to guests with one person being served in the hall at a time. There will be a no-touch policy in place. Food boxes and individual snack bags will be pre-prepared and placed on a table for the guest to retrieve. We are looking into the possibility of placing a hand washing station outside the hall. In the meantime, hand sanitizer will be in place for every guest to use.
The shower ministry will continue with one more level of cleaning. After every shower, the area will be disinfected by one individual before the next person can enter. At the end of the Noon shift, the showers will be scrubbed head to toe with disinfectant and a bleach concentrate. The shower ministry is presently open three days a week but will not be available any day that volunteers are not available for this disinfecting.
Beginning today, we have suspended all operations in our Social Service ministry. We will not be serving any individuals for a minimum of two weeks. We will reassess at that time.
All Adult Spiritual Formation classes have been suspended. All healing touch sessions have been suspended. We are presently eliminating all outside meetings in the parish with the exception of AA. We are working with these groups to add a disinfectant cleaning after their meetings or to move off-site.
Groups like EfM, liturgy, Vestry, and similar church meetings will all be moving to remote meetings using Zoom. We are putting the Zoom system in place and more information about that will be forthcoming.
We will, in all likelihood, be moving to live streaming Sunday services for this coming week. Details will be following.
Thank you all for your patience and love for each other during all these challenges. I am so grateful for each of you.