Dear Friend in Christ,
Yesterday afternoon, the Diocesan Covid Task Force announced that, in accord with New York State guidance, Vestries have the responsibility to manage indoor and outdoor gatherings. They also issued guidance for how worship and other activities may occur in those settings.
The Vestry unanimously agreed to take an incremental approach toward the “new normal” and this means that the conventions for mask wearing for those coming to worship in person remain and physical distancing remains our practice, for the time being. We thought carefully about the implications of our response to the new guidelines, and we prefer to take a sure-footed approach to the easing of requirements for mask wearing and distancing while indoors.
The Vestry affirmed that we are called to be hospitable and provide a safe environment to all members of our parish family, particularly to children who cannot be vaccinated, to those who are still completing a vaccine series, and to those whose vaccination status we do not know. Proof of vaccination will never be requested.
Registration remains requested for the 10:30am Service. While indoor congregational singing remains discouraged, we have been given permission to increase the number of singers in the choir. And, lastly, an outdoor fellowship time in Paul's Cross will begin following the 10:30am Service this Sunday.
We remain excited that these announcements indicate that we will be fully open for the next program year and discussions are occurring on the staff and vestry levels about the weeks and months to come. We will continue our careful discussion of these practices and will remain in regular contact with the congregation.
Thank you for your continued faithfulness and patience as we all navigate this ever-changing situation.
Yours in Christ,
Rita Lancy, Warden
Ingrid Stanlis, Warden
The Rev. Robert Picken, Rector