If each congregation is following the Diocesan Customary in the time of Pandemic
, we should be in compliance and no major adjustments are needed (please review the Customary
). I direct that Episcopal Churches should reasonably be considered under the category of “Restaurants, Bars, and Social Establishments” in the Executive Order (there are exceptions for churches and special events). In this Diocese of Hawaiʻi, we must ensure no more than 50% capacity in our worship spaces. With the six foot social distancing requirement already in place that should not be a problem. Again, outdoor worship with masks and social distancing is the ideal.
I also instruct that during the Delta variant surge everyone should be masked throughout worship (indoors or outdoors) except when consuming the Sacrament (ideally God’s people will do this quickly at their seats). For now, this needs to include officiants, readers and preachers (even with plexiglass barriers).
There should be no congregational singing, but in addition I also think we must discontinue soloists or other singing during the Delta surge (even with masks and plexiglass barriers). We should limit music to instrumentalists or recorded music.
During the Delta surge, all “Aloha Hour” gatherings should be suspended. This needs to include outdoor gatherings.
By God’s grace and grounded in love, we will move together through this Delta surge as we look to our “new normal.” All shall be well.
O gracious and holy Father, give us wisdom to perceive you, diligence to seek you, patience to wait for you, eyes to behold you, a heart to meditate upon you, and a life to proclaim you, through the power of the spirit of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.