With the new year comes a huge new wave of coronavirus, with the numbers of new cases skyrocketing across the region. We hope that this spike which has risen so quickly will resolve quickly as well, but in the meantime, for the safety of our community and our staff, we need to make a few changes.
First, we will continue to offer in-person worship at 10:30 in the nave with the windows open and every third pew open for seating with two pews blocked off between. Masks continue to be required for all participants at all times while in the building and we will continue to offer bread only at communion. The service is shortened and while we will still sing, we will not sing quite as much, and we will have a smaller choir. The service will be live-streamed, as usual, for those who will prefer to join us online instead of in person.
However, we are suspending all services in the chapel for the time being. This means the Wednesday 12:15 service and the Sunday 8:00 a.m. services will not be held. We will revisit this in a few weeks.
We are also suspending Children's Chapel and the Nursery for now. We will continue offering coloring sheets and activities for kids. These can be found on the table in the Narthex. Joan and Diane are also working on take home kits for Children's Chapel that will be available soon.
As a precaution, we'll make adjustments to the choir schedule. Services will be led by our Choral Scholars. Adult choirs will remain on hiatus until we can safely meet. Because the Boys & Girls choirs are educational in nature (and tend to gather in small groups), we'll continue to meet in the new year, making adjustments as appropriate. The choirs will be updated as things develop through email.
The Youth Group will resume in January planning group outdoor activities (weather permitting, of course) and as individual families, we will continue refurbish and paint our new youth space on the 2nd floor of the church. Stay tuned for details.
We encourage you to get vaccinated and boosted if you are eligible and to get tested if you have been exposed to someone who has tested positive or if you are feeling unwell. We’ll continue to let you know about vaccination and testing opportunities - we know that home tests and appointments for drive-through testing are hard to get right now. The staff will continue to work both in the office and from home and are testing regularly.
While we hope that these suspensions will be short-lived, as always our decisions will be driven by the scientific data from the Virginia Department of Health, the CDC, and the Brown/Harvard University Schools of Public Health in concert with guidance from our Diocese.
Please continue to pray for our parish family.