Dear St. Martin's Parish Family,
I'm happy to announce that the diocese has approved St. Martin's regathering for in-person worship. We are hopeful for our first regathering on or after June 28--confirmation of the exact date will be broadcast as soon as we can prior to June 28. When we regather we will do so, provided we follow the details of THE PLAN below.
I remain thankful to Lee Marston, Jeannine Theoret, Rev. Nathan, Sam Burdette, and Debbie Fitzgerald who reviewed THE PLAN, and to the Vestry for their input and concurrence. If, after reading through everything you have a question you'd like answered or a comment to make,
please use this link
. I'll respond the best I can, as quickly as I'm able.
THE PLAN: Background and Basic Assumptions
- God's call to St. Martin's is for us to keep our parish family and community safe by not spreading the COVID-19 virus.
- We ask you to use best judgment: If you are unwell or have existing health conditions that make you more vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus, DO NOT attend in-person worship.
- We will continue to follow all Maryland, Anne Arundel County and diocese guidelines and restrictions in regards to public health and safety.
- All who attend in-person worship services will comply fully with the Diocese of Maryland's Covenant for Regathering.
- St. Martin's will comply with directions from the diocese should the diocese determine we are to suspend in-person worship due to metrics found here as outlined in the Orange Phase Guidelines.
- The details of THE PLAN are for use during the Orange Phase of regathering. As we move through to other phases, there will be new elements to THE PLAN.
THE PLAN: Dates and Formats
- Starting on or soon after June 28, St. Martin's will have two opportunities for Sunday worship: 8:00 a.m. IN-PERSON and 10:30 a.m. LIVESTREAM. The 10:30 a.m. service will be recorded and available on Youtube as it is currently.
- The 8:00 a.m. IN-PERSON worship will alternate weekly between Rite I and Rite II services of Holy Eucharist.
- The 10:30 a.m. LIVESTREAM worship will be a Rite II service with Holy Eucharist.
- Daily services of Compline will continue online Monday through Friday through the end of August.
THE PLAN: 8:00 a.m. In-Person Worship Details
- Up to 80 people are allowed in the sanctuary per compassionate distancing guidelines. However, for the first few weeks we will limit the number of worshipers as we begin to live into this new system.
- Masks MUST be worn at ALL TIMES WHEN INSIDE, this includes anyone over the age of 2. This includes the Narthex, bathrooms and sanctuary...if you are inside, you must wear a mask.
- Extra disposable masks will be available.
- Worship leaders--readers, intercessors, celebrant and preacher--may remove their mask ONLY during their speaking part in the service.
- Seats are marked clearly with green tape to indicate where you may sit. ONLY family members who share the same address may sit close together, all others must sit where indicated (compassionately-distanced, 6' apart).
- You MUST sign up to attend worship by FRIDAY of that week using an online signup Genius to attend worship. Please recognize that if you sign up and do not attend you are prohibiting a member of our parish family from worshiping with us.
- PLEASE ARRIVE BEFORE THE SERVICE STARTS. Ushers and greeters will check you off the list of those who signed up as you enter.
- Plates for giving and hand sanitizer will be present at each of the three sets of glass doors into the sanctuary. Please use both LIBERALLY.
- Those who have not signed up in advance may be allowed to worship provided space is available; ushers will help find you a seat after the 8:00 a.m. service has begun.
- The service will NOT include music and will be spoken only. This service will NOT be recorded or livestreamed.
- Bulletins will provide all the words for worship--no Bibles, Books of Common Prayer, or Hymnals are present in the sanctuary per diocese guidelines.
- Only the Bread will be administered from a single standing station at the chancel steps during Communion. Green tape marks on the floor provide compassionate distancing. Ushers will direct you when to come forward. Families may come forward and receive Communion together.
- The Celebrant, wearing mask and gloves, will drop the bread into your hands. Gluten Free wafers will be available.
- You may consume the Bread only after returning to your seat.
- Only one person will be allowed to use the bathrooms at a time. A parent helping his/her young child will be allowed to enter the bathroom together. Hand sanitizing must happen upon entry and exit from the bathroom. Masks must be worn at all times when using the bathroom.
- Worshipers will be responsible for wiping down all surfaces around their seat at the conclusion of the service--much like wiping down equipment used in the gym. Sanitizing products will be supplied. Worshipers will dispose of their bulletin and sanitizing wipe(s) in the containers located in the Narthex.
- All worshipers must exit the sanctuary and narthex immediately after wiping down their seating area.
- Any socializing or conversation after the service must occur outdoors with masks worn per guidelines and requirements from the diocese.
THE PLAN: 10:30 a.m. Livestream Worship Details
- This service will be both Livestreamed on Facebook and recorded as we do currently.
- During the Orange Phase of regathering we will not sing during the service, but we will have music.
- Upon occasion over the summer we hope to have additional musicians enrich our worship together.
- We will have the smallest number of people in the sanctuary to enable our worship to happen.
- Masks will be worn by all, only removed for speaking parts during the worship, as listed above.
- Participants may receive the bread only per the process as outlined at the 8:00 a.m. service above.
- We hope that this move to 10:30 a.m. will continue into the program year and beyond. This is from the overwhelming number of responses from education and program leaders who desire a full hour of instruction and/or programming between the two morning services. The current service schedule allows for only 35 minutes max. We will endeavor to keep our worship time to an hour or less.
- Giving will continue to be available online, through text, and through ACH. Additional information for how you can respond to all of God's blessings through your gifts can be found here.
I am certain that we will all abide by these guidelines and expectations as we resume our in-person worship together. I'm grateful for your help in maintaining these standards to keep our parish family as safe as we can during this pandemic.
Thank you in advance for your cooperation and I can't wait to actually, really, SEE you in church.
With my thanks and God's Peace and Blessings,