Dear Friends in Christ,
The Vestry, Church Officers, and I have been working with one another striving to bring Trinity into compliance with Federal, State, County, and Diocesan guidelines so that we may reopen on June 13. We have submitted a plan to Bishop Kendrick and while we are awaiting Diocesan approval of this plan, I wanted to let you know how our worship will be different and the precautions we will be taking in keeping with our number one priority, your safety.
At least for the first two weeks, The Holy Eucharist will be celebrated on Saturday at 5 pm and again on Sunday at 9 am. We will revisit our entire plan after two weeks and revise it as necessary. Saturday and Sunday were chosen to allow time for the virus to dissipate over 15 hours if it is present.
Communion will be served in one kind, i.e., the Bread (individually wrapped), and the celebrant will come to you to distribute it so as to minimize movement. There will be no procession, no acolytes and no readers, as the service will be abbreviated.
The service will be filmed and posted on YouTube on Sunday.
Our plan will be to use Benedict Hall for all worship services as it is easier to move chairs and sanitize surfaces in that building compared to the church, which will have its interior painted shortly.
Approximately 30 seats will be available at each service due to social distancing, although those living in the same household may sit together.
We will not be using the soft chairs; we will use the chairs that are now stored in the closets as they are easier to sanitize.
The ushers will ensure social distancing, hand sanitization, and will dismiss the congregation by rows. There will be no “receiving line” after the service nor will there be any coffee hour.
Ushers will be responsible for obtaining contact tracing information. That information will be held in the safe and in confidence for one month and then shredded.
This information WILL NOT be shared with any entity.
All areas that are commonly touched (light switches, handrails on the stairs and ramps) will be sanitized after each service. Chairs will be sanitized after each use.
MASKS will be required throughout the service and congregational singing will be prohibited.
We have some cloth and other masks on hand for those who forget. Gloves have been ordered for the rector and those who sanitize after the service.
We need to get some more hand sanitizer and spray disinfectant prior to returning, as well as volunteers willing to perform the sanitizing.
The offering plate will be in a stationary position at the entrance to Benedict Hall. We encourage electronic giving or giving by mail. The offering will be held in the safe for three days prior to its being deposited.
There will be either tape or signs outside and inside (every six feet) so that we may keep the appropriate social distance.
Like many concerts, we will have general admission. Once the seats are filled, we will have to turn folks away unless they want to sit outside. (We are looking for some way to broadcast outside to any overflow.)
For those who cannot, through an abundance caution or illness, come to church it will be their responsibility to call the church office to make an appointment for Eric+ to visit. Although the service will be filmed, the Rector is considering having another service during the week in the Cape San Blas area.
Finally, like your mother told you before you left for a trip to the store or anywhere, please use the restroom prior to coming to church. We will not refuse you the use of those vital rooms; however, they must be sanitized after each use and anyone who must freshen up will be asked to sanitize it prior to the returning to the worship service.
The desire to come together for common worship is very strong
and I will be the first to say how much I miss it. Therefore, as a community
of faith, we must accept that things have changed and will be different for some time. I ask you to look over these guidelines and if you see that
we may have overlooked an item or two, please let me know.
I look forward to seeing the first group of worshipers
on Saturday, June 13 at 5 pm.
Keep the faith.
We will get through this together.