Public worship returns to St. Michael and All Angels this weekend. We will have two services on Sunday, June 7: Morning Prayer and Holy Eucharist at 9am and 10:30am. Because of the various mandates and precautions during this time, worship is going to look and feel very different! We urge all our members to carefully read the Worship Policies and Guidelines which we all must follow as we gather for our services. In particular, please note that we are using a reservation system for attendance at worship; please call Loretta no later than 4pm this Thursday to reserve a seat at your preferred service! There are many changes from our usual way of doing things – we appreciate your patience and understanding as we move forward as a parish family to once again gather in love and worship.

Please feel free to call Loretta or Father Andrew in the Parish Office if you have any questions or concerns. We hope to see you all on Sunday!

Effective June 7, 2020
The following are the policies and guidelines for any public worship taking place at St. Michael and All Angels.
They have been discerned and drafted in accordance with CDC, governmental and ecclesial standards with the assumption that active disease will inevitably return to the island and in light of the reality that many among us are of higher risk. As a church, we must take all necessary precautions. All parishioners and visitors are expected to abide by them while present on our campus. The evolution of Covid-19 on this island and elsewhere is uncertain; the circumstances surrounding this virus and our responses to it are always changing and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Therefore, these policies and guidelines are subject to revision at any time. Any such changes will be timely posted for the parish.
A. Until further notice, there will be two services at St. Michael and All Angels:
    9am, Sunday morning
   10:30am, Sunday morning
B. The primary model for worship will be Morning Prayer with Holy Eucharist.
C. At least for now, because of the resources and preparations necessary for each public service, Saturday worship is suspended. It is also a time for us to emphasize our need to come together as one parish family as much as possible during this time.
D. At least for now, because of the resources and preparations necessary for each public service, Saturday worship is suspended. It is also a time for us to emphasize our need to come together as one parish family as much as possible.
E. Until further notice, all public child and adult formation gatherings remain suspended.
A. Make a reservation! To comply with distancing precautions, the sanctuary seating has been reconfigured into groups of 2 and 4 so that individuals and families can keep their distance.This results in a new seating capacity of 38 in the sanctuary. Of those spots, we will reserve 5 for visitors. So as to avoid turning people away, we are asking all parishioners to make a reservation with Loretta no later than 4pm on the Thursday before worship.  Parishioners may make a “standing” reservation with Loretta, indicating that they will weekly attend a certain service; this will eliminate the need to call in each week. If a service becomes full, we will send out a notice to the parish. If additional Sunday services are needed, we will do so.    
B. If a parishioner wishes to attend a service, and a reservation was not made, please be aware that we cannot exceed our seating capacity in the sanctuary by setting up additional chairs at the last minute! Our worship space will be cleaned and carefully prepared prior to every service and we cannot make any changes or adjustments once it is set.
C. Ask one last time, “How am I feeling?” If there is any question as to the state of any parishioner’s health, we urge them to stay at home and rest. Individuals from families or quarantine groups where there is an illness are also recommended to stay at home.    
D. Thoroughly wash your hands! And bring a clean mask!
E. Hand sanitizer is at a premium on this island and everywhere else! While are attempting to procure a supply sufficient for our congregation, we are asking everyone to bring their own until we have done so.
A. While on campus, an adequate facial mask must be worn.
B. At all times, parishioners and visitors must maintain at least 6’ feet of distance from all those outside their quarantine group. Awareness of this precaution is relatively easy while seated; however, it can become difficult to maintain while moving about the campus and sanctuary. Vigilance and keeping movement to a minimum are encouraged!
C. The greeting ministry is suspended during this time.
D. The use of Prayer Books and Hymnals is suspended and have been removed from the worship space. Service Bulletins will be placed in a sanitary and safe manner on each of the seats prior to worship.
E. While on campus and in the sanctuary, touch only what you need to, giving special care to avoid hand contact with the seats in the sanctuary (the cloth makes it difficult to disinfect!).
F. Two ushers will be available for each service, to offer assistance to those who need it and to ensure compliance with these policies and procedures. Please be supportive of their ministry!
A. Choral and congregational singing is suspended. Alan will continue to offer his gift of music. Soloists or a “quarantined choir,” fully removed from the immediate sanctuary is under consideration.
B. Liturgies will be somewhat abbreviated to avoid long gatherings.
C. No liturgical processions.
D. The acolyte ministry is suspended until further notice.
E. Only the celebrant will occupy the altar area. The sanctuary area will be configured to safely allow the celebrant to occasionally pray and preach without a mask. At all other times, a mask will be worn.
F. The designated LEM for each service will not vest and will be seated in the congregation. Readings will take place from a separately designated microphone. This will be placed in such a way for the LEM to safely remove their mask during the reading if desired. At all other times a mask must be worn.
G. The Peace is not part of Morning Prayer and therefore it will not be shared during this time.
H. Birthday, anniversary and travel blessings are suspended until further notice.
I. The passing of the collection plate is suspended. A large, marked bowl will be placed in the back of the church for donations and pledges. However, parishioners and visitors are encouraged to electronically make their contributions during this time. The service bulletins will outline the instructions to do so.
J. Both bread and wine will be consecrated during the Eucharistic Prayer. They will be fully covered while on the altar. However, until further notice, only wafers will serve as the bread and distribution of communion will be of “one kind;” only bread will be administered to the congregation. Keep in mind that it is has been the belief and doctrine of the church since the beginning that communion of “one kind” is full and complete communion.
K. The decision to participate in communion is a very personal one in these times. The choice to not come forward will be honored and respected. Unfortunately, for the time being, clergy cannot offer the customary blessing which in our tradition often takes its place.
L. The sharing of the bread will take place at the bottom of the altar stair. Scientists have suggested that this might be the most “at risk” portion of the service, not because of the risk of transmission by transfer of the bread (risk of food borne transmission is thought to be little to none) but because of the close proximity between people. Each quarantine group therefore will go up one by one as guided by the ushers. The celebrant will wear a mask, offer the bread without physical contact and only whisper the words of administration.
M. For now, the customary greeting by clergy in the back of the church following worship is suspended.
N. Until further notice, the healing prayer ministry is suspended.
O. Guest book, name tags and the informational table in the back are all suspended. However, we will make the name tags available in the Parish Office if anyone wishes to pick it up and use it during worship. Parish information usually available on the back table is likewise available in Parish Office.
A. At the conclusion of the service, all parishioners and visitors are asked to promptly depart the sanctuary, maintaining distance and taking their service bulletins with them. This will assist the service ministers in their task of cleaning the church and preparing the space for the next liturgy.
B. Until further notice, fellowship and coffee hours are suspended.
C. There will be a great temptation for informal gatherings for conversation following worship. We are a very close, social parish and it would be odd not to have this temptation. However, in these times, it is prudent for us to maintain distancing and to the best of our ability limit these interactions.