Resuming In-Person Worship
In-person worship to resume on November 15th.
Dear St. Paul's Community,
Like many of you, I have been anxious to have in-person worship opportunities. To see people face to face! To worship together! To have communion! It would bring a fuller experience of St. Paul's and our life together to have in-person worship and formation opportunities alongside our online offerings.
Of course, Covid considerations needed to be taken into account. I want to share with you fully what has been done to bring us to this point and to tell you what you can expect if you choose to worship in-person.
Regular in-person services begin on November 15th.
See below for the full schedule of services.
Since my arrival (just a few months ago) things have moved quickly with our technology to allow for us to have live-streaming. As I have said before, I am committed to ensuring that regardless of how you choose to worship (in-person or online) that we maintain unity and equity. Live-streaming allows for us to worship together and have access to the same worship regardless of where you find yourself on a Sunday morning. Equipping an historic building for 21st century technology has been a hefty undertaking, but we continue to move forward. We have a permanent plan that we are progressing through and intermediate options that we are utilizing now that allow for us to have quality live-streaming beginning on the 15th. The streaming equipment is backordered for up to three months and infrastructure needs for internet have caused delays in the permanent plan that have led us to a temporary solution of loaned equipment from a neighboring Episcopal Church (thank you Grace Church!).
The vestry, staff, lay worship leaders and clergy have all had a hand in preparing for in-person worship and we are excited to share a worship schedule for our current times. We will be constantly monitoring the attendance at these services and will add more as need demands.
As you can see, we have a very different schedule then what we had pre-covid. We were intentional in creating a schedule that would honor the diversity of our worship while also keeping us as safe as possible. We will have both Rite I and Rite II options (communion in one kind- wafer- only) and non-eucharist services. Please do not hesitate to contact me, Dean Churchwell, with any questions or concerns.
Adult Formation will continue at the 10:10 am hour and will be accessible in person in Dean Willey Hall and via Zoom. We have a wonderful line-up through the end of 2020.
To attend in-person, we ask that you sign up in advance, wear a mask, and be socially distant at all times when at St. Paul's. The Diocese has restricted food and drink consumption on church property for the foreseeable future, so note that there will be no food or drinks served and we ask that you do not bring any food or drinks with you unless medically necessary.
Next week we will release detailed information on the steps taken to make in-person worship as safe as possible and the procedures and communication process we have in place should there be a covid exposure. We want for people to know what to expect before, during, and after attending a service at St. Paul's. Sign-ups will be released soon, and until then you can sign-up for online or in-person Stewardship Gatherings, All Saint's Day Eucharist in the Garden on November 1, or Choral Evensong Under the Stars on November 8.
Lastly, I want to say that I appreciate you all so much for your patience and grace in our lead up to in-person worship. While I feel like I have been at St. Paul's for a long time, in reality has been about 9 weeks and there has been a lot to learn. I am so grateful to everyone (and I mean everyone!) for being so incredibly helpful in making my transition smooth and learning fun and easy. I am looking forward to engaging with you all, whether online or in-person, snail mail or email, phone call or text, Zoom or Facebook! The possibilities are endless and my desire to come alongside you as your pastor, priest, and dean is unflagging. Please do not hesitate to contact me for any reason; even just to say hi.
Thank you for your message!