As we draw nearer to our tentative reopening date of July 12th, we are seeking advice from outside resources to make sure we have thought of every angle. We have attended webinars on safely reopening, read up on best practices, consulted with other churches in our area and further afield, and we have solicited your input. We don't want any stone left unturned.
Thank you to those of you who have already submitted your input. So far the results are overwhelmingly in favor of choosing safety over a full opening. We are heartened to see that our genuine concern for the well-being of our parishioners, clergy and staff is recognized as such. If you haven't yet submitted your input, we'd love to hear your concerns and suggestions. Please take a couple of moments to give us your feedback here, and help us make our eventual reopening as smooth and safe as possible.
Below you will find the answers to some of the common questions we have received:
Will the church continue to stream services on Facebook?
Yes! We are in the process of working with vendors to upgrade our equipment and make this possible. Our current set up would be extremely disruptive to in-person worship, so we are investing in new AV equipment which will allow streaming without the disruption. Several generous donors have already stepped forward to help us with the un-budgeted expense, but we can still use your support. If you would like to contribute to this fund, please contact our financial secretary, Jenny Robertson.
Will our service schedule be the same?
No. As we take the time to open slowly and with social distancing guidelines in place, we have made the decision to have only two services for the time being: the 9:00am service and the 11:00am service.Please note, there will not be a 7:30am service or a Church Down Under service at 11:05am until further notice.
Will masks be required in the building?
Yes. When we recite our baptismal vows, we commit to "loving our neighbors as ourselves." Wearing a mask is not for your protection, it's for the protection of others. We will require that masks be worn in the building. If you do not wish to wear a mask, please wait until such time as masks are no longer required, and enjoy services streamed on Facebook as an alternative.
Will we be able to sing during the service?
No. Unfortunately the science indicates that congregational singing may increase rates of community spread. While we will not have congregational singing, we will have our staff singers providing choral anthems, while masked and distanced.
Will we have communion when we start in-person worship again?
We have not yet determined if there will be communion. If we feel that it is safe to have Eucharist, we will have communion "in one kind," meaning there will be no common cup. We are in the process of determining how the host could be consecrated and delivered safely to each parishioner avoiding any possibility of contamination.
Will there be coffee hour?
No. At this time there will be no coffee hour. No donuts, water of coffee will be provided. The Great Hall will not be available for gathering before or after services.
Can we come sit in the church at other times?
No. In order to allow for the proper cleaning and disinfecting of the building, the church will not be open fully until further notice. For now, the church building will only be open during service times. Any other business that must be done at the church should be done by appointment only.
Will the columbarias be open?
Yes. The Columbarium Garden will be open and accessible from Bishop Brooke chapel in the Nave. The downstairs columbarium will be open by appointment. Please let the staff know you'd like to visit the inside columbarium so we can ensure only one person is visiting at a time, and so we may disinfect appropriately. Please do not proceed to the inside columbarium without first notifying a member of staff.
Will Children's programs resume?
No. For the time being there will be no on-site childcare, no christian formation, no Church Down Under, and no Children's Chapel. During the 9:00am service, we will have socially distanced places marked in the Nave for children to sit at the front during a child-friendly homily. There will also be a virtual Children's Chapel with Becky Moseman. To learn more about children's ministries, join the Facebook group here.
Will there be Vacation Bible School this summer?
Honestly, we don't know quite how to answer this one, yet. We continue to watch the numbers in our area while constantly discussing ways in which we can re-imagine VBS. It is highly unlikely that we will have in-person camp this summer, but we may have some sort of virtual camp or take home projects. Please bear with us as we think through all the possibilities.
Will other meetings and programs resume this summer?
No. For the time being there will be no non-worship gatherings at the church. Unfortunately that means so AA meetings, book club, EfM, etc. will be able to take place in the building. As soon as we are able, we will examine what groups can safely meet, and when. Education for Ministry (EfM) classes beginning this fall may start the class with virtual classes, dependent on the effects of the virus in the state at that time. To learn more about EfM, scroll down.
We thank you all for your prayers as we work to find our feet during this time. Your support is appreciated. Know that we are also here for you, whatever your needs. Please reach out to any of us personally, or submit a comment or prayer request on the website using the contact form at the bottom of each page. Our community is our strength.
The clergy & staff of Trinity Episcopal Church +