Dear Friends of the Redeemer,
Today, I write to you in absolute joy! God willing and the bishop approving the Redeemer will regather on Sunday, September 6th for our first outdoor in-person worship service. It will be the first time we have gathered physically for worship in twenty-five weeks. Extraordinary!
Over the last months, the Ministry Team has been working hard to ensure we stay connected through on-line worship, fellowship and educational opportunities. At the same time, many have been at work preparing the necessary protocols and procedures for regathering as safely as possible.
As excited as I am, I need to warn you. In-person worship will be quite different from our pre-COVID-19 days. Some of us are eager to return to worship while others feel the need to be more cautious. To satisfy those in either category, our 10:00am on-line service will continue indefinitely. These on-line services have proven beautiful, edifying and spiritually nourishing for hundreds upon hundreds of souls near and far. In-person outdoor worship will begin on Sunday, September 6th at 11:15am. Below I am providing a list of expectations and considerations that will help you make the best decision possible for you and those in your household. I can’t wait to see you all!
- If you are 65 years or older or suffer (at any age) from diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure, a weakened immune system, prolonged use of corticosteroids, damaged or scarred lung tissue, or maintain a BMI of over 30, the CDC warns that you are at risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Please consider thoughtfully and carefully about worshipping on-line instead of in-person for the time being.
- Children and families are warmly invited to join us for in-person worship. However, please note that any child over the age of five will be required to wear a mask for the entire service. Please know that parents or caregivers will need to ensure that children remain in their chosen seating area for the entire service which will last up to an hour. If either masks or delimited seating present significant difficulties for you and your family, please consider worshipping online instead of in-person for the time being. Please remember that children are not immune to COVID-19 and some children have contracted MIS-C (Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children) from COVID-19. We support our parents in whatever decision is best for their families.
- Outdoor seating will be in the parking lot accessible from Suffolk Road.
- Reservations for attendance are required through Sign-Up Genius. Seating capacity is capped at thirty households. Subsequent services will see occupancy capacity raised.
- Those without reservations will be asked to wait in a queue until it becomes clear that space for those with reservations is available.
- Parishioners should arrive at least fifteen minutes early, queuing at the welcome tables.
- Parishioners should park along Suffolk Road, or on Reservoir Avenue. The circular driveway will have limited parking for those in need of handicapped parking. The rest of the driveway will be closed from through traffic for congregational seating.
- Tables for confirming reservations, sanitizing hands, face masks and contact tracing information will be located at the circular driveway and on the driveway of the Suffolk Road parking area.
- Services will be weather dependent. Notice will go out on Saturday at 5pm if services for 11:15am Sunday are cancelled.
- Restrooms will be available before and after the service accessed through the Weld House doors only.
- Collection plates will be provided at each registration table.
- Seats will be available in pods of 2, 3, or 4 chairs per pod. If you need more chairs, please see the ushers.
- The congregation will be dismissed from the back pews to the front pews by ushers. Please remain seated until you are dismissed.
- Please maintain social distance of at least 6’.
- Should you perceive any safety issue, please notify the Rector immediately.
- Should a member of the congregation report a positive diagnosis for COVID-19 to the church, services will be postponed for two weeks.
I know that’s a lot of changes; however, I feel confident that we have created the safest space possible to regather as a parish community. I look forward to seeing you soon!