Online Worship every Sunday
I hope this message finds you all well. This has been a tumultuous few months in the United States and, indeed, at our parish church. All of you have been in my constant prayers and I trust that I have been in yours. Over the last few weeks, our Vestry has been working very hard in formulating a plan for reopening St. Thomas Episcopal Church for in-person public worship in accordance with CDC and Diocesan guidelines. I am extraordinarily grateful for their leadership and commitment to our parish. I am also grateful for everyone’s patience with this process and their recognition that this is a complex situation that requires an enormous amount of thought and planning. Following the advice of our Diocese as well as local and federal health officials, we now feel that it is reasonably safe to return to in-person worship soon.
We will be returning to in-person worship on Sunday, September 13th at 10:30 AM. Bishop Hollingsworth is permitting the reception of Holy Communion so that will be part of our Sunday morning worship going forward. I, for one am looking forward to receiving the Blessed Sacrament with my community at St. Thomas. Our services will continue to be available for viewing online.
We have decided to limit ourselves to a single weekend service held on Sunday mornings at 10:30 AM at this time in order to better facilitate the extensive cleaning that is required under our Diocesan guidelines. We are asking all those planning to attend to register at the attached link Worship Registration or to call the office in order to enable contact tracing.
We are also planning to conduct a small weekday celebration of the Holy Eucharist starting in October. All other in-person activities will continue to be suspended unless otherwise indicated by me and the Vestry. Please speak with the me if you are interested in resuming these ministries as online/phone meetings via Zoom. We are also planning to resume Rector’s Forum as an online experience starting in October. Further details will follow. When services resume, the following social distancing guidelines will be followed by all, including lay-leaders and clergy until further notice.
- Service attendance will be capped at 34
- We ask you pay attention to all notices posted in the church
- Wearing masks will be required
- A six-foot distance between people must be maintained
- Seating will be marked in order to facilitate six-foot distancing
- There will be specific instructions for entering and exiting the building
- Temperatures will be taken at the door
- Those who are feeling ill are asked to stay home
- Coffee hour and/or gathering in the church following the service will be suspended
- The Exchange of Peace is suspended for the time being
- Singing is suspended for the time being
- The reception of Holy Communion will be suspended for the time being.
Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. I am available both by phone and email and will always get back to you as soon as possible.
Fr. David Radzik, Rector