Good Shepherd Re-opening and Re-gathering

Dear flock of the Good Shepherd:

The time has come that we are permitted to re-gather, in person, in the church!! Our first Sunday morning in-person service will be on July 4th, at 11 am (and we will also continue to stream online). We will be retaining a few safety guidelines for the immediate future; these may change to be more or less restrictive as we receive further information about the levels of Covid-19 in our area or further instruction from the diocese. We encourage all attendees to take whatever precautions will make them feel most safe, including those that are more stringent than what the church will be requiring.

Please see the below for additional details and instructions:

Masking:
– All congregants are required to wear masks which properly cover their nose and mouth while indoors.
– The congregation is allowed to sing while masked.
– Masks will be provided at doors to the church for those who do not have one.
– Congregants will be asked to use hand sanitizer before entering the church.

Social distancing:
– Social distancing is not required when sitting in the congregation or circling the altar for communion.
– We ask that you refrain from hugging during the peace; you may hug outside later if both involved parties consent, but while in the church please fist- or elbow-bump from your location in the “pews” or use another distanced greeting of your choice.

Vaccinations:
– We will not be asking attendees for proof of vaccination, though we continue to encourage all those who are medically able to get vaccinated.
– The altar party are asked to provide proof of vaccination to the vicar if they will be removing their masks (this is particularly relevant to lay readers, preachers, and choir members).

Communion:
– Congregants may gather round the altar, as is our custom, with masks on.
– Bread may be distributed by the celebrant by hand; the receiver may then remove or lower their mask to consume it.
– Wine will be offered in small individual portions which the receiver may again remove or lower their mask to consume.

Coffee Hour/Outdoor events:
– We will not be resuming Coffee Hour at this time. It will resume at a future date.
– While outdoors, either before or after church or at a church event, individuals who are fully vaccinated may be maskless. Those who are not fully vaccinated are required to wear a mask or to remain six feet distant with a mask off (while eating, for example).
– We ask that you please be mindful and respectful of others’ boundaries and comfort levels around masking, physical contact, and social distancing.

Streaming
– We are in the process of ascertaining and then setting up the most appropriate ways to stream our services online from the church. There may be a bumpy week or two as we get ourselves sorted out, but we appreciate your patience.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out! Looking forward to sharing physical space again.

Peace,
Good Shepherd Clergy and Bishop’s Committee

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