Rectors Note: Worshiping Together Again!

Rectors Note: Worshiping Together Again!

The Short Version

Worship with us, outside, in-person, on Pentecost, May 23rd! Boxed lunches will be served after the service. 

We will worship in-person at least once a month from this point forward. 

As a community, we are committed to caring for one another. We are also committed to following scientific recommendations. If you are vaccinated, masks are optional. If you are not vaccinated, masks and social distancing are required. Masks and vaccines are a form of caring for yourself and others. 

Please do what you feel is safe, but not less than the requirements (see below).

The Long Version

Worshipping with the Spirit!

We will be gathering together for Pentecost!!! (visualize fire emojis here!). 

  • We will gather outside, worshipping and receiving the Eucharist, in front of the church. Bring an umbrella, or a pop-up tent if you have one. 
  • We will have boxed lunches (sandwiches) available to continue our celebration together.
  • Chairs will be set up. You may adjust the back chairs to distance yourself from others if necessary (see below for guidelines).
  • If you would like to help with setup, please arrive by 9:00. 
  • If you want to help with liturgy itself, arrive by 9:30 to walk through our shared work with Revd Maria.
  • BE FLEXIBLE! We are trying new things in the midst of constant change and it may take a bit to get it right. 

The Science

With the recent guidelines released by the CDC, the Governor, and Bishop Akiyama, it is clear that we can worship together safely. The science, which is well-researched at this point, is clear: 

  • If you have a covid vaccine, the risk of getting or transmitting the virus is extremely low. This is true inside, or outside, masked or unmasked.
  • Outdoor transmission rarely occurs (less than 1%, possibly less than 0.1%), vaccinated or not.
  • Surfaces are not a significant source of contamination.
  • If you do not have a vaccine, you place yourself and unvaccinated others (such as children or the immuno-compromised) at risk.

Vaccines are the wonderful fruit of the hard-work of scientists and researchers who want to keep all of us healthy. They are a way in which God has invited us to care for ourselves and one another. So please, if you can get a vaccine, get one. If you can’t, wear a mask to keep yourself and others safe.

Caring Guidelines

As a community, we are committed to caring for one another, and being responsible for our health, our bodies, and how we affect one another. 

If you are vaccinated and feel well, 

You may, at your discretion, be unmasked and sit as close as you would like. Please be aware that our children and some of our younger members are not vaccinated. Please be respectful of the preferences of others! 

If you are unvaccinated or feel unwell,

  1. Wear a mask! Please.  But it is required.
  2. Please maintain a 6-foot distance from others. That is just short of the height of your favorite b-ball player; about the same as two shopping carts; a bit longer than the span of your arms.
  3. You must be masked and stay 6-feet from all children. If you are not vaccinated, you may not teach or be involved in any in-person children’s activities.

If you are sick or unwell, please, stay home! If you are sick for an extended period of time, we will do our best to arrange for a eucharistic visit (by clergy or lay eucharistic visitor). 

Wearing a mask is a visible sign of self- and other-care. It is clear that wearing a mask prevents the spread of disease of all kinds. Covid has only increased our awareness of the risk of living together as a community. 

We will not ask for proof of vaccination status (unless you work with children). However, getting a vaccine and wearing a mask cares for our most vulnerable members: those for whom a cold can be dangerous, our children who cannot yet be vaccinated. Masks will likely become a normal part of our lives, as they have been in other regions of the world for decades. 

During Worship

With these guidelines in place, we will be worshipping together at least once a month for the summer, moving cautiously towards returning to full in-person worship. We will start on Pentecost by gathering outside (in Oregon, so bring an umbrella just in case!). Check your email or the website to see how we are worshipping on any given Sunday. 

Singing is safe for the vaccinated, so sing out! If you are not vaccinated, sing quietly through your mask. 

At the Peace, we want to touch one another. Among the vaccinated, this is safe. However, not everyone is vaccinated or may feel safe touching another person. Please ask before a hug or handshake. We suggest a simple nod or a small bow to those around you.

During Communion, you may receive both bread and wine. Vaccination makes receiving ‘in both kinds’ safe for all those vaccinated. For those unvaccinated or with a cold, the issue is proximity. Please receive from your seat rather than stand in line. Note that the common cup is the most sanitary form of receiving the wine! Silver is a natural antibacterial metal, and the alcohol content of sherry also reduces risk. If you prefer the less-sanitary form of intinction, the Eucharistic minister must instinct the bread for you and place it in your open hand.

Why not in-person all the time?

We are moving slowly not because of the risk of transmitting disease, but because we have come to love the intimacy of Zoom worship, and because online worship has allowed us to welcome geographically distant friends and family. We want to explore ways to continue to share our worship, which will take time, money, and a bit of experimentation. Frankly, we aren’t sure we can sustain a ‘hybrid’ model, but we want to explore the possibility.