UPDATED JUNE 24TH
Dear People of St. David’s,
I pray that you and yours are well and safe and are being touched by that peace of God that passes all understanding. God is with us and is guiding us closer to His presence and vision for the world. Though we continue to be physically apart from one another for a time, we are joined by the presence and grace of God’s Holy Spirit and continue to be God’s Community for the World.
I want to catch you up on the process of beginning in-person worship.
Our Bishop, the Rt. Rev. Daniel Gutierrez and his staff have developed Diocesan procedures for re-establishing in-person worship that are based on CDC guidelines as well as recommendations from a medical task force assembled by the Bishop. These guiding principles set forth by the Diocese are more conservative than what the Commonwealth outlines and the Bishop asked each Vestry and Rector to review the Diocesan plan and submit a detailed plan to his office for review and approval.
Prior to submitting this plan, St. David’s surveyed the entire parish and received over 400 responses. The responses for returning to in-person worship and participation were evenly split. One-third of us are ready to resume in-person activity now. One-third of us will wait until the Commonwealth determines we are in the Green Phase or after the summer. One-third of us will not return to in-person participation until a successful vaccine has been developed and distributed.
With these responses in mind, the Vestry, Clergy and Staff developed a plan for submission to the Bishop’s office that was approved by the Vestry on Monday, June 25. The plan was submitted to the Bishop and we have received approval to begin to gather in stages for worship and in-person ministry activities. A more detailed description of the overall plan will be sent by letter to our homes next week, but some noteworthy items are below:
- Sunday worship will continue to be livestreamed at 9:15 a.m.
- In-Person Sunday worship with 25 persons or less, including clergy and worship leaders will begin in July
- Sunday, July 12 with Vestry in attendance at the 9:15 a.m. worship
- Sunday, July 19 and going forward at 8:00 a.m., 9:15 a.m., 11:30 a.m. in the Chapel and 5:00 p.m. in the field adjacent to the Churchyard
- Communion will be received in one kind, standing
- Attendees will be asked to register for services; details to follow
- There will not be a coffee hour or childcare
- Masks are required along with physical distancing
- Bathroom use is discouraged
- The Property Team will clean before and after each service
- In-Person Ministry activities will be very limited and will be scheduled through the Staff
- The Program and Administrative staff will be working in-person on a staggered schedule as well as working remotely
St. David’s has been open throughout these months of the pandemic; we have never stopped worshipping and praying together. I look forward to the beginning of our time together and invite you to continue to keep our church, our staff, our clergy and all God’s people in your prayers.
Be assured, God is with us and is and will guide us through this time.
Grace and Peace.
The Rev. Frank Allen
Rector of St. David’s