Our season of celebrating Eucharist outdoors on Sundays is coming to an end as the cold and wet weather settles in.
As a Vestry, we’ve been praying and discerning over the last few months on what our Sunday Eucharist should look like this winter, trying to weigh the many factors that inform our attempt to love God and neighbor well during this pandemic.
After much conversation and discernment about how to safely gather and factoring in the spread of Covid in Marion County (using this website), are are submitting this proposal to the congregation for discussion and discernment:
1) When the 7-Day All Tests Positivity Rate for Marion County is equal to or above 5%, we meet virtually on Zoom for worship (with the possibility of discerning micro-gatherings of some kind).
2) When the 7-Day All Tests Positivity Rate for Marion County is under 5%, we meet indoors for worship (with a Zoom-in option).
3) Also, if the weather looks to be dry and higher than 50 degrees at 10am on Sunday, we will meet outdoors for worship as we have been this fall.
How we’ll do indoor worship
When we are able to gather indoors for worship, here’s how we plan to gather safely.
- We will have a Zoom-in or live stream option for those who aren’t comfortable joining indoor in-person worship.
- We will practice social distancing in family groups.
- We will wear masks the entire service.
- Singing and responding will be allowed with masks on.
- We’ll have a maximum capacity of 60 people, with an overflow option available in the foyer for perhaps 25 more.
- We’ll make Eucharist in the same safe manner we’ve been doing it outdoors, with ministers distributing communion elements to people in their seats to avoid too much movement in the sanctuary.
- No kids ministry will be available at this time.
Pre-consecrated elements for online worship
For those weeks we will meet on Zoom, we will once again be pre-consecrated Eucharist elements for those who are interested. You can sign up for that below:
We welcome your thoughts and questions on this, especially as it regards creative ideas for the possibility of micro-gatherings that coordinate somehow with our Zoom gatherings, and we will create some space for this after our worship this Sunday (November 1).
We can chat more about it then and have some Vestry members available to talk through reasoning and what went into our thinking. We will either do that socially-distanced outdoors (weather permitting) or on Zoom, right after worship.
Additionally, we will have some intentional ways to talk about this proposal in DNA Groups over the next couple weeks. As always, you are very welcome to reach out to us to share your thoughts or ask questions via email or we can set up a phone or Zoom call.