Updated: Feb 7, 2021
Dear St. Paul's Family,
THIS PENTECOST SUNDAY! MAY 31, 2020!
We will open our doors for On-Campus Worship at St. Paul's!
THE CELEBRATION OF WORSHIP
We are a Community of Disciples of Jesus Christ. One of the primary arenas of our Discipleship Pathway is Worship. We will ALWAYS have worship at St. Paul's. It is the oxygen of our congregational life.
WORSHIP IN WISDOM
As Pastor, I take seriously my role as Shepherd. That is why we quickly embraced the protective behaviors, informed by our State medical and government leaders, in response to the deadly Covid-19 Virus. These were not exaggerated concerns.
What we now know is :
Even in the midst of strong practices of social distancing, over 100,000 Americans have died. As of yet, we have no vaccine AND no cure for this Virus. This virus is deadly, cruel, and in many ways wickedly random. The stories of those infected are often profoundly devastating.
This virus can be significantly contained and minimized through the wisdom of social distancing and other practices. This is a fact.
Religious gatherings have some history of being significant, and sometimes tragic, breeding grounds, "hotspots", for the transmission of this deadly virus.
More than half of our congregation is made up of "vulnerable populations" that possess underlying conditions and/or age that makes us profoundly susceptible to infection and even death.
"While we take precautions, we also have opportunity to celebrate being in worship on-campus, together. I hope everyone will prayerfully consider your way of worship." - Pastor Doug
For these reasons we will observe the following guidelines in opening On-Campus Worship:
1. We will practice Social Distancing
We will mark across the areas of St. Paul's guides for distancing at six feet. This will include markings for pews and chairs in Worship Areas.
We will have 2 worship services: 9:15 and 11:30
We will observe the State's guidelines for capacity worship. (Currently at 25% of capacity.)
2. We will practice "masking" in order to reduce probability of virus spread by 15–50%
We are to wear our face mask at times of speaking or singing. Singing is an exponentially more dangerous setting than speaking according to multiple studies.
Participants may unmask during times of listening: sermon, teaching, etc.
Masks are to be used entering and exiting the Sanctuary and other areas.
We encourage that extended conversations be held out of doors before or after Worship or Sunday School.
3. We will take special precautions in providing as safe and sanitized environment on Sundays as possible.
All "touch surfaces" will be sanitized in an ongoing way before and during Sunday morning activities.
On Saturday evening we will service the church with a professional cleaning group's labor in sanitizing our primary gathering areas (Lobby, Sanctuary, Chapman Hall).
Our Sunday morning activities will be in as clean and sanitized a setting as is reasonably possible.
We will seek to provide as "touchless" an experience as possible such that worshipers will need to make contact with as few doors, books, furniture, etc. as can be achieved.
We will provide ample stations for sanitizing hands before, during, and after worship.
4. We encourage all persons to add to these precautions others that are helpful to yourself.
5. We welcome ongoing insights on improving our precautions.
6. We will support ALL our congregation. Therefore, all those whose specific needs require worshiping at home will be able to do so through ongoing Live-stream services.
While we take precautions, we also have opportunity to celebrate being in worship on-campus, together. I hope everyone will prayerfully consider your way of worship. While venue for worship may vary, the practice of Worship is essential in every disciple's life.
We are a Community of Disciples of Jesus Christ. One of the primary arenas of our Discipleship Pathway is Worship. We will ALWAYS have worship at St. Paul's. It is the oxygen of our congregational life. - Pastor Doug