Masks must be worn at all times and must cover both mouth and nose.
Those at a higher risk for COVID-19 (those who are older than 65 or who have underlying health conditions such as heart trouble, diabetes, respiratory illness) are urged not to come to church at this time.
Those who feel in any way sick should not enter the church (this includes temperature higher than 99.5 degrees, cough, chills, muscle aches, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell)
All are required to sanitize their hands upon entry to Church.
Maintain social distances of 6 feet or more at all times. Only those who are living together may sit together.
Our most recent in-person services at Christ Church took place in the week beginning March 8th. What a long time ago! As of July 1st, Bishop Provenzano is, with great caution, permitting phased reopening of Episcopal churches in the Diocese of Long Island, and the option to return to in-person worship following the requirements of what is called "Phase B."
(Phases "C" and "D" are farther down the road, timing to be decided by the Bishop; it is then that things like Communion and Coffee Hour can return.)
On Sunday, two identical short services (less than 30 minutes) will be offered at 8:00 am and 10:00 am in church. Their shape will be similar to that of our online Prayer Time Videos. Seating will be arranged at 6-foot distances, although it is fine for those who live in the same household to sit together. Masks will be required, and to help us manage numbers we ask that people indicate in advance which service they wish to attend, either via an online form or telephone call. In keeping with the Bishop's directives for Phase B, those who are over 65 years old or who have underlying health issues (e.g. heart trouble, diabetes, respiratory illness) are urged not to attend in-person services at this early stage, being at higher risk. Also in line with the Bishop's directives for Phase B, choral and congregational singing are not yet allowed, although Michael Haigler will play the organ. Restroom access will be just for emergencies because of the level of cleaning / disinfection required after each use.
In planning these services, I know how strange they will be! I also know, and fully understand why, many faithful members of Christ Church will opt to stay home and continue to worship via our weekly online service for a while longer. In many cases, given the age of our congregation, staying at home is to be encouraged, and absolutely no one is "expected" to attend in person. All are simply asked to be prayerful and make the best decision for their health and well-being, and that of their loved ones.
A weekly video service will continue to be offered, though the timing of its release will now change to Sunday afternoon, because it will have components of Sunday's Morning Prayer service in church. For the foreseeable future, virtual Parish Breakfast and virtual Coffee Hour will be combined and will take place at 11:30 am.
Our aim is, to do two things at once: maintain people's capacity to connect with Christ Church online through weekly worship videos and "virtual" fellowship, and also offer the safest setting we can, in church, for those who wish to try these short, simple services in person.