Re-opening for In-Person Worship

Christ Church will be re-opening for in-person Worship on sunday, May 30, 2021, Trinity Sunday.

 

REOPENING CHRIST CHURCH AS OF TRINITY SUNDAY, MAY 30, 2021

The CenMoCo clergy had conversation with Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde at its regular meeting on May 12.  One of the areas addressed was reopening strategies for the church.

While we are abiding by the ever changing guidelines set up by Montgomery County, the thought is that those will soon be merged with those of the state of Maryland and with the guidelines offered by the CDC.

Here is where we are at this time:

  • People who are vaccinated do not need to wear a mask when outdoors.  Those who are not should continue to do so.
  • When gathering indoors, we should remain socially distanced.  To that end, we will continue to employ the Montgomery County preference of only 50% capacity in our nave.  That translates to a maximum 200 persons.  Those who are unvaccinated should always wear their masks which should be okay.  Those who are vaccinated and masked will be in better position.  We are in hopes that those who can will get their vaccinations so that we can return to more normal ways of interfacing sooner than later.  While not insisting on vaccination, we are insisting on wearing masks and monitoring the social distancing.  To that end we have placed nosegays on the ends of the pews which may be used for seating.  Family groups may always sit together.
  •  Please don’t fret if you don’t get your usual pew when we reopen.  We will be seating everyone from front to back, meaning you must go to the first available pew in the front of the church to be seated.  This is a part of the protocol of the county at this time.  Also, we will exit the building from back to front.  Please don’t crowd the aisles but allow everyone to exit according to plan so that we can maintain that social distancing.

Now for the good news.  CDC has said we can sing with our masks on!  We can even begin choir when we are ready, provided at this time we wear masks.  I believe choir will not start at Christ Church until the fall, but it is good news that the bans are slowly being lifted.  Bishop Mariann has also said that our current method of unmasking for speaking and leading music is fine for now.  All of our distance protocols are in place. 

The less happy news is that we are not yet able to share the common cup.  Therefore, we will continue to distribute the elements in one kind only.  When we come forward for communion, please approach the communion rail maintaining social distance on the side on which you are seated.  We will not kneel at the rail but receive standing up and then go out the side entrances and find our way back to our seats.  When those who wish to come to the altar have finished, we will take communion to the foot of the chancel steps to commune those who desire to receive at nave level.  The ushers will cue us as to any in the seats who still  need to be communed.

For the same reasons we are not sharing the common cup, we are also avoiding food from common sources and utensils that could be touched by multiple people.  Fellowship will therefore look and feel different than in the past.  However, we can still enjoy our time together.  At this time, the plan is to have any social time outside.  Again, if you are vaccinated, it is not necessary to be masked outdoors.  If not, it would be respectful to be masked unless you are eating.

We continue to ask that you sign the covenant prior to entering the space.  Masks and hand sanitizer will be available at the front door.  Also, we will continue to post the bulletin and wrapper online so that if you prefer to bring your phone or tablet for use for those documents instead of using the provided paper documents, we invite you to do so.  We are taking the temperatures of those serving prior to the service to assure that those of us leading the service are well.
In summary:

  • Sign the covenant.
  • Stay socially distanced.
  • Sit front to back.
  • Wear a mask inside.
  • You can sing.
  • Take communion in one kind on whichever side you sit.
  • Exit back to front.

Food at fellowship will be given in ways to keep us all safe.