A message from Tami regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and worship
As per the direction of Bishops Dietsche, Shin and Glasspool, we will be adhering to the following procedures until otherwise notified. Thank you for cooperating as we seek to protect the most vulnerable around us.
During worship services:
Please refrain from shaking hands or hugging in church (i.e. at the Peace, when arriving, leaving, etc.)
At the Peace, please greet one another and acknowledge one another, for example, with a hello, a bow, a peace sign, a smile and whatever words you usually use. Health care professionals suggest that COVID-19 is most effectively transmitted from people’s hands to their faces, so avoiding hand-to-hand contact is a likely strategy for inhibiting infection.
Clergy already regularly wash hands and use hand sanitizer before worship and before the Eucharistic Prayer (during the offertory). This will obviously continue.
The Bishop has advised that all intinction (dipping the bread/wafer into the chalice - whether done by oneself or by a Eucharistic minister) shall be prohibited until further notice. Studies by the CDC and other medical authorities have concluded that “the risk for infectious disease transmission by a common communion cup is very low, and appropriate safeguards – that is, wiping the interior and exterior rim between communicants, use of care to rotate the cloth during use, and use of a clean cloth for each service – would further diminish this risk.” We will incorporate those safeguards. If you wish to receive the wine, you may do so by drinking from the common cup.
The Church has always taught that the Sacrament may be received in “one kind” (i.e. bread or wine). While normally people in the Episcopal church receive both, you do not have to have both to receive Holy Communion. So those who choose not to receive from the common cup can trust that Jesus’ offering of himself is complete in the Bread.
When the threat of a pandemic passes, we will return to our standard practices.
During coffee hour and other events:
Wash your hands thoroughly if you are preparing or setting out food.