When Will Church Re-Open? | St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church

When Will Church Re-Open?

Published on Mon, May 18, 2020 10:16 AM
Rector's Reflections

Take Me To Church!

As I was talking to my 6-year-old son at bedtime this past week, he said, “Mom, I really miss taking communion with all of my church friends.” We talked about that for a while, how much we love going to the altar, seeing everyone gathered, and breaking bread together. 

Then, he said, “And I miss Sunday School, playing with my friends, and I especially miss Coffee Hour.” 

All I could say in response was, “Me too, buddy, me too.” 

I can’t wait to see each and every one of you! It is really hard being the body of Christ in quarantine. We must rely on technology to stay connected and honestly, that’s just not the same. 

The truth is it’s going to be a while before we are able to gather together for worship. That is difficult and yet, it is what we must do to keep everyone safe and healthy. Bishop Rickel and the diocesan staff have been working hard to prepare A Guide to Gathering in Person: The Diocese of Olympia’s Phased-In Plan for Resuming In-Person Worship and Activities, Draft One.

For a clear and concise chart of the four phases and what they look like for churches, go here.

This document is very detailed and clearly outlines what we must do each step of the way to re-open our church building safely. I encourage you to take the time to read through the document because it shows the prayerful thought and consideration going into each and every decision during this time. The document has four main sections: 

Who and What Will Be Deciding Factors in Our Decision in this Diocese Regarding Reopening Our Churches? This section tells us how decisions are being made and why they are being made.

Questions and Actions You and Your Congregations Should Be Addressing in Preparation for Reopening. This section is already being used by the SJB Vestry and Staff to make plans for future phases.

The Four Phases. This section details how we as a congregation will need to change our gathering and distancing behaviors when we do return to in-person worship. 

Bibliography, Resources, and Additional Reading. 

 

When Will SJB Re-Open?

The SJB Vestry and Staff are carefully weighing the stringent requirements necessary to re-open in Phase 3 with our ability to do so safely and efficiently. We will most likely re-open at some point during Phase 3, but not right away. We are going to take our time and do this prayerfully, thoughtfully, and intentionally with the safety of all parishioners, volunteers, and staff members in mind. 

 

Drive Thru Church, You Say?

You may have noticed that Phase 1 allows for drive in church and are wondering what that means. Well, you are in for a mid-pandemic treat! 

Beginning Thursday, May 21, from 1:00-2:00 p.m., you are invited to drive thru the big circle driveway at the church to talk with Rev. Kate IN PERSON and receive socially distanced prayers and blessings. 

Drive-thru prayers will be offered every Thursday from 1:00-2:00 p.m. for the time being. Here is how it will work:

One household per vehicle please. 

Rev. Kate will greet you by the Parish Office door on the north side of the building and will be wearing a mask. You are asked to wear a mask as well. 

When it is your turn, you may roll down the windows, but please remain inside your vehicle. Rev. Kate will stay six feet away. 

We are asked not to do any singing and Eucharist, in any form, is not allowed.

No laying on of hands, or physical touch is allowed. 

We will not be distributing anything. 

 

Thank you in advance for your cooperation with these social distancing guidelines. This is a wonderful opportunity for us to see one another and pray together as this time of physical separation continues. 

 

Blessings to you,

 

Kate +

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