New Guidelines for Gathering

First of all, thank you. Thank you for the way you have adapted and engaged in new ways and created new possibilities for ministry and prayer and connection during this pandemic year that disrupted almost every aspect of our lives.

The CDC’s recent release of updated guidelines, which were affirmed in our bishop’s announcement, gives more latitude for congregational health protocols and liturgical practices. Our vestry and Health & Safety Task Force want to respond faithfully. As you know, children under the age of 12 do not have access to the COVID-19 vaccine yet. For their sake, and for the sake of their parents, we’re not ready to take Sunday worship back to its pre-pandemic form. But here are some changes that will take place beginning this Sunday:


      • Reception of Holy Communion at the Communion rail will be available again. At least one standing station at the foot of the chancel steps will still be available.



      • 10 a.m. Worship Service: Worshipers will continue to be masked, but pew spacing will go from every 3rd pew to every other pew. Calvary’s pews are quite close together, which means that spacing will be slightly less than 6’.  Most schools have been maintaining distances between children of 3’-6’.


      • 8 a.m. Worship Service: Unvaccinated worshipers are encouraged to wear masks and vaccinated worshipers may opt not to, as our numbers allow for plenty of distancing.


      • 10 a.m. Worship Service: Advance sign-ups are no longer required for this service. Just come!


      • Small groups without children age 2-12 present, such as EfM, formation classes, fellowship groups, etc., may gather according to CDC guidelines (i.e. vaccinated people may gather unmasked and with no distancing restrictions, but masks and distancing are encouraged for unvaccinated people).


      • Gatherings with food and drink, such as coffee hour, may gather unmasked outdoors, and may gather indoors, maintaining physical distances of 6’ for eating/drinking.


I have been astounded at the grace with which you have added masks and distancing and limits on singing and handshakes and so much more to your lives. Moving forward, we’ll need to continue living out the way of Jesus in very concrete ways, loving our neighbors as ourselves, and give special attention to the most vulnerable ones among us. We’ll also need to honor those who make different choices from ours. But I know you are eager to do so, as these are simply expressions of the lovingkindness you’ve been extending to others so beautifully all along.

Faithfully yours,

Scott Walters