What precautions are being taken to make sure the space is clean?
After each service, all surfaces are disinfected. The pew cushions, prayer books, and hymnals have been removed. Attendees are asked to wear masks. Worship leaders and ushers will be wearing masks.
What precautions are being taken to ensure social distancing during church?
We are limiting our congregation to 32 households. To attend, one must sign up beforehand. Each household will have two empty pews to the front and back. Households will be seated on the outside of each pew.
I’m not ready to come back. Will you continue offering worship opportunities on livestream?
We will continue to offer live-streaming of our worship services on Facebook and YouTube indefinitely. We know returning isn’t for everyone! We hope you’ll still choose to worship with us from your home.
I want to come back, but I’m worried I won’t be able to get a spot. Or I tried signing up but the service was full.
Please continue trying by signing up on the Sign-up Genius link that we will email to you. We will constantly evaluate the number of services needed to meet the demand for in-person worship while maintaining all of the above precautions. If we see a sufficient number of folks unable to worship in-person who wish to, we’ll add services at other times — but we need to know you’re interested! If you have any issues signing up, contact Robyn Banks or Ebet Peeples.
I’ve heard singing is particularly likely to spread the virus. What are you doing about this?
Under the direction of our bishop and the CDC guidelines, there will be no congregational singing for the foreseeable future. Two singers will be present to offer music in the chancel at a safe distance of 10’ from the nearest person. Our air circulation will also be turned off for the duration of the service.
Who is making these decisions about Calvary’s opening?
From the beginning of the pandemic, we have followed the CDC’s recommendations along with seeking the direction of the medical expertise in our community for our particular setting at Calvary. Our Return to Calvary Committee consists of Physicians: Dr. Jim Bailey, Dr. Betty Jo Dulaney, Dr. Henry Sullivant, Dr. Edwin Thorpe; Wardens: Kim Kitterman, James Aldinger;
Staff: Steve Smith (Finance & Operations), Helario Reyna (Facilities Mgr.), Robyn Banks (Communications), Ebet Peeples (Welcome & Community), Scott Walters (Rector).
Are you certain this is the right decision? What’s the rush?
No rush here. We’re following the CDC guidelines, the advice of a team of infectious disease experts from our local Baptist health system, the continued guidance of medical experts in our community, and direction from our bishop. Locally, we’re moving more slowly than the Phase 2 allowances given to us from Shelby County and we’ve done so with stricter measures than called for; e.g., the 32 households we’re allowing are far fewer than 25% of Calvary’s capacity.
None of our plans are set in stone. With any change in the data or the above guidance, we will change our course accordingly. “Certainty” is elusive in the best of times (and Episcopalians tend to appreciate this better than most), but we’re acting as carefully and prayerfully as we can.
We want to be faithful to both those who wish to return and those who don’t. If you feel rushed, we hope you’ll honor that feeling and continue to worship online until you feel ready to return to in-person worship. We also hope you’ll extend grace rather than judgment to your neighbor who is ready to return.