Dear friends in Christ,
This Sunday will mark our first service in our beloved church since March 8, 2020. Things will not be the same as they were before the pandemic, nor will our practices be like those of many other community gathering places, like retail stores or restaurants. Many of the precautions we have in place will seem like overkill to some, and will seem too lax to others.
If you are uncomfortable gathering in person either because you feel it is too restrictive or not restrictive enough, you are encouraged to join us for worship on Zoom. Soon we will be live-streaming our in-person service. It is not interactive, like our Zoom worship, but it will allow you to see what services are like indoors.
Sunday Worship Schedule
9:00 am – Holy Eucharist, Rite II, in the sanctuary
10:00 am – Zoom worship
10:45 am – Zoom coffee hour – all are welcome!
Meeting ID: 841 8591 9683, Passcode: 235247
We are working hard to create a space where all people feel comfortable worshipping, regardless of vaccination status. For now, all people over the age of 2 years must wear masks that cover the nose and mouth in any indoor space on St. Mary’s campus. We will have masks available if you forget yours.
Speaking and Singing
For now, we will not have congregational singing in the church, but beginning May 30 we will have cantors singing the hymns on behalf of the congregation. Feel free to hum along in your head or read the text along quietly. We will have hymns sung by cantors each week on Zoom, where you can sing along at the top of your lungs!
Because we currently have limited capacity at our 9 am service, please sign up by calling the church office or emailing email@example.com before 10 am Friday. Walk-ins may be accommodated if there is sufficient space, but if you want to be sure, sign up.
Ushers will be seating people in every other pew. Please find your pew quickly and do not have extended conversations with others indoors before or after the service. Remain in your pew for the passing of the peace.
Coming and Going
Ushers will be at each front door to greet you and find your name on the sign-in sheet. If you have not been vaccinated, they will ask you a few health questions. Please arrive at church a few minutes early to accommodate this process, so we can begin the service on time.
Food and Fellowship
For now, we will not be hosting coffee hour on campus (but if you are interested in being part of the team that makes this happen when we are able to do so, please contact me!). You are welcome to visit and greet each other outdoors, and we hope many of you will continue to log in to our Zoom coffee hour. Please do not bring food or drink of any kind into the church, even for small children.
As we get closer to the end of this pandemic, and gain comfort in being together, we will be easing restrictions little by little. Thank you for your flexibility and continued care for each other as we walk this path. Things are likely to change throughout the summer and into the fall, so be sure to stay informed by reading our weekly e-news, checking our website (stmarysbythesea.org) and following us on Facebook (StMarysPG).
I am excited to enter this new phase. May we continue to be alert to the movement of the Holy Spirit among us and in our community as we journey together.