Beloved in Christ,
I write to let you know that this Sunday, August 23rd, we will be resuming in-person worship during our 10:30 AM service. We will be attempting to livestream this service, so if you would feel safer participating form your home, you still can. In this letter, I will give you specifics about all of our plans, as well as the thinking that went into formulating them.
Franklin County is still coded red according to the Ohio Public Health Advisory System, which means that all in-person services must be held outside. So we will meet in the courtyard. Since the courtyard has limited space, we will cap the number of people in attendance at 25, which will allow us to ensure that we are socially distanced and safe. All attendees must wear masks, and check-in at the ushers table before entering the courtyard. All attendees must have a Covid-19 Entry into Worship Form on file, or must fill one out when they arrive. This will help us with contact tracing in the event that someone who has attended a service then discovers that they’ve become ill. Finally, since seats are limited, you will have the opportunity to reserve one in advance. We will post the reservation form on the website and in the eNews every week. If you don’t show up by 10:30 AM, your seats will be given away. In the case of rain, we will hold the service on-line only, so always check the website for updates if the weather threatens rain when you wake up on a Sunday morning.
We’ve had a chance to test these safety protocols during our recent Vespers services, and we’re confident that they are reasonable, work well, and that we have a good team in place to uphold them. Livestreaming the services will be more complicated, simply because we want to continue inviting those who can’t attend in person to participate as lectors, intercessors, and music leaders. So we’re going to try to stream them into the service, using a flat screen tv so that people who are attending in person can see them. For those watching at home, not much will change in the way that the service is presented.
As always, these changes bring seen and unforeseen challenges, and we will inevitably have moments when things work very well, and moments when they fall apart. But I am so grateful for the team of dedicated liturgy leaders and cyber-sacristans who have made this all work so far. Please consider signing up to be an usher (if you feel safe coming to the services), a lector (either in-person at the service, or streaming in from home) or an intercessor (also either in-person or from home). To sign up, drop me an email and I’ll share the Google Sheet where we manage the rota with you.