HEALTH AND SAFETY NOTICE:
Keeping parishioners and staff safe during the pandemic is our priority. We follow guidance provided by the local and state health departments, the CDC, and the Episcopal Diocese of Washington. As of May 30, 2021, all social distancing and contact tracing requirements are lifted. For now, we still require masks inside, refrain from physical sharing of the peace, and continue with modified procedures for receiving Holy Communion and distancing for musical leaders. We will make additional changes gradually, as advised by our diocesan and civic leaders. Please be considerate of those who themselves (or those they are caring for) may be unvaccinated or immunocompromised and therefore continue to need to maintain distancing and other precautions.
DETAILS OF PRECAUTIONS TAKEN DURING THE PANDEMIC
When possible, our services are outside or drive-in. When weather permits, we set up chairs and shade tents in our lovely patio and garden. Worshippers are seated as families and spaced apart for safety. All are required to wear masks while on church property. Speakers are placed so all can hear the service, including music from our organist and cantor (our full choir is not singing together during the pandemic). For drive in services, parishioners remain in their cars with their radios tuned to 88.3FM so they can hear the service from the comfort and safety of their own cars.
During cold and hot months or inclement weather, services are held indoors. We have taken many precautions to keep parishioners and staff safe during our indoor services. These include pre-registration, masks, face shields, gloves, plastic barriers, sanitizing stations, limited numbers, distanced seating, no congregational singing, no choir, safe communion protocol, pre-service and post-service cleaning, cold fogging (with HOCl), and open doors. The church is well ventilated, fogged, and cleaned between services, and doors are left open whenever possible during services. All attendees are required to register in advance, wear masks or face coverings, and sanitize their hands upon entry. We collect contact information for contact tracing purposes. During live services, worshippers may be seated in the sanctuary, the chapel, the undercroft (watching the service on a TV), or St. Francis Hall (watching the live stream on a big screen) as we spread them across our campus for proper social distance. We suggest you wear warmer clothing than usual, since the doors are often open for increased ventilation and the church buildings are colder than normal.
Communion is distributed using a modified protocol and the Act of Spiritual Communion is also offered. In addition, parishioners are encouraged to take communion at home during live stream services – simply contact the clergy to arrange home delivery of pre-consecrated host. During indoor services, communion is offered at the normal time, but in bread only. It is distributed at the front of the church (not the altar) and worshippers maintain proper social distance while receiving. During outdoor services, communion will be brought to you at your car.
Attendance at in-person services and activities is solely at your own risk. Please understand that while we are taking many precautions to keep our worshippers safe, we cannot eliminate the transmission of infectious diseases. There is inherent risk in gathering with others, even with social distancing, disinfection, and other protective measures in place. We recommend that you consider your risk level carefully as you decide whether or not to attend in-person services. If you are considered to be in a ‘vulnerable’ population, we encourage you to watch our live stream services. Our services and activities will continue to be live-streamed so that everyone can worship with us.