Lets regather for June 6!
Dear Beloved Parish Family,
We have exciting news! Beginning June 6, both our 8 am and 10 am services will be open for in-person worship. The 10 am will continue to be available online.
This year and several months of extended distance have been hard on all of us. We have grown distant from each other, we have missed the warmth of our fellowship, we have missed milestones, weddings, baptisms, funerals. It has been an extraordinarily difficult year and a bit. But it is almost behind us.
When I imagined in the earlier days of the pandemic what regathering for worship might mean, I imagined a return to the way things were before the pandemic: a full church, baptisms with overflowing crowds, jubilant and loud singing, processions, doves, banners, you name it. I know that it won’t be like that, but it can still be great.
As we shift our focus from online to in-person worship we will still be in the midst of challenging times. Nassau and Suffolk Counties remain at “ high” and “very high” risk for COVID exposure and our vaccination rates still hover in the 40% range for all vaccine eligible folk. COVID has not gone away. We know some of you will have questions about how we are keeping each other safe and following diocesan and CDC guidance.
- Regathering for worship at 10 will still be limited to 45 people because of our small space and the continued need to keep socially distant. As at 8, we will gather outside the church for direction, announcements and contact tracing purposes and enter the church together at 10 AM while the prelude is offered.
- Because space is limited, we will ask you to sign up to join us for worship in advance of Sunday through our website. We use REALM to manage our sign-ups, so you may have to dust off your password or reset it. There are challenges to anything, and this is a small one in order to keep each other safe and to accommodate all who wish to be present fairly. Our 8 am service will not require registration. A special page is set up on our website to receive registrations.
- While we are able to sing in public, we will warm up to that as the summer progresses and we gain confidence that what we are doing together is and feels safe. Instead, we will offer beautiful music on Sundays either from our talented musicians or from our partners at the Oyster Bay Music Festival.
- Masks will continue to be required in the church until further notice to protect each other. We will not be asking about your vaccination status, but we do encourage you to consider getting vaccinated, not for church but to advance the cause of herd immunity in our community.
- Over the summer as we regather we will celebrate a brief service of Holy Communion as our principal act of worship, especially as many in our community have not received communion in over a year. We expect to return to our normal pattern of Holy Eucharist and Morning Prayer alternating by week in the fall.
- Coffee Hour is still not permitted, but we hope you will loiter with us after church on the beautiful lawn to greet one another and share fellowship.
For those who live at a distance from the church, or those who are not yet able or comfortable returning to church we will continue to stream our services over Zoom.
Obviously, this will have consequences for all of our ministries - lay readers will be invited to return to reading in church, altar guild members will be asked to support the increased frequency of holy communion, choir members will have their choir season shortened to allow for reopening - the list is long. But, we hope that we will all accommodate the changes necessary to regather in-person for worship joyfully.
For more information about our full regathering plan, please see our website.
We can’t wait to be with you!
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