More than 18 months ago, the St. John’s COVID-19 Task Force was formed. This group has met faithfully – and frequently – to develop a plan for the parish to deal with the pandemic. All through this time we have consulted with medical professionals. The St. John’s regathering plan was created and provided a framework for how we respond to the peaks and valleys of the virus.
We are happy to report that we are in one of the lowest valleys (as measured by rates of infection, hospitalization and other metrics) since the pandemic first escalated in the spring of 2020. We have also heard from parishioners that they are ready to return to a more “normal” worship experience.
It is for that reason that the task force voted to move to “masks optional” at our worship services, effective Sunday November 28.
A few important points:
- Anyone who chooses to continue to wear a mask is free to do so.
- All parishioners are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated.
- We will retain our virtual services for those who are not comfortable worshipping in person
- No one should attend church – masked or otherwise – who has symptoms associated with COVID, the flu, or other respiratory illnesses.
Of course, we are hopeful that there will never be a need to reverse this policy, but we will continue to monitor all sources of information in case the need for another change arises.
The task force also voted to reinstate the optional use of the chalice during worship services. It will take a bit of training to implement this change and, in the near future, we will communicate the time when this will take effect.
Your St. John’s COVID-19 Task Force