As you may have seen in The Net (the weekly e-newsletter from the Diocese), the Bishop decided last week that public health conditions now permit the resumption of in-person worship in the churches under his jurisdiction. This comes with a few caveats. First, the same precautions that were observed in the last regathering (for us, the period from September to mid-December) will still be in place. Second, efforts to make worship available to those who cannot attend in person will be continued. And third, each congregation’s leadership will decide if and when regathering is the right choice in its particular context.
The Vestry and clergy of St. Thomas’s met last Sunday and decided to resume in-person worship this coming weekend. With Bruce Finnie’s funeral on Saturday and church on Sunday, this will be a “soft opening,” as we pick up the various threads of what worked well for us in the fall.
For the foreseeable future, we will continue to have one Sunday service at 9:00 AM. We will also continue to use SignUp Genius (our on-line sign-up system) to have an idea of how many people to expect and to make sure we do not exceed a safe number. Other precautions, like the sign-in sheet and abundant hand sanitizer, will still be in use too.
And even as we resume services with more people in the room, we remain committed to making every service of public worship available via YouTube or Zoom. “Communion at the Curb” will also continue. We are determined to make sure everyone feels as present and prayerful as possible as we move – God-willing – toward the post-COVID future.
If you have questions or concerns about any of this, please do not hesitate to contact me or any member of the parish’s leadership. I am grateful for your faithfulness and dedication and patience through the past year. You are in my prayers and I hope St. Thomas’s will remain in yours.
Peace and be well
The Reverend Dr. Howell C. Sasser, Jr., Rector