Church Response in Stage Two:
• Church offices may reopen in places where physical distancing can be maintained.
• Set HVAC systems to introduce fresh air and/or open windows and doors to encourage fresh air over recycled air.
• Strict adherence to cleaning/disinfecting and hygiene measures between each service, following CDC guidelines, with special attention to heavy transit areas and high-touch surfaces, e.g., doorknobs, restrooms, microphones and shared instruments.
• If it is known that an individual with COVID-19 attended a service or otherwise entered church buildings, a deep cleaning and disinfecting shall be conducted consistent with CDC guidance.
• Make preparations for restroom use, such as limiting the number who may enter at one time or using tape on the floor to maintain proper physical distancing.
• Help people return to church safely by having a plan and signage or floor markings for how attendees will be directed to enter, move about and depart buildings in ways that minimize risk.
• Give guidance about and enforce strict physical distancing, e.g., place tape or other visual distancing markings on seating to delineate six-foot separations, and post signage indicating the maximum number of persons permitted per row.
• Encourage hygiene measures for all gatherings, e.g., make alcohol-based hand sanitizers with at least 60 percent alcohol available, if possible.
• If feasible, arrange online sign-up for services in advance in order to monitor and limit the number of attendees.
• Require use of masks while inside and while entering and exiting places of worship or otherwise participating in in-person services, except where a person is unable to wear a face covering or mask because of a medical or disabling condition. For children between ages two and five, the wearing of a face covering or mask is at the discretion of the child’s parent or guardian; children under the age of two should not wear a face covering or mask.
• Hymnals, prayer books and Bibles are removed; use projection screens or printed bulletins for worship.
• Indoor or outdoor worship is permitted while observing directives on size of gatherings (maximum 40 percent occupancy) and physical distancing of at least six feet (generally, every third row – block off unusable pews or provide adequate space between chairs); members of the same immediate household are permitted to sit together and less than six feet apart.
• Worship continues to be live-streamed or recorded to reach wider numbers; higher-risk persons are encouraged to participate via these methods.
• No congregational singing at in-person worship; cantor or choristers are permitted provided they maintain significant distance (20 feet or more in open, well-ventilated space) from one another and the congregation while singing.
• The Peace is to be exchanged without physical touch (a reverent bow or wave, or a greeting with words) and at safe distance.
• Holy Communion is not distributed; virtual consecrations are not sanctioned.
• No communal gatherings pre- or post-service are permitted, e.g., coffee hours or other food services.
• Fonts and holy water stoups are kept empty and sanitized. • Baptism is to be administered in emergency situations only; the Thanksgiving for the Birth or Adoption of a Child may be used if safety protocols are observed.
• Weddings and funerals may be held, observing directives about the size of gatherings and safety protocols.
A Message from Father Brad
Dear Holy Nativity Parishioners,
In late February, due to health issues, I announced my retirement. Then we got hit with the COVID 19 crisis. A couple weeks ago the diocese informed me that during the COVID 19 crisis they are not moving clergy between parishes. I cannot leave Holy Nativity without a priest and in the middle of a pandemic. I am therefore postponing my retirement for the foreseeable future. Let us hope, and pray, that a month from now, in mid-May or early June, things will begin to return to normal.
A Note from Jim Kimball….
Thank you for your continued pledge commitment during these most trying times of COVID19. We are so grateful for your generous giving to support Holy Nativity’s mission. Your pledge is a tangible expression of a strengthened commitment and connection to God, to one another and our church.
All are Welcome! Be spirited by God and embrace others on the same journey…