General Guidelines for Returning to Public Worship at St. Paul’s
St. Paul’s is committed to charting a responsible return to in-person worship within the guidelines provided by state and local government, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and Bishop Rodman. Our primary concern is the health and well-being of our community and parish family. To that end, we have consulted with a team of healthcare professionals from our parish to make the following recommendations and practices for in-person worship.
- Public spaces in the church will be cleaned according to CDC guidelines.
- Keep a social distance of 6 feet between you and individuals outside your household.
- Masks should be worn by all who attend any outdoor/indoor worship services or any parish meetings. (Masks prevent the spread of the virus. In a recent New England Journal of Medicine study, half of the patients who tested positive for Covid-19 had no symptoms at the time of testing. A mask will not protect you from getting the virus, but it will prevent you from transmitting the virus to someone else.)
- Wash hands thoroughly (for 20 seconds or more) with soap and warm water before coming to St. Paul’s. If soap is unavailable, hand sanitizer is an effective alternative and will be provided on campus.
- Parishioners—adults and children— who are at high risk for hospitalizations and death from COVID-19 should consult with their personal physician for guidance before attending a public worship service at St. Paul’s. If you are unclear if you are in a high-risk demographic for COVID-19 complications, the CDC guidelines can be found here: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-at-increased-risk.html
- Parishioners who plan to attend worship will answer a series of health screening questions online when they register. Registered participants who have exhibited signs of illness within 48 hours of Sunday’s service such as a fever, cough, aches, or other symptoms of Covid-19 should stay home. For an updated list of Covid-19 symptoms visit cdc.gov.
- Parishioners who have been exposed to someone with Covid-19 within the last 14 days should stay home.
- Children over 2 who are unable to reliably wear a mask and maintain distancing should stay at home.
- We will begin a phased reopening of indoor spaces in stage 2.
How to Register for Worship (beginning Wednesday)
- Registration for Sunday’s service opens at noon on the Wednesday before the service. It will remain open shortly before the service or when all the spots are filled.
- Parishioners can register online or by phone.
- A link for online reservations will be emailed to the parish on Wednesdays.
- Phone registrations will be managed by Anne Rahn (336) 749-4906.
- Parishioners are asked to only reserve seating for themselves or their household group.
Coming to Worship (Sunday)
- Park in the main lots off of Pilot View across from the campus. We will have designated Handicap Parking spots assigned.
- Household groups should be kept 6 ft. apart and allowed approximately 200 sq. ft. of space at all times.
- Masks should be worn at all times.
- Check-in at the registration table before entering the worship space. A staff member will confirm your reservation, do a health check, and direct you to your seat. Masks and hand sanitizer will be provided at the registration table for any who need them.
- Bulletins for the service will be available to download at the “Church from Home Portal” on the website to print at home. There will also be hard copies at the registration table. Participants are always encouraged to bring their own Prayer books.
- We will not pass the plate during the Offertory. A basket will be located at the exit(s) for your weekly gift.
- Hand sanitizer is located throughout in worship space for your use.
- No nursery or childcare will be available.
- Parishioners are encouraged to arrive early to allow plenty of time for check-in and seating.
Protocols for Receiving Communion at St Paul’s
In addition to the regular safety protocols already put in place for outdoor worship, we have added protocols for receiving communion (bread only) that try to minimize the contact between the Celebrant and the people at the time of receiving.
For those who wish to receive communion, please use hand sanitizer and come forward, socially distanced, still wearing your mask, and put your palms out to receive the bread. The Celebrant will keep their mask on, sanitize their hands, and will place a wafer in your palm. Please return to your seat before lifting your mask to eat the bread, then pull your mask back over your mouth and nose, and use hand sanitizer again.
After all have received bread, the Celebrant will commune themselves and then clear the altar.
- No coffee or water will be available.
- Parishioners are asked to maintain social distancing as they leave the worship area.