COVID-19 Updates ~ 08.12.2021
“This is my commandment: love each other just as I have loved you.” ~ John 15:12
Dear St. James Parish Family,
We are presented this day with the reality of the surge of the COVID delta variant, and the opportunity to respond as a community of faith committed to the dignity of every human being. With that in mind, there are new safety measures we need to adopt as of this Sunday, August 15th. The information and corresponding protocols I share here are intended to foster safety, to promote health, and importantly - to model our love for one another.
Last evening I reconvened our parish COVID Task Force (see members below), and asked for practical and reasonable advice on best practices for St. James Parish to gather in worship. With the expertise around the table, there was complete and unanimous support for the below measures. With appreciation, I am accepting the recommendations of this group, which include the following:
Indoor Use of Masks: As of this Sunday, we are returning to masks for all who are present inside our worship spaces. This includes our historic downtown sanctuary, and also the interior of Mount Lebanon Chapel. The use of masks will not be required, but certainly acceptable, for those who choose to remain and worship outside at Mount Lebanon Chapel. We will have masks available should you find yourself in need.
The Peace: We have learned over this season many ways to wish each other the peace of God without physical contact. It is difficult to ask, but please refrain from handshaking and hugs at this time.
Communion: We will continue to offer communion in kind (bread only) at all of our services. The distribution downtown will return to the landing (and not the high altar rail) and will be brought to those gathered outside at Mount Lebanon Chapel.
At this time we will not enact additional social distancing measures, nor will we dispense with singing. As has been the case for all of this time, please remember the value of proper handwashing and the use of hand sanitizer.
The COVID Task Force will meet again on Monday, August 23rd. At that time, we will consider the most up-to-date information, and how to proceed forward as a community.
I recognize and honor that the return of these protocols is frustrating and disappointing for everyone - myself included. Please be patient and gracious with one another, and remember that we are all beloved children of God, and we are committed to one another.
If you have any questions, thoughts or concerns about this information, please reach out to me directly. You are important to me.
(910) 508-3764 cell/text
St. James COVID-19 Taskforce