Returning to Church – Updated

Please note that these protocols changed starting in April, changed again on August 22and will no doubt change again. The most recent changes are in bold-face type.

PLEASE CHECK BACK REGULARLY

We have different expectations for services vs small group gatherings.

Services

We started in-person services again on March 13 with protective protocols in place. The services are also available on Zoom. At the end of March the board updated our in-person service protocols. All the protocols below are still in place, but recent changes are highlighted.

If you plan on attending the service in person, we are assuming you are agreeing to the following to protect yourself and our community:

  • You are vaccinated if you are eligible to be.
  • You do not have any Covid symptoms.
  • You will wear a surgical mask while in the building, N95 or KN95 preferred
  • You may sing IF you are wearing a mask, N95 or equivalent.
  • After the service and the post-service discussion you will linger outside to visit with others, not inside. However, the board may relax this in case of bad weather.

Here are some additional details about what you can expect. However, these guidelines and plans may change as we learn more. Please show your usual patience with our ushers when they explain changes to you.

  • The church will provide a mask if you don’t have one. No home-made cloth masks, please.
  • The chairs will have been spaced out for distancing. We expect people to adjust the chairs according to their “pods.”
  • Eva Greene will usually be playing the piano live for the prelude and hymns.
  • Members of the congregation are free to sing along with hymns, etc. so long as they keep their masks on.
  • Hymns may be lead by a soloist or possibly two people. If you would like to volunteer to lead a hymn some Sunday, speak to Eva Greene.
  • The choir may resume live performances whenever they are ready, under the following conditions:
    • The singers wear masks, N95 or equivalent, unless all choir members singing have passed a rapid test the morning before coming to the church building.
    • An individual singer may perform unmasked if the individual  passes a rapid antigen test earlier the same morning before coming to church.
  • Some choir anthems may still be pre-recorded and projected during the service.
  • Service participants and speakers may remove their masks while speaking from the podium  without the need to pass a rapid test that morning.
  • You will see that we have some Corsi-Rosenthal model fans and filters in the sanctuary. We believe they will be quiet enough so as not to cause a problem. When the weather warms we will be opening windows too.
  • Food and beverages, also known as “coffee hour,” may be served outdoors, whenever weather permits. No food or drink will be served indoors until the board agrees that the weather is no longer hospitable.
  • When the board approves indoor food and beverages we encourage efforts to minimize people clustering together, and the duration where people are unmasked, such as…
    • Spacing out the serving areas where food and drinks are available.
    • Providing tables and chairs where people can sit instead of swarming around a snack table
    • Serving in a space large enough to accommodate the numbers present (e.g. the chapel instead of the foyer)
    • In situations where food precedes another activity (such as a pizza and games night), encourage people to put masks back on.
  • You may bring coffee or water in your own container and mingle outdoors after the service.

Small group gatherings

A small gathering at All Souls Church (committee, book group, meditation group, task force or other group) may optionally not wear masks if

  • There is no singing involved.
  • ALL members of the group are comfortable with a masks-optional gathering. This may be an initial conversation when the group convenes. We hope all are respectful, caring, and pandemic-savvy enough to recognize that masks are as much about taking care of others as of ourselves.
  • The use of the air purifier boxes and/or open windows is strongly encouraged.

Renters and non-ASC groups using the building

Non-church groups using the building, including renters, are free to use their own judgement as to appropriate COVID safety protocols.

If you have any questions, please e-mail the church office.