COVID-19 AND WORSHIP AT ST. ANDREW'S
Due to the COVID-19 virus, all public worship services at St. Andrew's are suspended until further notice. As an alternative, we invite you to worship with us LIVE via St. Andrew's Facebook Page, Sundays at 10:00 a.m. If you can't join us, don't worry, we'll be posting videos and Sunday Bulletins on the Parish News page.
Feel free to contact us with your questions!
Message from Rev. Cori Olson
In this age of COVID-19, everyone wants to know, “when can we re-open?” I have to say, I feel a little bit like Moses leading the Israelites in the desert as we’ve been reading in Morning Prayer. As Moses had to wait for the cloud of the Lord to move from the tent of the meeting, and could not move on until it did, I wait. But I’m not waiting for a cloud, I’m waiting for numbers to go down, I’m waiting for the Bishop to say was are entering the new season, and I’m waiting for our plan to be approved.
The plan from the bishop’s office called “On Being Faithful” indicates that one of the criteria would be a sustained reduction in cases for at least 14 days. As Lake Worth Beach is currently a “hot spot” for COVID 19, and cases in our area have been on the rise, we are probably not going to be able to open in early July as many of us had hoped. We are, of course, continuing to gather materials, prepare, and pray for opening as soon as the Governor, Bishop, and circumstances allow.
Our plan, based on the Bishop’s requirements, is about to be submitted. It includes these items. We expect that when we first get the go-ahead, that our numbers will be greatly limited, only allowing 10 people or so in the church at a time. Since that number includes me, it is really only about six people in the pews for 10 a.m. To make that work, we will be pre-registering folks for each service. Services without music will have most spots for the congregation.
Everyone will be required to wear a mask, covering their nose and their mouth, for the whole worship service – except as we eat the host at communion. As you’ve been told many times by now, wearing the mask is primarily to prevent others from getting the virus from you. So, as we love one another, we sacrifice for them and their health. And don’t worry if you forget your mask in the car, the ushers will have some for anyone who needs one. We certainly don’t want that to keep anyone out because of this!
When we arrive at the door, everyone will have to have their temperature taken with a touch-less thermometer. Folks with fevers will not be able to come into the building. Then the ushers will lead you to a seat that has been marked and is at least 6’ from other parishioners. Unfortunately, this probably means that no one will be able to sit in their favorite seat!
Everyone will be given a bulletin with all of the information in it. The books have been removed from the racks. If you prefer to use a book, please feel free to bring one from home to use. We want everyone to have everything that they need to be both spiritually fed and physically healthy! At the end of the service, we’ll ask you to take your bulletin and books back to your home.
During communion, only the priest will be consuming the wine. Everyone else will receive the host – the bread – from the priest. Even intinction (dipping) is not allowed yet.
After the service, the ushers will dismiss everyone by row, starting from the back. At this time, we won’t be able to have coffee hour together. Nor will I be able to greet everyone at the back door. (That is one of the most painful changes for me.)
After everyone has gone, the ushers will wipe down the surfaces where people have been and spray down the pews. This will make it safe for the next service to begin.
It is a lot to think about and there are a lot of changes from what we had in the past. My head sometimes feels like it is spinning when I go through all of the details. And as there are so many details and figuring out how all of this will work is somewhat complicated, let me start by saying, we will make mistakes! So when we finally get the green light, I hope you will bring with you to St. Andrew’s your compassion, your love, your hope and your faith. We will need to be patient with one another.
In the mean time, know that I am praying for you every day. I am praying for the people of our community – those struggling with sickness, loneliness, financial problems, fear and anger. And also know, that we welcome your calls, your e-mails, your concerns, your hopes, your fears, and your prayer requests.
I long to meet you and ask your prayers that it may be soon.