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Summer 2021 – Regathering for Worship

Emmanuel Church Regathering – July 2021

Here is the plan we are working with to reopen Emmanuel Church for Public, In-Person Worship. Please note that all of this is limited by the published policies of the Diocese of Maryland.

General Caveat: All of the below depends on COVID-19 and COVID-21 testing rates and case rates to be below 1%. This is not dependent on vaccination rates, but the numbers will tend to decline as vaccination rates increase county-wide. Upon direction of the Bishop and the Bishop’s office, these policies may change at any time. Within the bounds of activities permitted by the Bishop, final decisions about worship and property use are the responsibility of the Rector.

Sunday Worship

Please note that we will continue to webcast our services on our YouTube Channel for the foreseeable future.

  • Congregation members invited back beginning 6 June 2021
    • Reservations must be made
    • Social distanced seating, mandatory mask use
    • No congregational singing; cantors must remain masked while singing and be at least 20 feet from congregation members, chancel participants
    • Holy Communion: wafers only, distributed by gloved hands
    • Communion cups still available for home use
  • Move to Yellow Phase as of 11 July 2021
    • Decisions need to be made:
      • Remain masked and keep social distance to permit non-vaccinated people to attend?
      • Diocesan Policy: Permit mask-less participation IFF vaccination rate among participants is >90%. Do we ask status?
      • Gradual reduction in social distancing, according to county infection and case rates?
      • Masks still required for choir members, cantors
      • Congregational singing: masks required for the full service, not just for hymns — no taking off/putting on masks
      • Holy Communion remains as in Orange Stage
    • 8:00 AM Holy Eucharist to begin in August?
      • Rite I Service, using Prayerbooks as permitted
      • No Reservations necessary
      • Mask use & social distancing??
      • Communion as above
    • Baptisms, Weddings, Funerals
      • Private services may begin in September
      • Yellow Phase restrictions apply
      • Public/Sunday Baptisms permitted once Green Phase is reached
  • Green Phase worship, with few restrictions and no reservations required to begin in September?

Building Use:

  • Negotiations may begin with outside groups immediately
    • Social Distancing and Mask Use to be determined by groups, using the >90% vaccinated standard
    • Yellow Phase restrictions on food apply:
      • No “self-service” beverages (i.e., people getting their own coffee from a common urn)
      • Only pre-packaged, single-serving food items. Exception: things like donuts or slices of cake may be served if prepared and plated by one person and served in a socially distanced way.
      • Masks may be removed for eating drinking, but must be replaced after finishing
      • Set-up and clean-up procedures to be reviewed and approved, including cleaning of bathrooms

Church Meetings:

  • In person meetings may begin in September 2021
    • Consensus on masking and social distancing, based on >90% vaccination norms
    • Suggest the possibility of alternating between in-person and electronic meetings
    • Investigate the possibility of a permanently mounted screen/camera in the Parish Hall to facilitate electronic/hybrid meetings

Tuesday Morning Eucharist:

  • To begin in October 2021, Venue/details TBD