Revised Diocesan Reopening Guidelines (October 5)

Bishop Jennifer today released revised guidelines for diocesan churches.

“As we pass the six-month mark of the pandemic, I marvel at the myriad ways you have found to worship both online and in person, and to gather in responsible ways. As our understanding of COVID-19 grows, I continue in our commitment to evolve our guidelines for regathering. The following revision reflects this evolving understanding of the risks and has an eye on the coming flu season.

Highlights of changes in this draft include:

  • Permission to use vocalists and wind instruments in outdoor settings in limited situations;
  • A shift from a limit of 25 persons indoors to less than 30% of space capacity where and when permissible by law;
  • Permission to use holy water stoops, baptismal fonts, hymnals and prayer books; and guidance on adult baptisms.

As before, we will, under no circumstances, convene in-person gatherings in communities where they are prohibited for public health reasons, but we can resume weeks or even months later than the state permits if that is what is necessary to keep our people safe.

These recommendations and standards are likely to be updated again as conditions and our understanding of the risks of COVID-19 evolve. My staff and I are here at every turn to support you as you assess the situation in your community and how your congregation is called to respond.

I continue to have deep appreciation for the faithfulness and care you have for one another and our communities. Our mission commitments to serve in Christ’s name have never been more critical. May God continue to bless and keep you in these days.”

Download the revised guidelines.