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Provisions for public worship

in a time of crisis
The GUIDELINES FOR GATHERING are designed to allow St. Aidan’s Church to gather
for worship in the midst of a public health crisis.

Due to the nature of the novel coronavirus, it is not possible for us to create a
worship environment that is truly “safe”. What we can do is review the most current
data on infections in our area and enact the best
practices possible to reduce the risk of infection and
transmission in our parish.

We take this responsibility seriously. Christ left His

Church a singular commandment, that we love one “A new commandment
another as Christ loves. The love of God revealed in I give to you, that you
the person of Jesus Christ isn’t love like the world love one another: just
loves. God’s love gives up everything, sacrifices as I have loved you,
anything, endures anything to protect and provide you also are to love
for God’s beloved. one another. By this
all people will know
By enacting these Guidelines, we are proclaiming that you are my
that Jesus is Lord. No disease, no social upheaval, no disciples, if you love
hardship – not even death itself – changes that fact. one another.”
These Guidelines are a concrete tangible way in
which we can choose to love each other as Christ John 13:34-35
loves us: all-giving, all-sacrificing, all-enduring.
When we love as Christ loves, Christ’s presence in
our community is revealed.

We have an unprecedented opportunity to join Christ in the work he is doing in

Jessamine County right now. In caring for each other and our neighbors, in setting
aside our comfort and privilege, and in proclaiming the Gospel through Word and
Sacrament the Spirit is uniting us to the work of Jesus our Lord.

I invite you each to read through these guidelines carefully. In order to gather
again for public worship, it is critical that the whole parish embraces and follows
these Guidelines for Gathering. Without your help and participation, gathering will
not be possible in the present crisis.

I know you all, and I know your hearts. I have seen, again-and-again, the power of
Christ at work among you. I know that things are in upheaval – in our hearts, and
homes, and community. It is time for us to pray. It is time for us to stand together
again. It is time for St. Aidan’s to proclaim in one voice that Jesus is Lord.

God’s grace, Christ’s love, and the Spirit’s fellowship to you all!
Resource Page
These documents provided primary guidance for us as we created
the Guidelines for Gathering

• Directions from Bishop LeMarquand and the Standing Committee of the

Anglican Diocese of the Great Lakes

• “Healthy-at-Work Requirements” for the State of Kentucky
o including the specific requirements for “Houses of Worship”

• “Interim Guidance for Communities of Faith” from the Centers for Disease

• “Resuming Care Filled Worship and Sacramental Life” by The Ecumenical

Consultation on Protocols for Worship, Fellowship, and Sacraments

• “Re-Gathering for Worship: Considerations for Anglican Churches” Ed Stetzer

• “The Senior Pastor’s Guide to Reopening” recommended by Archbishop Beach

• “Preparing Your Church for Coronavirus (COVID-19)” by Humanitarian

Disaster Institute of Wheaton College

• Additionally, we are in direct contact with the Jessamine County Health

Department regarding specific local advice for our community and
Phases for Gatherings at St. Aidan’s Church
the metric for deciding to transition between phases (in addition to direction from Diocese and input from local authorities) is
a CLEAR DOWNWARD TRAJECTORY in the number of reported local cases of COVID-19 for 2 CONSECUTIVE WEEKS*

Restricted Reduced Limited Steady

• Building closed • Building open by appointment • Building open by appointment • Building open
• Worship online only • Worship online only • Worship on-site and online • Worship on-site and online
with curbside Eucharist limited to 40 (1/3 capacity) limited to 65 (50% capacity)
• ‘Guidelines for Gathering’ • ‘Guidelines for Gathering’
will be observed will be observed
• Bible Study online only • Bible Study online only • Bible Study online only • Bible Study on-site and online,
maintaining physical distance
• On-site groups cancelled • Approved on-site groups • Approved on-site groups • Approved on-site groups,
with less than 10 members with less than 10 members limited to 1/3 capacity of room
• Events cancelled/postponed • Events cancelled/postponed • Events held outdoors • Events held outdoors
once statewide threshold once statewide threshold
“groups of 50 persons” is “groups of 50 persons” is
approved approved
• Vulnerable individuals* should • Vulnerable individuals may
continue to worship from attend service or continue to
home worship from home

* A clear upward trajectory of reported local cases for 2 consecutive weeks, or a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the parish, will
require transitioning back to a previous Phase, as determined by the Rector, Vestry, and appropriate authorities.
**Vulnerable individuals includes persons over the age of 65, those with serious underlying health conditions or compromised
immune systems, and those in direct contact with or providing care for such individuals.
Phase 1 – Restricted
Due to concern over the spread of the virus, Phase 1 has the most restrictive
requirements. To maintain and support shelter-in-place or Healthy-at-Home
directives, the parish building remains closed for all use other than the limited
recording of streaming service and special online communications. Only the Rector
and those with the explicit permission of the Rector are permitted on the premises.

Phase 2 – Reduced
As restrictions on public gatherings are eased, Phase 2 allows more people on-site
to assist in recording worship services, to conduct parish business, and to assist
with cleaning/repairs. Physical distancing is to be maintained, common areas
remain closed, temperature check must be taken for all staff, and masks are to be
worn by anyone entering the building.

It will be critical in moving from Phase 2 to Phases 3 & 4 that

the whole parish embraces and follows the Guidelines for Gathering.

Phase 3 – Limited
On achieving Phase 3 – Limited, we will begin meeting in-person again for worship.
During this time, seating will be reduced to 40 persons (30% of room capacity, not
including clergy), who will maintain physical distancing, and observe proper hand
hygiene by washing/sterilizing hands regularly and wearing a mask. Other activities
will remain online or outdoors during this phase.

Phase 4 – Steady
This last phase is the final phase before full reopening, which will likely happen only
after a vaccine is readily available. Public worship will resume with seating
increased to 65 seats (50% of room capacity, not including clergy). We will
continue maintaining safe physical distance and proper hand hygiene. On-site
meetings may resume in limited (1/3) capacity. Vulnerable individuals may return
for public worship at their own discretion – online worship and discipleship will
continue to be available.

NOTE: These Phases are based on general guidance from a variety of resources. We
are working with the local health department to develop and implement appropriate
recommendations and practices for our community. In the event of a resurgence or
‘spike’ in local infections, we will return to an earlier Phase until the threat has
passed. Additionally, if anyone in the parish contracts COVID-19, we will return to
an earlier Phase until the threat of infection has passed.
Guidelines for Gathering
The Vestry of St. Aidan’s Church is responsible for appointing a safety coordinator,
whose task will be to ensure that the Guidelines for Gathering are observed, and for
recruiting volunteers to assist in the tasks of Cleaning, Welcoming, and Worshipping.

Guidelines for Cleaning (Phases 1-4)

• Prior to worship, all high-touch surfaces (pews, tables, chairs, doors, light
switches, etc.) must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected following CDC
ncov/community/pdf/Reopening_America_Guidance.pdf this includes
narthex, nave, chancel, hallway, and bathrooms.

• Remove any materials from high-touch surfaces that cannot be disinfected.

• Measure to ensure that pews are spaced correctly (6 feet between seating
areas), and that closed seats/pews are clearly marked.

• Ensure that disinfecting wipes are available in both bathrooms.

• Ensure that all common areas are closed off.

• All high-touch surfaces (see above) must be disinfected again immediately

following each service.

Guidelines for Welcoming (Phases 3 & 4)

One volunteer should be appointed in each service as an usher/greeter, to help ensure

the following guidelines are observed:
• Clear and visible signs will be placed in the entrance and narthex reminding
parishioners of proper hygiene procedures, and that anyone with COVID-like
symptoms should not enter the building.

• A hand-sanitizing station will be placed at the front entrance. Each person,

upon entering, will be directed to sanitize their hands.

• Mask are to be worn by all persons entering the building. If a person does
not have a mask, they will be loaned a mask to be returned for cleaning at
the end of the service. As further research is completed and reviewed, this
restriction may be relaxed in Phase 4.

• Pews are arranged to ensure a 6-foot space around each household. Spaces
marked with BLUE tape are CLOSED FOR SEATING.
• Disposable copies of the liturgy will be available for guests without Prayer
Books. These are to be discarded during cleanup following the service.

• The Usher/Greeter is responsible for keeping count of the number in

attendance and alerting a member of the Vestry once 35 persons have been

• The Usher/Greeter will dismiss the congregation by pews after the


Guidelines for Worship (Phases 3 & 4)

The ordering and leading of worship is the responsibility of the Celebrant. However, in
order not to distract the Celebrant during worship service, the Vestry will be responsible
to helping to ensure the following guidelines are observed.
• Parishioners are to be seated in pews by household. Households are asked to
remain in their pew for the duration of the service, except to use the
restroom or to assist in childcare.

• Childcare in the nursery is not available for the foreseeable future. It is

important for parents to remember that, when we gather, we are, each and
all, responsible for one another’s health. This includes ensuring our children
maintain safe physical distance from other households.

• We understand that this places an extra burden on families with younger

children. After the service begins, if children need to move around, a parent
may sit with the child in the seating provided in the narthex. However, play
in this area is to be supervised so as not to become a distraction.

• At this time, congregational singing is suspended. As further research is

completed and reviewed, this restriction may be relaxed in Phase 4.

• In order to reduce the speed and spread of aerosol droplets, the

congregation is asked to speak softly during liturgical responses.

• The Lector will read/pray from her seat in the Nave.

• Offerings will not be collected during the service. Tithes and offerings may be
given electronically or placed in a collection plate in the narthex.

• The Passing of the Peace among the congregation is suspended in Phase 3.

In Phase 4, the peace may be shared with a simple non-physical sign of
peace to those seated nearby.
• To receive Communion, the adult sitting nearest to the aisle will stand,
receive communion for the household from the Celebrant, and reverently
distribute communion to those in the pew.

• After the Benediction, each pew will wait to be dismissed by the

Greeter/Usher. Fellowship is to be avoided until exiting the building.

• Parishioners are asked to observe physical distance and mask-wearing while

conversing in the parking lot.

• Clergy are to check and record their temperatures each time upon entering
the building.

• Clergy are to receive at-least monthly screenings for COVID-19. The results
of the screenings are to be logged with the temperature checks.

• Clergy will disinfect their hands immediately prior to each service, per CDC

• Clergy will enter, physically-distanced, through the side door.

• Clergy, when not leading liturgy, will wear masks and remain at their seats in
the Chancel.

• In Phase 3, prior to setting the Table for Communion, the Celebrant will
thoroughly wash his hands in full sight of the congregation. In Phase 4, the
Assistant may set the Table, having thoroughly washed his hands in full sight
of the congregation. After the Assistant is seated, the Celebrant will then
wash his hands before proceeding with the Eucharistic Rite.

• Only the Celebrant will consume the consecrated wine.

• Before distributing Communion, the Celebrant will put on his mask. He will
then distribute Communion along the center aisle, giving the adult at the end
of each pew Communion to distribute to those in the pew.

• After the dismissal, the clergy will exit, physically-distanced, through the side
door to the Office to divest.

NOTE: All services will be streamed live. For those members of the parish who are
vulnerable and remain at home, provision must be made to ensure they can receive
Communion if they wish. Arrangements should be made with the Rector to allow
each vulnerable individual to receive Communion-by-extension.

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