To the Beloved of St. James,
I asked Lucy Jones to share her thoughts with us about returning to the church at this time (see below). I am grateful for her thoughts and pass them along to you for your thoughtful consideration.
Blessings as we move closer to Holy Week,
We can start to see the beginning of the end. We have been able to return to the patio for church services and re-entering our beautiful sanctuary will be next. Rev. Anne asked me to share with you how I see our path to safe re-opening.
First, a few reminders of what we know about the virus.
So given all this, I am completely comfortable with St. James’ outdoors services with the space between people and the care we take to keep the distance between them. I do not think that an infected person in that setting would infect anyone else. I am also comfortable with singing with masks. A study has shown that singing with a mask releases the same aerosols as speaking without a mask. Most of the choir members are vaccinated and that number continues to rise.
The rate of cases going down means that the risk of every activity goes down because it is less likely an infected person will be there. When we first have indoor services, we will ask only vaccinated people to attend. You might still transmit the virus but if everyone is vaccinated, there will be no one to catch it. I am comfortable attending such services as long as we continue to mask.
But please do not be offended if I decline to shake hands or hug at the peace. We can be together without the physical touch and if only for emotional reasons, I think it will be a while before I am comfortable touching others again. But I am looking forward to seeing everyone again!