Protocols for Outdoor Worship

by Church Leadership

Key Highlights

If you read nothing else, read this:
  • You are invited to join us for in-person outdoor worship in the parking lot on August 2 at 10:30 am.
  • Strict social distancing rules will be in effect, including masks, (see below), but if you are in the high-risk category, please stay home.
  • Registration is required to attend.
  • A checklist for attendees is at the bottom of this email.

Your Questions Answered

Here are some things you should know about the service.
Is it safe to gather, even outdoors?
For the August 2 worship service, and for all future in-person worship, we will follow the guidelines and directives of our health officials and the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia. Every precaution will be taken to ensure the health and safety of those who attend. Persons who are in a high-risk group, have fever, or any other symptoms related to COVID-19, should not attend. All attendees are asked to maintain social distancing (at least six feet) and a mask must be worn at all times. For those who do not come, we will livestream the service on Facebook as usual.
How will we gather?
We will gather in the parking lot and on the lawn directly in front of the main entrance to the church. Ushers will greet each car in the drive to give directions and instructions. We are committed to doing this as safely as possible. If you are planning to come, please share in the work of preparation by taking time to read through the following details:
  • We need everyone who plans to attend to register in advance online. This will help us know how many people to expect and how to set up the space where you or your family will be sitting.
  • As you drive onto the church property, an usher will greet you while you remain in your car, give you instructions about parking, and record your attendance. We are required to keep a list of all who attend the service in case there is a need for contact tracing.
  • Approximately 10 parking spaces will be available for individuals/families to park in and remain in their cars during the service. These spaces will be first come, first served based on the online registration process. We are offering this option especially for those who want to attend but may need an extra layer of social distancing.
  • The circle, lawn, and parking lot space near the main entrance will be cordoned off. Chalk circles marked for social distancing will indicate where you can sit. Circles will be marked for individuals, couples, and families. The church will NOT provide seating, so bring your own lawn chairs or blankets. Ushers or greeters will direct you to a spot when you arrive.
  • All worshipers must wear a face mask during the service, except children under age 10.
What about sanitation and restrooms?
  • The restrooms will be open for emergency situations. Before the service begins, the protocol will be described and an usher will be on hand to direct you. Only one person will be allowed in each restroom at a time (children may be accompanied by a parent). Instructions for safe practices will be posted in the restrooms.
  • Hand sanitation stations will be set up. You’re encouraged to bring hand sanitizer with you, if possible.
  • Remember to wash your hands regularly, especially if you’ve come into contact with surfaces not under your control.
What will the service be like?
  • The liturgy will be Holy Eucharist, Rite II and communion will be served to the congregation.
  • The service bulletin will be sent out a few days in advance, so we encourage everyone to download the bulletin on an electronic device or print a copy at home and bring it with you. We will have a limited number of bulletins at the service for visitors or those who forget, but in order to be as safe as possible, it’s best if you bring your own.
  • We will have a sermon and music. Offering stations will be provided, and you’ll receive instructions on how to leave an offering before the service begins.
  • The Peace will be offered during the service. Please don’t touch anyone outside your household! Waves or bows are appropriate.
  • Instructions for receiving Holy Communion (wafer only) will be given at the Offertory.
  • The service will be informal, so feel free to bring coffee and/or snacks. All we ask is that you be respectful with your refreshments during the service and clean up your space when you depart.
  • We ask that you limit any socialization with others after the service. We will be dismissing people in small groups so that social distancing can be maintained. The playground will remain closed for health reasons.
What if it’s raining?
If the weather is not suitable for outdoor worship, notification will be sent out by 8:00 am via email that the 10:30 am outdoor service has been cancelled. Regardless of whether the outdoor service is cancelled, the service will be offered on Facebook Live at 10:30 am as usual.
Does this mean we are beginning in-person services again?
Yes, our plans are to begin in-person services soon. Because of state and diocesan restrictions, the number of participants is limited to 40 persons. Pre-registration is required. More information to come this Sunday and next week.

Attendance Checklist

  • Register online for the service.
  • Print a copy of the bulletin at home and bring it with you, or download it on a device.
  • Check your temperature, if possible, before coming to church. If you’re not feeling well, stay home.
  • Bring your mask, an umbrella (for shade), lawn chairs or blankets, a jacket, and hand sanitizer.
  • Bring your offering (unless you contribute online).
  • Bring coffee, water, or snacks, if you’d like.