Dear People of St. Peter’s,
Earlier this week, the Diocese of North Carolina released new safety protocols for in-person worship as we continue to monitor the spread of the Omicron COVID variant.
While the Diocese is not mandating that parishes close, some of our neighboring congregations may choose to do so. After much discernment and conversation among the St. Peter’s clergy, staff, lay leaders, and medical professionals, we have decided to remain open for in-person worship.
We take this COVID surge very seriously and considered numerous scenarios in response. Given the extraordinarily high vaccination rate among our parishioners and our desire to balance the physical, mental, and spiritual health of our community, we believe remaining open is the right decision for St. Peter’s at this time.
We wish to reiterate some important points as they pertain to public worship and share the additional safety protocols that will go into effect this Sunday, January 2:
- We believe our protocols for public worship are safe. Masks work very well, but the kind of mask is important. Please consider wearing a N95, KN95, or a KF94 mask while attending worship. If you cannot acquire such a mask, double masking with a standard surgical mask and a cloth mask works very well. KN95 masks are available in a limited supply as you enter the Nave for worship.
- When deciding whether or not to attend public worship, each individual and household should make the decision that is best for them and their family. No public gathering is without risk. Please consider your own general health, the health of your family and household, and your vaccination status before attending in-person worship.
- For the next three Sundays, through January 16, choral and congregational singing has been suspended by the Diocese. St. Peter’s will continue to offer organ music at each service, and a quartet at 11:15 a.m. (Leaflets for this Sunday were already printed, so don’t take into account these changes.) A special announcement will be made before each service on January 2 to highlight these new safety measures.
- Beginning this Sunday, we are roping off certain pews, allowing families and individuals to socially distance more easily.
- Our Sunday service schedule of 7:45 a.m. Holy Eucharist Rite I, 9:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist Rite II, 10:00 a.m. Christian Formation for all ages (resuming January 9), and 11:15 a.m. Holy Eucharist Rite II will continue each Sunday. Three Sunday morning Eucharists allow us to offer a variety of worship services and more opportunities for parishioners to socially distance.
- The 11:15 a.m. Holy Eucharist will be livestreamed as usual. Join online at https://st-peters.org/sunday.
As our bishops reminded the clergy this week, “We have come this far by the grace of God, and the goodwill of all the people of the Diocese of North Carolina. May God give us the courage to will and persevere in loving our neighbors as ourselves and, thereby, incarnating the Love of God in Jesus Christ.”