Update on In-Person Services at St. Paul's
Dear Friends in Christ,
This is a time of great change. Though we are still in the midst of a global pandemic, things have improved to the point that California is re-opening and lifting most of the COVID-19 restrictions. The new CDC guidelines allow people who are fully vaccinated to forego masks and social distancing in most situations. Our Bishop has decided that it's time for Episcopal Churches in the Diocese of Los Angeles to re-open as well. (See below for a link to his letter.)
What does this mean for us at St. Paul's?
This week, we will continue as previously planned. We'll offer our online service and socially distanced in-person seating by reservation only. (We need a little time to prepare and make these important changes. Thank you for your patience!)
Beginning Sunday, June 27th, we will offer three options for worship.
- Socially distanced seating will be available by reservation. Please arrive by 9:45am to get seated in this special section. To make a reservation, click the link in your Saturday Enews or contact the church office (805 643-5033 or [email protected]) by Noon on Thursday for the following Sunday’s service.
- Open seating will be available for those who no longer need to practice social distancing according to the CDC guidelines. No reservation is required. Be sure to arrive by 10am to get seated and ready for the service which begins at 10:15am.
- Online – our services are also livestreamed online where all are welcome. As usual, you'll be able to watch the service at: www.facebook.com/
Will proof of vaccination be required?
No, but we strongly encourage you to follow CDC guidelines. "Under CDC guidelines, fully vaccinated people can resume most of their ordinary activities, including virtually all those associated with worship, fellowship, meetings, teaching, and service at our churches. That means the vaccinated can stop wearing masks and social distancing. But some folks in our churches have chosen not to be vaccinated. Young children can’t be. We want everyone to know that the person next to them and their family in the pew is safe. Accordingly, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, I beseech all adults in our diocese, if they cannot or choose not to be vaccinated, to follow scrupulously the CDC requirement for non-vaccinated people and continue to mask up and socially distance or, if you prefer, to worship remotely." -The Right Rev. John Harvey Taylor
What about people who are not comfortable returning to church right now?
Please do not feel pressured to return if you're not ready. Things have been changing quickly and we're all dealing with the trauma of the past 15 months. It took a while for us to get used to practicing social distancing. It may not be something you're ready to give up so quickly. Please continue to attend services online for as long as you feel the need to stay distanced, but know that you are in our prayers and that we're here for you.
Regrouping and getting back on schedule.
During this time of social distancing our pews have been empty and many of our ministry schedules dissolved. Everyone did what they could during the pandemic to keep our important ministries going, but from a distance. As we begin the process of returning to church, we'll need to regroup, recruit and come up with new schedules. Please think and pray about the ways you would like to serve at St. Paul's. It will soon be a great time to get involved again. Watch for more information in coming E-newsletters or contact the church office and let us know how you'd like to help. [email protected]
A note for those attending services in-person.
We're very excited to welcome a lot of new worshippers who watch our livestream service each week. Our new production equipment is wonderful and our team is working hard to make our services accessible to everyone. If you’re in our sanctuary during worship, there’s a good chance you’ll be seen on our livestream broadcasts. By joining us in person at St. Paul’s, please understand that you’re consenting to be seen and heard on camera.
What LOVE looks like now.
All through this time, we've reminded one another what LOVE looks like. During this long pandemic season, LOVE has looked like an empty church, a call to support someone who feels lonely, a generous donation to help keep the church going, sandwiches and lunch bags served to our hungry neighbors, and a variety of other wonderful things. Today, as protocols change, LOVE for our neighbors is still important. "They will know we are Christians by our love, by our love. Yes, they'll know we are Christians by our love." What does LOVE look like now? So many things! I'd like to highlight one of them here. When you encounter someone who is still wearing a mask and choosing to maintain social distancing, please respond in a loving, compassionate and gracious way. You will encounter these people everywhere you go, including at St. Paul's. Please show your love by respecting their wishes and giving them their space. Thank you!
I offer prayers for each of you as we go through this time of transition. Please learn about the CDC protocols and do what you need to keep yourself and your neighbors safe.
Yours in Christ,