With the wide uptake of Covid-19 vaccinations, conditions are improving. As the CDC and the State of New Jersey loosens guidelines for gathering, the Diocese of New Jersey is following suit, and St. Thomas’ is following along.
During this season of coronavirus infections, we love others as Jesus loves us by following a simple guideline:
Those not fully vaccinated against Covid-19 must wear a mask and practice social distancing while on church grounds.
Masks are optional for those who have been fully vaccinated.
We continue to be aware there are many unvaccinated people among us, not least those under 12 years of age. We are concerned about all God’s children. For this reason we continue to provide socially-distant seating for all our services, with indoor, outdoor, and online options.
If you are feeling ill or think you may have been exposed to someone ill within the last two weeks, please stay home and participate with us online instead of in person.
Resources guiding our practice
First of all, as a part of the Episcopal Church and the Diocese of New Jersey, we heed the advice and instruction of our Bishop. You can see a page of videos and information about re-opening provided by our Diocese. This includes guidance from our Bishop, medical experts, and liturgical experts.
There is a RRR Task Force Report that continues to be updated: our specific instructions generally derive from this.
Finally, there is the customized re-opening plan that St. Thomas’ designed and for which we received approval from our Bishop. This plan is the agreement we made with the Diocese in order to receive permission to begin meeting in person again. It is the plan we will follow until advised otherwise.
Additionally, we pay attention to our state and federal governments as they provide guidance, advice, and resources in the face of the novel challenge that Covid-19 represents.
Our foremost guiding principal is the command of Jesus that we love one another. These are the ways we, as a church community, are finding to obey that command.