Updates Regarding COVID-19 Precautions
Letter to St. Brendan's Family about Reopening Survey, 6/11/2020
St. Brendan’s Family,
As we work to develop a plan for the eventual reopening of St. Brendan’s for in-person worship, we need your input. At the end of this note, you will find a link to a survey that will help us better prepare to reopen St. Brendan’s.
Before you fill out the survey, please review some of the rules parishioners and visitors will have to abide by when we do open our doors for in-person worship:
Anyone who is feeling sick or showing symptoms associated with COVID-19 (such as fever, coughing, sore throat, shortness of breath, or a recent loss of taste or smell) should not attend in-person worship. Anyone who has tested positive for or has come into contact with someone who has COVID-19 should refrain from coming to in-person worship until they have self-quarantined and received a negative test.
Social distancing measures will require individuals/families to maintain a distance of 10 feet from other individuals/families while in the building.
Masks will be required. (Please bring a mask with you).
Prayer books and hymnals will not be used.
Hand sanitizer will be available throughout the building, and you are encouraged to use it.
Only a specified number of people will be able to attend service in the sanctuary.
There will be no congregational singing. (Music will be provided by the music director).
The nursery will be closed. (Sunday school is closed for summer break, and will remain closed until it is deemed safe to resume).
Hospitality hour is canceled until further notice.
The working group will develop a list of procedures—to be approved by Fr. Regis and the Vestry, and announced later—around entering and exiting the church, donation collection, the sign of peace, communion, sign-ups for attendance, cleaning between services, and other important details about the service to keep our churchgoers safe. Your survey answers will help us develop these comprehensive plans.
Please only submit one survey per household.
Thank you for blessing us with your valuable input as we prepare to welcome the St. Brendan’s family back to a safe worship environment.
The Working Group to Reopen St. Brendan’s
Letter to St. Brendan's parishioners from Rev. Regis Smolko on Saturday, 3/14/2020
Dear Parishioners and Friends:
It’s with heavy yet confident hearts that we SUSPEND PUBLIC WORSHIP at St. Brendan’s Episcopal Church until this health crisis has abated. Every Friday at noon going forward, we will inform you all of the Worship status for the upcoming Sunday. We will be live streaming our liturgical worship weekly, and all will be able participate (even if you’re not on Facebook) in our weekly liturgy. It will feel like being at church while you are (in your PJs) at home. We will provide music and singing and spiritually nourishing sermons. We will follow the liturgical flow of the service with all the moving parts.
We will be in contact about a whole lot of other ways we wish to continue our connectedness as the Body of Christ. All the meetings I have scheduled for the next weeks will take place as scheduled, but either virtually or by conference call. (For marriage prep, please have a computer/device/printer nearby so you can receive forms, sign them and return them.)
There are two ministries currently forming that will need volunteers: one is a focused Ministry to Sick, Elderly and Shut-Ins during this challenging time; the other, a Ministry to our Healthcare Providers. (We have nearly 10 physicians and at least 12 nurses and other hospital workers who attend St. Brendan’s. They will be expected to work longer hours and will have needs that the Episcopal Church asks us to support in a special way.)
Some other cancellations that were not reported in our previous blast are the following: CRIES Meetings, Stitches & Strings, Brendan’s Boots and Highway Clean-up. (CRIES’ regulars will be notified by email soon.)
Since streaming communication will be available, let us know if you have creative, perhaps fun ways we can stay connected? How about an hour’s worth of real time life in our homes, like “The Jokes the Bertuccis Tell at Mealtime” or “How Regis and Ken Agree on What TV Programs to Watch,” perhaps, “How Judy Flick is Still Cleaning Up the Ashes She Received on Ash Wednesday” or “The Snyders', Their Courting Chairs:The Real Story.” Can you imagine what fun we can have?
So, dear Brendanites, we will make it through. We will learn a lot, develop all sorts of new ways of doing things, and learn to love and trust God more. We will get through this. We will come out of it better and bigger. We are St. Brendan’s!
All good to you,
Regis+ and Tim
Here is a prayer written by the Bishop of Maryland that you may want to use throughout this crisis:
O God of compassion, giver of life and health, we pray your healing mercies upon all who are in any way affected by the outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus. Comfort and sustain those who have been stricken; relieve their pain, and restore to them your gifts of gladness and strength. Grant to all in authority the courage to make wise decisions that are essential for the common good, and strengthen them to lead institutions that care for those whom they serve. Watch over all first responders and those in the medical professions whose duty it is to care for the sick; guard them from all danger, and keep them safe in the knowledge that is through their sacrifice and service that the health of the whole community is promoted. Mercifully accept these our prayers, O God of all comfort, and our only help in time of need. Amen.