Updated 5/28/21

Welcome back!

Before and after services, we invite you to congregate in the courtyard outside.

In the Nave, you’ll sit, masked, with your household group, and join in congregational singing if you wish. There’ll be readings, prayers, music, a sermon, and communion with pre-packaged wafers.

Read on for the details on pre-registration, the Regathering covenant we ask you to uphold, the check-in process, worship, and the facilities available.

For background on the Regathering effort, please click here.

All are welcome

  • Whether you are a newcomer or a long-term parishioner, we are delighted that you are considering joining an in-person worship service.
  • We do not differentiate between vaccinated and unvaccinated people when we gather to worship. While you will have to answer questions about symptoms and potential exposure to COVID-19 before participating in a service, we will not ask about your vaccination status.
  • We expect everyone to uphold our community’s Regathering Covenant–the promises we make to each other about how to regather in a spirit of love and mutual care. This includes wearing masks and maintaining physical distance from people outside your household.

Before you come

Pre-register:

  • Registration assures you of a seat and will make the check-in process faster and easier.
  • The link to register is here.
  • You will receive a Registration Confirmation email immediately after successfully completing registration.
  • Pre-registration for each service is open until 5 pm on the Saturday before the service.

If you didn’t pre-register:

  • We will be leaving a small number of seats open for walk-ins.
  • If we can include you in the service, we will! If there are no seats available, we will help you pre-register for another service, and show you how to participate via the livestream.
  • To participate in an in-person service, you will have to complete a brief registration form at check-in with the same information requested during online registration.

Before you leave home:

  • Can you still answer “yes” to the questions about your COVID-19 status that were asked when you registered?
    • If you are symptomatic or may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, please stay home!
    • You can still participate via the livestream–and if you come, we will have to turn you away at the door anyway.
  • Pack a mask for everyone in your party
    • There will be extras at church, but the supply will last longer if everyone brings their own.
  • Please leave extra time for check-in.

Arrival and check-in

When you arrive at St. Mark’s:

  • There will be a greeter in the courtyard to help you navigate.
  • The building will open at 9:40. You are free to congregate outside before then.
  • Please put your mask on before entering the building.
    • There will be masks available if you forgot yours.
  • Please honor any requests for masking and physical distancing while outside.
  • Enter the building from the parking lot, through the Baxter Hall door.
    • The foyer and the exterior nave doors will be locked before the service.

Checking in:

  • Pre-registered people will go through one line, walk-ins another.
    • The check-in process is simpler if you pre-register.
  • Registrars will have a printed list of all of the people who pre-registered, will check them off as they enter, and will ask everyone to confirm their answers to the registration questions about symptoms and potential exposure to COVID-19.
  • Walk-ins will have to provide contact tracing information and answer the registration questions.
  • Baxter Hall will be used exclusively for registration and check-in. There will be no seats for people to hang around and chat.
  • After check-in, please go straight through the foyer into the nave.

Facilities

Refreshments:

  • There will be no coffee or tea available inside the building.
  • Pub lunch is on hiatus. We will re-institute it when we determine that masking and social distancing precautions are no longer necessary.
  • Weather permitting, we will have coffee hour in the courtyard following the service.

Bathrooms:

  • All bathrooms (foyer and downstairs) will be available for use.
  • Please note that only the bathrooms will be open downstairs.

Arrangements for children:

  • Children are welcome in the nave for worship (everyone over the age of two must be masked.)
  • Ushers will rearrange chairs as needed so that families can sit together.
  • The nursery is currently closed and online Sunday school is over for the summer.
  • We hope to have both the nursery and Sunday school open in-person in September.

Worship in the nave

On your way in:

  • Pick up a copy of the service bulletin.
    • The bulletin contains all the prayers and music for the service, so you will not need a hymnal or Book of Common Prayer.
    • The bulletin will also have a copy of our Regathering Covenant for you to read and keep at home if you wish.
  • You will see a few cameras on tripods. They are primarily filming the pulpit, the altar, and the musicians. Depending on where you sit, you may be on camera for portions of the service. If you prefer, you can avoid being visible on camera by sitting on the west side of the nave, near the tech crew.
  • You may hear some whispered direction from the tech crew, who will be seated in the northwest corner of the nave managing the live stream. Think of it as the Holy Spirit spurring us on!
  • Please be considerate if the musicians are still rehearsing.
  • Seats are arranged in pairs.
  • Please maintain social distance from people outside your own household.
  • Please be in your seat and silent by the time the prelude begins–ambient noise will detract from the experience of the people participating via livestream.
    • Advance warning will be given so people have time to get seated.

During the service:

  • Please keep your mask on at all times, except momentarily to receive the sacrament or lead worship through an assigned speaking part.
  • Congregational singing is allowed since we are masked, so please join in!
  • Pre-recorded elements of the service, such as virtual choir, will be audio-only.
  • Please maintain social distance while passing the peace with people outside your household–we can acknowledge each other by bowing, waving, making the peace sign, or just making eye contact.
  • We will not be passing an offertory plate–it will be by the door as you exit.
  • Please remain at your seat for communion.
    • We will not be gathering around the altar.
    • Communion will be in one kind only; pre-consecrated wafers will be distributed during the communion music.
  • Please remain silent during the postlude.

Dismissal:

  • Please stay in your seat until dismissed by the Verger.
  • Please take your bulletin and the baggie for the communion wafer with you when you leave the nave.

After the service

In the courtyard:

  • You are free to congregate in the courtyard.
  • There will be coffee hour outside, weather permitting.
  • Please honor any requests for masking and social distancing while outside

Back home again:

  • Help us learn what is working/not working in our new approach to in-person worship–please email michele@stmarks.net with your questions, comments, and suggestions.
  • Think about how you can help
    • Volunteer to serve as a greeter, checker or nave volunteer–email regatheringvolunteers@stmarks.net .
    • Volunteer to help with coffee hour.
    • Help a friend pre-register for a service.
    • Say “Thank you” to the greeters, checkers and nave volunteers who are working hard to make regathering possible.