How will we worship this Sunday, January 23, 2022, the Third Sunday after the Epiphany? This Sunday we will be returning to hybrid worship at both the 8:00am & 10:00am services.
Let me review what this will mean:
- Live streaming of in-person worship is found on the St. Francis homepage and Zoom Meeting coverage of in-person worship by tapping on the appropriate link at the top of the homepage. The best viewing experience may vary between the live video Stream at the top of the homepage and Zoom, so, experiment and choose which works best for you.
- Worshipping in-person means wearing an N95, KN95, or Surgical mask under a cloth mask while in the building and being seated in every other pew. The pews will be marked-off to guide ushers and parishioners where not to sit.
- The choir will be masked and socially distanced.
- The readers and homilist may remove their masks while reading or preaching.
- Communion will be the bread only, distributed by the Presider, who will have sanitized his hands prior to the Great Thanksgiving and prior to distribution. The Presider will be masked during the Great Thanksgiving and distribution.
- We will not be having a coffee hour until we have reached the yellow zone as indicated by the CDC and Brown University daily statistical publications.
- Sunday school will continue to be held on Zoom.
We also have some key reminders. Beginning with in-person worship is not a requirement for worshippers. That is why we will continue to stream and Zoom worship. If you are concerned about Omicron, worship online. If you think you are sick or have the symptoms of an upper respiratory infection, join us online. If you are quarantining after contracting COVID, join us online.
It has been the focus of leadership to regather when the COVID numbers began to recede after the onset of the Omicron strain in early December. Since this past weekend, the seven-day moving average for new cases per 100,000 persons has declined by 20%, Deaths per day have decreased to slightly above one person per day, also a decrease of 25%, and the seven-day moving average of the percentage of hospital beds being used has also moved down from its recent peak. These are all Fairfax County numbers.
The Omicron variant of COVID-19 in Fairfax County has proven to be relatively mild, as was the prognosis in December when the church renewed streaming and Zooming worship only. In the face of a rapidly increasing caseload on December 19, and leadership determined to be cautious. The new case numbers are declining rapidly, and the system is adjusting. Given these conditions, the leadership is going back to hybrid worship, with the cautions listed above. We want to see you in church and soon but want to make certain you are healthy and careful. We will be here when you arrive.