The Re-Gathering Committee has finalized the diocesan approved plan to allow in-person church services, meetings, and other gatherings. The plan has now been approved by the Vestry.  Once we have all the necessary support folks in place, we will be ready to resume church services once a date has been selected. The plan will be added to our web page, and copies will be available in the church office. Per our plan, St. Andrew’s will start in-person indoor services when Father Martin and the Vestry deem it safe to proceed. When we regather, people will be asked to sign a release at the door as part of the protocol.

Many of us would like to see our Pierce County positive Covid-19 numbers decrease. Unfortunately, the virus is still with us, and people continue to become ill. There is some good news in that the younger people that account for much of the current positive cases are recovering. Personally, I suspect that we will continue to see a rise and fall of numbers until a vaccine is available, which could take many more months. In the meantime, masks will be required for everyone inside the church. Singing, when allowed at all, will be very limited. The evidence shows that a mask is not enough to prevent the virus being shared while people are singing.

On our survey taken this past summer many folks indicated that they would be willing to lend a hand towards in-person church. Now is the time to commit. We have Altar Guild and Greeter/Ushers that may not feel comfortable in attending quite yet. Can you help? We also have new needs – service cleaners (to wipe down frequently touched surfaces) and the audio/visual team (as we will continue to record the service for those at home and away). Would you be willing to pitch in? I’ve spoken with a few people that have offered to clean (thank you) and would be happy for more. Ken Rhodes, David Tinsley, and Jeffrey Boyce have had inquiries to help with the audio/visual team. Still a few more volunteers would allow better coverage for when people are out. Please contact me, or Fr. Martin, or anyone on our Re-Gathering committee (Judy Nelson, Pam Tinsley, Linda Brice, Patty Mannie) to give your name and phone number.

No date has as yet been determined. Opening is a complex decision. We all long to be back to something resembling normalcy, however we have a duty to look out for one another. This means staying safe. Whether or not to attend will be a very personal call and we want to respectful of each other’s views. A few possible dates were tossed around as a regathering goal, including the beginning of Advent (11/29) (St Andrews Day is November 30th) – but it’s not that simple. What is simple is that we all look forward to gathering again. Until we do, may God keep you in the palm of His hand.

The Latest on Re-Gathering by Mary Boyce, Parish Nurse