3 March 2020
Dear friends at Epiphany,
As announced this past Sunday, we want to share with you some commonsense safety measures – recommended by our diocese – for when we gather for worship, meetings, and other activities at Epiphany. These practices will help prevent the spread not only of the coronavirus but also the flu and the common cold. By following them, we can help care for each other.
• Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and hot water.
• If you are sick, or simply not feeling well, the best thing to do is to stay home.
• If you are sick, or not feeling well, and are scheduled to serve (as an usher, greeter, teacher, lector, LEM, etc.) or attend a meeting or class at Epiphany, again, please stay home. Notify someone if you can, but even if you can’t, rest assured that someone will cover for you.
• You may choose to exchange the Peace with a simple bow or verbal greeting, rather than a handshake or other physical contact.
• Hand sanitizer is available in every gathering space at Epiphany. In the sanctuary, bottles of hand sanitizer are on the tables in the back of the church; they are also now on small tables by the chancel steps so that you may use it on your way to receiving Communion.
• Intinction (dipping the Communion wafer into the chalice) is not recommended. Sipping from a chalice that is continually wiped with a purificator and rotated presents relatively low risk. If you wish to receive only the bread, please know that in the Episcopal Church, we believe that the grace of the sacrament of Holy Communion is fully present in either the consecrated bread or wine.
• Those who welcome others – such as greeters, or clergy and wardens in the receiving line – may choose to greet either by shaking hands or by offering a verbal greeting.
• Please pray for those who are ill, for caregivers, and for healthcare workers.
We hope that this information is helpful to you. More information and resources from the Diocese of Massachusetts can be found here. We are actively monitoring the situation and will provide any revised guidance as needed. Please reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns.
Faithfully in Christ,
Suzanne Owayda and Dave McSweeney, Wardens
The Rev. Sarah Conner, Interim Rector
The Rev. Miriam Gelfer, Associate Rector