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Re-gathering Plan

A five step plan to allow a safe, gradual return to corporate worship

The following plan was developed by the St. Mark’s Re-gathering Task Force, taking into account local and state rates of virus spread, CDC guidelines, local and state government re-opening guidelines, and protocols developed by the Episcopal Diocese of Florida. This plan was created with the intent of safely bringing our church community together again and includes protective measures to safeguard the health and well-bring of our fellow parishioners, while also honoring their spiritual needs.  This plan provides for moving between steps with fewer restrictions as virus activity data allows. The decision-making criteria for a step forward will be a sustained decline in the number of new cases, hospitalizations and deaths. Please refer to each step for the specific gating criteria. This is an evolving situation that will require flexibility; movement between levels may occur in either direction based on virus activity.

Below are highlights of Step 2; you can use the button below to download the plan in its entirety.

Step 2 graphic

STEP 2 HIGHLIGHTS

SUNDAY WORSHIP SERVICES

Sunday morning services

  • Virtual worship on church website, Facebook and YouTube.
  • Morning Prayer or Liturgy of the Word with no Communion.
  • Limited number of clergy, choir section leaders, musicians and senior staff involved with
  • In-person outdoor services are possible with masks and physical distancing, weather and temperature permitting.
  • No passing of the offering plates.
  • Paper service bulletins are prepared and distributed to avoid using a Book of Common Prayer and hymnal.
  • Physical distancing protocols are in place and face masks are mandatory.
  • At-risk individuals should continue to worship virtually. The CDC defines at-risk individuals as adults 65 years of age and older, people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions and people who are immunocompromised.

OTHER GATHERINGS

  • Modified Holy Communion may be offered via signups during the week.
  • Adult education, Sunday school classes, Bible studies, youth and other meetings are held online; in-person meetings may be held with limited numbers at the rector’s discretion.
  • In-person children’s chapel and nursery are not available.
  • The church campus is closed to outside groups.
  • Mission and Service outreach is conducted with face masks and physical distancing, as well as a limited number of participants.
  • Pastoral care takes place by phone or online.
  • Clergy may conduct a wedding, baptism or funeral service inside the church with 15 or fewer family members present, following proper protocols. Live-streaming to additional family and friends is an option. These pastoral rites may also be conducted outdoors with limited attendees. 

CAMPUS

  • Facility sanitization measures are ongoing.
  • Grace Lunch: Delivered safely to those requesting meals, when available.
  • The Red Lion Gift Shop is open by appointment.  Face masks are required.

STAFF

  • Non-vulnerable staff may return to workspaces on campus using a staggered schedule at the discretion of the rector, following the recommendations of the Re-gathering Task Force. All staff will practice frequent hand washing and hand sanitizer use. Face masks should be worn at all times while indoors unless staff members are alone in their own office.
  • Staff members who are ill should stay home until medically cleared.
  • Staff meetings are conducted using Zoom video conferencing or in-person with limited numbers.

At-risk staff (CDC defined) may continue to work remotely with full inclusion in meetings and other decision-making processes.

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Previous updates from St. Mark's: