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SAFE WORSHIP DURING COVID-19 (Updated: June 2021)

Guidelines for Safe Worship

Please find below our required guidelines to follow upon your return to St. Matthew Trinity.

 

  • The CDC and the NJ DOH have provided new guidelines for people vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus.

  • For those who are vaccinated and feel comfortable, we invite you to join us for worship without wearing a mask.

  • While social-distancing of 6 feet between fully vaccinated individuals/family groups is no longer required, we have a large sanctuary and encourage everyone to spread out throughout the church so that everyone feels comfortable. 

  • Please be patient as the pandemic wanes and we are still bringing aspects of the service back such as Holy Communion, the passing of the peace, passing the offering plate, hospitality etc. 

    • We will reintegrate these aspects back into the service as the Church Council deems it is safe to do so for as many parishioners as possible.

    • As these are reintegrated into the service, they may be slightly different than we previously used to do them.

  • We ask that we all continue to love our neighbors and respect the choices they have made regarding whether vaccinated people choose to wear a mask or choose not to wear a mask. There may be several reasons why someone may still be wearing a mask:

    • They are not vaccinated

    • They are vaccinated and:

      • They may be immunocompromised

      • They have someone in their household or that they visit regularly who is immunocompromised or cannot be vaccinated

      • They are not comfortable without a mask yet

  • Before and after the service, consider wearing a mask when talking to someone else who is wearing a mask, especially if they could not be vaccinated yet or if they are immunocompromised. While it is rare, it is possible for vaccinated people to have an asymptomatic infection.

  • If you have not been vaccinated, we ask that you please:

    • Wear a mask or face covering. As masks with air vents are not sufficient protection for those around you, we ask that you wear a mask without an air vent to services. If you don’t have an alternative, an usher will provide you one.

    • Keep at least 6 feet of space between individuals and/or family groups.

  • If any of the following apply to you, please stay home and join us virtually for 10 days to ensure the safety of our congregants:

    • If you have had a fever, cough, sore throat, lost your sense of smell or taste during the past two weeks. 

    • If you tested positive for the COVID-19 virus or were in contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19 during the past two weeks.

    • If you are not vaccinated and traveled out of the country in the past two weeks per CDC guidelines.

    • If you are not vaccinated and traveled within the country in the past two weeks, per CDC guidelines.

 

What to Expect

While there are new regulations in place at St. Matthew Trinity, there will be familiar faces, music, and liturgy to welcome you back! Below are some of the changes that you’ll experience upon your return.  

  • To access the bulletin, simply scan the QR code found in your pew with your camera phone. A limited number of printed bulletins will also be available upon request. 

  • Parents, if restroom facilities are needed during the service, we ask that you accompany your children.

  • Please use the hand sanitizer provided on the way into and out of the sanctuary.

  • Please note that as the number of cases in New Jersey change and if new variants of the COVID-19 virus are introduced into the US and New Jersey these guidelines for safe worship may change again.

                                                                                          

Love Your Neighbor — And Yourself

 

Our Reopening Team is doing their best to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection. However, while strict protective and proactive measures have been taken, the church is an indoor space with older ventilation — meaning that we, like all other public spaces, cannot completely eliminate the risk of COVID-19. We therefore ask you to consider your own health and recent experiences before attending service.

 

We recommend that people who have not been vaccinated and have high risk for severe COVID and people who have been advised not to attend indoor events by their doctor please join us via our livestream on Facebook. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at office@stmatthewtrinity.org.