In light of Harris County lowering the COVID-19 threat level from red to orange, partly because of a greatly reduced COVID-19 hospital population, here are some updates about how we will continue to regather as a congregation. As that threat level changes, the following information will be revised. In the meantime, to quote a phrase from the Book of Common Prayer, please “read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest” these temporary guidelines for our common life as a parish:
In the church, masks are recommended but not required for fully vaccinated individuals. In other rooms on our campus, 20 or fewer fully vaccinated individuals may gather without masks and also eat together, although note that the church kitchen will remain closed temporarily.
Individuals who are not fully vaccinated are required to wear masks and practice physical distancing inside all of our facilities.
Note that some fully vaccinated individuals will continue to wear a mask even when they are not required to do so. Please show understanding and respect to those who make that choice.
We strongly encourage our members and guests attending Palmer events, including those making informal visits to our facilities, to be vaccinated.
If you are not vaccinated, for your own personal safety and for the safety of others, you should consider attending meetings, events, or worship services online.
Those not fully vaccinated, including children 2 to 5 years old who are not yet eligible, should continue wearing masks and practice physical distancing while attending indoor programs and worship services.
SUNDAY WORSHIP SERVICES
For our indoor worship services at 7:45 and 11:00 on Sunday mornings, every other pew will be open for seating. Masks are recommended but not required inside the church for fully vaccinated individuals. Masks are required for unvaccinated individuals.
For our outdoor worship service at 9:00 on Sunday mornings, members and guests should bring their own chairs or blankets on which to sit. Masks are not required for anyone. In order to allow time for children 5 to 11 years old to become fully vaccinated, outdoor services will continue at least through the 5:00 worship service on Christmas Eve, December 24.
For all of our worship services at the moment, those receiving communion may only partake of the chalice by intinction (i.e., dipping the consecrated bread slightly into the consecrated wine). Communion will be administered at the 7:45 and 11:00 services at the front kneeling benches. Communion will be administered “in place” at the 9:00 service, with the clergy and eucharistic ministers coming to you where you are seated.
REGISTRATIONS AND LIMITS FOR GATHERINGS
Certain events or meetings, including some weddings and funerals, may have advance registration requirements or capacity limits as in the past. These restrictions will be communicated separately, with specific information about each particular gathering.
ARCHWAY ACADEMY, PALMER DRUG ABUSE PROGRAM, AND THE GERMAN INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL OF HOUSTON
These three programs which meet on our campus will continue to follow their own guidelines in the spaces that they use within our facilities.