St. Ann’s Vestry has made some decisions about how the parish can be open this summer. The decisions are based on the following objectives:
- To maintain the health and safety of the congregation, staff, and visitors.
- To comply with all directives and guidelines of the State of Maine and Episcopal Diocese of Maine (including future changes).
- To return as soon as possible to being a place where worship services and other liturgical ceremonies may be celebrated safely in person.
- To provide alternative ways to participate in worship, meetings and programs.
- To maintain an active ministry in the local community.
Based on the Governor’s and Bishop of Maine’s guidelines and requirements, we will adhere to the following:
In-Person Worship Services
- We will worship in person solely at the Seaside Chapel on Sundays at 8am and 10am.
- If weather prevents worship outside, the services will be canceled. There will not be any indoor worship services.
- Anyone whose health might be compromised because of age and/or pre-existing conditions is strongly advised to attend our on-line worship service (see below).
- All in-person worship services, including weddings, baptisms and memorial services will have 50 or fewer participants.
- We will manage attendance via on-line registrations (preferred) or telephone sign up.
- Morning Prayer will be celebrated in lieu of the Eucharist.
- We will not use hymnals or prayer books.
- Printed copies of worship services will be provided for one-time use, and collected and destroyed following each service.
- Collection plates will not be passed. We will have stationary plates at the entrance and also invite you to make donations via our website.
- As the safety of outdoor singing remains under review, we will suspend it pending further information. Our organist Ian Watson will offer music via the electronic keyboard, instrumentalists, and one or two vocalists.
- All participants must wear masks or face coverings. We will have extra masks and hand sanitizer available at all gatherings.
- A minimum of six feet of space must be maintained between individuals or family/household units. There is to be no physical contact (except among household members sitting together) or congregating at the Peace, before and following ceremonies, etc.
- Prior to and following ceremonies, the chapels will be thoroughly disinfected/sanitized.
Online Worship Service
Beginning on July 5 we will create a recorded weekly Sunday worship service that will include music and lay participation. The service will be available each Sunday via the church’s website and Facebook account.
Other Online Offerings
Vestry and committee meetings, Bible study, Centering Prayer and other offerings will meet via Zoom.
Access to St. Ann’s Property
We will make the property available to the public if we can securely rope off the Seaside Chapel. The Stone Chapel and public bathroom will remain closed and locked.
We will continue to review best health practices, along with State and Diocesan guidelines, to be certain that all in-person worship services and other ceremonies at St. Ann’s can be safely attended at any given time as the summer unfolds. We note that the foundation of all decisions is our God-given responsibility to protect everyone’s health and well-being while continuing to offer worship and spiritual sustenance as best we can in this challenging period.