Today, The Rt. Rev. Jennifer A. Reddall, Bishop of The Episcopal Diocese of Arizona, released the following message:
The Gathering for Abundant Life Task Force met yesterday to review our guidelines and make updates based upon our current and best understanding of COVID-19.
Updates to the Gathering for Abundant Life Guidelines
Episcopal Diocese of Arizona
October 30, 2020
Congregations are currently allowed to have outdoor worship for as many people as can safely distance between family groups in the space you are using. It is safest to gather outdoors, and we encourage congregations, particularly approaching Advent and Christmas, to plan to use outdoor space for worship.
Moving worship and other activities outdoors is also wise in light of the current growth in COVID-19 transmission rates in Arizona. It is our intention to remain in Phase II as a diocese unless there is a very drastic need to return to Phase I; however even in Phase I, outdoor worship is permitted and encouraged.
- Congregations may now sing during outdoor worship, so long as everyone wears masks and there is 6 feet distance between family groups.
- As much as possible, singing should be soft. Loud singing both spreads more virus particles and causes the singer to inhale any virus particles deeper in their lungs.
- Choirs may sing and rehearse outdoors so long as they are wearing masks and keeping 6 feet distance between singers.
- Choirs may rehearse indoors for up to 8 people at a time, for 30 minutes at a time, in the largest space you have access to. Space should be ventilated as much as possible.
Indoor guidelines for singing remain the same: no congregational singing, up to four cantors can sing, masked and distanced at a time.
Children’s chapel, Sunday School, Pageants, and other children’s activities can now take place outdoors. Children (and adults) must be masked and distanced. No food or eating during activities.
Outdoor meetings for pastoral care and conversation are now permitted, so long as those participating are masked and distanced.
Thank you to all of you for your faithful ministry during the pandemic.