Welcome Back Weekend Sept. 12-13

September 3, 2020

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

It is with a great anticipation and joy that I write to you today! We have been given the green light by Bishop Jennifer Reddall to resume in-person worship services, with restrictions and a limited capacity, here at St. Luke’s. Yavapai County met the necessary benchmarks and our Vestry-approved Plan for In-Person Worship During Phase II was approved by Bishop Jennifer. Our Welcome Back Weekend, in which we will open for in-person worship, is September 12-13. Our aim for this letter is to explain all the details associated with the opening for in-person worship.

What Services Will be Offered

We have made the decision to offer the following in-person worship services, based upon the mid-July survey results: Saturday 5:30 p.m. in the Chapel, Sunday 8 a.m. in the Sanctuary, Sunday 10 a.m. in the Sanctuary, and Sunday 12 Noon in the Parish Hall. The Saturday 5:30 p.m. and Sunday 12 Noon services will be spoken services and the Sunday 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. services will feature organ music and a cantor.

How to Register for Services

During Phase II, each person must register online for the service he/she plans to attend. One family member can register the whole family. For our Welcome Back Weekend, September 12-13, online registration will be available from Tuesday, September 8, through Thursday, September 10.

Online registration will be available on our website here: RSVP for Worship

When using your home computer, click the “RSVP for Worship” tab to the right of the “Home” tab, then select your desired service from the drop-down menu.

When using your mobile device, select “Menu,” then choose the second option “RSVP for Worship” and select your desired service.

Follow the prompts to get registered. For your convenience, detailed instructions will be included in the Epistle and posted on our website.

For those without internet, please call the Parish Office, 928-778-4499, from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday to get registered.

Online Option for those at Home

We will continue to offer an online option for worship for those who aren’t quite ready to return yet, aren’t feeling well, or can’t make it to church for whatever reason. The 10 a.m. service will be live-streamed via Facebook at www.facebook.com/stlukesaz. You do NOT need a Facebook account to be able to view the live stream of the service. You just need to logon (www.facebook.com/stlukesaz) on Sunday at the time of the service to be able to view the service live. You will also have the ability to view the service at a later time on our Facebook page and/or website. We will be providing the link for our Facebook page on the Weekly Epistle so you can easily get to the live-streamed service.

What we Ask of those in Attendance

In order to attend in-person worship, you already know there will be certain requirements in place. All people in attendance must wear a mask over their nose and mouth. For those who don’t have one, masks will be made available. We also ask that six-feet distance be kept between people who are not part of the same household. During Phase II, there will be no coffee hour and no Sunday School, per Diocesan guidelines.

As stated on the Diocesan fliers you will see posted around the church, “We are doing our best to ensure that everyone who enters is kept safe and healthy.” Because of this, we ask you to please stay home if you are feeling ill.

What to Expect at Church

  • In addition to your warm welcome, you will be checked-in as we will have the lists of those registered by service.
  • With the aim to ensure social distancing, the ushers will be seating parishioners from the front of the worship space, nearest the altar, to the back.
  • The offering plate will be available at the entrance of the Chapel, Sanctuary, and Parish Hall and it will be presented at the altar during the Offertory.
  • Single-use worship bulletins will be available on the pews or in a central location for you to take one. There will be a recycle bin when you leave the church.
  • You may also choose to bring your tablet or hand-held device to download the bulletin and follow along on your device. (wifi network: St. Luke’s Parish – Guest; password: ParishHall)
  • As difficult as this will be, there will be no choir nor congregational singing. A cantor is permissible as long as there is 20 feet distance around the cantor to the next person.
  • The peace will be shared by contactless motions. I look forward to seeing all of your smiling eyes, friendly waves, and thumbs up during this time!
  • Communion, in one-kind only (bread), will be distributed to you at your seats and there will be no kneeling.
  • Upon the conclusion of the worship service, follow the lead of the ushers to leave while keeping social distancing.
  • The clergy will be outside in the courtyard so we can greet you after the services wearing masks while respecting social distancing.

Though there will be some new guidelines, the essence of our worship remains the same and we will be together in Christ. I ask that we give one another grace as we move forward. As always, you remain in my prayers.

Peace be with you.