GUIDELINES FOR IN-PERSON SERVICES

 

Read below for comprehensive details for in-person worship, formation, and events at St. Thomas. Patience and flexibility will be required of each of us.  Let's continue to embody the 13th Beatitude, “Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape.” Here is what to expect:

General Expectations
  • A reservation is preferred for every person (adult or child) who attends in-person. Reservations for each upcoming Sunday as well as other worship services and events are available online under News & Events or can be made by phone (425-454-9541) during the church's office hours: Monday through Thursday from 9 am to 4 pm.

  • Last minute reservations and walk-up attendees are always welcome.

  • Check-in prior to each worship service or event is required of all attendees, volunteers, and staff. Arrive at least 10 minutes early to complete the quick and easy check-in process.

  • For now, many worship services and formation activities will have both in-person and online participation options so everyone can be included.

  • Anyone with a medical condition that makes them vulnerable to COVID-19, who feels unwell, or who is not comfortable attending worship in-person is encouraged to participate in online worship. St. Thomas will continue to provide online resources and support.

While on Campus
  • Everyone is required to wear a mask over their mouth and nose while indoor regardless of vaccine status. Disposable masks are available.

  • An exception to the mask requirement will be made only for children age 2 and under, anyone with a breathing issue related to mask wearing, or anyone unable to remove a mask without assistance as per the Washington State guidelines.

  • All clergy, staff, and volunteers must be either fully vaccinated or have a negative COVID test result received within 72 hours of attending or assisting with a worship service or in-person event. All clergy, staff, and volunteers will remain masked when participating in a worship service with brief exceptions for preaching, reading, or speaking from the pulpit or altar.

church147.jpg
Before the Service
  • Each person must be checked-in before entering the church building.

  • Check-in takes place in the south lobby of the Ebsworth Life Center (ELC.)

  • Anyone who answers "Yes" to any of the posted COVID-19 self-screening questions is not eligible to attend in-person services, formation, or events.

  • Check-in may include confirming a phone number and email for contact-tracing purposes.

  • If a COVID-19 exposure is confirmed, all attendees will be notified by phone or email, and the church and ELC will be closed per local guidelines.

  • No-touch hand sanitizer dispensers are provided in the entries of the church building and ELC.

  • Paper bulletins are provided at check-in.

During the Service
  • Windows or doors will remain open to promote air circulation so dress accordingly.

  • During the "Peace" greet others outside your household without touching.

  • Wait for an invitation from an usher to enter the line for the Eucharist.

  • Individual communion wafers (including a GF option) are offered during the Eucharist. For now, wine will not be offered to worshippers.

  • The livestream equipment may interfere with sight lines from the back of the nave.

  • Remove all items from seats or pews – paper can be recycled in the bins at the exits.

Formation
  • In-person formation (for adults, youth, and children) is offered each Sunday beginning at 9:00 am. When indoors, everyone over 2 years old must wear a mask over their nose and mouth regardless of vaccine status. 

  • Disposable activity kits are provided for the Worship Service for children who want one.

church154_edited.png
Hand Sanitizer
Additional St. Thomas Safety Measures
  • High touch areas in the church and ELC are disinfected frequently.

  • During in-person services, formation, and events, doors and/or windows will be open to increase ventilation and  minimize touching.

  • Restrooms are equipped with touchless fixtures.

  • All clergy, staff, and volunteers receive ongoing COVID-19 safety training.

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement Resolution Adopted by the Vestry of St. Thomas Episcopal Church in October 2021

WHEREAS the Vestry of St. Thomas Episcopal Church desires to protect the health and wellbeing of its clergy, staff, parishioners, and visitors and to adhere to the policies and guidelines approved by the Diocese of Olympia; and NOW, THEREFORE, the Vestry of St. Thomas Episcopal Church (Parish) will not allow any employee or contractor of St. Thomas Episcopal Church to engage in work for the Parish after December 1, 2021, if the employee and/or contractor has not been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and provided proof thereof as required below. An employee or contractor may be exempted from the vaccine requirement if the employee or contractor cannot receive a vaccine because of documented disability or medical condition, or if the requirement to do so conflicts with their sincerely held religious beliefs, practice, or observance.

Volunteers that interact directly with other parishioners, staff and/or visitors must also be vaccinated to continue to work in their volunteer position with the Parish after December 1, 2021. Volunteers must provide of vaccination as required below.* A volunteer may be exempted from the vaccine requirement if the volunteer cannot receive a vaccine because of documented disability or medical condition, or if the requirement to do so conflicts with their sincerely held religious beliefs, practice, or observance.

To prove vaccination, employees, contractors, and volunteers must provide proof of vaccination by either providing a CDC COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card (original, copy, or photograph), a WA State Certificate of COVID-19 Vaccination in digital or print format from MyIRmobile.com, a WA State Immunization Information System printout, a Lifetime immunization record booklet, or a Verified electronic medical record printout from a medical provider. A record of vaccine verification including the name of the employee, contractor, or volunteer; vaccination status; the date the vaccination status was verified, and the name of the staff person or volunteer who verified the vaccination status will be maintained by the Parish. Copies of vaccination cards, certificates, or other records will not be kept by the Parish.

Any employee or contractor who wishes to request an accommodation must contact the Chief Operating Officer and Rector to review such requests. The Parish will provide disability-related reasonable accommodations and sincerely held religious belief accommodations to the requirements of this Resolution that are required under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Rehabilitation Act), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), the Washington Law Against Discrimination (WLAD), and any other applicable law. As provided in the above noted laws, the Parish is not required to provide accommodations if they would cause undue hardship. The Parish will also comply with the procedures required under the above-noted laws and any other applicable law when considering and deciding whether to provide accommodations.

This Resolution was duly adopted by the Vestry of St. Thomas Episcopal Church at a regular meeting of the Vestry held on October 19, 2021.

*Volunteers may provide a copy of a laboratory negative COVID test result received withinn 72 hours of their volunteer shift in place of proof of vaccination. This substitution is valid only for the 72 hour window after being tested.