CURRENT SITUATION: Updated Covid Protocols
The Corporation of St. Augustine’s met on Wednesday, May 11 to review Covid protocols. The following decisions were made:
- We continue to ask all who are experiencing symptoms of Covid to join us via livestream and to avoid in-person church activities.
- Masking, while still strongly recommended will no longer be mandatory.
- Sides people will no longer be seating parishioners in specific places, instead, people are free to choose their own seats.
- Priests will continue to take precautions while preparing and serving the Holy Eucharist (veiling the elements, for example). Lay-Assistants and Altar-Servers will still be required to mask while assisting with the Eucharist.
- Communion will continue to be offered in both kinds by priestly intinction, or in 1 kind (bread only). We will not be returning to the common cup at this time.
- Children will now be invited to gather at the front for the children’s focus at the discretion of their parents.
- For now, we will continue to practice a distanced passing of the peace.
- Other more minor changes may be announced in the weeks ahead as volunteer teams are ready.
The following rationale are offered for these changes:
- The past two plus years have been especially challenging for parish volunteers as they have worked hard to enforce a variety of frequently changing protocols and mandates coming from the provincial government, the civic government, the Anglican Diocese of Calgary, and the Parish Corporation. While Covid is definitely still a concern, we now believe the situation to be stable enough to put more onus on individuals and reduce the stress on our dedicated volunteers.
- A large majority of churches in Alberta returned to protocols similar to the above way back in March. We felt that additional caution was advised, but are now ready to take the next step into the “new normal.”
- We offer 2 smaller services each week (Thursday at 9:30 AM and Sunday at 8 AM) which are attended by a relatively small number of people (typically around 20). These can provide an ‘extra-safe’ space for any who are concerned about attending the larger service.
- We continue to offer a high quality live-stream of our 10 AM service.
- The situation over the past two years has only increased our admiration for the people of this parish. We anticipate we will continue to be responsible and loving in our interactions with others.
Please do not hesitate to contact one of the clergy or any other member of Corporation should you have additional questions or concerns.