Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd

                        Venice, Florida 


Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd
             Venice, Florida 









Dear Friends, In-Person Sunday Service begins at Good Shepherd Church Starting September 20 at 9:00 a.m. As announced in last week’s Wednesday eblast, we are working to re-open the church on September 20th with one Sunday service at 9:00am.

Please read the information below to decide if you are comfortable returning to in-person services. We understand that you may not be comfortable participating in person just yet; we will continue to livestream and record the Sunday service as usual. We ask for your grace and understanding as we move forward into this Phase 1 of re-opening. Circumstances may change causing us to adapt and adjust accordingly.

General Health and Safety Guidelines We will be following the most current CDC, State and Diocesan health and safety guidelines.
1. The public spaces in the church will be cleaned weekly after each Sunday service and the air conditioner system, which has HEPA filters, has also been recently serviced.
2. Parishioners who have exhibited signs of illness in the prior 14 days such as a fever, cough, aches, or other symptoms of Covid-19 must stay home. For an updated list of Covid-19 symptoms visit www.cdc.gov
3. Parishioners who have been exposed to someone with Covid-19 within the last 14 days must also stay home.
4. Masks must be worn by all who attend worship services for the entire worship service. Masks may not fully protect you from getting the virus but they will help prevent you from transmitting the virus to someone else since many people who have gotten the virus exhibit no symptoms.
5. Hand Sanitizer is available throughout the church. Please use freely!
6. Keep a social distance of 6 feet between you and individuals outside your household.
7. Be aware that if you are 65 or older you are in the high-risk category and should take this into consideration in your deliberations regarding returning to in-person attendance. While age alone has not been identified as an independent risk factor, individuals in this age group with underlying health conditions are at increased risk.

Registration Guidelines: In order to meet occupancy and social distancing requirements, we will be allowing a maximum of 40 pre-registered parishioners to attend any one service during Phase 1. This number does not include clergy, acolytes, greeters, ushers, tech team and readers. 

How to Register in the Attendee Pool: In this Phase 1 stage, we are asking you to first confirm that you would like to join the attendee pool for the six Sunday services commencing September 20. If we have fewer than 40 people who register for the pool, then everyone will be able to attend all six Sunday services. If more than 40 parishioners register for the pool, we will have to assign attendees to specific services, doing our best to match attendees with their service preference.

There is a link to a registration form on the Good Shepherd website (www.goodshepherdvenicefl.org) that you need to complete. Just click to submit to our church office. We need to know who is attending for two reasons: 1. To determine how many people to expect for Rite I and Rite II services and if we need to create more than one pool of attendees; and 2. To perform contact tracing should an attendee unfortunately become ill with the virus. Please complete this form no later than September 10, 2020. You will be informed via email which services you are registered to attend.

What to expect if you choose to attend:
1. We ask that you arrive no later than 8:40am (20 minutes before the service is due to start) to allow time for the check-in procedures. Please observe social distancing guidelines of six feet. Wearing a mask throughout your time in church is mandatory.
2. Please make your way – wearing your facemask - to the door closest to the Memorial Garden and not the front door, which will be locked
3. At the door, one of our greeters will take your temperature with one of the no-touch temperature “guns” that you are now used to seeing at your doctors’ offices. We will not be able to invite you to worship if you have a fever or a temperature of 100 degrees or greater.
4. You will then proceed to the welcome desk where a greeter will check off your name(s).
5. After registering, continue to the sanctuary entrance where you will be able to sanitize your hands and pick up your copy of the printed service bulletin before entering. Note: You are welcome to bring your own prayer book or download the service from our website to view on your mobile device.
6. An usher will guide you to the available seating that allows for social distancing.
7. During all Phase 1 Sunday services, there will be no congregational singing. However, our Music Director, Chuck Bradley, will continue to play music, sing hymns and the Psalm as usual during the Rite II service.
8. There is to be no touching at The Peace except with your immediate household. Peace signs or waving, or other forms of similar acknowledgement are acceptable.
9. There will be no passing of the plate during the Offertory. Plates will be placed at the sanctuary entrance and chapel exit. 
10. During Communion, ushers will guide you when to join the single line to walk up to the altar to receive the Communion Host from the Priest who will be standing in front of the altar step. Please wear your mask and keep your distance from the people in front of you. Note: All clergy will be sanitizing their hands for the Eucharist, and the communion hosts will remain covered until given to parishioners.
11. At the end of the service, you will be guided to exit through the side chapel door on the right near the fountain. There will be an additional offering plate and a trash can near the door for your service bulletins, should you not want to take it home with you. For safety, please do not congregate outside the doors or in the Parish Hall. Note: Next week, we will have a short video to share with you that will illustrate what to expect during our Phase 1 re-opening.

Sincerely, Fr. Joe Hudson

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
1. Is wearing a mask mandatory?  A. Yes
2. Can I change the dates of the services I’m assigned to attend?   A. Unfortunately, we can’t accommodate any changes in this Phase 1 stage of re-opening. If you can’t attend on your assigned date, you will need to wait to the next-following assigned date.
3. Will the restrooms be open?   A. Yes. We ask that you respect social distancing in the bathrooms at all times.
4. Can I bring a guest with me to my assigned service if I haven’t pre-registered them?   A. We can accommodate a small number of unregistered people until we reach our limit of 54.
5. Will there be a coffee hour?   A. Not at this time. We are also suspending our Zoom coffee hour.
6. Will there still be a drive-through communion for those of us that want to participate virtually? 
 A. Yes
7. When will Good Shepherd go back to the two Sunday services?   A. We don’t know at this time. Phase 1 is a learning process. Holding a second Sunday service will greatly complicate our ability to stay safe.
8. Will the live-streamed and recorded services continue?   A. Yes
9. When do you expect to open Wednesday morning prayer to an in-person service?   A. We do not know at this time. However, we will continue to offer this service virtually.
10. What if I miss the September 10 registration deadline?   A. Late registrations will be considered in the order they are received as room permits.
11. Can I trade my assigned date with another parishioner assigned on the alternate Sunday?
A. Unfortunately, not during this Phase 1 stage.