COVID Safeguarding Statement

Beginning Easter Sunday, St. James’ will offer an environment of safe, informed worship. We will no longer require the wearing of masks, although we recommend doing so. We also recommend maintaining a reasonable social distance whenever possible. We ask people attending services to recognize that others may not share the same level of comfort with close contact as they, and we ask that all err on the side of caution when engaging one another.

St. James’ will reserve seating in the chapel and baptistry for those who wish a greater distance from others; likewise, the first two rows of pews closest to the entrance (and the fresh air vents) will be reserved for guests and those who may be at greater risk and want a higher sense of social distance. If you want space, please ask; if asked, please respect the other’s wishes.

Beginning with Easter Sunday, St. James’ will resume offering reception of the Eucharist from the common cup in addition to intinction. Depending on the number of Eucharistic ministers available to serve this will mean either intinction at one station and drinking at another, or that a single Eucharistic minister will have to juggle two cups. If this is the case, the default will be for intinction, but sipping will be available, if asked for. As a reminder, receiving the Eucharist in one kind is perfectly efficacious, as is merely being in the presence of the Eucharist for a spiritual communion with Christ. Please feel welcome to receive as you feel comfortable.

We will also resume coffee hours after each Sunday service and community dinners after the Tuesday evening service. Please feel welcome to attend, and also welcome to volunteer to host coffee hours, as you are moved to do.

The Diocese of the Rio Grande requires us to follow CDC guidance for the COVID threat level in our county. Our risk at the moment (and hopefully continuing into the future) is GREEN. However, this may change again, and change rapidly. Please note that if Dona Ana County goes to YELLOW or RED, we will resume mandatory mask wear and social distancing and other steps recommended by the CDC. Parish leadership will monitor the risk level daily. If the CDC risk level increases during the week, on Thursday notice of these changes will be sent out along with our weekly email blast and link to Sunday services.