Dear PGW Family and Friends, May 19, 2021
Last Sunday, at the two worship services prior to the Parish picnic, it was announced that PGW would be going to a “mask optional” status for entering and leaving all buildings, including the historic church. Once again, in this rapidly changing Covid 19 environment, we are adapting and adjusting our gatherings per best medical advice and the regulations of our state/local governments.
This week it was reported that “Confirmed infections have fallen to about 38,000 per day on average, their lowest mark since mid-September. While that is still cause for concern, reported cases have plummeted 85% from a daily peak of more than a quarter-million in early January. South Carolina has had 2.1 million of its citizens receive at least one dose of a vaccine.”
Starting this Sunday, Pentecost May 23rd, members and visitors may decide for themselves if they want to wear a mask in and out of the worship space. Additionally, with this new directive, worshippers may wear masks to sing if they wish to.
The Vestry and Clergy will continue to monitor the CDC website, Federal, State, and local health recommendations and guidelines so as to navigate this quickly changing environment for the benefit of all at PGW.
First, what has not changed, this list is much shorter; thanks be to God!
- The pandemic is still a threat to the health of all of us and specifically to the aged and infirm. Please show grace to folks who continue to wear their masks as we have many who care for the seriously ill or those going through chemotherapy.
- Anyone experiencing flu or cold-like symptoms should not attend worship. (we are streaming services every week and home communion is still available)
- RSVPing your attendance is no longer necessary, but it will continue to be the way we call people back should a person who attends a service test positive and notify the church. RSVPing will allow us to quickly get word to those who attended the service.
- The ushers will continue to open the doors of the church for ventilation.
- Waving and “fist-bumping” will be the appropriate way to pass the peace with persons, not in your immediate family or pew box.
- Please take everything you bring into the pews outside when you depart.
Now, to address some slight changes for our growing 9 AM worship. These “TEMPORARY” changes are being implemented at 9 AM only and for the purposes of insuring health safety and maximizing seating capacity.
- Most importantly, please be patient. Ushers and staff will suggest open pew boxes to people as quickly and orderly as possible.
- The goal for attendance is to average at least 4 persons per box, and we want to continue to encourage friends who have been vaccinated to sit together or with immune family members.
- Communion will continue to proceed at the 9 AM service, starting with the back of the church. The Ushers will signal the congregants from back to front to allow for a smoother process.
- Continuing this week, the offering plates will be offered by the ushers during the offertory and brought to the altar in thanksgiving. We will also sing the Doxology beginning this week.
Thank you all for your attendance and encouragement as the church returns to our new normal. As we celebrate Pentecost this coming weekend and move into a more relaxed and grateful time this summer, let’s all remember that Sundays at PGW are becoming the time again to celebrate and rejoice.
May the Lord continue to bless and guide this church.
In His Love
Gary Beson II, Rector PGW