A "Back to In-Person Worship" Message from Father Paul
May 1, 2021
"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference." - Reinhold Niebuhr
Dear Ascension Family,
It is rare for the whole world to have shared experiences. A global pandemic might be the closest thing beyond our universal human tendencies. Even so, the joys of emerging from a pandemic may be less universal. Some countries are suffering setbacks that may serve as cautionary tales; other places have been slower with vaccine rollouts.
In Texas, we see many people returning to prior practices. Even for those who are fully vaccinated, there are risks associated with returning to many activities. At Ascension, we have aimed to change slowly, deliberately, and follow the CDC best practices guidelines to reduce risk and allow for the greatest safety for all of us. Knowing that everyone has their comfort level with how and when they will re-engage with others, I am grateful for your continued patience and support.
As summer approaches, we will shift to a new Sunday schedule. The change is temporary. It will begin on May 30th and most likely remain through Labor Day weekend. Our Formation hour will start at 8:30 am via Zoom. Other groups who regularly meet at 9:00 am will also meet at 8 am to accommodate the worship change.
"Virtual only" worship will start at 9:30 am, and the organ prelude will be shorter, not a full 15 minutes.
There will be an indoor, in-person service at 11 am. More information will be forthcoming about this offering, but below are a few basics for now.
1) The expectation is those attending will be fully vaccinated at least two weeks prior to attendance, although we will not require any form of proof of vaccination.
2) All attending will remain masked. The only exception will be for those leading worship so the congregation can hear them more clearly.
3) Music will resume, but in the first few weeks, we will not be singing. When we resume congregational singing, we will remain masked to do so.
4) We will distribute Communion using only the host until further notice.
The policy for all other in-person activities at Ascension is "you must have permission from the Rector." This rule is to ensure that best practices are understood and observed. I remain available if you have questions or concerns about what I've described.
Please let me know if you are willing to assist as we prepare for this interim schedule. I look forward to gathering with more of you in the weeks ahead.
Fr. Paul Klitzke