116 N Academy St, Murfreesboro, TN 37130  615-893-3780

Guidelines for Returning to Worship

St. Paul’s is committed to a responsible process of returning to in-person worship within the guidelines provided by state and local authorities, the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and Bishop Bauerschmidt. Our primary concern is the health and well-being of our community and parish family. To that end, we fill follow these guidelines and practices for worship.

  1. Public spaces of the church will be cleaned according to CDC guidelines.
  2. Keep a social distance of 6 feet between you and individuals outside of your household.
  3. Masks should be worn by all who attend worship services and group meetings. Masks prevent the spread of the virus. In a recent New England Journal of Medicine study, half of the patients who tested positive for Covid-19 had no symptoms at the time of testing. A mask will not protect you from getting the virus, but it will prevent you from transmitting the virus to someone else.
  4. Wash hands thoroughly (for 20 seconds or more) with soap and water before coming to St. Paul’s. If soap is unavailable, hand sanitizer is an effective alternative.
  5. Parishioners – adults and children – diagnosed with chronic lung disease, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or those who are immunocompromised or significantly overweight should stay at home. These conditions significantly increase the risk of hospitalization and death from Covid-19.
  6. Parishioners over the age of 65 should consult with their personal physician for guidance before attending a public worship service. While age alone has not been identified as an independent risk factor, it is known that immunity decreases with age. Individuals over the age of 65 who have one of the conditions mentioned above are at increased risk.
  7. Parishioners who have exhibited signs of illness within the last 48 hours such as fever over 99.5, cough, aches, sore throat, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, or other symptoms of Covid-19 should stay home. For an updated list of Covid-19 symptoms visit cdc.gov.
  8. Parishioners who have been exposed to someone with Covid-19 within the last 14 days should stay home.
  9. Children under the age of 10 should stay home. Children over the age of 10 who are unable to reliably wear a mask and maintain social distancing should stay at home.

During Worship

  1. A medical practitioner will take your temperature when you arrive to St. Paul’s. If your temperature is above 99.5 you will be asked to rest at home and return another day.
  2. Household groups should be kept 6 ft. apart and allowed approximately 200 sq. ft. of space.
  3. In-person services will be spoken because singing increases the possibility of Coronaviruses spread by the breath.
  4. No Cup (Blood of Christ) will be offered during Communion. Communion will consist of the Bread (Body of Christ) which is considered full communion.
  5. We will not pass the plate during the Offertory. Plates will be located at the exit for your weekly gift.
  6. Masks should be pulled away from the mouth by the ear straps for Communion and put back into place once you have received the Bread.
  7. Hand sanitizer is located throughout the building and in worship spaces for your use.
  8. No nursery or childcare will be available.
  9. We will keep a roster of attendees in case of the unfortunate circumstance of a worshipper becoming ill with Coronavirus. In that situation, we would contact all worshippers and ask them to self-quarantine for 14 days or until a Coronavirus test comes back negative. If you become ill with Coronavirus within 10 days after attending worship, please notify our rector Kristine Blaess so that she can implement contact tracing. We will maintain your confidentiality. Contact tracing and self-quarantining is an effective way to prevent spread of the Coronavirus.

After Worship

  1. No coffee, water, or food will be available.
  2. Parishioners are asked to leave the building immediately and gather outside, if necessary.
  3. We will provide one entry and one exit into the building to reduce contact with others.