May 13, 2021 Update
Although the Centers of Disease Control on May 13 announced a relaxation of masking and physical distancing recommendations, the Trinity Session to date has not taken similar action. The initial reopening procedures for limited in person worship beginning Sunday, June 6 announced in a letter to the congregation on May 11 remain the Trinity plans for now. We will continue to monitor and consider all official guidance as we make health and safety decisions regarding restrictions within the Trinity church building.
Dear Trinity Family,
Trinity Presbyterian Church plans an initial reopening of the building Sunday, June 6, 2021 for limited in-person worship. We plan to then continue this phased reopening approach, first beginning with smaller in-person numbers and moving to larger numbers over several weeks. The details for this will be provided in the weekly Trinit-E-News and will be shared during the worship announcements.
The reopening will be a welcome event for many of us who long to worship together. Our primary concern is for the safety of all. We are so fortunate to have so many medical professionals in our congregation, who have provided the benefit of their wisdom and advice to ensure we keep everyone as safe as possible.
For those who prefer to worship in the safety of their home, we will continue to provide the live stream worship service via Facebook Live, with uploads of the service to YouTube, as we have been doing for the past year. We understand your concern and respect your decision; the Church gathers in worship in many places and ways!
The Session has created the following procedures to help people worship safely. Please take note of these procedures before attending worship:
Sign Up to Attend
To meet the recommendations of St. Louis County for the number of people allowed in the building, those who plan to attend church on any given Sunday should register in advance. A Sign Up Genius registration will be in the weekly Trinit-E-News. You also may register by leaving a message at the church office (314-725-3840). Seating will be reserved by pods, consisting of members of the same household. Some seats will be reserved for members who do not use the Internet and people who may walk in from the community.
We encourage but are not requiring in person attendees to have been vaccinated. Everyone who enters the building for worship will be asked to check in to enable contact tracing, should that be required. And we do request that you notify the church if within 5 days of attending in person worship you or a member of your household tests positive for COVID-19.
For the sake of all, those planning to attend in person worship must be symptom free and have not had contact with a person with COVID-19 for at least 14 days. Masks are required and must be worn covering the nose and mouth. Worship leaders will wear masks except when speaking. If you forget to bring a mask, masks will be available at both church entrances.
Entering and Leaving the Church
All those who are able, please use the Washington Avenue main doors for entering and exiting the church. For those with mobility issues who require the elevator, please enter through the accessible entrance on Kingsland. As you enter or exit, please practice physical distancing allowing at least six feet between you and other people in the congregation. At each doorway, Ushers will check names off the registration sheet. If you have not pre-registered, you will be asked to complete a registration form. Ushers will practice physical distancing – providing guidance and information but not shaking hands.
Please use the hand sanitizer available at each entrance when entering and leaving.
Ushers will guide each pod to their assigned seating in the pews. You will be asked to stay in your places, with all members of your pod, throughout the service.
When the worship service is over, the congregation will be dismissed by rows through the same doors they came in. Although we have deeply missed worshiping together, we urge those in attendance to avoid gathering for conversation inside as well as at the entrances to the building! Weather permitting, you may chat on the sidewalks away from the building with masks on and observing physical distancing recommendations.
The worship service is a special time for all our members, but there are necessary changes designed to help keep each other safe.
- In order to continue providing our simultaneous online worship service those worshiping with us in person will notice small cameras and additional microphones placed across the front of the sanctuary. These will be part of our new normal!
- Because we will need the bandwidth to continue the simultaneous online worship service, in person attendees will be requested to either put their cell phones in airplane mode or turn them completely off.
- During the passing of the peace, congregants should not leave their pews or offer handshakes or hugs. A smile and a nod or a friendly wave or the two-finger peace sign from our places are suggested ways to pass the peace while maintaining physical distance. We encourage creativity!
- For the offering, no plates will be passed during the service. Designated offering receptacles will be near sanctuary exits in which to deposit your financial gifts as you enter or leave the service.
- The sacrament of Holy Communion is typically celebrated during worship on the first Sunday of the month. We are unable to offer nor partake of the elements during the in-person worship service at this time. Instead, Pastor Marilyn will continue her online practice of celebrating the Communion meal of remembrance at the pulpit and invite those in-person to prayerfully observe and remember.
- Because there is still a lot of uncertainty about the safety of congregational and choral singing these will not be part of our in-person worship for now. Instead, we ask you to hum, or listen silently as our safely distanced from the congregation contract soloists sing the hymns and offer other special music. Swaying and tapping your feet is welcome, too!
- For a baptism, please make an appointment to discuss with the pastor.
During in person worship the doors and windows will be open to facilitate the flow of fresh, outdoor air in the sanctuary.
The downstairs areas of the church will remain closed at this time. Families are invited to bring their own quiet activities for use in the pews.
The restrooms across from the Weems Chapel will be open. A container of wipes will be in each and users are requested to use one to wipe all handles after using these facilities.
We look forward to seeing you, worshiping with you and being God’s holy church in person and online! If you have any questions about attending worship or the procedures as outlined in this letter, please email communications@TrinityUCity.org, or call the office at 314-725-3840.
Peace and good health to you and your families!
The Trinity Session