GATHERING TOGETHER AGAIN, BUT DIFFERENTLY
Sunday mornings at All Saints will look different for the time being. We are incorporating extra efforts to sanitize and promote cleanliness, encourage distance between attendees, and limit congregational singing for the time being.
Phase Three: Adding Childcare
In phase two, we added the option for people to attend a 60-minute full worship service at 9:00 or 11:00 AM with limited congregational singing (with face coverings) and a cap of 160 people.
In phase three, we will add childcare in both the Children's Hall and Small Saints in a limited capacity by RSVP only. Protocol and safety guidelines will be similar to those currently in place for worship.
*A note to parents: If your child is exhibiting any signs of illness please keep them at home. Please make every effort to check their temperature before coming to worship in order to help protect the other children and parents.
- Limited Space by RSVP
- Spaces in the Children's Hall are limited and by RSVP only. When you reserve your seats for worship there will be an option to add childcare. Please select the number of spots needed for your children between the ages of 0-preK. If you are dropping off your child in the children's hall please do not reserve a regular seat for them in worship.
- Childcare Workers
- Paid childcare workers will staff the classrooms at this time. Temperature checks will be administered to all those working in the Children's Hall before the children arrive.
- Check-in and Drop-off
- During drop-off and pick-up times the front doors to the Children's Hall will be propped open to allow for hands-free entering and exiting. Check-in will happen at ipad kiosks outside spaced apart in order to maintain social distance. We ask that one parent/guardian (wearing a face covering) come to check in and drop off children. After checking in the parent/guardian may walk the child to their class.
- Pick-up will happen in the same manner at the end of the worship service. At this time children who have been in the Children's Hall cannot be brought back into the sanctuary at communion as was our custom in the past. Please wait to pick up your child until the end of the service. Please send only one parent/guardian to pick up your child. Please wear a mask and wash/sanitize your hands before entering the Children's Hall.
- Limited Space by RSVP
- Small Saints (Kinder-3rd grade) is available in the 9AM service only and by RSVP. Space is limited to 15 children for the time being.
- Those attending Small Saints will be released to line up in the Narthex following the gospel reading. Please ensure your small saint has a face covering before sending them to line up.
- Class Time
- Small Saints will remain in their classroom for the duration of the service. They will not be sent back into the sanctuary as was our custom in the past. During class they will enjoy a Bible lesson and crafts.
- End of Class
- Children will be released at the end of the worship service to join their parents in the courtyard. At this time Small Saints are not allowed to re-enter the sanctuary after they have been in class.
- Giving Each Other Space
- Just as giving one another some space is now commonly practiced in our community, we have adopted many new practices in order to give each other some extra space while at church.
- In the Sanctuary
- For the time being, our service will be limited to 160 people (less than 40% of the sanctuary’s capacity). Following the guidance provided by the Governor’s Office, we will seat people with two empty seats between parties, and with a vacant row in front and behind each attendee.
- Attendees may take communion “self-serve”. We will use our usual glass cups to serve both the bread and the wine; bread will be broken into little pieces and presented in cups. The cups will be presented in trays with expanded spacing of cups for ease of use. Those taking communion will come forward, partake of a cup of bread and a cup of wine or grape juice, and return to one’s seat.
Health and Cleanliness Standards
- Health and Safety
- For the health and well-being of everyone present, those with any of the following new or worsening signs or symptoms of possible COVID-19 are asked to please watch the livestream from home and refrain from attending a Eucharist Service: a temperature of 100ºF or higher, a persistent cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, diarrhea, or recent contact with anyone confirmed to have COVID-19. Staff and volunteers will undergo routine temperature checks upon arrival.
- Face Coverings
- Face coverings are required at in-person services with the exception of during the scripture readings and sermon. Naturally, taking communion will necessitate the removal of one’s face covering. And, of course, face coverings need not be placed on young children nor anyone who is medically exempt.
- Self-Serve Experience
- In the spirit of cleanliness, we have reduced the number of physical points of contact for the time being. We will forgo having our greeters at the door, and one’s arrival at All Saints will be quite a bit more self-serve instead. While bulletins will be available you may also bring your personal tablet device if you prefer to use it to download the bulletin, or print one at home. We are doing without our usual community colored pencils, so bring some from home if you wish.
- Tithes and Offering
- For now, we are furloughing the use of our offering stones, and will not pass the offering bowls during the service. If you wish to make a gift on Sunday morning, you may drop it in the bowl on your way into the sanctuary. However, online giving remains a convenient, easy option for all.
- We are committed to keeping our restrooms cleaned regularly. But if you’re so inclined, consider using the restroom at home before you come. Touchless soap dispensers inside the restrooms and hand sanitizer stations outside the restrooms will be made available.
- Go online to reserve your seats.
- To accommodate our large congregation worshipping in smaller-sized groups for the time being, attendance in person at All Saints will be by reservation only during this phase. Acknowledging that we only have about 160 seats available per worship service right now, it will be necessary for our members to take turns being present in worship. We will facilitate these opportunities by an online reservation system akin to what you might experience reserving a ticket at a movie theater. You will be able to see what seats are available, and choose in advance the precise seats you’ll occupy.
NEW NORMALS – BUT JUST FOR NOW.
We expect these alternate measures to be temporary, and look forward to making further modifications for the better as we continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation in Austin over the coming weeks and months.
Our staff is so very grateful for the support and encouragement we’ve received from our congregation over the past several months. Thank you for being with us on this most unusual journey. Whether you decide to join us in person in the coming weeks, or continue watching the service online for many months to come, we’re glad you’re a part of All Saints. Please let us know how we can best support you and your life in Christ.