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Bishop continues indoor worship moratorium with one Christmas exception

On Dec. 7 Bishop Cathleen Bascom continued her moratorium on indoor, in-person worship and activities for all churches across the diocese until Epiphany, Jan. 6, 2021, with all her previous guidance on how activities must be conducted also continuing.

She did make one exception to the moratorium: churches may have one indoor, in-person service on either Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, lasting no more than 30 minutes and with a maximum of 25 people attending. Pre-registration or sign-ins for all in attendance must continue. Masks must be worn by everyone, and distancing is required.

Outdoor worship and other activities continue to be permitted, with wearing of masks and physical distancing required.

She also provided a list of safe Christmas-related activities that churches might consider.

From Jan. 6 until Palm Sunday, March 28,  indoor worship and activities will be governed by the level of virus spread in each county within the diocese, as tracked on a spreadsheet posted every Wednesday afternoon by diocesan staff.

Using metrics approved by medical advisors to the bishop, churches in counties marked yellow may meet indoors. In counties marked orange, churches can conduct indoor in-person worship and other events, but clergy and lay leaders must confer on the decision. In counties marked red, churches must suspend all indoor activities for at least two weeks or until the county returns to orange status.

Ths bishop’s letter is available as a PDF, along with the list of suggested Christmas activities.

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