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New COVID Protocols at Christ Episcopal Church

We give thanks to God for the rapid decrease in COVID numbers after the Omicron variant surge. That means that people are not getting sick, there are many fewer hospitalizations, and fewer deaths from COVID. Recently the Centers for Disease Control changed the guidance on mask usage and the manner that they base their local recommendations. Both Travis and Williamson Counties are listed as “Low Risk” areas. Also, the Austin-Travis County health authorities have rapidly moved from Stage 5 on February 23, down to Stage 2 on March 4.

Each month as the Vestry meets, we evaluate the information from the CDC and local county health agencies to determine our protocols at church, to do our part to prevent the spread of COVID at church. Yesterday the Vestry met to discuss our protocols in light of the rapid decline in COVID spread. The Vestry has decided to make mask-wearing and distancing optional on the church campus. People may choose whether or not to wear masks, and the pew signs are being removed.

There are two points we wish to particularly make clear. If someone chooses to wear a mask, for whatever reason, that will be honored and respected. One way we expect that to be honored is to do our best to give extra distance for those individuals. We will not be separating the congregation with “masked” and “unmasked” sections. So, please respect one another’s choices regarding mask use.

The second point is that, as what has been the case all along during the pandemic, our protocols are subject to change if the risk status or community spread changes.

We give thanks to God for the position we are in today. But, as we have experienced many times, conditions have been dynamic. We will continue to do our best to discern how we can best be a faithful community of Christians, caring for and loving one another. If you have any questions about our new procedures, please contact Father Richard.


Recently the number of cases of COVID in Travis and Williamson Counties have increased sharply, due to the Omicron variant. A few congregants have asked if we plan to suspend in-person church services and revert to only live streaming. At this time, we plan to keep having in-person church services. We will also continue to stream the service live for those who wish to stay at home.

The COVID situation is something that the Vestry monitors on a regular basis. In a Vestry meeting earlier this week we discussed the recent increase in cases and how it should affect our church gatherings. We decided that we would continue having in-person church services since the COVID vaccine is now widely available to most of the population. Additionally, the medical community reports that the Omicron variant is not as severe, especially to those individuals that have been vaccinated.

The Vestry did decide to re-implement social distancing at our church services. Please follow the usher's lead while selecting a pew. There should be one empty pew between each group of people. Two small families, not related, may sit in the same pew at opposite ends, as long as they can maintain a separation of six (6) feet between them. Everyone attending the service must continue to wear a mask. The serving of communion during the service will continue. At this time, we do not intend to re-implement the reservation system since there is currently enough room at the services to maintain social distancing.

Gatherings of small groups may continue at the church as long as everyone can maintain social distancing. Everyone must continue to wear a mask. Serving food may continue during your small group meeting.

The Vestry will continue to monitor the COVID situation and will make changes as recommended by the CDC and local officials. We will keep everyone informed through articles in the Church newsletter and announcements during the church service. Should you have any questions about the Church’s current COVID procedures please feel free to contact the Sr. Warden, Craig Strauss at or Rev. Pelkey at


COVID Procedures Update (8/1/2021)

The Vestry met on Sunday, August 1, after church to discuss and discern updates to our services and procedures. After much discussion the following points were agreed upon:

  • We will maintain the three services. Masks are required for indoor worship. Masks are optional for outdoor worship.

  • Masks are required by all people (vaccinated or unvaccinated) for all indoor activities, including meetings and Bible studies.

  • Unvaccinated persons are strongly encouraged to attend the outdoor service with a mask or to worship online.

  • Communion will be received in one kind only, bread only.

  • Anyone who tests positive for COVID-19 is encouraged to let Fr. Richard know, so that anyone who recently attended a church activity may choose to get themselves tested. Such notices will be kept confidential.

  • We will follow current CDC guidance to do our best to keep everyone healthy at church.

Maintaining three services requires extra work for those who serve on the Altar Guild and on our Technology team. If you are interested or feeling called to help many hands make light work, please contact Fr. Richard.

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