Dear Members of the St. Bart’s Community,
The COVID infection rate in the City of New York continues to decline as the number of people vaccinated against the virus continues to rise. City, state, and diocesan regulations regarding in-person worship have now relaxed considerably, for which we are truly grateful. Our sense of celebration is muted only by the memory of the more than 600,000 lives which have been lost in the United States to this pandemic and, by knowing friends and parishioners who have died or who have had their health seriously impacted by this virus. We will remember them always.
We have resumed in-person worship at St. Bart’s on Sundays at 9 am and at 5 pm and we will resume our 11am worship service on Sunday, July 11 with congregational singing and our full choir participating. By Sunday, September 12 we plan to have our full Sunday worship schedule restored. Effective immediately, we will no longer require advance registrations to attend worship.
New York State public health guidelines and the Centers for Disease Control agree that all unvaccinated persons should continue to wear masks and practice social distancing in public gatherings. As of July 11 we will no longer require vaccinated worshippers to remain masked. Of course, anyone attending worship may feel free to wear a mask if they feel safer in doing so. I suspect we will see people wearing masks in worship (and in many other public gatherings) for some time.
I am so proud of the way our staff and our entire congregation has responded to this crisis. Your patience and forbearance have been deeply appreciated and we will continue to evaluate these protocols as we welcome you back to the church building. Your safety has always been our primary concern and we will continue to provide the livestreamed 11 am service online for those who are not in the city and for those who are not yet comfortable attending in person.
Please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any particular questions about returning to worship. As we move forward, we are committed to continuing our practices of “radical hospitality” in order to make everyone feel safe and warmly welcomed at St. Bart’s.
The Right Reverend Dean E. Wolfe, D.D.