Making the Best Decision about In-Person Worship (RRR Task Force)

Contributed by: The Rev. Canon Valerie Balling

See the latest info and guidelines from the COVID-19 Reentering, Reopening, Reimagining (RRR) Task Force here


As infection rates for COVID-19 rise around our state, the RRR Task Force continues to offer guidance and support to all the congregations in the Diocese of New Jersey.
Please note that there is no Diocesan mandate that congregations must close for in-person worship. The Bishop and the Task Force agreed that with the knowledge we have accrued over the last 18 months, congregational leadership can make the best decisions based on their local context.
Factors to consider are:
1. County daily infection rate – anything over 25 out of 100K is considered to be high risk.
2. Population density – this can effect transmission rates
3. The number of people who attend your services that are fully vaccinated.
4. How likely members of the congregation are willing to take basic precautions, like wearing a facemask over their noses and mouths.
5. How good is the ventilation in the space you are meeting?
6. Are you able to meet in an outdoor location? (NOTE: If you are outside and able to keep 6 feet of distance, facemasks are not necessary).
Our priority is to keep people safe and healthy, so it is good to be cautious when making the best decision for your context about whether to offer in-person worship.
Making sacrifices of personal comfort to safeguard our neighbors health is also a loving response.
This is how we love one another!