From the Sr. Warden


St. James Episcopal Church Del Rio Texas

Phase 2 Reopening Plan for St. James

St. James Episcopal Church Reopening Plan 1


This document outlines St. James Episcopal Church’s commitment to a safe and phased reopening of in-person worship at St. James Episcopal Church. The following plan complies with “The Guidelines for Phased Reopening of Churches in West Texas” and thus lists the major protocols St. James will use to make St. James Episcopal Church a safe place to worship. This plan offers the St. James family a guide for how we can protect each other and maintain a safe space at St. James. Our goal is to minimize risk, understanding that re-gathering is not risk free. We want to have St. James Church be a sanctuary, literally and figuratively where we can pray and worship together. St. James vestry will continue to monitor local COVID-19 developments, state and country orders, and any further diocesan suspension on in-person worship.

St. James Episcopal Church Reopening Plan 2

* Protocols for Protecting St. James Parishioners

 Two weeks prior to St. James’s reopen date, church protocols on new physical distancing and hygiene practices will be mailed and/or emailed to all parishioners.

 Written protocols will be provided to each attendee prior to their entering the narthex.

 Signage about hygiene best practices are posted in the narthex, sacristy and restrooms.


* Protocols for Facilities

 Regularly touched surfaces are cleaned and disinfected during ‘business hours’ and at the end or beginning of the day (ex. doorknobs, tables, chairs, and restroom facilities).

 Facilities are cleaned and sanitized each Saturday to prepare for Sunday.

 Air conditioner filters are changed frequently.

 Pew cushions are removed.

 Prayer books and hymnals are removed from sanctuary, and bulletins are provided in their place. These bulletins will be discarded after services.

 Hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes, soap and water are available in the Narthex.

 Bathrooms are cleaned and sanitized; soap and paper towels are refilled and available.

 Signage about hygiene best practices will be posted in the narthex, sacristy and restrooms.

 No meals, food, or drinks (coffee) of any kind will be provided; the kitchen is closed.


* Protocols for Volunteers and Employees

 All employees and volunteers are trained about appropriate cleaning and disinfection, hand hygiene, and respiratory etiquette.

 Employees and volunteers are required to wash or sanitize their hands upon entering church facilities.

 All employees and ushers are required not to shake hands or embrace attendees.

 Employees and volunteers are screened before coming into the church for potential signs of illness.

o Any employee or volunteer who has any of the following new or worsening signs and symptoms of possible COVID-19 are sent home:

--- Cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, loss of       taste or smell, diarrhea, feeling feverish or a measured temperature greater than or equal to 100.0 degrees Fahrenheit, known           close contact with a person who is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19.

o Employees or volunteers with any new or worsening signs and symptoms, listed above, are prevented from returning to work until the following criteria are met:

 For an employee or volunteer diagnosed with COVID-19: the individual may return to work when all three of the following criteria are met: at least three days (72 hours) have passed since recovery (resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications); respiratory symptoms improve (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and at least 7 days have passed since symptoms first appeared;

 For an employee or volunteer who has symptoms that could be COVID-19, but does not get evaluated by a medical    professional or tested for COVID-19: the individual is assumed to have COVID-19 and cannot return to work until the individual meeting the same three-step criteria listed above;

 For an employee or volunteer who has symptoms that could be COVID-19 and wants to return to work before completing the above self-isolation period: the individual must obtain a medical professional’s note clearing the individual for return based on an alternative diagnosis.

o An employee or volunteer with known close contact to a person who is lab-confirmed to have COVID-19 is not permitted to return to work until the end of the 14-day self-quarantine period, from the last date of exposure.

 Employees and volunteers agree to maintain six-foot social distance.

 Employees and volunteers wear masks

 People in the at-risk population are not volunteering.

St. James Episcopal Church Reopening Plan 3

* Sunday Morning Prayer and Holy Eucharist

In addition to protocols followed for facilities, the following are observed:

 At-risk attendees are encouraged to participate remotely in Sunday services.

 Vestry members and ushers wear masks upon entering and leaving the church and when appropriate or necessary, ushers will provide attendees with masks.

 Ushers greet attendees outside the church and only ushers will open doors to the narthex to admit attendees.

 Ushers will help seat attendees so that appropriate social distancing is maintained, with seating in every other pew and only families seated together.

 The number of worship leaders will be minimal to allow for distancing.

 Prayer books and hymnals are removed from sanctuary, and bulletins are provided in their place. These bulletins will be discarded after services.

 During Passing of the Peace, attendees remain at their seats, turn to each other and say the peace or give a signal, thus respecting others’ comfort levels; attendees do not have any kind of physical contact.

 Offerings may be placed in the offertory plate located in the center aisle.

 After Morning Prayer or Holy Eucharist, individuals will proceed out pew by pew and attendees will not gather inside or outside the church.

St. James Episcopal Church Reopening Plan 4

When St. James Episcopal Church has a supply priest to celebrate Holy Eucharist, the following protocols will be observed:

 Clergy will remind attendees that Spiritual Communion is an option and attendees should feel comfortable remaining in their seat during communion if they desire. Clergy will explain the theology of Spiritual Communion.

 Communion hosts will remain in a covered ciborium during the Great Thanksgiving.

 Communion will be offered in one kind only, and all communicants will receive standing

 Clergy will wear a mask during the distribution of communion and refrain from touching the hands of communicants as they receive.

 Six-foot separation between family groups will be maintained during the distribution of communion.

Yours in Christ,

Sally Roche

Sr. Warden, St. James Episcopal Church

Let us pray,


Almighty God, you have given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplication to you; and you have promised through your well-beloved Son that when two or three are gathered together in his Name you will be in the midst of them: Fulfill now, O Lord, our desires and petitions as may be best for us; granting us in this world knowledge of your truth, and in the age to come life everlasting.   Amen.

206 W. Greenwood St. |  P.O. Box 1126  |  Del Rio, Texas 78841-1126  | 830.308.3001


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