For Reference: Our Reopening Plan

Plan for Re-opening

Phase 1

[Our church entered this Phase in October, 2020]

Sunday In-Person Worship Services: 8:00 a.m. (formerly our 7:30 a.m. service) Rite One

We have resumed our in-person worship services (currently held at 8:00 a.m.) following the guidelines set forth by the Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma, the Tulsa Health Department (THD), and the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

Parishioners wishing to attend in-person worship services must call the church office no later than noon on the Friday before the Sunday worship service to reserve their space(s). Reservations need to be made for worship services at the church. All reservations will be made on a first come, first served basis. Each person, couple, or family will be assigned a seat number in a pew/chair. Should reservations be full when a person calls, then they will be first on the list for the following Sunday.

Safety Actions

Before entering the building all parishioners will sign-in, use hand sanitizer, wear the facemask (brought by the parishioner or given to them), and practice social distancing of six feet from others.

·        Facemasks will be mandatory for everyone attending in-person worship. We will be providing the facemask if the parishioner does not bring his/her own.

·        Children who are under two years of age will not be required to wear a facemask.

·        We encourage parishioners to maintain good hand hygiene, washing hands for at least twenty seconds.

All parishioners will enter and exit from the south door in the narthex.

·        All other doors will remain locked to prevent people from entering from the outside.

·        Signage will be placed on the locked doors to keep people from touching the door handles.

·        Signage will be in place to remind parishioners of the entrance and exit, and to follow the guidelines of the THD and the CDC.

·        Personal belongings must stay with each individual, and not be placed in the narthex during the in-person worship service.

The restrooms will be limited to the one in the narthex, the Bride’s Room and the Common Room.

·        Only one person at a time will be in a restroom.

The passing of the Peace occurs by a head nod, a wave, or a friendly smile.

·        There will be no physical contact during the passing of the Peace.

The maximum capacity in the nave currently for the Sunday 8:00 a.m. service is now 50 people. [It was capped at 30 attendees prior to Feb. 2021. and service time was 8:30 a.m. prior to Feb. 28, 2021.]

The maximum capacity in the nave during Phase 1 for any future additional services (when we resume in-person 10 a.m. Rite Two) or expanded 8:00 a.m. services will be no more than sixty people (inclusive of altar party, readers, musicians and AV staff [updated 3.19.21]) and that number will be set according to the guidelines of the Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma, the THD and the CDC.

·        Those serving as part of the liturgical party: priest, lector, acolyte, organist, singers, ushers, and the audio/visual techs need to be included in the total number for capacity.

Every other pew will be used for in-person worship.

·        Each pew used will have three numbers in it (one, two, three or four, five, six, etc.). Each person, couple, or family will be assigned a seat number in a pew.

·        Families will occupy the middle of one pew.

·        There will be no more than three people to one pew except for a family.

·        A couple may be seated at the end of a pew with an additional person seated at the other end.

·        Three individuals can be seated in one pew.

·        Pews not used will be marked to indicate non-use.

·        Chairs may be placed six feet apart for outdoor worship services.

There will be no hymnals or prayer books in the pews.

·        The church will provide the bulletins. The parishioner will take the bulletin with them or dispose of it following the worship service.

The celebrant wearing a facemask will administer communion (wafer only) by coming to the people walking through the vacant pews.

·        All parishioners remain in place.

·        Clergy will wear an N95 facemask.

·        Clergy may remove their facemask while preaching, reading, or celebrating the Holy Eucharist. The distance from the nearest person needs to be ten feet or more.

·        Only the celebrant will administer communion.

·        Clergy will sanitize their hands immediately prior to administering communion.

·        Clergy will wear gloves when administering communion. They will remove the gloves at the end of administering communion and use hand sanitizer.

·        Only one person will clear the altar following the Holy Eucharist.  

There will be no gatherings in the Common Room, the narthex and/or the parking lots before or after the services.

The offering plates will be placed in the narthex and monitored.

The Tulsa Health Department recommends that a worship service not exceed one hour.

The church has adopted a COVID-19 Exposure Policy. An event exposure must be completed.

Facilities and Supplies

Before and after each in-house worship service the narthex, nave, chancel, sanctuary, restrooms in the narthex, the Bride’s Room, and the Common Room will be completely cleaned and sanitized complying with the CDC-approved COVID-19 effective disinfectants.

·        All vessels, lapel microphones, lecterns and lectern microphones, handheld microphones, or any other items used during the worship service will be cleaned and sanitized after each service.

·        There will be an adequate supply of hand sanitizer, paper towels, tissues, and no-touch trashcans available.

·        Frequently touched surfaces and shared objects will be cleaned and disinfected daily.

·        Signs are posted with recommendations on how to stop the spread of COVID-19 and promoting everyday protective measures.

The doors will open for worship services no more than thirty minutes before the service.

·        The doors will remain open, weather permitting and as applicable, during the worship services for fresh air and ventilation.

·        The doors between the narthex, nave and bell tower will remain open during the worship services.

There will be no coffee or snacks offered before or after the services. Bottled water will be available in the narthex.

The following areas will remain closed during Phase 1:

·        The Common Room, kitchen, bookstore, Powell Hall, Fox Library, nursery and the balcony.

·        There will be no in-person educational forums or Sunday school. Please check for online offerings.

Education and Training

Plan to worship online if you are experiencing any of the following: COVID-19 symptoms, you have been notified that you have been in contact with any individual who has tested positive for COVID-19 until your quarantine period of two weeks has passed without testing positive for COVID-19, or if you are experiencing any other illness.

·        We encourage older adults and those who have any underlying medical conditions to watch the online worship services listed:

10 a.m.                      Rite Two                     Sundays

5:30 p.m.                  Evensong                   Sundays

8:30 a.m.                   Morning Prayer       Monday – Friday

5:30 p.m.                   Evening Prayer        Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday

5:30 p.m.                   Rite Two                     Wednesday

The essential staff will come to work in the building with limited hours during Phase 1.

·        They will sign-in, take and record their temperature, wear a facemask, practice frequent hand washing and social distancing.

·        The contract workers with an appointment may enter the building.

·        All workers, volunteers, and visitors will sign-in recording their arrival and departure time, take and record their temperature, use hand sanitizer, wear a facemask and practice social distancing.

There will be (two to) three ushers for each in-person worship service.

·        The ushers will receive training in advance of the re-opening, and will comply with the guidelines set forth by the Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma, the THD and the CDC.

·        Ushers must wear a facemask and gloves. 

·        Ushers will assist people in finding their reserved seat(s) in the pew and assist them leaving the church.

·        At the end of the worship service, the ushers will dismiss the people by each pew.

·        They will make sure that the parishioners maintain social distancing while departing the church.

·        There will be no socializing in the narthex following a worship service.

·        Clergy may stand outside or at a distance to greet parishioners as they leave. Hugs and handshakes are to be avoided.

In accordance with the guidelines set forth by the Diocese of Oklahoma and the Tulsa Health Department:

·        Horns or wind instruments will be prohibited.

·        There will be no singing from the congregation. The choir will be limited per Diocesan guidelines during the worship services.

Funerals and weddings may be held, but limited to the maximum occupancy in the guidelines and in accordance with Saint John’s policies, and with the authorization of the Bishop of the Diocese of Oklahoma.

Communication and Messaging

Signage will be highly visible in locations to promote everyday protective measures.

Communication regarding behaviors that prevent the spread of COVID-19 will be included on our website.

The church bulletins will include important prevention tips during the worship services.

Preparing for Sick Staff Member or Congregant

In the event a person becomes ill or exhibits symptoms of COVID-19 during a worship service, they will be taken to the Bride’s Room.

·        The Bride’s Room will be closed for any further use until it has been cleaned and disinfected.

·        Arrangements will be made to safely transport the person to their home.

·        If the person tests positive for COVID-19, they will be advised to follow the guidelines of the CDC before returning to the church.

·        The Bride’s Room will be cleaned and disinfected after twenty-four hours.

Gatherings, Visitors, and Events

Phase 2

All of the guidelines for worship services and live streaming in Phase 1 will remain in effect unless otherwise listed as part of Phase 2.

The parishioners may begin attending Evensong on Sundays at 5:30 p.m. and the Wednesday Holy Eucharist at 5:30 p.m. during Phase 2.

The maximum capacity in the nave during Phase 2 will increase to seventy-five or in accordance to the guidelines set forth by the Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma, the THD and the CDC for the 10 a.m. Sunday worship service. All other in-person services will be limited to no more than fifty people (exclusive of altar party, AV staff, etc.). The seating will be every other pew and parishioners will maintain social distancing.

There will be no prayer books or hymnals in the pews. Service bulletins will be provided. The bulletins will be taken with the parishioner or disposed of following the worship service.

The balcony will remain closed.

Communion will continue in accordance with the guidelines of the Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma.

The nursery will remain closed per the instructions from the Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma.

The bookstore may be opened with no more than two customers in the store at any time.

Limited Sunday Christian education programs may begin for adults.

Coffee and water will be offered in the Common Room on Sunday after the 7:30 a.m. and the 10 a.m. worship services.

The restrooms on the first floor will be opened to parishioners and visitors, and they will be limited to one person at a time.

The staff may assume duties full-time during Phase 2.

Small groups may start meeting during Phase 2; Saint John’s Vestry, Finance Committee, Building and Grounds Committee, the Brotherhood of St. Andrew meeting on Tuesdays and Saturdays, the Daughters of the King, Altar Guild, Flower Guild and Prayers and Squares.

·        There will be no food service for any group and they must comply with the guidelines in Phase 1 and Phase 2.

Boy Scout Troop 153 may start meeting, but only in small groups.

·        There will be no more than twenty people including adults.

·        They may stagger meeting times on the same day, and must sanitize the tables and chairs after each use.

·        They will be limited to entering through the northeast door on the first floor and the use of Powell Hall and the restroom by the northeast entrance.

Phase 3

The church capacity can increase to one hundred people during Phase 3. If needed, overflow capacity will be available in Powell Hall via livestream for the 10 a.m. Sunday worship service.

Outside groups may begin meeting at the church at the discretion of the rector. They must sign the appropriate building use agreement and practice appropriate sanitation practices and social distancing guidelines.

Boy Scout Troop 153 may begin normal operations, but will be limited to the first floor Common Room, Powell Hall, Fox Library, restrooms and patio.

·        They will continue to follow the guidelines set forth in the policy established by Saint John’s Church.

All other guidelines and/or restrictions in Phase 1 and Phase 2 will remain in effect during Phase 3.

Phase 4

The return to normal church operations happens during this phase.