Re-Entering Well

Summer & Fall 2021

Re-Entering Well Plans


As we slowly return to life within the church building, you may be wondering: What can be planned? What are ministries allowed to do? What cannot be done? What groups might resume in-person meetings? 


While we will continue to move responsibly and cautiously, ministries are invited to submit their plans for any Summer, Fall, or Winter activities they might want to embrace. 


Each plan should include:

  • Meeting date(s) and times.
  • Preferred meeting space. (If the room you request is not available, we may offer an alternative location.)
  • Participants (e.g. committee, community, congregation, etc.) and estimated number of people.
  • How you will comply with whatever COVID Re-Entry Protocols in place at the time of your activity/event. (Please read about our current plans and those items up for review starting in September in the section immediately below.)

To submit your plan:

  • Your plan should be submitted no less than 45 days prior to the anticipated event.
  • Send your plan via email to Erin Steele, administrator, at stpaulsunited@stpaulsk.org. (Erin will provide the plan to the entire Re-Entering Well committee for review and discussion.)
  • Please include the following in the subject line: Re-Entering Well Plan


The Re-Entering Well Team will make every effort to respond with an initial decision within five working days. 


Should you have any questions, please contact REW committee member Steve Lillie directly, Erin Steele in the church office (stpaulsunited@stpaulsk.org, 301-933-7933 ext 100) or Senior Pastor Pat Allen (pallen@stpaulsk.org, 301-933-7933 ext 101).

Re-Entering Well

The Re-Entering Well Team is comprised of staff & lay leaders committed to helping St. Paul's community re-enter our physical space and re-engage in activities using defined safety practices. The goal is to minimize the risk of exposing our community to covid-19. Members of the Re-Entering Well Team are: Rev. Dr. Pat Allen, Nathan Bazawada, Dr. Hal Frazier, Tracey Furman, Marge Higgins, Steve Lillie, Rev. Kate Mackereth Fulton, Phil Rush, Erin Steele, and Laura Tribble.


Re-Entering Updates: Worship


Montgomery County rescinded all Covid restrictions on May 28, 2021. This means masks are not required when outdoors, there are no gathering capacity restrictions, and fully vaccinated persons are not required to wear a mask indoors. Montgomery County also acknowledges that businesses, agencies, and institutions may impose their own restrictions.


To date we have worshipped in person, with worship services indoors, without incident of exposure (primary or secondary). The total average attendance for our Sunday in-person worship is less than 90, well below the previous capacity restriction.


Anecdotal conversations with members who have not been in attendance disclose personal reservations about returning until perhaps late 2021 or early 2022. Additionally, some ministries and committees have disclosed their preferences to continue meeting online even if able to return to full in-person meetings. The Re-Entering Well committee has approved the following steps toward full re-entrance into worship and office hours.


All fully vaccinated staff members and regular office volunteers do not have to wear masks when working in our building with the exception of worship services or special events.


We do not currently allow indoor receptions, snacks, meals, or other events where food or drink would be served or consumed. This policy will be reviewed again in September.


For all worship services (Sunday, baptisms, funerals, or weddings) in the Sanctuary or Chapel:


Now until August 31, 2021

All pews are available for seating

All attendees and participants continue to wear masks

No congregational singing

Offering will continue to be collected in plates positioned at Sanctuary exits

No fellowship hour / coffee hour


September 1 - December 31, 2021

No masks required (but all are welcome to continue to wear masks if they choose)

Return of pew materials (Hymnals, prayer cards, envelopes, etc.)

Communion will continue to be celebrated with all-in-one element packs

Greetings will continue to be non-contact, and masks and sanitizer stations will continue to be provided.


Both congregational singing and choir will be revisited each month based on information provided by the CDC and other scientific and medical experts.


The following issues will be revisited and re-assessed on August 31:

  • Passing of the offering plates.
  • Structure of the Children's Message and Sunday School
  • Nursery and Child Care
  • Fellowship Hour in the Octagon


Additionally, the Re-Entering Well Team continues to encourage the leaders & coordinators of ministries of the church as well as those outside groups regularly using the facilities of St. Paul’s, to contact us to discuss re-entering and to submit written proposals for how they are prepared to adhere to the guidelines and restrictions. 


Questions about our re-entering may be directed to the Re-Entering Well Team via stpaulsunited@stpaulsk.org.

Resources

Here are some of the ways you can stay connected to the St. Paul's community, make a space for worship, and receive updates during the public health crisis caused by COVID-19 novel corona virus.

  • Worship Services In-Person & on-Demand

    As of April 11, 2021, we will have in-person worship in the Sanctuary each Sunday at 9:00 AM and 10:30 AM, while the county health policies and covid rates make this possible. To keep everyone as safe as possible, worship will look and feel somewhat different from services held in pre-covid times. Please read more on our Worship page. Nursery and Childcare is available with advanced registration- read more on the Children's page.


    Since not everyone is ready or able to come back into the Sanctuary, we will continue to offer a livestream of the 10:30 service. You may choose to worship with us from the safety and comfort of your own home, or wherever you find yourself. Go to the Worship at Home page to access the service and the worship bulletin.


  • Contact Us

    As of April 12, 2021, we will offer drop-in office hours Monday-Thursday, 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM. Our crew of volunteers will answer your phone calls and welcome you into the building to drop off letters, pray in the Sanctuary, or pick up items. However, if you want to see someone specific, please make an appointment! Individual clergy and staff availability varies!


    While the office voicemail still works, email is really the BEST way to reach us and get a timely response! Please go to stpaulsk.org/community/meet-the-staff for contact information.


    (Photo from Staff Christmas Lunch, 2019.)

  • Prayer Requests

    Click HERE to go to the Prayer Requests page. From here, please use our secure form to submit your request. You may choose to share it confidentially with the pastors or share broadly with the Prayer Lift team, just as you would if you picked up a yellow pew card or Lenten Prayer Request paper. 

  • Making Offerings SEcurely

    If you usually mail your checks to St. Paul's, you can continue to do so since we process the mail regularly. To donate online, click here to go to the Giving page. Online giving allows you to make a secure financial gift as a one-time donation or a recurring offering. From our Giving page, you can choose to donate to the General Fund, the Hunger Ministry fund, the Improvement Fund, the Capital Campaign, or Special Offerings as they arise. 


    We are especially thankful for those who are able to pledge their support for 2021 - contact treasurer Michelle Gregonis at mgregonis@stpaulsk.org if you would like to make a pledge or update your information.

  • Christian Education

    ADULTS: Multiple different adult Bible studies are underway, meeting at different times via Zoom usually on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and/or Saturdays. Visit the Adult Education page to learn more about each study, and to find out how to join! 


    CHILDREN: Sunday School for kids age 2 through grade 5 will be online for Fall 2020 & Spring 2021 - contact Dr. Meg Baker to be added to the group! Click to go to the Children's page for updates and additional activities. 

  • Daily Breath

    Live at 9:00 a.m. on Facebook on Wednesdays through the summer, our pastors, staff, and volunteers take turns reminding us all to pause to reflect and take a breath. You might find Pastor Kate or Pastor Pat offering a short meditation, music led by Tom Pedersen, a reading from Micah Smartt, a reflection from Meg Baker, or even a guest speaker. The messages are designed to connecting biblical concepts with our lives in this current moment. Once the Facebook Live session closes, the recording remains available for later viewing. No Facebook account required - simply go to https://www.facebook.com/stpaulskensington/

  • Prayerwaves

    Pray over the airwaves (get it?) on Wednesdays at 10 a.m. We've transformed our Prayer Lift into a weekly call-in time of prayer over the phone. Click HERE for instructions on how to join the conference call from any phone.

  • Still WEdnesday, Still Meeting

    Still Wednesday provides a time of meditative worship and quiet prayer every Wednesday at 7:00 p.m., currently using the Zoom platform. Email Kenzie Raulin or stpaulsunited@stpaulsk.org and you'll receive an email invitation from the organizers with the link to join the next meeting.

  • Weekly News Email & Epistle Newsletter

    Click here for the Weekly News. To sign up and receive these emails, you'll simply enter your name and email address, click a box, and you're done! Once a week, you'll get an email with the Sunday scripture, a message from the senior pastor, and announcements. Once a month, you'll get a note that the Epistle newsletter is available. (You can read it online through our Epistle & Weekly News page - click here.) This email list is also one of our methods for communicating breaking news, such as schedule changes due to inclement weather.

  • Pastoral Care

    Pastoral care is available to all, for any reason, via phone, video messaging, email, or text. To get started, reach out to Pastor Pat at pallen@stpaulsk.org or Pastor Kate at kfulton@stpaulsk.org. In an emergency, phone 301-933-7933 ext 103 and you will hear Pastor Kate's cell number listed in her voicemail message.

  • Pastor Pat's Guide to Worship outside the walls of St. Paul's

    Click HERE to download "Worship from Home" a 2-page document that will take you step by step through the process of preparing and worshiping at home, or wherever you may be.