Beginning with worship on October 23 and 24, 2021 at St. James Church:

  • We return to complete services (not abbreviated) at all worship times.
  • There will be congregational and choral singing (with masks) at the Sunday 10:45 am service only. Our services on Saturday at 5:30 pm and Sunday at 8:30 am will not include singing.
  • Drinking from the common cup will still restricted. Communion will be served in ONE KIND (bread only).

Bishop Bascom’s Updated COVID-19 guidelines as of October 8, 2021:

Mask guidance

  • High Transmission (RED): Masks are required for all in public, indoor settings. While a vast majority of Episcopalians in Kansas are vaccinated, we do this out of love of our health professionals, children, and the most vulnerable; it is a precaution so that we do not carry the virus to others. New cases are down 28% in the last fortnight, but the United States has surpassed 700,000 dead from this virus. Our love of God and love of neighbor needs to compel our practice to keep numbers on a downward trajectory while we grieve the incredible loss of life.
  • Substantial Transmission (ORANGE): Mask wearing is encouraged for all in public, indoor settings, however local clergy in conversation with their vestries may decide.
  • Moderate and Low Transmission (YELLOW & BLUE): only unvaccinated people are asked to wear a mask in public, indoor settings. Vaccination continues to be the best way we have to love our neighbor during this pandemic. Please get vaccinated and encourage your family and friends to do the same.

No Longer Required

Guided in conversation with health advisors, we are adjusting two previous restrictions:

The diocese is no longer requiring tracked attendance or registration at worship and other parish events. Parish leadership may continue this practice if they desire.

Distribution of Holy Communion

Drinking from the common cup is still restricted but these are safe options for communion:

  • in one-kind (bread only)
  • intinction done by the Eucharistic minister and dropped into hands
  • use of small communion cups filled with wine that is blessed at the altar

Transmission Metrics

Based on feedback from clergy and medical advisors, we will be updating our EDOK COVID Tracker colors to be in line with how the CDC codes. From the CDC’s description of how they determine community transmission:

CDC looks at two numbers — total new cases and percent positivity — to determine the level of community transmission.

  • Total new cases refers to a county’s rate of new COVID-19 infections, reported over the past 7 days, per every 100,000 residents.
  • Percent positivity refers to the percentage of positive COVID-19 tests in a county over the past 7 days.

A higher number of total new cases and a higher percent positivity correspond with a higher level of community transmission, as shown below. If the values for each of these two metrics differ (for example, if one indicates moderate and the other low), then the higher of the two should be used to make decisions about mask use in a county.