May 26 Update
Open to the Public with Restrictions
8:00 a.m. & 10:15 a.m. with social distancing guidelines
outlined in our May 26 Update posted on this page
10:15 a.m. also Streamed via Facebook Live
*will be posted after service viewing
Please "Like" St. Mark's Episcopal Church Tampa
on Facebook to worship from home.
Dear Saints of God,
For the last several weeks a Safe to Open Committee has been working on procedures and protocols that would allow St Mark to resume public worship when the time was deemed right. The ultimate goal of the committee is to mitigate the potential risks associated with large gatherings.
The committee members include: Susie Juarez, Fran Weising, Ken Duncan, Fr. Livan and Luz Amalia (St. Francis), and Fr. Bob. The team was tasked with monitoring the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and Diocesan directives recommending to our Vestry best practices that suit our particular environment and congregations.
Our Bishop has given permission to the churches in the Diocese of Southwest Florida to conduct in person worship with up to 25% of maximum occupancy. We must maintain appropriate social distancing protocols as recommended by the CDC including the 6 foot physical distance rule.
St. Mark will be resuming public worship on May 31 at both the 8:00 and 10:15 services. St. Francis will also resume public worship that day.
We have committed to continuing live streaming the 10:15 service indefinitely.
When St. Mark resumes in-person services on May 31st, 2020 should you return right away?
We realize that for some of you with underlying health conditions or caring for someone who is compromised, this can be a difficult decision. We are taking all necessary precautions as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to ensure your safety.
However, the CDC does recommend those in High Risk categories are “Safer at Home”.
Who is in a high risk category? Based on what we know now, those at high-risk for severe illness from COVID-19 are:
If you have any questions related to your condition, please consult your personal physician.
Protocols and procedures implemented to resume public worship at St. Mark
On the recommendation of the Safe to Open Committee, the Vestry of St. Mark created a position for a Sunday Sexton working between the hours of 9:00 and 2:00. The duties of this person are very specific essentially tasked with the sanitizing of the sanctuary as well as frequent cleaning and disinfecting of the bathroom.
Additionally, we have purchased a COVID-19 approved misting sanitizer with the appropriate chemicals. The sexton will sanitize all of the pews along with a significant list of items that are touched between the services.
Although I am excited to begin public worship, and looking forward to seeing our parish family, the first concern is the safety and well being of all people. We will closely monitor the science and recommendations from the CDC as well as the direction from our Bishop and make modifications as appropriate. We expect that this will continue to be a fast evolving situation and sudden changes in course may be necessary.
If you have questions or concerns please do not hesitate to contact myself, anyone on the Safe to Open Committee, or the members of the Vestry. Our numbers and emails are in the directory.
One final thing, if you test positive for COVID-19 and you have attended a public worship service you are required to contact me directly.
Love to all,
If you are unsure whether to come to public service please feel free to call me to discuss your personal situation.
A Collect for Guidance
O God, by whom the meek are guided in judgment, and light rises up in darkness for the godly: Grant us, in all our doubts and uncertainties, the grace to ask what you would direct us to do, that the Spirit of wisdom may save us from all false choices, and that in your light we may see light, and in your straight path may not stumble; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.