COVID-19 Response and Regathering

St. Matthew's is carefully evaluating COVID metrics in Loudoun County as well as direction from the Diocese on changes in gathering to worship. This page will continue to be updated as new information is provided.​

COVID-19 Risk Levels Map

This map from globalepidemics.org displays COVID Risk Levels for each congressional district in the United States. When viewing the map, filter for Virginia, then Loudoun County. View Map

Episcopal Diocese COVID FAQ's

This information provided by the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia is a Quick Reference Guide to all FAQ's regarding COVID-19 and offers COVID-19 Resources. View FAQ's

Returning to Indoor Worship (update May 6, 2021)

As of May 4, 2021, St. Matthew's has been approved for the petition for regathering for worship in the church building beginning in June 2021. Virtual worship will continue to be available as a live stream for those who may not yet be comfortable returning to in-person worship.

"Conditional permission is granted, pending meeting health markers for your area. This permission may be rescinded at any time in the future if there are changes in circumstances, such as a large surge in cases in your health district."

The Rt. Rev. Susan E. Goff

Bishop Suffragan and Ecclesiastical Authority

 

Indoor Worship Service Precautions

Our highest priority is to ensure the safety of everyone participating in our worship services.

  • Safety Requirements

    • Masks will be required at all services.

      • The policy of St. Matthew’s at this time is: We require anyone over the age of four to enter the church building(s) to wear a mask. No exceptions.

    • Hand Sanitizer is available at all entries to the church building, and near the altar/ communion distribution stations.

    • At least 6 feet of social distance must be maintained for anyone outside of your usual family grouping.

    • There will be no groups, outside of your usual family unit, gathering in parish hall, sanctuary or hallways before or after services to prevent crowding and to maintain social distancing. 

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  • Seating

    • If you have reserved seating in the sanctuary, please enter the church through the front doors of the sanctuary, and you will be greeted by an usher who will check you in using the rsvp.church system.​

    • If you have reserved seating in the parish hall, please enter the church through the back door, and you will be greeted by an usher who will check you in using the rsvp.church system.​

    • Once you have been greeted at check-in, an usher will direct you (and your family group, if applicable) to a designated pew or seating area. Please note there will be areas marked off to ensure social distancing so please stay within your family grouping.​

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  • Music

    • It is St. Mathew's mission to offer dynamic, musically oriented, and transformative worship experiences. We will continue to offer a variety of live and pre-recorded music for our services.

    • No congregational singing will be allowed at these services until approval is given from the Diocese. A soloist, duet, or small ensemble (three to four people) may sing during worship as long as they wear masks and are distanced from one another and from the congregation. 

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  • The Peace

    • May be shared with a bow or wave or peace sign and will not include handshakes, hugs or other physical touch.

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  • Communion

    • Celebrants and communicants must sanitize their hands immediately before receiving or picking up a wafer. A hand sanitizer station near the altar or distribution station is available.

    • Communion Distribution:​​

      • Communion will be distributed by the celebrant by placing the wafer into the Communicant's hand. If contact is made, the celebrant must immediately resanitize hands before resuming distribution. The communicant whose hand was touched should also re-sanitize hands. 

      • When properly distanced from others, communicants may draw down or raise their masks momentarily to consume the wafer. They should replace their masks immediately after consuming the wafer.

      • A blessing may be offered to anyone who comes forward and seeks a blessing instead of the wafer, but it may not include physical contact.​

  • Sunday School/ Faith Factory

    • Faith Factory will continue to be offered outdoors as weather permits. Information regarding upcoming Faith Factory events can be found HERE or you can contact Adrian Mattina, Children's Minister at Adrian@stmtts.org.​

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  • Nursery

    • We will not be resuming nursery care at this time, but will provide updates as we continue to reopen on nursery care and/or children's activities.

    • The space will be open as an option for a crying room or for nursing mothers. ​

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  • Small Groups

    • Any small groups using church facilities must follow all social distancing, masks and sanitizing protocols as outlined above.

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  • Coffee Hour

    • There will be no gathering in parish hall, sanctuary or hallways before or after services to prevent crowding and to maintain social distancing. 

    • Gathering indoors following services is discouraged at this time.

    • Outdoor, socially distanced fellowship is allowed if parishioners wear masks.

    • Communal food sharing is also discouraged (ex: a shared plate of cookies). However, prepackaged foods and/or beverages may be distributed.

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  • Considerations for canceling INDOOR services:

    • Multi-day increase in the 7-day moving average of infections in Loudoun Co. over 25

    • If clergy tests positive for COVID-19

Outdoor Worship (update March 16, 2021)

Outdoor Worship resumes at St. Matthew's on Sunday, April 18. 8am, 930am and 11am. Bring a chair and a mask. Virtual worship will also still take place for those who continue online worship.

Outdoor Worship Service Precautions

Our highest priority is to ensure the safety of everyone participating in our outdoor worship services.

 

Requirements for those attending outdoor services:

  • CDC recommends that attendees over the age of 3 wear a face mask at all times

  • It is preferred you bring your own lawn chair or blanket for seating

  • At least 6 feet of social distance must be maintained for anyone outside of your usual family grouping

  • Hand sanitizer is available 

  • As of May 5th, 2021. Outdoor congregational singing has been approved by the Diocese.

 

Considerations for canceling OUTDOOR services:

  • Predicted ice or heavy rain or electrical storm

  • Multi-day increase in the 7-day moving average of infections in Loudoun Co. over 25

  • If clergy tests positive for COVID-19