As the weather gets warmer and vaccination rates increase in Philadelphia, St. Peter’s Church is now permitting outdoor in-person gatherings for small ministry groups. This is a way for us to reconnect to one another in a safe way. While gathering outdoors, we ask that you follow diocesan guidelines: Wear a mask except while eating; socially distance from one another; bring your own food, blanket, chair, etc; and stay home if you have been exposed to COVID in the last 10 days or are not feeling well. Whenever you attend an outdoor gathering, we ask that you fill out this online form beforehand, to affirm your commitment to following these safety guidelines and help us contract trace if needed.
The COVID-19 Safety Committee meets twice a month to review data and metrics related to COVID in our city and discuss how to best guide St. Peter’s through this pandemic. There are two specific metrics that we are watching most closely as we make decisions about a return to indoor worship. First, we would like to see the COVID-19 positivity rate in Philadelphia below 5% for a 2-week period. Second, we would like to see the COVID-19 hospitalization rate in Philadelphia below 200 for a 2-week period. These aren’t unrealistic metrics to achieve; Philadelphia hit these numbers in late summer and early fall last year. We are optimistic about a return to indoor worship this fall, but that will depend on meeting these metrics, city regulations, and diocesan guidelines.
You have probably seen other organizations gathering indoors by using a reservation system or by limiting attendance at services and events. We know that inclusion is a core value of our St. Peter’s community, so we have decided not to proceed with indoor worship that limits the number of people who can participate. We recently conducted a survey of St. Peter’s Church ministry leaders, and those survey results echoed this decision. There is a strong desire not to open our doors unless we can open them to all.
We thank the congregation for your commitment, and we ask that you continue to stay safe, and stay patient and flexible as we find creative ways to connect with one another. We are also looking for your input as we move toward indoor gatherings. Click here to take an online survey to share your thoughts with the COVID-19 Safety Committee.
The St. Peter’s COVID-19 Safety Committee
Nora Adelmann, St. Peter’s Vestry
Julia Cadwallender, St. Peter’s Vestry
Lisa Di Cicco, MD
Emily Loughlin, MPH, candidate for PhD in Public Health
Christy Santos, Rector’s Warden
The Rev. Claire Nevin-Field, Rector
The Rev. Sarah Hedgis, Associate Rector
Kate Randall, Parish Administrator