Outdoor Worship Plans

A Message from Rev. Annie

Dear St. Paul’s Community,


The re-opening task force and I have decided to plan for an in-person service in the Rectory backyard at 11 AM on Sunday, August 2. In addition, we will continue to live stream a service each Sunday to our Facebook page, but that will premiere at 8:45 AM instead of 10 AM.


We imagine you might have some questions. We’ve answered a few that might arise below, but if you have any more, feel free to contact any member of the task force directly.



Rev. Annie Mertz – Rector

Rev. Beth Gaines – Deacon

Yann Jouvenot-Sells – Sr. Warden

Kim Rodekohr – Jr. Warden

Glenn Walp – Traditional Service Music Director

Mark Sackett – Contemporary Service Music Director

JoAnn Souza – Parish Administrator

Andria Reid – Director of Children’s Education

Beckie Pelkey – Youth and Family Ministries Coordinator

Donna Patey – Grateful, Glad, and Giving

Steve Rodekohr – Usher Ministry

Catherine Harrod – Flower Guild

Lorraine Ndusha – Altar Guild


What’s the process from here?


Once our plan is finalized, it will go to the Vestry for approval on July 21. If they approve, we will send a copy to the diocese for their records and move forward. We will also make the plan available on our website for everyone to see. 


Will there be communion?


Not at first. The service will be the liturgy of the word, as we have done with our live stream. We will add in communion once folks feel comfortable with the protocols, when it feels safe to do so, and when we can implement a system to reverently distribute it to all who desire it (including the home-bound). Hopefully, we can start in early September. There will be bread only until our Bishop allows wine.


What will happen to the live streamed service? Coffee Hour?


The live-streamed service will move to 8:45 AM starting on August 2. We will continue broadcasting from inside the church with our skeleton crew, and you will still tune in via Facebook. Zoom Coffee hour will be moved to 9:45 AM. As always, if you miss the live stream, you can watch the recording later. 


We understand a change like this can be frustrating; just when it seems we’ve gotten used to this “new normal” of 10 AM church in our pajamas, the time gets switched again! The task force carefully weighed the needs of clergy, staff, and volunteers, and decided that this was the best path forward. It allows for our worship leaders to have a break and “reset” between services, and will make the transition to worship indoors easier. And don’t forget — the service “premieres” at 8:45 AM. You can go back and watch it whenever you want — at 10 AM in pajamas or at midnight in a ballgown!


What safety measures will be in place?


The details will be available once the plan is finalized, but we know that we will require masks for everyone, congregants will be socially distanced, and we will use an RSVP system. The RSVP system will ensure that we can safely spread out and will also help with contact tracing if needed. Of course, there will be lots of hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes.


What will the music be like?


Again, we are still working out the details, but we know that the State of California has banned congregational singing indoors. Our survey showed that most of you would prefer live instrumental music as an alternative, so this will be a likely element. Beyond that, Glenn and Mark are researching other alternatives and formats for music.


What about kids at the service? Will there be childcare?


We will not be offering childcare during the outdoor services to start. We may add it (and other programming for children and youth) in the fall if conditions improve. Of course, children are welcome to attend as their families feel safe doing so. Kids may need reminders about social distancing, wearing masks (if over 2 years old) and not using the playground equipment.


Didn’t Governor Newsom just announce that churches couldn’t hold worship services?


On Monday, July 13, Gavin Newsom announced that worship services could no longer be held in counties on the state watch list “unless they can be modified to operate outside or by pick-up.” While Solano County is currently on the watch list, our plan for an outdoor service does not violate the state order. For more information, see https://covid19.ca.gov/roadmap-counties/