3285 Buffalo Rd
Rochester, NY 14624
(585) 247-4190

Outdoor Worship – What to Expect

Preparing for outdoor worship and the congregation for re-gathering

  • Before we re-gather, the entire church building will be have been deep cleaned using the current cleaning guidelines from the CDC.
  • At this time, the sanctuary will not be available for us to use.
  • We have removed all non-essential items from rooms and have closed off areas so that there are fewer surfaces to touch and clean.
  • There will be signs posted and announcements made about non-contact greetings and reminders to refrain from physical contact, including shaking hands and hugging.
  • There will be signs posted and announcements made about how to wear a face mask, 6 feet social distancing reminders, COVID-19 symptoms, other health signs.
  • We will communicate before you arrive about the preparations we have done for our re-gathering, and to reiterate that, if you are sick or are of a vulnerable population, please stay home and join our online worship service via Zoom.
  • Again, please know we will continue to hold a Zoom worship service.
  • Please watch the “What to Expect at Outdoor Worship” video prior to signing up for an Outdoor Worship service.

Requirements for Outdoor Worship:


  • At this time we are limiting Outdoor Worship (keeping at least six feet apart in all directions) to a maximum of 35 individuals. With the capacity to have up to 45 if we find this is needed at a later date.
  • At least six feet of distance (in all directions) needs to be maintained between household groups at all times:
    • Our available worship spaces will be marked off on the lawn with spray paint.
      • We will alternate “rows” between parishioners, leaving approximately every other “row” empty.
      • Diocese – Total length of “pew” / 22 inches
    • Greeters/Ushers shall be trained to assist individuals in maintaining six feet of distance at entry/exit points.
  • Physical contact, including hugs or handshakes, is prohibited at this time.
    • It is strongly discouraged for you to engage in any physical contact with each other, including shaking hands, hugging, fist-bumping, high-fiving, etc. whether in the building or elsewhere on church premises.
  • We will not be able to have the nursery available for during Outdoor Worship.
  • We have “Advance sign-up” (with space for visitors who may drop in) in place to ensure compliance with limits on size of our Outdoor Worship gatherings.
  • A Greeter/Usher will need to annotate that you are present and we are required to keep this list with your contact information for 4 weeks for every service you attend.

Masks and hygiene: 

  • Everyone must wear face masks, and the face mask must be worn properly when outside and when in the church building.
  • Everyone must observe hand-washing and must use hand sanitizer when entering and leaving the worship space.
  • Where possible, we will keep doors open to minimize contact with door handles.
    • Door handles and other common surfaces will be disinfected before and after each gathering.


  • Attendees cannot enter the outdoor worship space without a face mask.
    • We will be prepared to offer face masks to attendees who show up without one.
  • There will be no processions.
  • There will be no singing.
  • There will be no celebration or distribution of the Eucharist.
  • Because physical contact is prohibited, everyone will be instructed to remain in place for the passing of the peace and only pass the peace with their family members. Parish leaders will model safe greetings from their places including bows and waves.
  • No offering plate will be passed. Gifts will be collected online and in containers placed at the welcome table.
  • Printed materials will be placed at the welcome table. Parishioners will be asked to take worship materials home for recycling because we are not able to re-use the materials.
    • We will also provide a recycling receptacle by the entry/exits of the outdoor worship area.
  • One stand-alone microphone will be used by Readers with a 2 foot physical distance from microphone marked. Readers will be instructed not to touch the microphone.
  • We will offer digital worship materials that can be viewed on personal devices.
  • We will keep one door into the church building open until the start of the worship service. Then it will be closed and locked.
  • We won’t have a “receiving line” at the end of church; families and individuals will be given verbal instructions on how to exit and maintain social distancing.
  • We will keep the number of worship leaders to a bare minimum: one Reader, one Greeter/Usher.
  • The Greeter/Usher will log everyone who attends the outdoor worship service, and they will give this list to the Rector so that we can keep the list for 4 weeks for each outdoor worship held.

Coffee hour, formation and fellowship:

  • There will be no in-person fellowship, coffee hour, meals, bible studies, Sunday School, etc. until further notice; this includes all children and youth activities and all other meetings, gatherings.
  • In-person funerals and weddings are permitted, following the requirements of other in-person worship services outlined in this document.

General Building Use Guidelines

  • Everyone must follow all physical distancing and hygiene guidelines including use of face masks. We will have a supply of masks for those who arrive at your building without one.
  • The building will be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected regularly during ‘business hours’ and between user groups, to include worship services, paying extra attention to high-touch surfaces (ex. doorknobs, light switches, tables, chairs, restroom facilities).
  • All commonly used items and tables will be disinfected to include any items that come into contact with parishioners between all services.
  • We will post signs outlining COVID-19 symptoms and urging people to stay home and seek medical attention if they experience symptoms or feel unsafe.
  • We will maintain an appropriate stock of tissue, soap, hand sanitizer, disposable paper towels for drying hands, and disinfectant needed for cleaning.
  • We will maintain a visitor log (including phone numbers and email addresses) for all who enter the building in the event that they may have come in contact with someone with the disease and reporting is required.

Cleaning Team Guidelines

  • All individuals must follow all physical distancing and hygiene guidelines including use of masks.
    • We will have disposable gloves available for those who will be cleaning between services.
  • We will have gloves, masks, cleaning supplies, disinfectant, bleach, etc. available to use for all necessary cleaning that will need to be done.
  • We will have designated volunteers to assist with cleaning.
  • Every volunteer will be given cleaning training to reduce and/or eliminate the risk of cleaning all common areas and high-touch surfaces.

Emergency Contact Plan

  • If anyone who attends our outdoor worship service tests positive for COVID-19 or is told to self-quarantine, the Rector will then contact every person on the Outdoor Worship Attendance list.
  • These individuals will be encouraged to get tested for COVID-19.
    • These individuals will be given pastoral care by the Rector.
    • These individuals will be instructed that they need to wait 14 days from date of phone call from the Rector before they can attend another Outdoor Worship service.