In-Person 8:30 AM Service
Congregational singing (with masks on) will be part of the order of worship at the in-person worship service in the Sanctuary at 8:30AM starting SUN NOV 22. As just mentioned, in the interests of safety masks must be worn at all times, we’ll observe social distancing, and other measures.
If you register, you will be sent a link on SAT NOV 21 to complete a REVISED health care questionnaire. You should complete the questionnaire on Saturday any time after you receive it. You must complete and satisfy the health and non-exposure requirements described in the questionnaire in order to attend Sunday morning.
Staff and Elders want you to be aware of the PSC Medical Task Force’s advisory regarding corporate singing, and it is provided here:
Park Street Church Medical Task Force Health Advisory Statement:
The PSC Medical Task Force (“MTF”) strongly advises that seniors, those with pre-existing health conditions, and those who live or interact with medically vulnerable people, NOT attend live worship services with singing. From a healthcare perspective, the general recommendation of the task force is that all congregants worship virtually and participate in virtual or outdoor, masked and socially distanced small groups for spiritual encouragement and prayer until the pandemic ends or is under much better control. We also advise congregants to remember their own risks, but the possibility of unintentionally infecting others around you – especially the elderly and those with preexisting health conditions.
The nature of the SARS-CoV-2 virus carries risks for large gatherings. Approximately, 40% of persons with the virus have minimal or no symptoms. Based on the average daily cases, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health has designated Boston at high risk for transmission. These rising infection rates mean that one or more persons present during live worship may be unknowingly infected with COVID-19.
The risk of spreading COVID-19 is clearly increased by singing. Singing (even with a mask) creates aerosols that carry the SARS-CoV-2 virus. In an enclosed space, these aerosol clouds spread widely and linger for 2-3 hours. Most masks do not protect completely from spreading or inhaling SARS-CoV-2 within aerosols. More than 10 minutes of aerosol exposure is considered by medical experts to be high risk for becoming infected. The Elders, therefore, have limited congregational singing to two songs near the end of the 8:30 service to possibly lower the risk of infection and to allow those who do not want to incur any risk associated with singing to leave the service before singing begins.
The task force has evaluated these important factors, and given the current circumstances in Boston, deems the risk of exposing other worshipers to the virus to be high.
Those considered high risk, and those who live or work closely with high risk people, are strongly discouraged from attending live services with singing. The elderly and those with poorer health are especially vulnerable to major health complications or death from Covid-19. This includes seniors, and adults of any age with the following conditions:
- Chronic kidney disease
- COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
- Heart conditions
- Immunocompromised state
- Sickle cell disease
- Type 2 diabetes mellitus
As public health scientists, physicians, and followers of Jesus Christ, we’ve been asked to advise our fellow congregants of the risk of public worship based on the known science and our best judgement of this health crisis. From a health standpoint, we therefore, strongly discourage meeting in large groups or singing activities indoors because it increases risk, directly and indirectly, to the vulnerable. We ask the congregation to exercise patience as we trust in the Lord to bring deliverance from this public health emergency within His perfect timing. We humbly ask for your prayers for us and our congregation.
Millard Baubitz, PhD
Don Cutlip, MD
Jorge Chavarro, MD, ScD
Andrea Enzinger, MD
Howard Green, MD
John Knight, MD (Elder)
Lessie Nicholson, MD
Bill Pearson, PhD (Chair of MTF)
Rebecca Saff, MD, PhD
Alexis Sauer-Budge, PhD (Elder)