Northwest Ohio's Episcopal churches to re-open as early as May 31

By Nicki Gorny / The Blade
Thu, 21 May 2020 20:47:40 GMT

link -- with images

Local Episcopal churches may re-open as early as May 31, Bishop Mark Hollingsworth, Jr., of the Episcopal Diocese of Ohio announced on Wednesday. The date opens the second phase of a detailed plan to return to in-person worship, which the diocese suspended in mid-March.

Each parish and individual should consider their own circumstances in deciding when to return to worship, the bishop wrote in a letter to the diocese that covers northwest Ohio. It need not be on May 31. Before a church re-opens, congregations are asked to submit plans on how they will safely do so.

Worship guidelines released by the diocese this week call for worshipers and worship leaders to wear masks; for the suspension of any singing and of any physical contact in passing the peace or offertory; and for only the celebrant to receive the consecrated elements in Holy Communion. Worshipers should maintain six feet between households, and facilities should be cleaned thoroughly, among other suggestions and requirements included in the guidelines.

Churches are also called to continue online worship and formation opportunities for those unable to join in-person gatherings. For more information, go to