Earlier this month, the Church Preschool Board and the Vestry reviewed the documents Juanita Little had prepared for reopening the preschool. Juanita spent an inordinate amount of time going through CDC and other recommendations that applied to the safe opening of preschools. We so appreciate her time and effort spent in this; she was able to take a large volume of information and distill it into policies and procedures for reopening the preschool following CDC guidelines. After reviewing those documents, the Executive Board and the vestry approved reopening the preschool, provided that COVID 19 counts in the surrounding area served by the preschool do not dramatically go up. The current plan is to open the preschool on September 14.
The first question many of us might ask is, “Why the preschool and not the church building?” There are two key reasons for this. First, the diocese allows the Episcopal Schools and Preschools to go by the recommendations of the CDC, whereas the churches go by the decision of the bishop, based on input from his advisors. Second, the demographic for the preschool (predominantly young children and their teachers) is very different from the demographic for the church. Additionally, the preschool is designed to keep each class separate from the other classes – in teaching, and in exercise and bathroom breaks. This is not something we are able to do in the church.
Please know that we have teams working on preparing the church for a time when the buildings can be opened – we want to be ready to offer safe on-site worship as soon as we get clearance to do it. In the meantime, please join us if you can for online services: Monday and Friday Compline at 6 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday Morning Prayer at 8:00 a.m., Wednesday Healing Service at 10:00 a.m., and Sunday Worship at 10:00 a.m. All these services may be accessed using the link to Facebook on our website, or by going directly to the St. Matthews page on Facebook. And all the services are recorded, so you can watch them anytime!