Return and Renewal
Response to Covid-19 and plans for a return to our facilities
Sunday worship is online and in-person. Masking is required regardless of vaccination status. A section of the sanctuary is reserved those who prefer to be socially distanced. All other restrictions and procedures have been lifted.
The church offices and building are open for visitors weekdays from 9:00am to 4:00pm. Masking is required, regardless of vaccination status, for indoor, in-person events.
For outdoor, in-person activities, masking and social distancing is optional for those vaccinated and strongly encouraged for those not yet vaccinated. Church groups may meet indoors offsite with the same restrictions.
August 30, 2021 Update
For previous updates, see here.
The R&R Committee met August 30 and is not recommending any changes to our current policies: masking will continue be required for worship and other WPC indoor activities, regardless of vaccination status. The implementation of CDC guidance is dependent on dynamic changes Alexandria’s public health conditions, and will be monitored by the R&R Committee. When Alexandria moves from “Substantial” to “Moderate” levels for a sustained period of time (approximately two weeks), the R&R Committee will revisit the masking requirement.
Committee on Return and Renewal
The nature of the current public health crisis poses significant barriers to returning to worship at Westminster as we knew it in February. Nearly every aspect of our Sunday worship experience is challenged by public health guidelines intended to reduce transmission of the COVID-19 virus. The timing and manner of a return to Sunday worship in the sanctuary therefore needs to be considered carefully and deliberately, based on the best available information and guidance from medical professionals, government agencies and others, and in a public health environment that continues to evolve.
On May 27, 2020, the Session approved the creation of the Committee on Return and Renewal, which will monitor and assess relevant information and recommend to the Session plans for a gradual or complete return to the facilities of Westminster, as well as the resumption of ministries and programs that occur beyond our facilities. In addition to recommending long-term plans, the committee may need to receive and advise the Session on shorter-term, specific requests as they arise.
When the people of Israel “returned” to the land after the exile, they renewed the covenant and shaped their worship and service to God in ways that were different than before, but reimagined and reborn (Nehemiah 8-10). The committee has been intentionally named “Return and Renewal” (as opposed to “Re-open”) out of recognition of the tremendous degree to which the ministry of Westminster has remained open – much of it digitally – through this time of pandemic, and out of acknowledgment that when we are able to return to the facilities, many of our ministries will have changed or need to be changed.
Members of the Committee were appointed by the Session upon recommendation of Pastor Larry Hayward, who serves as the primary staff for the committee along with Director of Finance and Administration Lavinia Davis-Laux. To contact the committee, email [email protected].
Doug Anderson – Vice Chair
Associate Professor, Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University
Chair, Worship Committee
Associate Director of Communications and Marketing, Ford’s Theatre
Chair, Digital Ministries Committee
Former Chair, Christian Education Committee and Former Vice Chair, Congregational Life Committee
Assistant Teacher, Westminster Weekday Preschool
Chair, Westminster Foundation Board
Mike Donley – Chair
Chair, International Mission Committee
Former Secretary of the Air Force
Former Chair, Christian Formation Committee
Outgoing President, George Mason Elementary PTA
Vice Chair, Buildings & Grounds Committee
Project Manager/Architect with the Architect of the Capitol
Member, Youth Formation Subcommittee
President, Graduate Center, City University of New York
Vice Chair, Congregational Life Committee; Usher Captain
Certified Business Continuity Professional, Corporate COVID-19 Task Force, Marine Corps Chem/Bio Countermeasures Instructor
Chair, Congregational Life Committee
Retired Teacher, Alexandria City Public Schools