COVID-19 Resources and Announcements

The following items are placed on this page in response to the COVID-19 Outbreak. They include Resources for Livestream Services and Official Announcements from the Standing Committee of the Diocese of North Dakota.

The Episcopal Diocese of North Dakota

3600 25th Street South • Fargo, North Dakota 58104-6861

Telephone (701) 235-6688

Office of the Bishop

March 27, 2021

To: Clergy and congregations of the Episcopal Diocese of North Dakota

From: Bishop Ely

Re: Revised Covid-19 Protocols

Dear colleagues in ministry:

At the March 6, 2021 meeting of the Diocesan Council, the Council authorized a Task Force to review and revise our Diocesan Covid-19 Protocols, under the leadership of Dr. John Baird. The fruit of their effort represents an update to previous protocols. Clergy and congregations are asked to review and use these protocols in the exercise of your ministry at the local level. I am grateful to Dr. Baird and the other members of this committee for their thoughtful and professional review and revision to our protocols. The Task Force members are available to you if you would like to discuss these protocols or seek additional support and guidance. Dr. Baird can be reach via email at: jbaird01@gmail.com

As we continue to navigate the realities of the Covid-19 pandemic, I want to express my appreciation for the way the people of our diocese have taken to heart the need for practicing safe measures of masking, social distancing, and sanitizing. I also appreciate the encouragement for all our members to receive Covid-19 vaccinations, so that we can return to some semblance of “normal” in the not-too-distant future. This is not the time to let down our guard or become complacent in our efforts.  Ann and I will receive our second vaccination shots during Easter week.

Finally, please remember to pray for those who have died because of this pandemic and those whose lives have been shattered by the death of family, friends, and other loved ones. Please remember to reach out in loving care to those who are grieving, afraid, lonely, or suffering in any way from the impact of this pandemic. Our care for one another is a sign of our Christian love made manifest in our daily lives and living.

May this Holy Week and Easter season be holy times for you and your communities of faith.

Faithfully yours,

The Right Reverend Thomas C. Ely, Bishop Provisional

Included: Revised Covid-19 Protocols

The Episcopal Diocese of North Dakota

3600 25th Street South • Fargo, North Dakota 58104-6861

Telephone (701) 235-6688 • www.ndepiscopal.org

COVID-19 Protocol – Updated March 27, 2021

Purpose:  Living through a year of pandemic much has been learned and an end is in sight. Do not stop your care and precautions. Remember and pray for those who have been sick or died from this illness. We make general recommendations; however, each congregation must consider the status of their locality and their own situations. A small local group should make final decisions that are best for their own church.

We are called to love God and love our neighbor, including the weak and vulnerable. Each of us must consider what is best for themself and their community. The task force is available for consultation as needed. 

Gathering:  Continue prudent ways to decrease spread of disease. This includes wearing masks, distancing six feet, hand washing, avoiding others when sick, and ventilation such as open windows or meetings outside.

  • On-line worship – Much has been developed allowing us to be together, even from a distance. Continue what has been working to decrease disease and reach those who cannot attend. 
  • In-person worship – Make local decisions considering infection rates, vaccinations, size of space, numbers of attendees, and ventilation. As the rate of disease decreases you may loosen restrictions.
  • Funerals and special gatherings: Try to maintain the same restrictions as any in-person worship.
  • Sunday school: Follow local school guidelines including masks and maintaining 3 to 6 feet separation. 

Singing: Choir and congregation may sing. Use a mask, stay separated, and have proper ventilation.

Passing the Peace: Continue to use touch-free greetings with no hand shaking or hugs.

Holy Communion: Masking and distance are important. Receiving bread only is acceptable. Single serving cups are an option for wine. 

Surfaces and handouts: COVID-19 is airborne. Try to limit sharing of books and offering plates. Clean surfaces that may have become contaminated with coughing or sneezing. Ventilate spaces between use. 

Food: Eating requires special attention to space and time spent together. Maintain distancing and masking when less than 6 feet part. Wash hands frequently with hand sanitizer or soap and water. Have meal outdoors if possible. Limit contact with commonly touched surfaces or shared items. Use disposable utensils, grab-and-go meal options, or one person serving to limit touches. This process will need local discussion and agreement. 

Vaccinations: Vaccine is an important tool to help us get back to normal. Studies show they are safe and effective at preventing disease and serious illness. Make your own decision about receiving vaccine with your health care provider. Not all is known but CDC has new recommendations concerning vaccinated people:

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/fully-vaccinated.html  You can gather indoors with fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask. If gathering with unvaccinated people or those with unknown status you still need to mask and distance. 

Revisit your plan frequently: Consideration should be given to the most recent guidelines from public health agencies including the CDC, North Dakota Department of Health, and local health departments.


You will find State of North Dakota information at this link: https://www.health.nd.gov/diseases-conditions/coronavirus

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