Trinity Building Status
Latest Update:

Update from Trinity’s Reopening Team  3/16/21

With the announcement of enough vaccine quantities for every American who wants one by summer, Trinity’s Reopening Team reconvened at Session’s request for the first time since the fall of 2020. We are looking at several sources for guidance on how and when to resume worship and other in-person activities at Trinity, including the CDC, State of Virginia, Arlington County, and the National Capital Presbytery. 

VBS: The team agreed to allow the proposed smaller  version (for those who call Trinity their church home)  of Vacation Bible School in 2021, with the caveat that as many activities take place outdoors AND follow the same protocols that have been in effect with the Trinity Preschool. 

Worship: Outdoor services will resume (weather permitting) in May and June, with the team keeping an eye on numbers recommended for gatherings outdoors, then indoors for indoor services in the future. July and August are first on the table, with both outdoor and indoor services under consideration, depending on infection rates, virus variants, and vaccination rates. 

Other activities, including indoor basketball and small group gatherings, will be considered as well, as guidance emerges from key sources. Singing indoors will also be reviewed in the coming months to determine how best to include music safely when indoor worship resumes. The team is considering asking the congregation about plans to obtain the vaccine to confirm when a high percentage of members might be considered “immune”.

With temperatures rising, outdoor options remain the safest in the coming months. We thank the Trinity community for your patience and acceptance of this more conservative approach to keeping everyone safe. 


As of July 21st, 2021 Session has approved for the preschool modified proposal to re-open in September.  The working group is developing guidelines on the status of the Trinity playground. The building remains closed except for small group reservations.


 Select Trinity space for reservations of small groups

We are excited to have space for small groups to start meeting at Trinity.  Session passed a motion to open select areas of Trinity for limited use (see the end of the email for the motion text).   To decrease the risk of transmission as much as possible, please read and adhere to the following guidelines, which will be updated as needed.

Trinity small groups now can reserve outdoor and select indoor space.  The following spaces are reservable (ONLY for Trinity small groups, not outside rentals or groups):

Indoor: Calvin Hall will be permanently set up with chairs for no more than 20 people. No basketball. 
Outdoor:  Upper Parking Lot on North 16th Street (no more than 20), Outdoor Chapel (no more than 23), Courtyard (no more than 17), 
Playground parking lot: maximum 63 based on 10-foot social distancing , Lawn area (84 based on 10 foot social distancing).

Sign up for your group by contacting the office via email.

·         Once a space is reserved, each member of the group will need to provide a phone or email, through a link provided by the office, so we can do contact tracing if needed.

·         In the beginning, we will have one group per day per space so that we are able to keep the areas and parking lots as low risk as possible.

·         Groups will be required to use face coverings and follow CDC social distancing protocols.

·         The cleaning service will be cleaning Calvin Hall regularly; however, each indoor group must follow indoor-specific protocols including (but not limited to): wiping down high contact surfaces (indoors) after use, use of hand sanitizer, face coverings, entering/exiting through designated door(s), and social distancing.

·         Bathrooms are for emergency use only.

The main church building remains closed as staff will be filming worship in those spaces and we need to keep the area clean.

Groups that are unable to follow the guidelines will not be allowed to reserve space again.

Thank you for your patience as we figure out this new system.  As this is an evolving issue, we will share any updates to these guidelines.

The Approved Session Motion is as follows:

Following extended discussion, a MOTION was MADE, SECONDED, and CARRIED unanimously that, effective July 15, 2020, the following maximums be approved for gatherings on church grounds in keeping with Trinity policies and state and local recommendations for social distancing:

OUTDOOR AREAS:

Playground parking lot: maximum 63 based on 10-foot social distancing 

Outdoor chapel: 23 based on 6-foot social distancing diagram

Courtyard: 17 based on 6-foot social distancing

Lawn area: 84 based on 10-foot social distancing

Playground area: discussion of reopening, which will be continued at the called session meeting on Tuesday, July 21, 2020

INDOOR:

Calvin Hall (gym)—indoor space max remains 20 until further notice

Reservations will go through the Office Manager via an online system. All group leaders are responsible for contact tracing–taking attendance and notifying the church and attendees should someone at a gathering test positive for COVID. See https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/php/contact-tracing/contact-tracing-plan/contact-tracing.html. Face covering usage is required for all gatherings.

On Tuesday, June 23, 2020, Trinity’s Session met to discuss next steps for facility use during the pandemic. Session seeks above all to keep everyone safe.

Following extended discussion, a MOTION was MADE, SECONDED, and CARRIED unanimously that Trinity Presbyterian Church remain closed for in-person worship through at least Sunday, September 6, 2020 and that the Trinity session reevaluate that timing at its August meeting.  The motion also allows Trinity-sponsored groups, effective July 10, 2020, to gather outdoors in three designated areas: the outdoor chapel, the courtyard, and the upper parking lot adjacent to the education building. Trinity groups will be permitted indoors in Calvin Hall, with a maximum of 20 persons. Alcoholics Anonymous will be the only external group permitted access to Calvin Hall.  Outdoor spaces will be limited by the space size, but in no case to more than 20 persons, to maintain proper social distancing requirements.  In Phase I of Trinity’s reopening, small groups will be limited in all spaces to no more than 20 persons. All groups must reserve space in advance and coordinate with the church office to track attendance to comply with contact tracing protocols. All groups must “leave no trace” of trash or debris. 

The target date to safely open these four spaces is 4 weeks after Arlington moved to Phase 2 according to Virginia Forward plan, or July 10, 2020, but only with Pastor and staff agreement that proper protocols are in place. After Session discussion it was agreed this timeline seems reasonable but will be adjusted and such adjustment communicated if necessary. Groups will be required to use face coverings and follow CDC social distancing protocols. (Seated activities require 6’ social distancing, physical exercise requires 10’.) Signage will be posted to reinforce safety protocols as required by Virginia.

Bathrooms will be for emergency use only for both indoor and outdoor groups. Only one person at a time will be allowed in such emergency cases. All groups will be asked to comply with contact tracing protocols. Contact tracing requires advance sign-up and attendance verification by group leader. Indoor groups must follow indoor-specific protocols, including (but not limited to): wiping down high contact surfaces (indoors) after use, use of hand sanitizer, face coverings, entering/exiting through designated door(s), and social distancing.

Individuals on church property accept risk and responsibility to limit exposure to others. Any group members not following the protocols may be denied their group’s future church facility use. AA will be asked to sign a liability waiver.

Previous guidance on the operating status during the pandemic:

Trinity Operating Status Details
March 27, 2020

   

In an email that went out on March 27th, we shared the following:
W
e hope you are all doing well during this difficult time. As you know two weeks ago Session voted to close Trinity through April 1st, with the intent of reassessing the building status before that time.

 
Last night, Session met again and voted on several key decisions.  The most important right now is that 
Trinity will be closed until May 1st, at which time another assessment will be made. As you know, this decision to close during Easter was not made lightly but is the best thing to do to keep the community safe. We will sending out special worship opportunities for Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Easter.
 
We know these decisions are difficult and are thankful for the leadership from the Session during this time. We send our thoughts and prayers to all as we help each other through this pandemic with God’s grace.
 
As always, please reach out to Pastor Judith, Session members, or staff if you have concerns or need assistance during this crisis.  If you are part of the Trinity community and are not receiving enews and worship at home links, please email the church office.
 


March 13, 2020
As we are trying to slow the rate of infection and keep our community safe, Session voted this morning to follow the recent National Capital Presbytery guidance to worship remotely and close for in person meetings, worships, and gatherings. Trinity will be closed until April 1st, when the status will be re-evaluated. We do not take these steps lightly and ask for your help in making God’s presence felt for all.

 
How can I worship?
During this time, we will have at home worship options for all ages updated online and sent out via the enews. For the next three weeks, we will send vie enews a podcast with Pastor Judith, Ben, and Stuart as a sermon message, along with music for meditation.
If you have a prayer concern, please email Pastor Judith or use this form to let us know if you are sick or quarantined.
 
What does the closing effect?
No in person gatherings at or in the name of Trinity. This includes youth, circle, and ministry meetings face to face. We encourage you to use Zoom and other video abilities to communicate.
 
The building will be closed to all persons, except the sole kitchen renter and the Food and Friends meal program. We stress not to come to Trinity to use the gym or other facilities as we are protecting the community. Our cleaning contractor will be doing an enhanced cleaning during this time and before we re-open.
 
We still need to connect now more than ever
During this unusual time, please call people, send a card, or an email and reach out to others. If you need an address or phone number, please email the church office. The staff will be working remotely.
 
If you know of a particular need someone has, please let us know.
Thank you for your help during this extraordinary time.
 
Grace and Peace,
 
Pastor Judith and the Trinity Session and staff