For Sunday, September 25, 2022
We have scheduled our next Newcomers’ Class, for anyone interested in exploring membership here at St. Paul’s. Join the co-rectors THIS Sunday, September 25 at 9:15 AM (between the two services). We’ll meet in the Parish Office Library. Bring your questions and curiosity! All are welcome.
Best of The Desert 2022!
These awards celebrate and recognize the best our community has to offer. The nominations are in, and the response was overwhelming! Only the top contenders in each category made it to the final voting stage. It’s now time to cast your votes to determine who the winners will be.
The Church of St. Paul in the Desert is a finalist in the “People and Places” category. See “Place to Worship.” Campaign rules allow each of us one vote per day, so we encourage you to cast your votes for St. Paul’s as often as you can.
Blessing of the Animals, honoring Saint Francis of Assisi
Please bring your furry and feathered friends and gather with the clergy of St. Paul in the Desert Episcopal Church on Sunday, October 2, 2022, at 4:00 PM for the annual Blessing of the Animals. The ceremony will take place in the Memorial Garden adjacent to the church. For their happiness and safety, please keep your pets leashed or otherwise in your loving care.
Pentecost 15 *** Proper 20 *** Year C *** September 18, 2022
Sermon given by the Reverend Daniel Kline, Co-Rector
Amos 8:4-7; Psalm 113; 1 Timothy 2:1-7; Luke 16:1-13
Over the summer, St. Paul’s had a major facilities crisis on our campus. One of our key ministry partners, the Well in the Desert, has been cooking 200 meals a day out of our tiny kitchen five days per week for the last few decades. On Wednesdays, they feed people in our Parish Hall, while the rest of the workweek they deliver food made on our campus to other churches that serve as distribution sites throughout the city. One day in June, the health inspector came by and shut the kitchen down. Why this happened is both complex and simple. The simple answer was the bugs. For quite some time (long before our arrival last year), a routine cockroach problem transformed into a plague of biblical proportions during COVID-19. But how did the bugs get there in the first place? The complex answer is that the terms of our community partnership were and still are unclear. Who was responsible for what? We have a charter document that is pretty old and was never really enforced or revised to meet the growing demands of running a mission kitchen and changes to our staffing model as time went on. At the end of the day, St. Paul’s was not empowering or holding accountable the Well’s stewardship of the kitchen. And the Well was not respecting St. Paul’s stewardship of that same kitchen.
I think that’s part of what Jesus is getting at here in the parable of the unjust steward. What do we do when someone is squandering our property? What do we do when that someone is us? What do we do when that someone is someone else? How do we respond as a church? How do we respond as individuals who make up the church?
In other words, what is Jesus’ remedy for us when the property is squandered, when we fail to steward our resources well? The first order of business is to develop street-smarts. Figure out how to make your dollar go further and to live on less. When some of us retired or received a life-altering diagnosis, we learned that lesson REAL quick. But have we learned it as a church? A lot of biblical scholars struggle with the fact that the unjust steward is reselling the owner’s goods at a lower price to save his own hide. But what those ivory tower folks who’ve never run a business fail to realize is that sometimes it’s better to have cash in a bad market, even if you’re losing money, then to be stuck with a whole bunch of inventory that you can’t sell. Sometimes it’s better to have something than nothing, to cut your losses so that you can have a nest-egg for a new start when things turn around.
And the street-smarts of that – the owner loves it. The owner wants someone to work for him who thinks outside of the box. He commends the steward for coming up with a creative solution. And I think God thinks that way about us. God loves a shrewd maneuver. God loves a good deal. God loves when His children get creative about the resources that He’s entrusted to them because it reflects the creativity of the Creator of the cosmos.
What does Jesus say? “The children of this age are shrewder in dealing with their own generation than are the children of light.” In other words, we can be spiritually wise, but business foolish. How do we as a church become shrewder? I think we’re on the way to doing that. We’re working on our strategic plan and a big part of that includes thinking about how we can be a little savvier with our resources going forward.
Most churches today have alternative sources of revenue. Your yearly pledge (estimated donation amount for the year) is the main way that we keep the doors of this place open. But unlike in the glory days of the past, the pledge alone is not enough. To survive in this economy where less and less people are coming to church and operating costs keep rising, most parishes have some other revenue sources to supplement the pledge. We don’t really have that here. Our Treasurer and Finance Committee have done a fantastic job of starting us on that path with some new investment vehicles, but we have a ways to go. So, instead of alternative revenue, we have some alternative expenses. Worthy causes like the Well in the Desert and the 12-Step groups. We don’t really have supplemental income except when the occasional parishioner dies and leaves us a little bit of money. The legacy gift of a very generous parishioner is what is getting us through the pandemic. Which is wonderful, except we end up burning through it for a few years until the next person passes on, leaves a large gift, and we enter the same cycle. Which is not a great way to run our finances. It’s poor stewardship. And it’s a hard cycle to break out of, one that goes back a ways and is larger than any individual, a way of doing business that probably made sense at the time, but no longer serves us well. Bad habits die hard.
The Gospel invites us to think outside of the box and to create some new habits. Hiring a co-rector couple was one way to begin doing that. What if there were other new ways to manage our resources? Some older churches, blessed by the generosity of parishioners from the past, have an endowment that supplements the budget. St. Paul’s does not have an endowment. In a previous parish I served in, twenty-five percent of the budget came from an endowment. Without it, they could not operate in today’s economy unless they were willing to make huge cuts to essential programs and staff that would severely undermine their mission. What if when someone passes away, their legacy gift went into an endowment that was responsible for helping with the growing maintenance costs, the costs to keep our facilities up and running? Where the principal remained untouched and only the interest was spent? So that we could actually write a check from the church to the Well in the Desert at the end of the year in addition to supplementing rent, utility, and repair costs, all of which are considerable?
Or maybe we consider expanding our community partner base? In other churches, there are community partners who pay money to rent some space on the church campus – a daycare or nursery school, small businesses looking for workspace, counselors who need an office to see clients, other non-profits, even other faith communities who worship at a different time. Some churches are thinking about physical changes to their campus that help with the bottom line. Our Campus Care/Property Committee is looking at a comprehensive solar plan as one way to reduce our electric bill, possibly connected to charging stations for electric vehicles. Other churches installed cell phone towers back when that infrastructure was being built. Other churches redesigned their meeting space to better accommodate weddings and the potential increase in income from that. One church I served in was next to a university campus. They had built a parking garage and they received income from the operator of the garage. Another church in that same town tore down their aging rectory and built an affordable housing development with brand new church offices on the first floor, all of it funded from private and government sources. They figured out a way to house the homeless and further the rest of the mission of the parish at a very limited cost to the church. Or maybe you have an even better idea that you can share with us at one of our upcoming Patio Parties!
If we can’t handle what we currently have, how can we handle those larger things? If we can’t empower the Well presently, how can we sponsor a Ukrainian refugee family in the future? If we can’t take care of our current kitchen, how will we be able to manage any construction projects around a remodeled parish hall? If we can’t afford what we have, how can we afford any new ideas that God might be calling us toward? As Jesus says, “And if you have not been faithful with what belongs to another, who will give you what is your own? Whoever is faithful with little is also faithful with much. Whoever is dishonest with little is also dishonest with much.”
So we’ve gotta get a little more street-smart as a parish. But there’s a second thing Jesus asks us. Doesn’t really ask. He tells us. He tells us to be generous. “And I tell you, make friends for yourselves by means of dishonest wealth so that when it is gone, they may welcome you into eternal homes.” Use your existing wealth for good. Many of you are doing that. St. Paul’s is an incredibly generous parish, so it’s like we’re preaching to the choir. We have less people attending St. Paul’s than we did in 2019, yet our current parishioners are giving at a higher rate per household than in that year before the pandemic. You stepped in to donate money for the purchasing of new kitchen equipment, including a new sump-pump to help with all the plumbing problems that come with running an aging kitchen five days a week. You donated new TVs so that our 12-step groups can Zoom in folks who can’t make a meeting in-person. This was above and beyond the generosity of the annual pledge.
Maybe you can’t donate more treasure, but you’re donating more time. So many of you volunteered your time at our Campus Cleanup Day this summer. It transformed our campus. We would not be able to reopen our Sunday School classrooms without your generosity of time on that Saturday. Today, in between the services, the Kitchen Care Team, led by Rick Tinsley, Director of Food and Nutrition at Eisenhower, will meet/has met with parishioners to do a volunteer training focused on how to empower the Well keep their new equipment and space clean. After the 10:30AM service, our Production Team is meeting to talk about how we can train more volunteers to learn how to run our livestream. We’re still looking for folks who would love to learn more about church finances by participating in our Budget Committee.
Maybe you are strapped for cash and time, but you can offer specific prayer for St. Paul’s to have a resourced future. Maybe you can join an order devoted to prayer like the Daughters of the King or the Fellowship of St. John. Or you can make it a spiritual practice to show up for our short mid-week Eucharist on Wednesday nights. It’s another opportunity to pray for God to provide all the resources we need to do what God is calling us to do in Palm Springs.
Or you can donate some effort to a positive organizational culture. Instead of complaining about the past, even if it is justified, you can generously contribute to a conversation about how we move forward into the future. Besides participating in Patio Parties and email feedback, you can resist the pull to bring up past negative narratives that lead to discouragement and suffocate hope. Because God has a new story to tell through us at this time in our history. But if our hands are holding on too tightly to the past, they are not empty to receive what might unfold. If the unjust steward can forgive the debts of his customers, can’t we forgive the Well for not holding up their end of the bargain? If the owner of the business can forgive the unjust steward, can’t we forgive St. Paul’s for not holding up our end of the deal over the years? So whatever resource you can give, time, talent, or treasure, let’s all figure out how to use our shared, but limited resource pool wisely. And let’s figure out ways to grow those resources so that we can give them away. Because if we are faithful in what we have, God will entrust us with more. Amen.
St. Paul’s Ukrainian Refugee Care Exploration
GOOD NEWS: Our Ukrainian Refugee Care Program is now off and running! After many conversations to gage whether there was enough interest in the parish to consider this ministry, the Social Justice Ministry appointed a Ukrainian Care Team (UCT) this past spring. The UCT’s first step was to assess the resources available to us (e.g. diocesan, other non-profits, and civic) and then to ascertain some possible options for providing Ukrainian refugee care. After careful research, the team made a proposal to the Social Justice Ministry at its monthly meeting on September 7, and that proposal was unanimously adopted.
WHERE TO START: There are currently at least two Ukrainian refugee families in the west valley sponsored by individuals (not currently connected with St. Paul’s). The refugees and sponsors exhibited a tremendous amount of determination as they sought to work through significant red tape. Our research indicated that one of those families (the Darahans), and their sponsor (Brittany) were off to a good start and would appreciate our proposed support. The Darahan family is temporarily living in Brittany’s home in Cathedral City. It consists of Serge (father), Kate (wife) and Diane (12-year-old daughter). Serge is an IT specialist in website design and is still working remotely part time for his old employer in Ukraine. Kate is an accountant. Diane is enrolled in middle school. One might consider them an upper-class professional family. They are nominally proficient in English and are working to expand those capabilities. They funded their own way to the U.S. Should we connect with Brittany and the Darahans, St. Paul’s would have no on-going financial commitment. We could learn a lot about what it takes to sponsor a Ukrainian refugee family by helping them get established here in our community in a tertiary supportive role. In other words, this seems like a good place to start our Ukrainian Care Program.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?: Serge and Kate are in the process of getting green cards, and they have good temporary living quarters. Although St. Paul’s has made no financial commitment, we as individuals can help them with related immediate needs, including helping them find jobs in their career fields and affordable permanent housing. Even easier, we can made donations to a GoFundMe account (https://gofund.me/c5631e04) that has been established for their benefit to purchase a car, etc. Other needs are likely to arise, but these are their needs NOW.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
- Please check out the website https://welcome.us for a broad coverage of in-point information. There are hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian families and individuals hoping to find refuge in the U.S. WELCOME.US has an on-going registry of Ukrainians anxious to enter the U.S. This includes people of a wide range of backgrounds and persuasions, including LGBTQ+. You’re invited to check out the website and see if something resonates with you.
- Please reach out to the UTC co-chairs, John Sanders () and Hap Blaisdell (), should you have any further questions.
Latino Ministry Movie Night
In observance of National Hispanic Heritage Month, the Latino Ministry Committee invites all interested to a free evening of cinema this Thursday, September 29, at 6:00 PM at the Palm Springs Art Museum. We will watch the film 499, by Rodrigo Reyes. For information about the film and to register, please visit: https://www.psmuseum.org/events/499?date=2022-09-29
MARK YOUR CALENDARS for the following events at St. Paul’s
- Sunday, October 9 – We’re calling it “Welcome Back Sunday,” and we consider it the unofficial launch of our new church Season. By then, our hot weather will have subsided somewhat, and we’ll begin to see the return of our “snowbird” and seasonal worshipers. It promises to be a festive day at St. Paul’s. We will be worshiping together in one fantastic service at 10:30 AM, followed by potluck fellowship, a ministry fair, and the directory photo shoot. You won’t want to miss this Sunday! Our Strategic Planning Consultant, along with the Co-rectors, will be sharing some exciting news about St. Paul’s and our future! We hope you can be a part of it.
- Wednesday, Sept. 28, 6:00 PM – Feast of St. Michael & All Angels (transferred) Evensong
- Sunday, Oct. 2 – The Feast of St. Francis (transferred) – 4:00 pet blessing in the Memorial Garden
- Sunday, October 16 3:00 PM – dedication and blessing of The Linda Curea Memorial Rodgers Organ
Interested in Confirmation/Reception? – Register now for our preparatory classes at . The sessions will be taught by a variety of clergy from St. Paul’s and the curriculum promises an interesting learning experience.
Social Justice Ministry – Elementary School Support – We have purchased backpacks that were blessed in church last Sunday. They will be filled with school supplies and given to a low-income elementary school. If you would like to donate toward the purchase of backpack items, please give to the “school backpack project” or contact Lena Granet at .
Daughters of the King
St. Paul’s Chapter of the Daughters of the King (DOK) will be offering preparation for admitting new members starting in October. Our order is open to all women who desire a closer walk with the Lord. If you would like more information about the Daughters of the King, contact Patty Kiker at or 214-497-3034, Bonnie Stroock at , or Karen Nelson at . Requests for prayers to be added to the DOK confidential list can be emailed to .
Sunday School Craft Supplies Needed
Do you have any craft supplies you’re not using that you’d like to donate to the children’s ministry? Fabric scraps, wooden blocks, pipe cleaners, felt, glue, or anything else that’s in good condition? Please bring what you have to the church on Sunday (or call the church for a drop-off this week). Sunday School teachers will be planning the new year next week and would love to get creative with teaching projects.
The next Book Club meeting will be held Tuesday, October 4, 2022, at 1:00 PM via Zoom. Meeting information will follow later. For October, Book Club has selected Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont by Elizabeth Taylor. Mrs. Palfrey, an elegant, genteel widow came from Scotland to London to take up residence at the Claremont hotel. Though she has high hopes for the cosmopolitan pleasures of living in a big city, she soon is filled with a sense of uneasiness and gloom.
Parish Directory Project
Please return before Oct. 9th
We are gearing up for our new church directory and making a final call to get your information in it! If we have not received your updated information (even if it has not recently changed), we will miss out on having you in the directory.
SO, please print and fill out the “Updating our Directory” form via this link and either email it directly to OR drop it by the church before October 9th.
If you are not around on October 9th and do not have an outdoor headshot photo of yourself, please call the church to schedule a time to get your picture taken at the church (760.320.7488). This must be done prior to October 9th to get in the directory.
St. Margaret’s Labyrinth Walk for Peace
Friday, September 30, 5:30 PM
The Living Without Fear and Daughters of the King Ministries at St. Margaret’s invite you to a Labyrinth Walk for Peace on Friday, September 30, at 5:30 pm. The walk will last around one hour. Guidance will be available for newcomers to walking the Labyrinth.
The walk is open to all as we join with Pace e Bene (Peace and All Good) Campaign Nonviolence Action Days. This year, from September 21 through October 2, thousands of people across the country and around the world will be participating in local events that promote Nonviolence and Social Justice. September 30, the day of our walk, is specially focused on gun violence. We welcome you to experience this walk and special program in St. Margaret’s labyrinth on the south patio.
For over a thousand years, Christian Pilgrims have walked the labyrinth to go deeply into their personal searches for understanding. We are so fortunate to be able to participate in this timeless ritual right here at St. Margaret’s.
Come to honor and remember the victims of gun violence.
Come to reflect and to find God’s peace as the sun sets over the mountains.
The Labyrinth is located just south of the main church sanctuary at:
St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church
47535 Palms to Pines Highway
Palm Desert CA 92260
Summer Mid-week Services
Come worship with us at Evening Prayer or, for select weeks, a simple spoken Mass (Contemplative Eucharist), one or the other, offered Wednesdays at 6:00 PM.
LiveStream Assistant Trainees Needed
We were unable to livestream the August 28th 10:30 service, as is our usual practice, due to technical limitations. The problems we encountered underscore our need for more volunteers to get involved in the production of our weekly broadcasts. We currently have no depth in the ranks of trained technicians to operate our audiovisual equipment. If you think you might be interested in being trained in this technology, we’d like to talk to you. The work is fun, it’s not difficult, and there is no prior experience required. We have technical experts who are available to do the training. Our hope is to get enough trained production assistants so the time commitment for any given individual would be lessened.
Prayer Vigil at the Salton Sea October 10th
Desert AIDS Walk, October 29, 7:30 AM – 1:00 PM, Ruth Hardy Park
Registration starts at 7:30; the Walk will leave the park at 9:00 AM. Saint Paul’s has supported the Desert AIDS Project for over 30 years, providing donors and board members, and by participating in events. Please join us as part of the Community and register with our team. This year we will also be joined by contingents from St. Margaret’s and St. John’s. Take Action and walk on Saturday, October 29, 2022. Make an Impact by donating or collecting donations for Desert AIDS Project. You can also register at desertaidsproject.org or contact George at . Donations can be made at the information table set up in the Columbarium colonnade outside the church before and after services. Alternatively, you can give online or in the offering plate. AIDS Walk tee shirts are available for purchase from the Desert AIDS Project for $25.
New Testament I at the EDSD School for Ministry on Zoom this fall.
Online offerings from the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego School for Ministry are currently in transition. This fall, New Testament I will be offered completely online only, via Zoom. David Moseley, PhD will be teaching this course. He is a much beloved instructor who teaches all scripture classes at the school. The sessions will be held on Monday evenings from 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM, from September 12 to December 5. The link to their website is EDSD: » School for Ministry. For more information, contact Andrew Trofka at 920.619.6392 or .
Church flower sponsorships
Fresh flowers on display in the church honor God and add to the beauty of our worship. We invite you to consider sponsoring flowers to recognize or honor special people and events. We currently have several open Sundays for sponsoring Narthex Flowers. These floral arrangements are smaller than altar arrangements; they are often created with beautiful, unique blooms not always found in the larger displays.
You can reserve your sponsorship Sunday(s) by calling the Parish Office (760.320.7488). Or you can sign up using the Flower Sponsor Register found in the Narthex on Sunday mornings.
Prayers of the Church
For the Anglican Communion, and for the Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Welby; for The Anglican Church of Burundi, The Most Reverend Sixbert Macumi, Archbishop.
For the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, The Right Reverend Eugene Taylor Sutton, Bishop; The Right Reverend Robert W. Ihloff, Assisting Bishop.
For the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego, The Right Reverend Dr. Susan Brown Snook, Bishop; for the clergy and people of St. Paul’s Cathedral, San Diego; for our Diocesan clergy as they gather for Clergy Conference this week.
For those commended to our prayers: Joel Watson, Lyn Morgan, Paul & Elaine Martinkovic, Marge Horstman, Teresa Ball, Pastor Donaldson & family, Mr. & Mrs. Geeson, Richard Jones, Charles Koser, William Kennedy, Terry Moran, The Rev. Dale Carr & Ken Ballard, Jane Huerter, Tom O’Mara, Karl, Megan, Gordon Berry, Sr., Betty Dasteel, The Rev. Canon Victoria Hatch, Greg Gowdy, Robin Griffen-McLaughlin, The Rev. Deborah Seles, in thanksgiving for recent travels, Terry Moran, Uta Born, Nicole Phillips, Noble Pereira, Frank Riviers, Geraldine Rosato, David Smitherman, Jeff Peck, Wayne Watson, McLeaman Legg, Woody Wood & Doug Hairgrove, Martin Page, Don & Mary Hamilton, Roy Cody, Gale Enger & George Barros, Tony Ellerd, Josh Brown, Dirk Beach-Barrow, AJ Miller, Jim Randolph, Tom Lutgen, Brian Nealy; pray for Kentucky residents coping with property damage in the aftermath of destructive storms; pray for all those for whom no prayers have been said.
For those who have died: Alice Sleight, Debbie Morgan Alam, Eric Edgington, Harold Benjamin, James Booty, Stella Patti Grossman, Jim McCrae, Werner Futterer, Mike Baltazar, Helen & Charles Falconio, Joe Migocki, Terry Harrington, Mike Lang. May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
For those with birthdays: September 25: Jessica Scott; September 27: Noe Cruz, Leith Chandrasena, Roberto Carrillo; September 28: Robert Moon, Matthew Hampson; September 29: Ron Shepherd, Jacqueline Gerard, Mick Dawson; September 30: Dean Weller, Michael Davidson; October 1: Peter Di Carlo; Janice Wacker.
For those celebrating anniversaries: September 27: Christine Patterson & Laurent Dellac, Joan & Mick Dawson; September 28: Donald Owen & Jeffrey Tucker; September 29: Deana & Kenneth Huff; September 30: Larry Stralow & Wayne Watson.
For those for whom flowers have been donated: Today’s Altar Flowers are sponsored by Ron McDaniel, in loving memory of his husband, Tom Milne, and Andy.
Robby Robinson & Andy Johnson have sponsored Narthex Flowers today in thanksgiving for their 29th anniversary.
For next Sunday’s Lectionary readings, go to www.stpaulsps.org, and click on “This Week’s Scriptures” in the Worship Services box. From the calendar, select October 2, The Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost.
Coffee/Social Hour Hospitality
For those wishing to sponsor refreshments for a specific Sunday Coffee Hour, please call or stop by the Parish Office to sign up. All our hospitality procedures and protocols are subject to any CDC guidelines and mandates that Bishop Susan may put into place, depending on prevailing COVID conditions.
The Abundant Life E-List
If you are not a current subscriber to our weekly electronic newsletter, it’s easy to sign up. Just go to www.stpaulsps.org, scroll down to find “Join Our E-Mail List,” enter your email address – and you’re all set. You will receive the newsletter each week, usually on Fridays.
If the newsletter ends up in your spam/junk folder, simply add to your email address book.
Sunday Service Livestreaming
We are livestreaming our 10:30 AM Sunday Eucharist every week. The livestream project was made possible through a generous gift from a “snowbird” member from Philadelphia who wintered in Palm Springs for many years and worshiped at St. Paul’s every Sunday. You can view the livestream on our Home Page, YouTube Channel, and Facebook Page.
Missed a service? Or want to rewatch a liturgy? All our past services are available to watch either on our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/StPaulintheDesert or on our Facebook timeline: https://www.facebook.com/stpaulinthedesert
Episcopal Relief & Development
Episcopal Relief & Development is mobilizing with Anglican agencies and other partners to provide humanitarian assistance to people fleeing the violence in Ukraine. Working through the Action by Churches Together Alliance (ACT Alliance), Episcopal Relief & Development will provide cash, blankets, hygiene supplies and other needed assistance. Please pray for all those affected. To donate directly to Episcopal Relief & Development’s Ukraine Crisis Response Fund, visit (https://support.episcopalrelief.org/). If you prefer, you can donate through St. Paul’s Parish. Be sure to designate “ERD Ukraine” on your check or cash envelope. To date, donations processed through our church have totaled $1,918.
COVID-19 and Masking at St. Paul’s Update
The following changes will take effect in our public worship on Sunday May 1, 2022:
+ 8:00AM – vaccine and mask required
+ 10:30AM (& Wednesday nights) – vaccine and mask strongly recommended
In addition to the changes mentioned above, the following will continue:
+ Funerals, which often have many guests from out of state, will be mask required services (we will not check for vaccinations)
+ Ushers, altar ministers, lectors, and clergy will continue to remain masked unless reading, preaching, or celebrating the Eucharist. Staff singers/choir/ensembles will continue to remain masked during the services