The Episcopal Church approaches these decisions with great care and bases changes in our practices on solid, scientific data.
I never thought the Episcopal Church was particularly “scientific.” In fact, looking in the rear-view mirror one thing that may have alienated me and others in my family from the church is their distinctly aesthetic emphasis, an emphasis which minimised the importance of the “hard facts.” That’s true of our elites in general, even those which never darken the door of the Episcopal or any other church: they’re basically unscientific by training and temperament, and parading that they “believe in science” is only proof that their idea of escaping this ignorance is turning science into a religion.
It gets worse: the science of COVID-19 is a poorly-understood moving target, one that has befuddled expert and amateur (and everyone else in between) alike. When we’re on the frontiers of scientific knowledge, that’s the way it is. It’s hard to make public policy or private decisions based on that moving target; the day when we can say we have overall “solid science” on this topic is in the future.
Given what we do know and Bethesda’s superannuated demographics (something they share with the Episcopal Church in general and their Diocese in particular) caution is certainly warranted. (The fact that their Rector attended the COVID-19 “ground zero” for the denomination isn’t comforting either.) And their online program is definitely above average. But to claim solid science for this may sound good but doesn’t conform to the “hard facts” of the situation, not yet at least.
P.S. I also noted the quote from the contract on the Episcopalians in their masthead.