Church Year, News, Uncategorized

We’re Reopening! Welcome Back.

“Praise the Lord!
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart,
in the company of the upright, in the congregation.”
— Psalm 111:1

Beloved in Christ,

It’s time. On October 3rd, we are going to transition from fully remote to hybrid worship, meeting in the building and online simultaneously. We believe that the high vaccination rate of our members and use of the following precautions minimize the risk of viral spread sufficiently for us to return to the building; however, each individual and family will need to decide if they are ready to worship in person.  

Here’s what we’re going to do to keep one another safe:

  1. Vaccination. This is the most important way we can keep one another safe. If you are eligible for vaccination and haven’t received one yet, please visit this website to find an appointment: https://www.mass.gov/covid-19-vaccine Reach out to the church office for assistance getting a ride to a vaccination site or childcare during the appointment. Vaccination is not required, but it is highly recommended.
  2. Masking. Everyone is required to wear a mask indoors; worship leaders may remove their masks when speaking. The mask must cover your mouth and nose at all times except when taking communion.
  3. Testing. We encourage everyone to be tested for COVID-19 regularly.
    Pastor Emily will be tested weekly. 
  4. Ventilation. While the weather allows, we will open the windows and doors during worship and use the fans to circulate the air. Please dress accordingly.
  5. Communion. For Phase 1 of reopening, we will commune using prepackaged communion kits. You will receive a kit as you enter the church, and take communion in the pews at the appropriate time. Please discard the packaging as you exit.
  6. Music. A cantor will sing the hymns and liturgy on behalf of the congregation. We will listen prayerfully and worship in spirit rather than raise our voices in song. 
  7. Contact tracing. When you arrive, please sign in with your name and contact information. If anyone falls ill with COVID-19, we will contact you.
  8. Worship when sick. If you have any respiratory symptoms, a fever, or other COVID-19 related symptoms, stay home. Virtual worship options will continue and we look forward to worshipping with you over Zoom or Facebook.
  9. Coffee hour. After worship, please leave the building promptly. Those who desire to share fellowship time may do so outside in the fresh air without food or beverages.
  10. Social Distance. If our congregation is vaccinated, masking, and testing regularly, distance is less important for our safety. We will maintain 6 feet of distance as we are able. 

We will continue to evaluate our practices as conditions change. If we experience a surge in the winter months or a newly dangerous variant, we may transition back to remote worship for a time. As conditions improve, our precautions may loosen accordingly. 

We are grateful to God that we will be able to meet in person, even though we know the experience will not be the same. We will miss those we have lost over the last year and a half. We will miss our usual worship practices like congregational singing or processing for communion, and we will miss those who cannot yet join us for worship in person. Please continue to hold one another in prayer as we embark on this next phase of our life together.

If you have any questions, suggestions, or concerns, please contact Pastor Emily or Anne DiSciullo (council president). 

With love and peace in Christ Jesus,

Pastor Emily and Church Council

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