Church Year, News, Uncategorized

Worship is in person! Welcome Back.

“How very good and pleasant it is
    when kindred live together in unity!
 It is like the precious oil on the head,
    running down upon the beard,
on the beard of Aaron,
    running down over the collar of his robes.
 It is like the dew of Hermon,
    which falls on the mountains of Zion.
For there the Lord ordained his blessing,
    life forevermore.

– Psalm 133

Beloved in Christ,

Now that the recent surge of the pandemic has passed, 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.  

Please note the following changes to our worship precautions:

  1. 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. We strongly advise the use of N95, KN95, or surgical masks rather than fabric, as they are more effective in preventing transmission of the Omicron variant. Surgical masks will be available at the door of the sanctuary. We are looking into providing N95s for those who need them.
  2. Music. Guidance regarding communal singing now allows for communities to sing together with some precautions. We will sing fewer verses of each hymn, sing masked, and ask that the community sing quietly. 

Our other precautions, available below, remain the same:

  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. Testing. We encourage everyone to be tested for COVID-19 regularly.
    Pastor Emily will be tested weekly. Test kits are available for those who need them.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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 worshiping with you over Zoom or Facebook.
  7. Coffee hour. After worship, please leave the building promptly. Those who desire to share fellowship time may do so outside in the fresh air.
  8. 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 or a newly dangerous variant, we may transition back to remote worship for a time. As conditions improve, our precautions may loosen accordingly. 

We praise God for bringing us together in ways old and new, and especially give thanks for the gift of song. We look forward to seeing many of you in the sanctuary soon.

If you have any questions, suggestions, or concerns, please contact Pastor Emily.