Reopening Team Progress Report
Happily we have experienced two in-person large gatherings on our campus, the Saturday evening musical event in honor of Rev. Kathleen, and the Sunday worship service in the meeting house marking the end of her ministry with us after 14 memorable years. In most ways the recommended protocols about masks and distancing were observed, and so far no negative outcomes have been reported. We are pleased to continue recommending more in-person happenings.
But first, we must note that the Delta coronavirus variant continues to cause an increasing number of cases. The best action any of us can take for personal health and community well being is to get fully vaccinated. Vaccinated persons are FAR less likely to face hospitalization or worse. The disease can surely be spread by those not vaccinated but also by the fully vaccinated who become infected even without symptoms. Thus, masks will continue to be necessary at all church gatherings. The best mask is the N95 respirator type, made of non-woven polypropylene fabric. Similar in many ways is the KN95 mask, not a true respirator but potentially very effective if purchased from a reputable source. No vented masks, please. Until caseloads peak and come down we will take only cautious steps related to in-person events.
We said about Rev. Kathleen's final Sunday we should observe sufficient distancing in the meeting house and at the end there should be no receiving line. Well, six feet apart means leaving three empty seats, not just one, between individuals or family groups. We saw less than perfect compliance with this on Sunday. We can do better. And about no reception line, um, how long was that actual line? So hard to control but we'll try to do better. Read on.
Next Sunday Rev. Arvid Straube will be leading our worship at 9:30 am in the meeting house. Masks required. Please try for six feet apart. Meeting house doors will be closed to help the air-circulation system do its job (view our ventilation diagram for full explanation). No singing. Please register ahead online; inside seating will be limited to 150 people. Those who show up unregistered could be turned away, or they could unfairly be taking seats available for the pre-registered. Please no reception line afterwards. No social hour.
On Sunday, Sept. 5, Rev. Jim Grant will lead, with our transitional minister, Rev. Michael Brown present in person. Masks required, etc. We'll work out something, outdoors, for Rev. Michael to take questions or listen to comments. There will not be a one-on-one, shake hands opportunity, only a group setting.
An online service will be presented at 11:30 am every Sunday going forward for the foreseeable future for those who prefer this format or wish to choose the safer option.
We will do our best to keep track of who attends services in person, in case some spread occurs. This is best done by you entering your data ahead of time, rather than by us trying to gather your data at the time of the event. Please do your part.
If you attend any event and experience any unusual symptoms in the next couple of days please get tested ASAP. And please report any positive results immediately so we can put the word out (without mentioning your name of course).
For all sorts of good information to have before you return to campus in person this weekend, please see our Summer 2021 edition of First Words. So far in our limited in-person experience we have seen apparent smiles under the masks. A happy turn of events
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