From the Standing Committee
Dear First Parish Members and Friends,
We are happy that so many of you have been able to join our worship services on Zoom! This email is to bring you up-to-date on some work that has been happening "behind the scenes".
Zoom has allowed us to keep our commitment to accessibility despite the pandemic. We do not yet have a date for when in-person services can begin but the First Parish Tech Team has been preparing for that day. They have been researching how we can continue to provide online access once in-person services begin.
Some reasons for investing in continued online access to our services include:
• Serving many Parishioners who are at high-risk for COVID-19 complications and will not be safe until COVID-19 has been eradicated
• Serving Parishioners who are remote whether short-term (hospital, rehabilitation, college) or long-term (nursing home, shut in or moved away)
• Creating more visibility for First Parish in our larger community
• Making it easier for people looking for a new church to find us
• Allowing all of us to more easily invite remote family and friends to attend our services
• Allowing more people to gather for our services than our physical space supports
The First Parish Tech Team has spoken to a number of vendors and received competitive quotes for the audio-visual equipment and services required for streaming our services online. Based on this input, they are estimating the cost to be in the range of $15,000 - $17,000. The main costs are a camera and microphones which will allow us to broadcast a live service with good visual and audio quality.
We believe this is a worthwhile investment for the reasons stated above. The initial cost can be covered by the surplus from our PPP loan and we may receive financial support from the larger community we are reaching.
Many thanks to the First Parish Tech Team: Rev. Ellen, Jim Curley, Neil Harmon, Dave Kaffine, Kathy Talbot, Brenda Rogers and Steve Zocchi for their efforts in finding us the right audio-visual solution.
Our State of the Society meeting will be on October 18th where we will vote on the budget, including this expenditure on streaming. We'll also be voting on long-awaited updates to the by-laws. A By-Laws Cottage meeting to refresh our memories will be scheduled soon!
On behalf of your Standing Committee,