May 4, 2022

The COVID Task Force met on May 4th. We discussed the rising number of COVID cases as well as the several important changes that mitigate the impact of the virus: children five and up are eligible for vaccination; the next round of booster shots are available; and treatment options are available for those who do contract COVID. We also discussed the reality that most of the places around us have dropped masking as a requirement, despite the increasing number of cases. As we open our building up to more groups, especially from outside our congregation, it has become more difficult to enforce our masking requirement during the week. After consulting with the Standing Committee at their meeting on Tuesday, May 10, we have adapted our COVID policy to meet this changing landscape.

MASKS WILL BE REQUIRED FOR SUNDAY MORNINGS: In order to keep our worship services accessible to all who wish to attend in the sanctuary, we are keeping the masking requirement in place for Sunday mornings. This will also allow for us to continue to sing together. Our other in-sanctuary protocols also remain in place: expecting people to be vaccinated, and offering socially distanced seating for those who request it.

Social Hour in the vestry: We did not make any changes to our protocols at this time inside the vestry, keeping it to coffee and tea only. However, with the good weather (hopefully), both food and beverages can be served outside where people do not have to wear masks.

We believe that the high vaccination rate of our members and use of the above protocols minimize the risk of viral spread sufficiently. Each individual and family will need to decide if they are ready to worship in the sanctuary. We continue to offer online options for both worship and for social hour.

During the rest of the week, individuals make their own decisions regarding masks although we strongly recommend that everyone follow the current CDC guidelines to mask when indoors when with others. If you are attending a church sponsored meeting, the group should discern individual members’ comfort levels before removing masks.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to reach out: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. If you have any pastoral concerns with regard to worship (or anything else), please reach out to Rev. Ellen: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. We once again would like to extend our deepest gratitude to those volunteers who are keeping us connected virtually and in the building on Sunday mornings: our worship tech team, our online chat hosts, our ushers and greeters, and social hour hosts! Tom Coffey, COVID Task Force Chair; Joan Coyne, Standing Committee Chair; Rev. Ellen Spero