Since the pandemic began, the COVID Task Force has considered guidance from the UUA, the CDC and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to create our response for how to keep the congregation safe and connected as we can. As we enter our second full church year in this pandemic, we continue to review these recommendations to shape our policies and practices for this next stage.
In-Person Sanctuary Practices
- Pre-register in advance using this form: https://fpchelmsford.breezechms.com/form/afde04 or by calling the church office: 978 256-5133 by 10 am the Friday before. For social distancing, we will be alternating seating with a half pew in each row serving as its own “pew-pod”. You can pre-register just yourself or with up to two other people on the same form. When you arrive in the sanctuary, you can choose where to sit among the available pews but please sit only with those with whom you pre-registered in your pod. You will receive an email confirmation if your pre-registration was successful.
- Do not come if you have a fever or symptoms of COVID (even if you have registered in advance)
- Wear a mask when in the building
- We expect all people who attend in person to be vaccinated, if they are medically eligible.
- As we will be livestreaming our service, you may be seen on camera by those watching at home. The greeters and ushers can direct you to the entrance and places in the sanctuary that are not on camera but by entering the sanctuary, you are indicating that you know and consent to this possibility.
- When you arrive, enter through the main entrance, where a greeter will check you in.
- Plan to be seated in the sanctuary by 9:55 so we can start on time at 10 am. We may not be able to accommodate late-comers, even if you have pre-registered.
- You can access the worship service via this link on our website: https://www.uuchelmsford.org/worship-service Hit the “play” button on the screen to start the livestream. Note that the link takes a minute to start up and will not come on “live” until the service starts broadcasting around 9:55.
- We will be live streaming the worship services directly through our camera’s broadcast system and no longer using Zoom. As a result, we cannot yet offer close captioning, pre-recorded content or the online chat.
Social Hour: Because we cannot safely serve food and beverages, we will not hold a formal in-person social hour. People can gather informally after the service as long as everyone follows the COVID guidelines. Whether you attend the service in the sanctuary or online, everyone is welcome to join the online social hour via Zoom
Faith Formation and Nursery Care: Because we have families whose children are too young to receive vaccines, we will not hold intergenerational worship in the sanctuary to minimize exposure for our youngest ones and we encourage parents not to bring their children into the sanctuary. The RE Council and Dolores have set up nursery care and faith formation programming with safety protocols for children in mind, so parents can attend worship. All staff and volunteers who work with children must be vaccinated and wear a mask.
Thank you: We are all learning together, adapting and changing things as we go. We will start simply and build our capacity as we grow in knowledge and skill. We are grateful for everyone’s patience, flexibility, and generosity.