January 28, 2022
Dear Fellow Congregants,
The lower parking lot has asphalt laid and lines painted and we can drive and park on it!! We still have additional inspections, lighting, irrigation, and planting to do, but it is usable! Hooray!!
While our seven-month project has seemed like years long, we’ve also had COVID-19 variants and numbers that would have kept us away from in-person worship for much of that time. Now that we have a usable parking lot, our attention turns solely back to the pandemic, the current surge in cases, and the safety of all of you and our staff. If you’re the type who likes to read Board Minutes, you’ll see that re-opening has been a constant topic of conversation and thought process for the Board since our Annual Meeting last June.
This second year of the pandemic has been much more difficult than our first year for Reverend Christine, the staff, and the Board with the new variants, and the question of re-opening and our hopes and plans for it had to keep shifting. We have more congregants than ever who have been infected by COVID and the Omicron variant. And we also have many congregants who are feeling the effects of the separation that have come with being together only virtually. We want to assure all of you that we are considering all options, the emotional and mental health of all, and physical safety as we make our decisions.
The staff have been working diligently on the technology and logistics for outdoor in-person worship. The ushers and greeters have been meeting virtually and preparing for our gathering again. The Board is watching all the COVID numbers, hospitalizations, infection rates, health care system stress, and the like. We are working intentionally to make decisions.
So even though parking is now available, there are enough other factors to consider and we look forward to “planning” our re-opening before too long, hopefully within a few weeks. There will be re-opening guidelines and strict protocols to which we will ask all to adhere. Once we confirm the date, you will be notified via multiple communications. At that time, you may review the guidelines and make your personal decision as to whether you wish to attend in person or remain in the comfort and safety of your own home and watch our livestream.
Livestreaming online is now an official part of our Sunday services and will not end after we return to in-person worship. We have made financial investments in technology and staff to ensure that this venue continues to be a viable and enjoyable option.
What a time this has been! Thank you all for your commitment to our congregation and your support as we’ve navigated this journey together.
We look forward to seeing you on Zoom this Sunday, January 30, for the mid-year meeting as we vote on exciting changes and events for the congregation.
Thank you always for being in Community with us!
Your Board of Trustees