COVID-19 Response and Multi-Platform Worship
First Parish of Watertown is committed to reopening the church building safely and continuing to provide virtual access to services and gatherings. Multi-platform worship offers in-person worship services with safety protocols and is live-streamed online.
Update – January 2021
In light of the rising Covid case numbers and in order to keep everyone as safe as possible and do what we can to avoid adding to the increasing burden on area hospitals, First Parish of Watertown has elected to retun to online worship for the month of January. Current service info will always appear on the home page.
In-Person Attendance Safety Protocol
Commitment from the FPW Opening Up Task Force. Updated 11/30/2021.
- The max number of people in the church sanctuary for a Sunday service and monthly Vespers service will be 45 people. This includes Staff, Choir, Volunteers, and Attendees.
- Everyone attending will sign up on RSVPchurch.org. If you are unable to sign up on-line please call our church office and leave your name and the date of service you would like to be registered for. This includes Staff, Choir, Volunteers and Attendees. The list will be printed and each person attending will be checked off on entering. This ensures a reliable contact list should it ever be needed.
- Everyone attending a church service will be vaccinated. Vaccination cards will be checked at the door for anyone who is attending a service for the first time. Once you have shown your vaccination card it will be logged on the church’s Breeze software and you will not have to show your card in the future. If you prefer your name not be logged in our Breeze software you can choose to show your vaccination card every time you attend a service. We commit to those attending that all people in the sanctuary are vaccinated. We welcome those who are not able to be fully vaccinated to join us virtually. We are full of gratitude to all who make possible our multi-platform worship capabilities and welcome all to join us. Ensuring inclusion and participation by all is the fulfillment of our church’s vision to welcome all.
- Everyone attending is required to wear a mask.
- There is no singing by attendees, only by our choir who are all wearing specially designed masks made for singing. Humming is welcome and encouraged by all.
- Everyone will be asked to sit socially distant from those around them. Pods may sit together.
- At the current time windows may be slightly open to provide extra ventilation. Please dress warmly. The church is looking into purchasing air purifiers to eliminate the need for windows being open in the future.
- We will keep this document updated.
As part of our ministering to each other we commit to keep each other as safe as possible. We depend on each other for our in-person worship to be as comfortable and safe as possible. Please attend only if you are feeling well. In these times we are all very sensitive to being in the presence of someone who is not feeling well. If you are coming down with something you think may just be a cold, please stay home and enjoy the service virtually. We appreciate your care and concern for each other.
Statement by the Church
We will do our best to provide the safest space possible for staff, volunteers, and attendees when they are present in the sanctuary. We cannot control nature. We are enthusiastic to offer both in person and virtual services and strive for both experiences to be spiritually enriching. Please honor your comfort level. Your comfort and peace of mind is our utmost priority.
Since March 2020, First Parish of Watertown has been meeting for online worship using the Zoom platform. In fall 2021, services shifted to multi-platform worship, with new audio-visual equipment installed in our sanctuary to continue providing online access to worship services held in the building. Stay connected for updates on our multi-platform worship.
Links to the service are distributed to members and friends in advance via email. Newcomers are welcome to join us! To receive the link, send a request to email@example.com.
Each week we host a virtual social hour immediately following our online worship, using Zoom’s breakout rooms to have conversations in smaller groups. Bring your own beverage!
Our Fellowship Committee continues to run online events including informal gatherings and the virtual Variety Show.
We continue to care for each other in times of need by coordinating meal drop-offs and other socially distanced support. If you need assistance or would like to get involved in the Caring Circle, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our committees continue to meet virtually using a variety of platforms to manage the business and programs of the church. The activities of these committees are vital for us to continue as a connected, active, and engaged community during the pandemic.
In April 2021, the Parish Committee approved small church committee groups gathering in the Memorial Garden, our first start at reopening. In June 2021, the Parish Committee approved small church groups gathering in the building, limited to one pre-scheduled group at a time. Committee chairs received the policy details on the gatherings.
As the business and expenses of the church continue, it remains important to support the church financially as you are able. As the building closure has reduced our budgeted income, our individual contributions through pledges are even more important. Pledges and contributions may be mailed to the church or made online.