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.
Reopening Further – April 2022
On March 23, 2022, the Parish Committee approved a recommendation of the Opening Up Task Force and RE Task Force. New protocols will take effect at the April 3, 2022 service.
- No capacity limit to attendance
- No vaccine requirement (this is primarily to accommodate children under 5). All attendees eligible for vaccines and boosters are encouraged to get them. We welcome anyone not comfortable gathering in person to join us virtually. Ensuring inclusion and participation by all is the fulfillment of our church’s vision to welcome all.
- No advanced sign up is required.
- A sign-in sheet at the service will collect provide for any contact tracing if needed.
- Everyone attending is required to wear a mask.
- Gentle singing is allowed.
- Social hour after Sunday services will not include food.
- In the spirit of community we ask everyone to take a moment of care and concern for the larger community and please don’t attend a service if you are not feeling well, a family member is not feeling well or if you or anyone one in your household is aware of a possible exposure to COVID-19. Our care for each other creates our church home.
Outside and In Church Meetings
Please ask the people you are with if they are comfortable taking masks off. If anyone feels the slightest bit uncomfortable the people with them are asked to keep their masks on. Consent, consideration and compassion for each other is our protocol.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.
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.