Just as we had settled into a routine of meeting together on-line, summer arrived and with it plans and pressures to re-open. As more and more spaces and businesses open, we are discovering that this is not a return to the way things were. We are living in a time right now of uncertainty and upheaval. Old ways of thinking and behaving are being challenged. It seems that we must constantly analyze risks as we make day to day decisions – is it safe to get my hair cut, can we invite friends for an outdoor visit, is it ok to see our families in person again? The Parish Committee has now been thrust into this uncertainty as well. We have begun looking ahead and wondering what services at First Parish will look like in the future. What will we need to do before we can once again safely open the doors to our building? How can we be inclusive of all who want to participate in the life of our church? Will services and programs look different in the future?
In the face of uncertainty, we are tentatively planning on still delivering mostly on-line services throughout the summer and into the fall. Committees will need to think about how they can fulfill their missions in a mostly on-line environment. We all will need to think of creative ways to overcome some budget challenges as the income from our rental program drops. We will need to decide ways in which we want to change how we clean our building, what role food sharing will play, how we continue to adapt our music program, what activities feel safe in person and what activities should remain on-line. As with any change there will be losses and opportunities.
We have successfully adapted to the on-line environment. We have met challenges with creativity and resourcefulness – our RE program is connecting children to one another in some very special ways, our music program has evolved into something which inspires us all, we held a talent show on-line, we are sharing Sunday services, often with more people than our in-house services and we are sharing with people from all over the country. We had amazing participation in the selection of our search committee! Can we meet the next set of challenges? YES WE CAN! Your thoughts and questions are most welcome as we prepare to move into the uncertain future.
Sue Twombly for the Parish Committee