Greetings from Parish Committee,
We are on our way in a new church year. In this time of change, there has been a flurry of important items and questions to attend to as we try to find a way to recover from the pandemic and begin to gather again in a safe way that includes all. We hope we have answered some of your questions or created a path to explore the issues at hand and resolve them in way that is mutually satisfying to all. We deeply appreciate all the work the church members and committees are doing, especially during this multifaceted time in our church.
As we have worked our way forward, we continue to stay focused and grounded in pursuing the two most important tasks for this year, settling in to our shared ministry with Rev. Sophia and finding safe and inclusive ways for our congregation to gather.
As Rev. Sophia attends our parish committee meetings, through our discussions and explanations of processes, we hope we are laying a solid foundation of the workings of our church. Those of you who work on committees are an integral part of this process as she attends your committees meetings. Through Sunday service the congregation is getting to know our new minister and she is getting to know many of you as you have reached out to greet her. Rev. Sophia brings us new perspectives and insight into this unique time for our congregation, as we heal from the deep pains and stresses of Covid and move forward with a vision of hope. We have begun experiencing the wisdom, grace and loving presence Rev. Sophia brings to our church, and we are deeply grateful.
Our multi-platform service has taken the next step with some members and friends of the congregation attending the service in person with others attending remotely. At the recent feedback session, one member voiced our goal this way, “the experience of being in person and being remote will be very different, the hope is for both experiences to be equally satisfying in their own way.” This is our commitment as we move forward. We hope to enhance the experience for both ways of attending our Sunday service and expanding the number of people attending in person in the future. We have come to realize this process is very similar to the capital campaign process we recently went through. When we add a new environment such as the memorial garden or when we make changes to our Sanctuary, our spiritual home, it takes conversation, listening, thinking beyond what is familiar and most importantly a special care to insure all voices are heard. We walk this road together.
Along with the many protocols and restrictions still in place, things keep changing, it’s hard for all of us to keep up! Parish Committee will continue to have a weekly space in the Arbella for links to remote services and to sign up to attend in person as well as notices of feedback sessions. Your feedback on our service formats is most welcome. Please feel free to email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
In person services:
There is currently a 30 seat limit on attendees and we ask that everyone be vaccinated, and to please bring your vaccination card with you. Once you have shown your card, we will record it on Breeze so you won’t need to bring it in the future. We are following the UU recommendation of sitting 6ft apart, wearing masks at all times, having windows open for ventilation, not singing (only the choir sings but yes, you can hum!), and there is no food or drinks allowed.
Outdoor social hour:
Parish Committee continues to host outdoor social hours while the weather permits. It’s been exciting to see other members and know the virtual social hours continue so we can all stay connected during this transition. If you come to the outdoor social hour, there is no food or drink, masks are required and we have a pet friendly area in the front of the church. Fun to be had by all!
Committees are invited to hold in person meetings at church in the social hall or sanctuary. We ask that you make a zoom option available so all can attend either in person or virtually. Please schedule through the church calendar and email the church office to insure the church space is reserved for you. If you meet at the church, please follow the UU recommendations of sitting 6ft apart, wear masks at all times, have windows open for ventilation, and do not serve drinks or food.
As we heal we hope,
Your Parish Committee