Let’s begin with a huge thank you to the AV Hybrid ad-hoc committee, and a special thanks to Tom Ostfeld and Ross Dickson! They have purchased and set up all of the necessary equipment, performed a functional demonstration, broadcast a summer zoom service from the sanctuary, and stage-managed Parish Committee’s hybrid July meeting. All aspects were very successful, and all of us learned a lot along the way. In the month of August, wiring will be performed within the sanctuary to permanently install the equipment that we’ve been testing, preparing us for hybrid services.

Looking to the start of the church year, we have realized that opening up is actually a bit more difficult than closing down. A lot of us are in different places – excited, nervous, feel ready and feel cautious – sometimes all at the same time. Patience, good communication, and mutual respect is at the forefront of AV Group and Parish Committee members’ minds as we go forward. 

Below is a list of items to serve as an update to the congregation:

  1. We are welcoming and updating Rev. Sophia as to where we are in this process, while getting to know her thoughts. 
  2. Rev. Sophia and the staff will be meeting and discussing Religious Education and Choir protocols, UUA best practices, and what other churches are doing.  Lauren, Charlyn, and Guy belong to professional organizations where they are sharing information and will bring that information back to FPW. 
  3. There is a subcommittee led by Tom Stepsis working to put together a chart of metrics and considerations to inform decisions regarding re-opening.
  4. AV Hybrid Congregational Vision: The AV Hybrid system that is being installed is a flexible system that will be updated as we learn what works best and as we receive feedback from those involved in the demos. The next steps will be to hold congregational meetings and to distribute a survey to gather additional feedback. These will be held in September and October. 
  5. Important things to consider: Children under 12 are not vaccinated. There may also be members of our congregation who are unable to be vaccinated, or who live with people who are unable to be vaccinated, due to health situations. 
  6. Items that have been mentioned and we will address as we go forward
  • Joys and Concerns, social hour and other service elements.
  • Committee/FPW events using the AV equipment
  • Rentals using AV equipment and how to charge for it.

Review of previous our foundational commitments to honor inclusivity: 

FPW will open up on Sunday mornings when we are able to hold multi-platform services.

When gathering in the building we will continue to wear masks to be inclusive and respectful of others.

*We recognize that we may open slower than the science may dictate due to children currently not eligible for vaccination, and to be respectful of the varied concerns of the congregation.