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Summer 2021 Worship Update from the Building Use Group

Our building use team met on Monday May 25 to discuss recent easing of CoVid restrictions and recommendations by the CDC and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.  We are deeply grateful for the science and public health efforts that have gotten our community to its most safe situation related to CoVid19 since the pandemic began.  Many of the metrics that we set forth in March 2021 for resuming in-person indoor gatherings have been met, or are on track to be met very soon. Hallelujah!We want to encourage everyone who is medically able to be vaccinated to do so as soon as possible as this will continue our progress toward normalcy. We are an intergenerational community, and we are a community that welcomes everyone.  Thus we know that for the next several months, our worshipping community will have a variety of vaccination statuses – those fully vaccinated; those not old enough to be vaccinated; those with medical conditions that either prevent vaccination or may lessen the effectiveness of vaccination, etc.  For this reason, it’s likely that many of us will need to maintain CoVid19 precautions such as physical distancing and masking for some time.  We also want to gather in person as a community.  Balancing these factors, this is how we will operate this summer (July-Labor Day).*

Worship will be in-person and simultaneously on Zoom.  (The standard 9:30 summer start time applies.)

Vaccines are highly recommended for everyone with access.

For outdoor summer worship (likely July 4, August 1, September 5), understanding that outdoor transmission is very rare, we will include hymn singing.  Everyone wishing to wear a mask will be supported in doing so.  (Setup for outdoor worship is complex, thus we are focusing on outdoor worship once per month.)

For indoor summer worship (all other Sundays), we will gather in Pilgrim Hall.  Masks will not be mandatory. Realizing many folks still feel safest masking indoors with groups and that we want to create a space where everyone feels safe, we support people wearing masks during the worship service.  Worship leaders will unmask while speaking.  Masks remain strongly advised indoors for those not vaccinated, per the Commonwealth’s guidance. (   We will not be singing hymns while indoors this summer as singing indoors in a group with mixed vaccination status is not yet considered safe.  For those curious to know, Pilgrim Hall is equipped with MERV13 filters in the HVAC system and with HEPA filters.  When possible we’ll socialize outside after worship..

It is our hope and plan to gather in-person in the sanctuary, and simultaneously on Zoom, in September.

We will continue to monitor the guidance of the Commonwealth and CDC and adjust plans as needed.

*Given the size and intergenerational nature of the Confirmation service on June 6, we will be asking that people wear masks at that gathering.

With hopefulness,

The Building Use team – Reebee Girash, Dave McClave, Doug Johnston, Dick Edmiston, Susan Carabbio, Jeff Boehm, Nick Zorn, with input from Elizabeth Chen