(Coffee hour following the service outside under the tent on the lawn)
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We’re so glad you’re planning to join us! Here are a few things you can expect for your first visit…
We are looking for your input on the Envisioning Our Meeting House in the 21st Century process!
As part of our Envisioning Our Meeting House in the 21st Century process we would like church members and friends to think about five qualitative questions about our meeting house. To that end, we have created a Google Docs questionnaire to fill out: https://forms.gle/7964gcx84NzGDq4M9
For a short YouTube video explaining this, see: https://youtu.be/gq3zAtogX0Q
In light of the increase in COVID cases this summer, which is expected to continue through the fall, we have reviewed our safety requirements and recommendations.
1. Vaccination and testing – We urge everyone who is medically able to be vaccinated to do so. This is the best way to ensure health and safety for ourselves and each other. However, we recognize that not everyone is able to be vaccinated, for health reasons, and others may have deeply held concerns or beliefs about vaccination. As a church, we do not want to exclude anyone, so we will not ask for proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test as a condition of participating in church activities.
However, tenant groups, outside sponsors of non-church events held in our facilities and non-church groups meeting there may adopt stricter rules if they wish. We require that all such groups follow all federal, state and local COVID health and safety guidance, and we undertake to do so ourselves. In accordance with current CDC guidance, the following policies apply to events and activities inside church buildings:
2. Face masks — Because using the church facilities may result in contact with those who are not vaccinated, it is our policy that all people in church buildings must wear face masks at all times, except when speaking to a group. Speakers addressing a group should be at least 6 feet from the nearest person and must replace their masks immediately after they have finished speaking. Masks must be worn when talking with others in small groups where distancing is less than 6 feet. Exceptions to this policy are children three years old or less and staff members who are alone in a room during their workday. If other people come into a room where a staff member is, all parties should wear masks. This policy does not apply to the parsonage, where safety practices are at the discretion of the minister. Disposable blue surgical masks will be provided by the church at entry points. If you need one, please take one and dispose of it in the trash on your way out.
3. Distancing – People should remain three feet apart from others who are not in their family or household group, when seated or talking quietly in small groups and when not engaged in vigorous activity. Persons engaged in vigorous activity, such as singing, dancing, exercising or public speaking, should be 6 feet or more from their nearest neighbor. When an activity requires close physical proximity or contact, such activities should be limited to short durations and masks must be worn.
4. Hand sanitizing stations will be provided by the church at all events and activities. Please use them or wash your hands with soap and water in the rest rooms.
5. Ventilation – Fresh air is a crucial element in preventing the spread of the virus. In any room where there are two or more persons, all windows must be open at least 3 inches, whether or not air conditioning or heating is in use. If window fan units are present, they should be used either to bring in fresh air from outside or to exhaust stale air from the room. When the Assembly Hall is in use, all windows in it must be open at least 3 inches, whether or not air conditioning or heating is in use, unless the open windows would result in rain coming into the room. The air conditioning units should be turned on to increase air circulation whenever the room is in use; if cooling is not needed, the units will be set to “fan only.”
6. Disinfecting – We will continue to disinfect rest rooms and high-touch areas including stair rails, door handles and light switches with an electrostatic fogging device, which is effective against COVID virus. However, following current official guidelines, we will no longer disinfect meeting rooms, the sanctuary or the assembly hall.
7. Singing – At this time, we have no plans for congregational or choral singing. The Music Director, the Minister and the Safe Congregation Task Force will continue to monitor the status of the pandemic and of relevant guidance and may offer revised guidelines whenever appropriate.
8. These rules may be revised at any time by the Safe Congregation Task Force as conditions warrant.