A Soft Roll-out Toward Reopening

by ‘The Task Force’

As you know, we have a task force of dedicated church members who have met monthly during this past year, to discern how to best navigate returning in person as a faith community, going forward. We are all excited about the vaccine distribution in Wisconsin and are encouraged by the numbers.  The Task Force continues to follow the guidelines offered by the CDC, the Wisconsin Department of Health, and the Wisconsin Council of Churches.  Out of an abundance of caution and wanting to continue to do what is best for our community, the Task Force has decided to plan for a slow re-entry rather than a full opening.  This allows us to get our bearings, pull back easily if need be, and provide the safest environment for our church family.

The Task Force is excited to share some upcoming events and updates for you.  Again, the members of the Task Force appreciate your continued patience as we strive to do what is best for all.

*Return of small group gatherings in May.  Small groups of less than 10 can resume meeting in the church building with precautions, including proper mask wearing, social distancing and no food sharing in the building.  That means the Walking in Faith, Caregivers, and Hearts to Hands groups can use the building, as well as church teams and committees.  Please watch the eNews for updates.  We ask that group leaders arrange for use of the building with Andrea in advance to prevent double booking.

*All those attending in person events in the building will be required to follow our safe practices guidelines, which include proper mask wearing (over mouth and nose at all times), six feet social distancing, as well as have signed a completed waiver.  Details will be shared for each event.

*Outdoor mid-day worship will be offered on the second and fourth Sunday of each month at 11am in the Memorial Garden.  The dates are listed below.  A sign up will go out for each vesper and pre-registration will be required so that we can allow for enough space for all.  Proper mask wearing and 6 feet social distancing will be required.  Again, a list of safe practices guidelines and the waiver will be available with sign up.  Bring your own lawn chair or blanket and trained ushers will escort you to your seating area.  The Vespers will include sharing of liturgy, prayer, scripture and story as well as a chance to check in with each other.  Each Vesper will be weather permitting and there will be no rain contingency or rescheduling.

Outdoor worship will be held:
May 9, May 23, June 13, June 27, July 11, July 25, August 8, and August 22.

*New sound equipment has been purchased using Memorial funds so that we can properly amplify the worship leaders for vespers so that all can hear outdoors.

*A new event registration program is underway.  The Task Force has subscribed to a church reservation system that will allow folks to easily register for in-person worship when the time comes.  This program allows you to pick your seat for worship and even sign the waiver virtually.  Andrea is working with the provider to create the seating chart and information so that we are ready to go when the time comes.

*Plans are underway for a safe, in-person re-entry in the fall including Christian Education.  While we have been away from the building the staff and leadership have been hard at work providing not only virtual opportunities, but also preparing for an exciting reunion.

*Virtual will continue.  The response to our virtual worship and other events has been outstanding and so we will continue to offer virtual ways to connect, even when we are back in person.  For the summer months, Virtual Worship will be set to premiere at 9am so that folks who want to watch earlier in the day can and maybe even join the Outdoor Worship, too.

Watch the eNews for written and video updates as we ease into spring and summer.  Again, thank you for your patience, understanding and support.

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