May 18, 2021
Patient and persevering congregation:
Something important happened in my office yesterday. A workman opened a formerly inoperable window!
Today, as I type, fresh air is filling my office and bird songs are loud and clear, as are the shouts and laughter of the Montessori school children on the playground. The air feels full of promise and hope.
Perhaps you’re feeling something similar with the change in our larger environment brought about by the great gift of COVID vaccinations. As more and more people are vaccinated, it becomes more and more possible to return to favorite activities and places, and—most important—to the company of the people we love.
With new guidelines from the CDC and the state of North Carolina, both the Home Church Safety Ministry Team and the Board of Elders met yesterday to discuss new gathering protocols. Our consensus is that the windows, at last, are opening!
Beginning this Sunday, May 23rd, worship will be open with no attendance limits and no sign-ups required. Those in attendance will be asked to sign in at the door to allow contact tracing (in case of infection). Please continue to use only the north (ramp) door for entry, as this will be the place to sign in. Worshippers may choose their own seats, though the ushers will certainly be available to anyone needing help.
In the sanctuary, for the present, the elders do ask that the congregation remain masked, offering us a measure of confidence and comfort as we enjoy congregational participation in liturgy and song.
Going forward, the protocols in place for worship will also apply to funerals, which can now return to the sanctuary as well.
As of today, the Fellowship Hall and Saal are available for Adult Sunday school classes and other indoor meetings. To allow for air circulation between meetings, each space will be available (by appointment) once in the morning and once in the afternoon or evening. Please call the church office to schedule meetings—staff members are returning to the building and would love to take your phone call!
There are, of course, many other facets to our church life, and those other in-person activities require further consideration. We’ll be releasing information as it becomes available. This email covers our elders’ discussion so far, and we appreciate your patience—and any thoughts you wish to share—as we continue to meet and discuss our regathered future!
May you feel, today, a breath of fresh air through an open window, and may you enjoy a day filled with promise and hope.
—Rev. Ginny Tobiassen