At the May 16 annual meeting, Rev. Tracey discussed our multi-platform planning process for next fall. We will be spending the next few months developing and refining our procedures for resuming activities. Her comments follow:
As the Covid landscape changes, so does our planning. Since we began our process, requirements under Delaware’s Emergency Regulations have been relaxed with permissible group sizes, both indoors and out, increased and with indoor physical distancing requirements reduced from 6 feet to 3 feet. Since we began planning, children between the ages of 12-15 have become eligible for the vaccine. And on May 13 the CDC issued guidance to those fully vaccinated saying “you can resume activities without wearing a mask or physically distancing” except where otherwise required (such as public transit.) We are cheering. And we are trying to figure out what the CDC mask and distancing change means.
We want a plan that supports an inclusive, equitable community serving people of many ages and vaccination statuses, a community that is both open and safe. We want a plan that recognizes the various levels of risk individuals/ families are willing to assume; a plan that also recognizes that social gatherings are still uncomfortable/risky for some people.
As noted in the minutes from the most recent Executive Team meeting, “the list of a thousand summertime tasks is filling up fast.”
About Building Use: Recalculating occupancy limits, which spaces are useable and for what, exploring ventilation quality, determining cleaning needs, developing meeting safety protocols, figuring out which spaces can best accommodate multi-platform gatherings/meetings.
About Children and Youth Religious Exploration: In this past Friday’s e-news there is a link to a CYRE survey. Everyone with a Newborn through 12th grader in their home is invited to offer feedback about how your family wants to participate in CYRE, including times. In our planning we must be mindful that children younger than 12 are not yet eligible for the vaccine, and that there are still many children between the ages of 13 and up who have not had an opportunity yet to get the vaccines.
About our Music Program: Choral singing is still high risk. Information shared this past week by the UUA offers guidance on the importance of excellent ventilation, the use of high quality singing masks, physical distance between singers, the duration of rehearsals and performances (no more than 30 minutes.) Kathy, the Music Covid Committee and the choir are exploring options. They will be testing masks. And they will consider locations from which singing can be safe – such as outdoors or from the Parish Hall.
About multiplatform worship: SHOUT OUT to our AV TEAM, who facilitate sound, projection, recording and streaming of our Sunday services; act as virtual greeters and provide tech support during services. They support virtual memorial services. They help us stay connected to one another in countless ways. A survey is soon to come your way from the Team, asking for your feedback as they continue multiplatform planning for the coming church year. Streaming services are accessible and welcoming to folks otherwise unable to be with us and that access will continue.
As this church year comes to an end, I offer a HUGE THANK YOU to the staff: Marina, Catherine, Kathy, Chrissy, Ernie!!! This year required creativity, flexibility, patience, persistence and more. They are already fully engaged in planning for the new church year. It will require the same of them, especially as the pandemic landscape continues to change.
Thanks to the Executive Team, CYRE Team, Music Covid Committee, AV Team, Covid Task Force, and the Board – all partners in planning.
These are complicated and tender times. We are called to be welcoming, inclusive, to attend to matters of safety. We are the people who return to love like a North Star, to the truth that we are greater together than we are alone . . . and by covenant and the movement forward of one right action and the next, we know that one day we will arrive at home.