The Covid Task Force met this week to discuss how the dramatic increase in new cases brought on by the Omicron variant will impact the congregation. The emergence of new variants, one after another, continues to challenge our efforts to establish a clear path forward but we want to assure you that we remain undeterred and on course.
As reported earlier, we’d hoped that in-person services might return to the sanctuary by late January. This plan has been adjusted with mindfulness about safety and to work out technical logistics. The church’s Internet service has been upgraded which will make the live stream option more reliable. The multiplatform team continues to work to upgrade the current AV system, but due to supply chain issues, this process is slower than anticipated. Rev. Holly shared a proposal to hold a series of limited attendance sanctuary services to give us a chance to assess the AV equipment currently available, spaced seating arrangements, and volunteer training. Test services may begin in late January.
In the meantime, the task force agreed that it’s only reasonable to ask that groups consider returning to zoom or a more cautious approach to in-person meetings at the church. This would temporarily suspend Covenant Consent (unanimous agreement of vaccinated groups about wearing masks) and require all participants to wear masks at all times, except when consuming food and beverage, and to observe social distancing. Director of RE Helen Cassara has decided that no in-person RE programming will be held during January. Helen will be in contact with RE families with updates.
The Covid Task Force consists of Phil Kiracofe, chair, Janet Temkin and Steve Urse serving as members, Rev. Holly Brown as an ex officio member, Bonnie Abellera, VP for Management and DRE Helen Rivers Cassara as consultants.