Dear East Shore Members and Friends,
As we have seen the COVID numbers decrease, vaccines increase, and restrictions lifting we can now begin the process of returning to campus. We want to make sure we keep everyone safe and roll this out slowly.
Masks on Campus
We want to keep all our members, friends, staff, and visitors safe, and we recognize the CDC has lifted many guidelines. We know not all of our members and friends have had the opportunity to get vaccinated while others are immune compromised. We are requiring anyone on our campus to wear a mask while inside the buildings, even if you are vaccinated. Masks are optional outdoors. We hope to lift this requirement as our community safety is assured. Staff will not be required to wear a mask in their office, as long as they are vaccinated. Each staff member has the option of what they feel comfortable with for their offices. You will see a sign outside their door letting you know if they are requiring masks in their offices. We ask you to please respect wishes of those who wish to keep their masks on.
We cannot require guests to be vaccinated and cannot guarantee everyone is vaccinated.
Food & Drink
Any food or drink MUST be consumed outside. Staff may eat inside after they are fully vaccinated.
Summer Operating Hours (July 1-Labor Day)
Staff will only be onsite Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. (caretakers only). Campus is closed on Fridays and Saturdays this summer. Many staff will be onsite on Thursdays, 10-2 beginning June 30. Stay tuned for our operating hours in the fall.
Also, please keep in mind the staff has been working for more than a year with little-to-no vacation. As they become vaccinated and the weather improves, many staff may be using their vacation days. This might cause a delay in some responses, so please be patient as we work on a new way of working and taking some much-needed breaks.
We look forward to having you back in the Sanctuary for worship this fall (date TBD). We are so thankful for the ACE Crew, especially Ralph Lutz and Lee Winstrom for working on a way to make the service multi-platform. We still have some experiments to run before we can go live, but are hopeful.
This summer, Rev. Furrer will be taking a well-deserved vacation and study break. We have a wonderful lineup of guests from around the globe who we have been working with for months. Because of this, we will continue to be online only for worship until Rev. Furrer returns in September. At that time, we will be able to know an exact date. We will still be seeing some of our beloved staff including Eric Lane Barnes!
Religious Education for Children and Youth
Religious Education classes for children & youth are starting summer break on June 13th, when we’ve got an online and in person celebration planned. We had a great year and look forward to several social events planned during the summer. Please plan on joining us for some or all of these events. You can check out some of the dates here.
We’d love to have you involved as a volunteer teacher for the children and youth programs we’re running. By September, many of our youth and adults will be well vaccinated and much of the state and school will be opened. We are anticipating a return to Religious Education and worship in the church building after Labor Day. Our next church year starts September 12, 2021 and runs through May 22, 2022. We can confidently plan that at least some of our time will be on-campus and outdoors, with the possibility of this being weekly as the pandemic allows, perhaps interspersed with virtual time as we need to continue with that type of programming. We have been working to establish several outdoor gathering spaces and have several tents for extra shelter. We will continue with our flexibility as the pandemic realities continue to unfold.
We are working on having spaces for small groups! We have made some outdoor “rooms” outside the North Room on the lovely new patio built by Colton Burd. We are also working on spaces in the North Room and South Room (newly renovated) that will allow for airflow. With just a few rooms, please make sure you make a request with this form. We ask that for now, you keep groups to less than 15 people (masked) if you are indoors.
Some Upcoming In-Person Events
Throughout the past year, we have had some in-person events. Our BLM Flash Stances have continued, we began Soul Saturdays, and the Grounds Team has been working on our campus. We will continue to add more events in person, starting with some outdoor events. Please keep an eye out for some on-site picnics this summer. We also hope to return to in-person choir rehearsals at the end of August. In the fall, we are planning for a multi-platform auction with an in-person event!
We are fortunate to have long time renters, Ryther, continue their summer camp. This summer, the Religious Education building will be off limits during the week. This camp is an essential service for children on the autism spectrum. To keep them safe, they will be in the RE building and the grounds behind that building. We also ask that no one else enters that building during the week. Thank you for understanding and helping us keep this high-risk group safe.
A Word About Language
“Hybrid” is a commonly used term for a mix of online and in-person components. It is considered problematic from a cultural perspective. In addition, in connotes combining the characteristics of two things (consider hybrid fruit and cars), which isn’t always quite what we mean. New terminology is emerging and we expect it will continue to evolve. We are choosing to use “multi-platform” to describe a combination of in-person and online options.
Another letter will be coming out before Labor Day to update you on fall offerings.
Thank you for your support this year and going forward,
The ESUC Staff