On October 26, your Board of Trustees had a long, thoughtful discussion about reopening the Sanctuary for Sunday worship services. The emotional and physical health of the ESUC community is foremost in our minds. The complicated logistics of multi-platform services (via Zoom and in person) have been and will continue to be the staff’s priority. We know that our congregation is fairly evenly split. Some want to come back immediately, while others are much more concerned about health risks.
Our Governance structure gives the Board to power to set the WHAT, and let the staff determine and execute the HOW. Accordingly, the Board approved a motion to open the sanctuary for multi-platform (both on Zoom and in person) worship services on January 23 as long as there is not another spike. The details of how that works, all of them, are in the hands of the staff. Of course they listen to congregants’ ideas, but the decision is theirs. So, please go along with their requests, and please be patient as we work out any bugs that will inevitably arise.
Volunteers Are Needed!
Just as importantly, having two kinds of services will require US to volunteer in more ways than ever before. Let me say it differently; without a lot of willing bodies to help out, we won’t be able to re-open for Sunday services. Currently, the services run with about 5 people, and looking ahead to Sunday morning… we will need close to 21! If you know how you want to help, contact Nicole. To see what is already available, check out Realm.
Risk & Outdoor Opportunities
Naturally, each individual will make their own assessment of the risk and safety, hence the need to continue broadcasting the services over Zoom. Of course we will keep looking at the metrics of current cases, UUA recommendations, and the experiences and decisions of other nearby and nationwide congregations adjust plans as necessary.
In the meantime, outdoor events continue, and there are plans afoot to purchase outdoor heating units to go with the canopies we already have. Please consider organizing more on-campus gatherings! We are loving seeing the groups already reserving rooms and trying our multi-platform devices.
We look forward to seeing even more of you at East Shore soon!
by Mike Radow, Board President
Some Members in the Sanctuary
During the past year, your Lay Pastoral Ministry (LPM) team has heard from several members (primarily older) who have not been able to attend services via Zoom due to technology issues, and thus are unable to participate in church on Sundays. With the approval of our Senior Leadership Team, the Lay Pastoral Ministry team has been given approval to have a maximum of 10 church members in attendance in the sanctuary each week between now and the official commencement of multi-platform services on January 23. Please note that this period will be used to work out all the details for multi-platform services and there may be some hiccups!
In-person participation will be by invitation, only. Members must wear a mask when inside the church, and be fully vaccinated. Please dress warmly (or bring a blanket) as doors will be open during the service to maximize airflow. You will need to bring proof of vaccination the first time you intend in person, so that we can keep everybody safe.
Invitations will be extended in the order requests are received up to the current maximum of 10 in-person participants. Please contact Evelyn Smith by email or 425-453-1243, one of the LPM team members if you would like to start enjoying in-person services before the January 23 official opening.