We’re continuing to chip away at the checklist for Stage Two of the Bishop’s Regathering guideline. Organized in three categories — Preparation, Serving & Gathering, and Growing — we have a good number of the twenty-nine required items in process, a handful completed, and some not yet started. These documents can be found on the Diocesan website.
We have reached out to the diocese for our assigned regathering shepherd so that we can continue to make progress and achieve our certification, hopefully within the next month or so. Once certified by the diocese, with key health metrics as our guide, we will work with clergy, Vestry, and staff to determine how and when we can safely access the grounds and building as directed by the guidelines.
Your feedback through the parish survey was quite helpful to us. Seventy-seven percent of the 98 completed surveys were from parishioners age 46 and older. Eighty-five people are streaming the worship, with most planning to continue throughout the summer. The group of parishioners who are not streaming the service provided candid feedback ranging from lack of technology to the preference of in-person worship only.
More than 50% said they are “definitely not” and “probably not” likely to attend in-person worship with social distance guidelines (mask, 6’ apart, no singing, signup in advance, etc.) and 70% are likely to continue to stream worship and participate in virtual coffee hour. There were several helpful suggestions to enhance the streamed service and coffee hour and many have been implemented.
Since we will continue to stream the Sunday service (even after we are able to gather in-person), we are investigating A/V equipment that will balance our needs with reasonable cost. The Vestry recently approved expenditure for no more than $1,000 to hire a consultant to assist us in this process.
The church building is currently accessed by strict schedule of key personnel, volunteers from the Lexington Food Pantry and a subset of LexEat volunteers. The Lexington Playcare Center resumed operations (with reduced number of children) July 6, under strict state and federal guidelines and with the approval of our Vestry and Bishop.
At this time, we ask that you refrain from coming into the church building. Roy is working hard to keep it clean and disinfected.
Our work is deliberate and gradual, as will be our return to the building. We’ll share more information in upcoming announcements and we’re sending another survey in September to again gauge your comfort level and how we can better connect.
In the meantime, stay safe.
Your Regathering Team –
Erica Brotschi MD