July 7, 2021- Preparing for hybrid worship

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This coming weekend, we will transition to what’s become known as hybrid worship: where some people gather locally in the sanctuary and others are able to view the sanctuary worship online. As we take a first step in this direction, the Ministry of Inspirational Worship has decided to go with YouTube Live as our means of live-steamed worship. To view the service remotely on Sunday morning, simply visit our YouTube channel at 10:00 am.

For online worshippers, this will mean less interactivity than we’ve been accustomed to with Zoom. Remote worshippers will be able to communicate with one another and a designated “chat chaplain” (facilitator) in the live text chat. During joys and concerns, we will pause the live stream and have two parallel prayer circles: one in the sanctuary, and one in the YouTube live chat, facilitated by the chat chaplain. We’ll join together in the Lord’s Prayer at the conclusion of the sharing.

The Ministry of Inspirational Worship will be paying close attention to the worship experience both locally and online, knowing that improvements will need to be made to both along the way. We thank everyone for grace and patience extended as we learn and train volunteers in the new technology. 

Here is guidance previously circulated about in-person worship. If you have any questions, please reach out to me, the Ministry of Inspirational Worship (worship@ucu.church) or the Re-entry Team (reentry@ucu.church).

  • In-person worship will be mask optional. We rejoice that Vermont currently leads the nation in vaccination rates and for the freedom that gives us to gather and see one another face to face. We hope to see the rate climb even higher throughout the summer. We encourage unvaccinated individuals or anyone who prefers to mask to do so, but we will not be monitoring for or inquiring about vaccination status for those entering our doors to worship.
  • Singing and service time will be limited. Knowing that our sanctuary has limited ventilation, we plan to further reduce risk and increase comfort level by limiting the time we spend indoors and the amount of forceful breath (through congregational singing) we let out into the space. Our service will last about 45 minutes, and we will sing together just our final hymn before departing for outdoor fellowship. Other service music will be instrumental or with a soloist standing apart from the congregation.
  • Online worship will remain available for those unable to join in person. If distance, risk factors, preference, or extenuating circumstances keep you from coming to the little white church on the green, you are still warmly welcome to worship! See above for more information on connecting via YouTube.

With great anticipation,

Pastor Jen