Well, we did it! As of Monday, the state of Vermont has reached the long awaited 80% mark, meaning that 80% of Vermonters 12 and over have had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. As promised, Governor Scott then lifted all COVID-19 restrictions, including limits on gathering sizes and mask wearing, though we know masks will remain a requirement in some places (like medical settings and on public transportation) for some time to come.
Several of UCU’s ministries (especially re-entry, worship, and Christian Ed) have been paying close attention to guidance changes as well as research and best practices for ministry in what some are calling a “lingering pandemic.” As we return to in-person worship next month, we want to create a space that is safe and comfortable, while of course protecting those among us who have not yet received a vaccine.
At the end of June, we’ll share specifically what to expect when we return to the sanctuary in terms of masks, music, and the overall shape of the service. We are aiming to reduce risk and allow for social readjustment by limiting our time in the sanctuary, minimizing singing and wind instruments, and fellowshipping outdoors rather than inside, which was often typical for us in the summer months. Of course, those who wish can continue to join the service online.
We begin our move toward in-person worship this week with the first of our Morning Chapel services. Early risers are encouraged to bring a camp chair or blanket as we gather in the tent behind the church at 8:45 am for a brief service of praise and prayer. (We’ll also have folding chairs available if preferred.) Our full Zoom worship service, with recognition of our graduates, will be held online at 10 am.
I look forward to seeing you soon and very soon,