Thanks to all who expressed their hopes and preferences for worship in the spring and summer of this year. I wanted to share a summary of the data with you:
2/3 of the respondents expressed that their preferences were driven by concern for safety for themselves, their households, and vulnerable members of St. Clare’s. Similarly, 2/3 of the respondents expressed that “making sure there are worship options that feel safe for those especially vulnerable to COVID” was an element of worship that was most important to them. Gathering with the greatest portion of the community, as well as congregational singing, were the other two most-named priorities for worship.
The Worship Commission and COVID task force looked at this data and discussed various options. We decided to mostly continue with our current policies for the time being, especially since cases in Washtenaw County are still relatively high. In other words, worship will be in the sanctuary, masks are required, and proof of vaccination is required for all those able to be vaccinated at the 8:30 service.
Once a month, when the weather permits, we will worship outdoors at the 10:30 service, and masks will be optional for the outdoor worship services. (On those weeks, we’ll offer a different online option.) We’ll also add some evening events outdoors that give people more opportunities to sing without masks in the fresh air! And of course, we’ll continue to monitor the situation and adjust as necessary.
[If you missed it, we are also offering wine at the 8:30 service, and exploring options for the 10:30 service.] (click here for details)
I have found our community’s care for each other during this complex time to be particularly moving, especially as the parent of an unvaccinated child. Please continue to offer your thoughts and feelings and feedback to members of the Worship Committee, and we will continue to make decisions together as this pandemic evolves.