An Update On Our Process Towards In-Person Worship
Dear People of Good Shepherd,
I am back from a lovely “staycation” with my husband, John. It was so good to spend time together as we had not seen each other since February!
I want to give you an update on our present situation. At present, no in-person worship is allowed in our diocese, because of the rising presence of the virus. We continue our online Zoom worship on Sunday mornings, and our other online offerings as listed on the web site. Our task force continues to work on Good Shepherd’s plan for safety when in-person, outside worship will be allowed by the bishop, and when our task force and vestry agree that we are ready to do so safely.
Here are some of the highlights from the survey that we took about a safe return to in-person worship. Thank you to Mike Christie for formulating and tabulating the results – and to Joyce Brightman who did the input for the hard copy surveys that we received from our folks who do not use computers.
We received 76 responses from you: a wonderful result! Thank you to all who took the time to respond.
Here is a brief summary:
We are an At-risk Congregation for COVID-19
Almost 90% of us are 65 and over, with 54% in the 75 and over age range.
More than half of us have a known risk factor for severe illness from COVID-19 other than age.
We will continue online worship even when we start something in person
About half of us would rather participate in online worship if we are unable to sing, receive communion, and recite the creed, Lord’s Prayer, etc. in an in-person service. Most of the rest of us were neutral on this question.
There is interest in outdoor, in-person worship, with restrictions
About half of us said we would attend an outdoor service before a vaccine or other effective treatment is developed.
The overwhelming majority of us said that we would consider these factors to be essential for an outdoor service:
All parishioners wearing masks (78%)
State and CDC guidelines being followed (75%)
Maintaining social distancing protocols (82%)
More than half of you included this: Knowing that temperature checks are required (53%)
There is not as much interest in small group worship experiences
There was not a lot of interest in an outdoor home service of 10 parishioners or fewer
The Eucharist and being in the nave were the two things most people miss the most.
We also received many individual comments which the task force and vestry appreciate, and which they will take into account as the planning work continues.
Thank you all again for your participation in this important survey. See you on Zoom this Sunday!