As you know, the diocese has allowed for a return to in-person worship since the province eased restrictions several weeks ago. We announced at that time, that we would regather in the church when it was safe to do so. One of the problems was the status of case counts, variants, and vaccinations. Fortunately, they have all been trending in the right direction. The other issue was our air handling system which was no longer functioning. Fortunately, we have contracted to have those units replaced and renewed. The work won’t be complete before our first in-person-worship offering, but John Sutton – our property Chair is confident that we can return safely in mid-September.
To prepare for Regathering:
- We did extensive planning for Regathering in September 2020. We learned a lot from the eight weeks we were able to offer in-person worship.
- We fine tuned our procedures around preparing the space with cleaning and safety protocols.
- We carefully coordinated bookings, arrivals and departures.
- We reverently attended to how we celebrated and offered the eucharist, music, everything we could imagine.
So we were confident when we started planning – this time around – that our practices and procedures were safe and sound.
Two weeks ago staff, leadership, and volunteers met for a few hours to think through Regathering 2021. We realized that, even though we were eager to return to in-person worship, there was much from the past 14 months – on Zoom, live stream, and recorded offerings – that we wanted to carry forward.
What kept coming up was how much we enjoyed being together as one community on Zoom. Folks from 8am, 9:30, 11:15, and 7pm had the opportunity to be in community in an intentional way. We had the experience of being one flock in worship and that’s something we wanted to celebrate.
However, there was also a sense that we missed the distinct liturgical styles and musical expressions of all our Sunday offerings, particularly as they were expressed at the 9:30 and 11:15 liturgies. Keeping all that in balance, and given that we don’t know what further restrictions or allowances might look like, this is what we came up with.
This is our Regathering Plan for Worship.
On a personal note, I will be on vacation for the month of August, but I leave you in the capable and compassionate hands of the Rev. Susan Haig, who will serve as priest-in-charge while I am away.
We look forward to seeing you in September!
Sincerely yours in Christ,