Church and the Coronavirus

Peace be with you in these days. The coronavirus has disrupted all areas of our lives. We won't know the full extent of how this virus has impacted us for years to come. As a church, a crisis like these serves to deepen our faith and our commitment to serving each other and our world. While our normal programming has shifted, such as worshipping online rather than from our building, the church has never "closed." We are grateful for technology that allows us to connect with each other and allows many of us to gather together.

Worship Online

Worship is available live on Sundays 10:30AM at our Facebook page. You do not need a Facebook account to view the service, however you do need one to comment online. The safest way to worship is to worship from home online, and we encourage anyone who can worship in that way to do so.

Worship in Person 

The safest way to worship is to worship from home online. If you choose to come to the sanctuary to worship in person, you must follow these precautions:

  • making a reservation 
  • using hand sanitizer upon entering the building
  • wearing a mask that covers your nose and mouth and fits snugly to your face at all times 
  • observing the direction of flow with one way in and one out of the sanctuary 
  • observing socially distant seating placement
  • not singing out-loud
In addition, offering plates and microphones will not be passed around. Please place your offering in the plate upon entry or give online! The pastor will repeat spoken prayers so folks online can hear what was shared. We will not be holding any community gatherings before or after worship at this time. In addition, sanctuary windows and doors will be open to maximize airflow and minimize touch points. As the temperature drops, wearing layers in encouraged. 

Our protocols are more stringent and our attendance limitations lower than our state mandates. We need to be cautious with one another. Please understand that should circumstances change we will quickly revert back to an all-online format.

Reservations 

We have limited the number of spaces in our worship in person. In order to reserve a space, please contact Pat Brouillard at 978-475-7047 or patsymay521@gmail.com.


You may reserve for as many of the Sundays as you would like, but if we receive more than 20 reservations for a particular Sunday, we will have to prioritize those who have had fewer opportunities to be present. 

Restrictions

As required by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, please worship from home and do not come to the church building if you:

  • are experiencing any symptoms such as fever (100.0ºF and above) or chills, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, fatigue, headache, muscle/body aches, runny nose/congestion, new loss of taste or smell, or nausea, vomiting or diarrhea;
  • have had “close contact” with an individual diagnosed with COVID-19. “Close contact” means living in the same household as a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, caring for a person who has tested positive for COVID19, being within 6 feet of a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 for 15 minutes or more, or coming in direct contact with secretions (e.g., sharing utensils, being coughed on) from a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, while that person was symptomatic; or
  • have been asked to self-isolate or quarantine by your doctor or a local public health official.

A Poem

“Blessing for Returning to Joyous Spaces”

Bless the dance floors and the…
coffee shops,
patios,
karaoke stages,
arenas,
bowling alleys,
barbershops and salons,
gyms, 
bars and wineries, 
arcades, 
theaters, 
malls and markets, 
art galleries, 
amusement parks, 
and, and, and…

Bless our grieving hearts
as we mourn the places we’ve loved
that won’t reopen.

Bless our restless hearts
as we resist the temptation
to gather before it’s safe.

Bless our fearful hearts
as service workers among us
provide joy at the risk of exposure.

Bless our grateful hearts
as we cling to
the sounds and smells,
the colors and textures,
and the sacred memories
of the places we love -
as we gather again.


by Marchaé Grair, in Emerge: Blessings and Rituals for Unsheltering, by Stillspeaking Writers’ Group, United Church of Christ (Cleveland: Pilgrim Press, 2020), 7-8.