Dear Church Community,
This year, the Summer Solstice occurred last Saturday, June 20. And what a strange summer it is! We’re still Zooming for worship, kids’ camps have been cancelled, many of us continue working from home, and, of course, most vacation plans have been altered or put on hold.
A few weeks ago, there was much talk about “reopening,” and, in fact, many regions (including our own) are in one phase or another of this process. Yet, this week our country’s daily new infection rates have set new records, a situation both frustrating and alarming. We’re clearly not out of the woods yet.
Of course, this makes it challenging to plan. And yet, we have to move forward, which requires at least some planning! Thus, I thought it might be helpful to clarify our church’s process. The following is a summary of both decisions we’ve already made and those still to come:
All church events will remain online thru Labor Day. The Cabinet and Trustees will revisit this guidance in August, with a significant possibility that the timeline will be extended through the end of the calendar year.
Sunday School typically takes a break in the summer, but this year our weekly online Children’s Time will continue through July 17. Our bi-weekly Teen Group will continue through the end of July.
Summer Adult Programs will be more robust than usual. We’ll host both a recreational movie night and a second social documentary and discussion evening. Our Wednesday morning meditation group will continue all summer, as will the monthly FaithLife and Poetry Groups. And, we’ll offer two Coffee Hour Conversations in July.
For the past two years, we’ve had a July Preaching Fellow, while I take a summer break. This year, Stephanie Dorsey will preach a sermon series on Gender Non-Conformity in the Sacred Stories, July 5-August 2. See below for more information.
Our Capital Campaign plans are ahead of schedule (a silver lining in this scenario!). Since KinderHaus is currently closed, we’re able to move forward with the basement construction without moving the daycare to another location. The Trustees will provide the congregation with an update the week of July 13.
Other church use is currently on hold, with the exception of the four 12-Step Groups that utilize our space. The Building and Grounds Committee has prepared a strict set of guidelines for them to meet now that DC is in Phase Two of reopening. This, of course, is subject to updates from the Mayor.
I hope this helps you envision the rest of the summer (and, likely, fall) at church. We’ll continue to be creative and resourceful with worship and programming and, as always, invite your comments and suggestions.
In the meanwhile, the work of the church goes on. As Holly Hancock’s sign at last Friday’s Racial Justice Rally read: “The church is not empty; the church is deployed!” I hope you’ll join me again this Friday (tomorrow) from 5-6 pm for another rally in front of our church. Masks are required; signs suggested.
Finally, if you haven’t yet contributed to the GoFundMe Campaign for Celestine, please do—and share this link! It’s currently a buyer’s market for used vehicles, and Celestine is hoping to find a good deal on a Toyota minivan (2016 or newer). If anyone could provide assistance with this search, I’d be grateful. Please email email@example.com. For more information and Celestine’s story, go to the GoFundMe Page created by our Mission & Social Action Committee.
As always, if you need help or support, our congregation is here for you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Blessings of peace, health, safety, and justice to you and yours,
– email firstname.lastname@example.org for links –
Racial Justice Vigil, 6/26—We’ll gather outside the church tomorrow (Friday) from 5-6 pm to rally and hold vigil for racial justice. Please wear a mask (required) and bring a sign (suggested).
Racial Justice Meeting, 6/28— We’ll meet this Sunday from 5 to 6:30 pm for Part II of last week’s gathering. You’re welcome whether or not you participated then. For details and the Zoom link, email email@example.com.
July Preaching Fellow, 7/5-8/2—Stephanie Dorsey will preach a sermon series entitled: Gender Non-Conformity in the Sacred Stories. She’ll also lead two Coffee Hour Conversations, July 12 and 26. Stephanie earned her Master of Divinity from Lancaster Theological Seminary and serves as the Associate Interim Pastor at Church of the Apostles, UCC in Lancaster, PA.
– email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info and/or links –