Re-Entry Task Force
March 23, 2021
Proposed Safety Criteria Published
February 25, 2021
Members of the Staff and the Worship and Music Committee have come to the Re-Entry Task Force (RETF) with a proposed change in approach for our on-line presence as we continue to plan for our return to in-person worship. Originally we had planned to continue our pre-recorded virtual worship services with the goal of eventually transitioning to “live-streaming” on an on-going basis. The thought was that it would be too difficult to go directly to high-quality “live-streaming” that we’d want for those unable to attend in person. However, the pandemic has taught us that we can accomplish more than we might think!
At last week’s RETF meeting, Matt Webb and Sheldon Rajkumar reviewed a proposal that they had requested that would allow for a multi-camera system, covering all areas of the Chancel, Sanctuary and Narthex. Using this set-up, “live streaming” to our website, Facebook and other social media would be available for our worship services, weddings, memorial services, concerts and other events held in our sanctuary. The Task Force agreed that this is the direction that we want to go for our future – why not plan for it now rather than take a temporary approach.
With support from the RETF, Matt and Sheldon made the same presentation at last week’s Session meeting. Session agreed that requests for additional proposals and bids would be sent out over the next month with the goal of having a vote on a recommended proposal at the March Session meeting. A key factor in weighing each proposal will be the timing of a potential installation – our May goal to start in-person worship remains the same.
January 22, 2021
When will we be able to worship in the Sanctuary? What will worship look like during the “new normal?”. The Re-Entry Task Force (RETF) has created proposals for safe in-person worship and a date to begin worship, keeping in mind that all plans are still COVID dependent!
When we are able to return to the Sanctuary, worship will look and feel a bit different. We will use a registration system to make contract tracing easier should we need it. There will be a large screen and projector to project the previously recorded music and lay scripture reading, as well as the text of the scripture being read aloud during the service (in lieu of Bibles in the pews). The pastors will have masks and gloves and stand behind a Plexiglas shield, while we in the congregation will be socially distanced and wearing masks, of course! There will be some “behind the scenes” improvements to the Sanctuary, including MERV-13 filters and UV sterilization lamps installed in the existing ductwork. Doors, windows and ceiling vents will remain open for increased natural air circulation.
The RETF is currently planning for a “dry run” worship service on April 25. This will be a chance to test our registration system and the actual flow of people in the sanctuary. The service itself will consist of the pre-taped service projected onto the new screen. If all goes well (and COVID permitting!) Session has approved our first “live” service on May 9th or 16th. We will continue with one or two services a month over the summer and hope to return to our regular schedule in September. Please note that we will need many volunteers to make in-person worship a success. New volunteer roles will include people to take temperatures and check in members of the congregation who have pre-registered. Ushers will have expanded responsibilities. We hope you will prayerfully consider volunteering!
November 19, 2020
Get ready for an Advent like none you’ve experienced before! Although we won’t be able to celebrate in the sanctuary for at least the rest of this year, the staff and Worship and Music have been working hard to plan virtual Christmas Eve services that will be meaningful and memorable! We have much to be thankful for, including our new Interim Minister, Leslie Dobbs Allsopp, who will be joining us the first week of the new year!
In the meantime, the Re-Entry Task Force is continuing to meet to develop the plans and procedures to re-open as soon, and as safely as possible. One thing has become clear – it will take a larger than normal team of volunteers to make this happen! The exact roles and numbers are still under development, but the setup and operation of in-person worship will be a team effort. Please prayerfully consider whether you would be willing and able to serve when we have more details.
The Re-Entry Task Force is committed to providing updates on at least a monthly basis. As Ed Halldorson said at our meeting this week, “We haven’t been down this road before!” Let’s look forward to a time when we can worship together, and be mindful of new opportunities that will undoubtedly emerge as we move ahead.
Who We Are
We are members of Session representing multiple committees, meeting regularly to organize and safely launch in-person worship at PCM.
Task Force Members: Christy Allison – Co-chair, Ken Clark – Co-chair, David Darcy, Wendy Doidge, Lisa Fraebel, Ed Halldorson, Kevin Hubbard, Jenny Tooley, and Susan Wood.
- Our desire is to start live in-person worship as soon as possible, but not before the new Interim is in place
- We expect to continue with our virtual, pre-recorded worship services as currently produced even after we begin in-person worship
- Our goal is to have the structure and procedures for in-person worship defined and to the greatest extent possible, tested, so that in-person worship is “ready to go” when that Interim is available
- Worship and Music will be working on defining the in-person worship service itself
- Initially, in-person worship may not be offered every week, possibly starting off once a month or every other week
- The Task Force, working with the recommendations of the Safety Committee, is currently working to define the procedures and protocols necessary to minimize the risk of in-person worship
- We may conduct in-person viewing of the recorded worship service in the sanctuary, possibly during Advent, as an opportunity to test those procedures and protocols
- Our “go live” plans will be presented to the Session for their approval
- We will be communicating our plans and status to the congregation on at least a monthly basis via letter, email, website and “Moments for Mission”