Conversations at the last Board meeting led us to determine that we need a working group of leaders dedicated to plotting both our way back to being a physical church, whenever that happens, and helping us manage in necessary new ways. We wanted people who had a vested interest in each active part of church life, and were deciders in those areas of interest. I have spoken to everyone not on that Board call, and went ahead and invited Lynn Taylor (Rentals and Events) to join us as well.
Those in that group include: myself (Rev. Steve), Gary Hart (Pres.), Mike Buttitta (facilities), Lee Ann Hart (Worship), Greg Garcia (Finance and RE), John Einhorn (Finance), Judy Shaffer (Endowment), and Tara Unverzagt (Finance/Pledge/Marketing, Endowment) will join us after tax season in June.
Topics for discussion include…
*When we open Sunday Service for in-person parishioners, and how we manage until that date
*When children’s RE starts and how it is managed until then
*Staffing patterns until we physically return
*Contingency plans for Pacific Sage, should its slow roll back to add students get curtailed, and
*Liability issues regarding all the above
The end result of the first meeting was the following:
In regards to our Sunday Services, despite the recent permission in California to have people physically back at church we are going to tentatively hold off offering “in person” or “IRL, In Real Life services at church until at least August 9. This date gives us time to evaluate how the efforts to re-open in other places of worship have gone, and for us not to “open” while I (Rev. Steve) is back East for most of July.
When we return, and this is of course subject to change, we will, have no more than 35 seats in various groupings each of the following three places, in the Sanctuary, out on the patio, and on the back “wedding” patio. Each of these chair groupings (between 1-4 chairs in each group), will be spaced 6 feet apart. At these initial “in-person services” we will not sing nor have the choir present. We will have touchless greeters, joys and concerns, and require masks and social distancing from all those present. We will not serve food or even coffee, and be monitoring any follow-up fellowship time for social distancing.
The first of these in person church services will feel different. However, they are only a half way step to being back together in a “normal way” whatever that becomes. We just miss each other and need to be together at least this much.
Plans for the return of Children’s RE, our regular Adult-Ed or support group meetings, like “Seekers,” and “Writing group” will not begin to return until the third week of September at the earliest. More details of all this will unfold, and we will keep you abreast of all plans. As with everything at Pacific Unitarian, we are a democracy and interested in feedback.