Reconnection Team Meeting Notes Mar 17, 2021

Reconnection Team Meeting Notes Mar 17, 2021

Oldtown Reconnection Team
Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Attending: Pastor Kelly, Linda Vogler, Cindi Barkley, Pat Sanford, Ed Clavette, Leah Moynihan, Kevin Graves (Kris Collins and Deanne Bellinger were unable to join this week).

Summary: The reconnection team met on March 17, 2021. Primary actions were to review the Commonwealth Standards for Houses of Worship, discuss key considerations as we reopen, and generate a questions list for further discussion and exploration.

  • Opening prayer
  • Key considerations:
    • Reviewed previous reconnection work, now starting fresh.
    • Kevin volunteered to record the minutes, the group asked Ed to chair for the time being
    • Ed had previously sent UCC guidance, as well as Massachusetts Standards for Houses of Worship
    • Short discussion on CDC guidance for cleaning, EPA list N, sanitizing soft surfaces
    • Initial challenges identified: standards for choosing an open date, products to order, changes to be made, attendance limits and registration, occupancy standards/guidelines
    • Do we need to follow the UCC guidelines? Kelly–we can choose to use or not.
    • Do we need to research how other churches assessing/mitigating risk with handling hymnals and bibles in the pews?
  • Questions generated:
    • Need to know risk/impact of/on signing, group response, passing of peace?
    • How do we continue to share with the virtual community? Service–huddle–short)
      • Maybe not whole worship once we’re 100%?
      • Do we try to stream? Implications on privacy and licensing?
    • Would some members require special protection and how to protect?
    • How should we communicate the safety guidelines to participants?
    • How do we alert newcomers and visitors?
    • Should we utilize online sign-up to monitor and limit attendees?
    • Do we want to do temperature checks, who would do this?
    • At what point would permitted occupancy make it feasible and advisable to open?
    • Would we need one or two pews separation, how to accomplish?
    • Should we promote ventilation and how?
    • What kind of signage or queue guidance would be needed?
      • Will we need separate exit and entrance?
      • Would we need row by row exiting?
    • Would we continue to use face coverings and what ages?
    • Where would we seat those medically unable to wear masks?
    • How are other churches handling this?
      • Reviewed some examples
    • What is the risk of physical collection and contributions?
      • How do we promote/utilize no-touch?
    • How might we handle communion, what’s the risk?
      • Prepackaged seems impersonal for Oldtown?
    • How to handle bulletin distribution?
      • Maybe leave in pews in advance?
    • Would we need to prevent communal gatherings and if so, how? Coffee house?
    • How would we handle nursery and childcare?
    • How would we handle bathroom cleaning?
    • Who would do the general cleaning, self, or 3rd party, how often, with what?
    • Should we worship outside in the near short term?
      • How would we handle music, sound reinforcement, tent, chairs, electric?
    • How would we handle accessibility, with outside worship?
    • How/who would we assess the overall risk to the Oldtown community?
    • What role would vaccination play in our decision?
    • How might we want to handle fairs, yard sales, suppers, pet clinics?
    • Would we need to sanitize money, provide hand sanitizer?
    • How do we handle the logistics and labor of the yard sales?–Ed needs help
    • How would we handle huddle, maybe outside?

Follow-ups for next meeting:

  • Next meeting March 31st at 7:00PM
  • The group decided maybe we put the pet clinics first and learn from this experience. Ed committed to work on assessing whether we might be able to re-start pet clinics and will check with Dr. Peter Granville to see if he is still available. Can we assemble a team of four accomplish the clinics (maybe a fourth person beyond Ed, Peter, and Jim)?
  • Ed will check for maximum occupancy restrictions governing the building.

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