COVID Update from First Parish

We write with more updates about worship this fall. In this challenging time, our mutual care for one another is crucial. Tuesday evening the Parish Committee met to continue to evaluate the current situation and determine a path forward. As is the custom, the meeting was open to the public and we are grateful for those who logged in to share their thoughts with our governing board.


Considering congregational feedback, growing numbers of COVID cases, and the advent of new state, town, and denomination policies, the Parish Committee had decided to revisit their August 17th vote to reopen for incarnate worship on September 12th.   The Parish Committee scheduled last night’s special meeting to do so.


The Parish Committee voted to continue virtual worship through at least November 7th. We will continue the moving and creative Zoom worship services we have had since March 2020. After Zoom worship on September 12th, all are invited to an Out-Gathering at Whittemore lawn from 11:30-1pm.  This is a chance to see one another in the flesh.  But we do ask that everyone remain masked in the interests of our children.


The Parish Committee also voted that all Religious Education volunteers, all choir members, and musical performers must be vaccinated to participate in those higher risk activities. In addition, only fully vaccinated volunteer Lay ministers can make in person visits indoors or outdoors.  We note that all First Parish staff are fully vaccinated.


These were not easy decisions but ones made with collective care and public health in mind.
The Parish Committee will be gathering more congregational feedback in the weeks ahead. including conducting a survey of the congregation.  Stay tuned for more info!


We are a resilient community and, even beyond our differences, we are here for one another. In this time, many of us are experience grief, exhaustion, fear, confusion and frustration. If you are struggling, please know that your ministers are here for you and available if you want to set up an appointment.


A huge thank you to all of our leaders at this time. Together we can continue to nurture our vital and  vibrant community.


In faith,
Marta and Rev. Erica
Rev. Marta Flanagan, Lead Minister
Rev. Erica Richmond, Parish Minister


Parish Committee: Marie Meeter, Chair, Sara Galantowicz, Vice Chair, Carolyn Hodges, Treasurer, Celia Wcislo, Clerk, Tom Estabrook, Jeff Keffer, Steve Mcmullin, Anne Quaadgras, and Al Tosti
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