While those most cases of this virus are mild (and as News reports are filled with stories of the spread of the Coronavirus and its growth in the United States. While the danger in our area is currently very low, this may change as the weeks and months progress and we are not unaware of the need to be prepared here at First Congregational Church.
Some may show no symptoms at all), as a church we do have among us those who are at high risk of serious complications from this disease: the elderly and those who have underlying health issues.
Consequently, as a community of faith we want to encourage everyone to practice self-care not only to remain healthy but to mitigate the spread of Covid19. This includes proper hygiene (frequent hand washing) and covering one’s mouth with one’s elbow if sneezing or coughing.
Additionally, with regard to worship at our church, please do not feel any obligation to attend worship if you are not feeling well. This is the case anytime, of course, but is particularly important these days. You will certainly not be judged for your non-attendance.
Similarly, if you do attend worship it is fine if you choose not to come forward for Holy Communion. It is also acceptable to forego handshakes and hugs after the service during coffee hour (yes, even with me!).
It has been suggested that we video record services to provide access to those who cannot attend. Given our recent thoughtful decision to suspend the video recording of services, we plan to uphold that decision at this point.
Each staff person at FCC has been asked to develop a contingency plan if they are unable to work on short notice.
Most importantly, if there is a need to cancel Sunday worship anytime during the remainder of this program year because of the spread of the coronavirus, you will be informed. This decision will only be made in tandem with other Melrose churches, on the strong advice of the state Health Department, and in consultation with our Senior Deacons.
In that unlikely event, alternative, online communication will be developed in order to maintain our sense of community should a worship-cancellation be extended. We are exploring this now so as to be prepared. If we are unable to do what we “normally” do as a church, it will be an opportunity to get creative and try new things!
While a vaccine is on the horizon, the coronavirus will be with us for many months, perhaps years. Be assured that we at FCC will be monitoring this situation as it unfolds and will be prepared to adapt as warranted.
See you in church,