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EasternOrthodox

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My church hasn't even had a Board meeting during all of this! I have written to our Board chair a couple of times with ideas, but they go nowhere. I don't even get a response, other than through the grapevine: "Nancy had an idea but it's something we've never done before." I like the people at my church, and I like our minister (but then...I pretty well like everyone), but I am not feeling very fulfilled in this congregation any more. I am the only one who appreciates Bible studies. Several are admitted atheists. I get more spiritually from my zoom meetings with the regional delegates to our grants committee! So...just trying to figure things out right now.
That doesn’t sound very good. Depending on your risk factors for Covid, I’d be cautious. At our last Zoom meeting (generally every Wednesday) one woman mentioned that she knows someone who had Covid. Apparently she’s having a lot of trouble shaking it off. I know not everyone will react like that but at my age I’m being careful. I’ve read several articles about people who survive but can’t seem to shake it off.
 

Mrs.Anteater

Just keep going....
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Our meeting is often less than 10 people, so since 10 people is the limit presently in NS, we could start meeting in person, just have to make sure that no more than 10 show up, the extras maybe connecting by zoom.
We were thinking of meeting outdoors, but nothing has been decided yet.
 

EasternOrthodox

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Our meeting is often less than 10 people, so since 10 people is the limit presently in NS, we could start meeting in person, just have to make sure that no more than 10 show up, the extras maybe connecting by zoom.
We were thinking of meeting outdoors, but nothing has been decided yet.
Outdoors is a great idea. It‘s a lot safer, I understand.
 

KayTheCurler

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The United Church in my hometown is meeting via Zoom and plans to continue doing that.
 

revsdd

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Most United Churches I know of are planning to wait until at least September, although I know a couple that want to open pretty much right away. My own congregation will be discussing this at a Steering Committee meeting Monday morning. My suggestion is going to be to work toward a September 13 re-opening. Our recorded services (we record on Friday afternoon and post them on Sunday morning) are going very well. The congregation has appreciated them and we're getting a lot of people watching them - probably more than would actually come on a Sunday morning. We've had a couple of people ask if we're going to be open this Sunday but for the most part people seem content to wait. And as much as I don't like to say it the truth is that the churches that choose to rush into meeting are going to serve kind of as guinea pigs for the rest of us as we watch them to see how it goes.

It sounds wonderful to say that we want to wait until we can be sure everyone will be safe and nothing will happen, but that's probably impossible. At some point we have to make the mental, emotional and spiritual shift from total risk avoidance to responsible risk management.
 

Carolla

wondering & wandering
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It sounds wonderful to say that we want to wait until we can be sure everyone will be safe and nothing will happen, but that's probably impossible. At some point we have to make the mental, emotional and spiritual shift from total risk avoidance to responsible risk management.
I think that waiting until everyone is legally permitted to be in the building together is a separate expectation from saying it will necessarily be safe and nothing will happen. Responsible risk management is ongoing, even before COVID I would hope. This just adds another layer.
 

KayTheCurler

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Our RC congregation are holding three masses on Sunday. Haven't heard what the Baptists, Apostolics etc. are planing.
 

BetteTheRed

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I think that waiting until everyone is legally permitted to be in the building together is a separate expectation from saying it will necessarily be safe and nothing will happen. Responsible risk management is ongoing, even before COVID I would hope. This just adds another layer.
Agreed. I'm never a fan of seeing 94 year old Ernestine in the pews in the middle of a regular 'flu season, and I don't hug her in the winter, either. I think that live singing is going to be out for a while. They're talking about the choir anthem being pre-recorded and projected as part of the livestream.
 

jimkenney12

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My church hasn't even had a Board meeting during all of this! I have written to our Board chair a couple of times with ideas, but they go nowhere. I don't even get a response, other than through the grapevine: "Nancy had an idea but it's something we've never done before." I like the people at my church, and I like our minister (but then...I pretty well like everyone), but I am not feeling very fulfilled in this congregation any more. I am the only one who appreciates Bible studies. Several are admitted atheists. I get more spiritually from my zoom meetings with the regional delegates to our grants committee! So...just trying to figure things out right now.
Hi Nancy. I am sorry you are being deliberately ignored. Would you feel comfortable having a conversation with your minister about your experience? It sounds like your church is one where the leaders subconsciously want it to die.
 

jimkenney12

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But not meeting is taking a cue from Trudeau. Who is also not meeting with parliament. The mixed messages will not help things
Only 9 members of our council indicated they were prepared to attend a meeting so we were able to spread out in our basement space and meet face to face with masks. We were going to have a ZOOM meeting but we have poor internet service here. No Covid-19 cases in our community for over a month with the only 2 cases related to people returning from out of country. Our search committee had ZOOM meetings until after the 10 person option was provided and we met spread out in the basement as well. By the way, Deep River Community Church will be posting a vacancy this fall for next summer and I would appreciate suggestions for the search part. We will be posting on Church Hub and the Presbyterian Church website and probably Broadview.
 

jimkenney12

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We reopened for the people who do not have internet. Hillhurst has a relatively younger congregation and I believe all of their members would be on the internet so their online services can include everyone. Many of our members are either elderly without internet or live in rural areas where the internet access is very limited, even more than in town.
 

Luce NDs

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On line ... a light thing s drawn in the SAN ... it may assist connections with a quick dash ...
 

Pinga

Room for All
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@jimkenney12 - the reopening team at our church is looking at a similair model.

We currently have folks who have gone into the church to use the internet to attend services.

@Nancy we have had council meetings, bible groups, team meetings and socials all through online. I am really sorry that you aren't seeing that happening. Is it that they are unsure how to do it, and so see it as just one more burden in trying times? Do you have anyone who could champion or offer it. (I mean, worst come to worst, I would even be willing to host a meeting for your group if they were willing to try)

@jimkenney12 - i concur with people not having internet, and it isn't just age, as you said. It can be due to costs (we have people in subsidized apartments without internet). It can be due to location (long term care homes). It can be due to equipment (no ability to join, not even via phone). So many barriers, and that doesn't even include things like the ability to understand how to join. We try to make it easier, but, wow, sometimes it becomes clear how much some folks have lost in their mental faculties)
 

BetteTheRed

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wow, sometimes it becomes clear how much some folks have lost in their mental faculties)
Or how limited one's ability to cope with change becomes with extreme old age. We have a lovely older lady, going to be 90 this year, and she can work a computer, access e-mail, access voice-mail on her land line, no problem. However, she's been able to make no transition to tablets and smart phones because she doesn't get the concept of a "tap". She presses.

We've given up on the tablet I found her; I think I've got someone else who might find use of it. There's a busy grandson who has committed to coming up for a day or so as soon as he can (he has a job, a wife, several children) to fix her dishwasher and to install a camera and a mic onto her desktop computer so that she can properly access Zoom.
 

Carolla

wondering & wandering
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We try to make it easier, but, wow, sometimes it becomes clear how much some folks have lost in their mental faculties)
Sometimes it's the new learning ability that is compromised - so keeping things as much the same as possible is usually better - as Bette's example demonstrates. The old processes & procedures are well embedded & don't easily yield to new methods.
 

Mendalla

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The UU fellowship here are continuing on Zoom through September. Not being involved anymore (but contemplating it), I can't say what happens after that. They do have a good-sized space relative to their usual Sunday attendance so could probably manage social distancing for all but the best attended services. I doubt I would go absent a vaccine or them putting in really, really good preventative measures.
 

Waterfall

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Curious where people are in their back to church strategies
This Sunday we are have our first "gathering" at the local Drive In for a 4:00 service where we will stay in our cars. Not sure if we will also have everything on the drive in screen as well as the service being live....I suspect so. We will also continue with the regular online service on Youtube and Facebook, which I actually like if I want to skip the music (caters to young people, which is nice for them---we have a lot) and go straight to the sermon. I really enjoy the pastors message most weeks and he does quite well with the format.
Hopefully the drive in idea works well, but I could see quite a bit of cars showing up for the service for a church that has around 1500 attending normally over 3 services on a non COVID times Sunday.
 

BetteTheRed

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Well, we're planning our first in person gathering this Sunday, but outside on the lawn (which is large), appropriately distanced. It's supposed to be cool-ish. We'll see how it goes.

Then, our current plan is to open the sanctuary Thanksgiving Sunday for a limited number of in-person worshippers, with preference, and personal invitations, to those people (usually the elderly), who have not had access to our on-line/live-streamed services. Live-streaming will continue.
 
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