Guidance for Outdoor Small Gatherings

A couple months ago, when I needed to schedule a (virtual) gathering, it was easy. No one was going anywhere, and all the usual plans had been cancelled or postponed. But in the last few weeks, this has started to shift. Restrictions have lifted, and many of us are finding ways to get “away” for the summer, even if it isn’t quite what we’d originally planned. Once again we’re talking about doodle polls and “squeezing it in.”

Similarly, I have noticed that many small groups of folks in the church have started to talk about getting together in person. And like all of us, these groups have been trying to figure out what the risks are, how to mitigate them as best as possible, and whether it’s worth it.

With all this in mind, we’ve decided to issue some guidance for small, outdoor gatherings. You can find them here. We’ll call these a draft for a now, as I’m sure there will be questions we haven’t addressed. Let me know what we didn’t cover, or where you aren’t sure we’ve got it right.

You’ll notice right at the top, we still encourage you to remain at home and with your own household. We also encourage you to find ways to be as inclusive as possible, for all the members of your group. And, you’ll notice that we conclude by acknowledging that we must be gentle with ourselves, and with each other, because we’re all trying to figure this out with insufficient information.

However you are navigating this summer, and this time of pandemic, this time of uprisings, this time of letting go, and of new beginnings, know you are not alone. You are held in community, in love, and in a tradition of hope.

Join us this Sunday as we light our chalice once again, and kindle that light of hope.  We’ll be finishing up our series on loving where you live with a service about the front porch, and the way to heal our broken democracy.

With love,
Rev. Gretchen