Update on the Church's Efforts to Adapt to the Pandemic

May 14, 2020

Dear First Church Community,

Peace to you and blessings in the name of Jesus Christ!

As the May 20th date approaches for the governor's re-calibration of Connecticut's "Stay Safe, Stay Home" policies, we want to update you on the church's planning process.

We (Ann and Adam) are pulling together a small Adaptation Vision Team, consisting of Officers, Pastors, a Deacon and Trustee, to lay out a basic vision of how different ministries will adapt as the pandemic evolves.

This vision team will likely coordinate across the church's many ministries through a larger Adaptation Implementation Team.

As church representatives, we share basic principles on how to continue adapting our ministries, based on our faith in God who loves us and perseveres with us:
-We strive to cooperate as best as possible with the Milford Health Department and Governor's policies, relying on scientific evidence and data;
-We strive to make future re-opened activities as safe as possible for all participants;
-We strive to provide online or other alternatives for as many ministries as is plausible.

To be clear, the next steps of adaptation may or may not include re-opening in-person ministries. We need to have confidence in our safety measures.

This is also why whatever "re-opening" might happen soon, these ministries won't look or be the same as they previously were.

Worship, as the central act of the church, is where our focus will begin. Due to physical distancing restrictions, we already know that the Chapel will not be a plausible space for communal in-person worship anytime soon.

We also know that we have a limited number of pews that can be utilized with at least six-foot clearance around them.

Other traditional Sunday morning in-person ministries (coffee hour, Sunday school, choirs) will not likely re-start soon because of the inability to maintain proper physical distance.

We can also tell you that the deacons have voted to keep the Sanctuary service at 10:00 AM throughout summer 2020 and that worship will be offered online each Sunday for the foreseeable future, whether or not we decide to return to in-person worship.

We pray for all who are impacted by the pandemic—in your health, work, and spiritual grounding—and please let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

God's Peace and Love,

Ann Sabo, Moderator
& Rev. Adam Eckhart, Senior Pastor

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