In August, we let you know that our Board & Staff would be reassessing local pandemic conditions, and our safety guidelines, as we planned for the return to weekly, in-person worship in September.
As of today, we are still planning to hold our second “sneak preview” service, both online and in-person, at 10am this Sunday, September 5th. However, we’ve made a few additions to the in-person guidelines from our August 15th service. We’ve also clarified the conditions under which WellSprings may choose to suspend in-person Sunday services again, this Fall.
Here’s what’s changing:
- An RSVP Is Now Required. To help us provide reliable distancing and good ventilation in Bell Hall, we ask that you let us know if you plan to attend in person. Each week, we’ll share an RSVP link on our website, in the Wednesday Weekly e-mail, and on social media. The earlier the better – but you can sign up anytime before Sunday morning. Here is the link for this Sunday, September 5: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C094DAEAB2FA4FD0-inperson
- Speakers and Musicians Will Stay Masked. We’d hoped that requiring proof of vaccination from preachers, worship leaders, and musicians would adequately mitigate the risks of removing masks onstage. Unfortunately, it’s not clear that vaccination provides adequate protection from either contracting or spreading the Delta variant of Covid-19. Masking is a stronger mitigation strategy. Just as we ask all in-person attendees to be masked, all our speakers and singers will keep their masks on, throughout the entire service.
- We Ask You Not to Sing Along. This one is harder… but sadly, singing together is still considered a high-risk activity. The risk in our space is greatly reduced when only one or two of our band’s singers create the music. You may see our band experiment with alternating singers, or having fewer voices participate on Sunday, as well. Your best lip syncs, and all your sweetest dance moves are still – and always – abundantly welcome.
If you’re wondering about the rest of our in-person guidelines, you can read more about them here.
With help from new guidance released by the UUA, our Board has also set clear criteria for any future decisions to temporarily suspend in-person worship. In keeping with our denomination’s guidance, we will suspend in-person Sunday services if the transmission risk in either Chester or Montgomery Counties enters one of the two highest levels (“Very High” or “Severe”) as measured by the website CovidActNow. Our Staff will monitor these numbers, which are updated daily. Any decision to cancel in-person worship will be communicated to the congregation no later than Saturday.
We encourage all WellSpringers who are eligible to get vaccinated against Covid-19, and ask that anyone who feels ill stay home and participate in online worship. If you attend Sunday worship and later test positive for Covid-19, or discover you were in close contact with someone who tested positive, please let Rev. Lee know. We will hold your name in confidence, but will notify others who attended service so they can get tested, too.
This certainly isn’t where we hoped we’d be, now entering our third congregational year affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. We appreciate your care for our WellSprings community, and all the local communities we’re connected with, as we come together in the best possible ways to re-charge our souls for the days ahead.