We’ve now held five services – both in-person and live-streamed – since re-opening Bell Hall last month! We’ve learned so much about offering multiple ways to connect with our community on Sunday mornings – and I’m so glad we are back to offering a physical place and time together, for those who seek it.
You might remember that for ease with last month’s transition, we decided to return to Bell Hall with the same Covid-19 safety guidelines as we had last Fall. Our Board has received your feedback over these last few weeks, reviewed the latest available UUA guidance, and evaluated recent changes to the CDC guidance – changes which prompted many schools (including the Montgomery School) to drop their indoor mask requirements in February.
Taking all this into account, the Board and I have agreed on a few changes to our gathering guidelines, beginning this Sunday, March 27th.
- We will continue to limit capacity in Bell Hall, but will no longer require pre-registration for in-person attendance. For now, we plan to keep setting out 50 chairs each Sunday. We’ll watch our capacity by taking a weekly attendance count. When we begin regularly approaching 50 in-person attendees, the Board will re-assess and decide whether to expand our attendance cap at that time.
- We will no longer require masks indoors. The CDC has created a new county-level risk framework, where only communities at “high” risk are advised to mask indoors. Chester and Montgomery Counties, most of PA, and all of DE, are currently at “low” risk. If you are ill, we prefer that you stay home – but we will ask that you continue to mask up at WellSprings if you are experiencing symptoms of illness, or if you’ve recently been exposed to Covid-19. For all others, the choice to mask will always be supported, but will be up to the individual.
- We will continue to follow our Covid-19 Exposure Protocol. Please call (610) 280-3797 or e-mail us at email@example.com if you test positive for Covid-19 within 7 days after attending an in-person event at WellSprings. We will notify anyone present at any event where an exposure takes place.
On the one hand, I feel like celebrating! We’ve sacrificed our physical togetherness for so long – and thanks to the efficacy of vaccines, the difficult changes we’ve made in our habits, and so much care, patience, and time… it is now safer to gather than it has been for a long, long time. However, I know we’ve each had our own unique experience of this pandemic, and we continue to have different needs and priorities among us, as we navigate this current phase. I’m here to talk about anything you’d like to share, as we process all these pieces of a return to something both “normal” and not. Our Board of Trustees is also happy to take your feedback, about these changes or others that may come in the future. You can reach the Board at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the meantime, please know how glad we are to see you, whether you join us in-person or continue to connect with us from afar. We are tremendously grateful to all of you – and deeply humbled by the fact that we’ve made it this far, together. Looking forward to the gift of another year ahead, WellSprings.
Rev. Lee, and your Board of Trustees