News

A candle being lit

Covid-19 Update for March 14: In-Person Worship to be Held; Live Stream Available

Dear Friends,

In our last e-mail we indicated that we would keep you informed of our plans regarding worship this Sunday.

We still plan to invite those who wish to gather in person in our sanctuary to do so. In full disclosure, our Conference Ministers have suggested we not gather in person. In our tradition those recommendations are not binding but we are called to take them seriously. After prayer and in consultation with some of my colleagues, we are still planning to offer a place to gather in worship, mindful of the following:

  • Please make use of the on-line live streaming of worship if you have a compromised immune system, if you have symptoms of any illness or if you have been in a high-risk situation for exposure (see below).
  • Exterior doors will be open with hand sanitizer stations immediately inside. Please use.
  • We will be inviting people to gather in the sanctuary and sit with some distance between households or those who come together. Pews are marked to make that easier and bulletins are in the pews.
  • We will not have Adult Study before or Coffee Hour after.
  • The service will be shorter and engage the issues of the day in a meaningful way that offers both the teaching of our faith and the teachings of the science and medical community for the days ahead.
  • We will bless each other for the days ahead.
  • The choir will be part of the service. Choir members should expect a separate email from Ron Hanft or Jack Brown.

This week we will also begin to offer the option to worship in community on-line. Simply go to our website (http://stockbridgeucc.org/livestream). We are trying to make worship as interactive and communal as possible (see below). We will also be modifying the services to be friendly for an on-line audience.

Some tips:

  • We will begin streaming at 9:45 each week – giving you plenty of time to make sure the signal is working and coming through.
  • Set up the place you will be worshipping to be comfortable and free of distraction:
    • Turn off all phones and other noises.
    • Think about bringing over a candle to light along with us.
    • Have a nice cup of tea or something handy to make you comfortable.
  • TEXT to 617-513-0185 the names of those in your household who are joining worship as soon as you are on-line. This will allow us to acknowledge and tell everyone who is gathering.
  • This Sunday we will be deviating from our Bulletin in significant ways. In the future there will be a printable version of the bulletin on our website. You may wish to print it out for the service. We will also have copies available in the church narthex by Friday at Noon for you to pick-up if you want.
  • We will invite you to TEXT to 617-513-0185 your joys and concerns that will be read out loud during that part of worship.
  • We will gather the offering. Thanks to Ron and Will, an online option is available for you. The link will be on our website in the the navigation, and also on the livestream page.

We are trying to bring the spirit and essence of worship to you. We are trying to authentically gather together and to keep our bonds strong during the coming weeks. We are new at the streaming part and anticipate that we will get better at it as time goes on. We welcome your feedback on how you experienced worship, so please let us know.

We are committed to keeping the office open during regular hours and you can always call me at home should you need anything.

Blessings in these evolving times,
Brent