"The building may be closed but the church is open!"
A Regathering Committee was appointed by the Moderator to help determine when and how our congregation might safely consider returning to our church building.
March 10, 2021 Report of the Safe Regathering Committee
The Safe Regathering Committee continues to review the guidelines established by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the state Department of Public Health and Sonoma County Public Health Department. Sonoma County remains in the most restrictive Purple Tier, which limits public gatherings.
In considering how we will regather, we recognize a lot of thought and preparation will be required. It will take many weeks to accomplish. Issues we have discussed include: how we will begin, what accommodations we will need, what the capacity will be and how we will manage the flow of people. We will want to balance the needs of the fully vaccinated members with the not-yet-vaccinated members and our staff.
We believe a priority at this time should be a focus on vaccination and the support of people who need help accessing vaccinations. We recognize the systems used to schedule vaccine appointments have been confusing. Listed below are several websites, including the link to Sonoma County vaccine information. If you need information or support with navigating the system, contact the church office. A volunteer may be able to work with you to access the appropriate information for eligibility, clinics, registration etc.
The committee will continue to assess the data, weigh the risks and be mindful of the well-being of everyone of all ages and situations. We include a website and phone number for the County’s Warm Line. This is a free and private resource for anyone experiencing emotional stress and anxiety.
Currently Sonoma County Public Health recommends utilizing this website for vaccination information:
Sonoma County Mental Health Support During Covid Warm Line - (707) 565-2652
CDC - https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#datatracker-home
Submitted by the Safe Regathering Committee,
February Report from the Safe Regathering Committee
Sonoma County remains in the purple tier, so the Safe Regathering committee is not relaxing the guidelines for worship and building use. However, the trends seem to be positive: Covid case rates and hospitalizations have been declining, and people are getting vaccinated. The committee continues to monitor the changing guidelines put forth by state and local public health departments.
There are many older people who qualify for the vaccine shots, but don’t know how to access the information they need to get them. We encourage church members to reach out to people they know who may have difficulties navigating the websites. It is important that the most vulnerable get their shots as quickly as possible. Below is the site to get information and register for shots at the Fairgrounds, Safeway stores and Rohnert Park. There is also a list of other sites that are providing shots.
Report from Safe Regathering Committee
The County of Sonoma continues to be in the most restrictive purple tier. As of November 15, there were 15.2 new cases per 100,000 and a positivity rate of 4.3%. (https://covid19.ca.gov/safer-economy/#county-status.)
We recommend that no changes be made at this time regarding reopening the sanctuary to use.
We will continue to monitor the State and County guidelines for churches; at the present time only outdoor worship with modifications are allowed.
Submitted by members of the Safe Regathering Committee on November 16, 2020.
Judy Adams Mark Brumbaugh Hannah Wallstrum
June 2020 - November 2020
“We are a group of 4 members who have been studying the issues to consider when we reopen the church to worship and other activities. We have learned about public health and safety concerns, government guidelines and how other churches are approaching this issue. Information on COVID is changing daily as more discoveries are made. Much of what we now know may become outdated by the time we can seriously consider moving forward with reopening. We're monitoring the COVID situation and information as it unfolds. For now, we're taking a carefully considered approach: the Task Force recommends continuing online worship and meetings for all our gatherings. As we learn more, we will provide updates to Council and members on plans for a safe return to the church building.”