Check out some of the wonderful upcoming events happening at Colchester Federated Church!
The Church Reopening Team drafted guidance for returning our church to full operation. The State of Connecticut is proceeding through a phased reopening guided by public health principles and infectious disease statistics. CFC will proceed in similar fashion, although at a slower, deliberate pace, and with additional phase steps. The Team elected a more careful approach based upon guidance from our two church conferences (ABC and UCC), the CDC, and the CT Department of Public Health.
The guidance emphasizes the importance of personal monitoring for the signs/symptoms of disease, good hygiene (hand washing), masking to minimize exposure when close, maximizing distance, and minimizing time for exposure. The guidance also includes principles and decision “checkpoints” with approximate dates for progressing through four (4) phases of reopening. Each move into a new phase assumes continued improvements in local and state health statistics and state-wide reopening progress, increased disease prevalence will inhibit progress.
Phase I began at the end of last week. During this period, CFC will continue with Virtual Worship for most of us, limiting attendance for recording of a service to less than ten (10) people. The Church Office is technically closed, but staff may work in the office under strict restrictions.
Phase II, scheduled to begin during July, will be like Phase I except certain additional activities will be allowed but require mandatory health practices, and outdoor activities will be more readily approved than indoor ones. The Church Office will be technically open, but scheduling office visits, social distancing, masking, and hygiene practices remain mandatory.
We anticipate Phase III will begin in August, and that it will be like Phase II. This phase will open the Sanctuary for in-person attendance during the service to less than 40 individuals (who are less than 65 years old and with no underlying health conditions). Individuals will have their temperature checked and asked about the presence of symptoms upon entry. Strict social distancing, masking, and hygiene will be mandatory. There will be no congregational singing in the Sanctuary and Communion will be BYOE (bring your own elements). A virtual service also will be available. The Church Office will be open, and follow continued social distancing, masking, and hygiene practices.
Phase IV will probably begin on Rally Day in September. During this phase, the Sanctuary will be open to more typical attendance numbers; nevertheless, we expect everyone attending to be symptom-free, maintain social distancing, use masks, and maintain rigorous hygiene practices. Older (>65) congregants and those with underlying health conditions may attend if they feel comfortable to do so and with appropriate caution. Virtual services will be available. Decisions regarding corporate singing and Communion performance will be made in late August by the Church Staff and the Reopening Team pending improvements in local and state health statistics and state-wide reopening progress. Sunday School will resume in a fashion consistent with standards set by local schools. The Church Office will be open and in person Church Meetings may resume if everyone continues social distancing, masking, and hygiene practices.
Please contact us if you have questions. Church Staff and this Team shall continue to monitor local/state reopening progress as well as disease statistics.
Peace and health to all and we will see you soon!
Mark Bosse, Kurt Frantzen, Nicole Hosford, Cheryl Letendre, and Tom St. Louis