Dear Church Community,
Hopefully by now you all have heard the good news and the joy we have in store for us as a church family!
First off, on August 1, we will return to a single, in-person worship service at 10am. If we didn’t know it fully before now, we have all realized how much it means to be able to be together and to worship together in our Meeting House. Of course, many of us have also appreciated being able to join the worship virtually if circumstances keep us away from the building. So, we will continue to find ways to bring everybody together both on-site and on-line.
August 1st [ed.: updated to September 12th] is also our opportunity to continue a treasured Congregational tradition as we collectively vote on calling a new Pastor to our church. According to our own church historian, Sue Morrill, “this practice of gathering to vote as a faith community – a tradition that has continued uninterrupted since the election of Reverend Jonathan Lee in 1744 – is one of the beautiful rites of congregational tradition.”
Typically, the candidate recommended by a duly appointed search committee comes and preaches a sermon, after which the candidate leaves the Meeting House and the congregation stays to vote on the call. After thorough and prayerful consideration, our Designated Term Search Committee joyfully and unanimously recommends that we call our Designated Term Pastor, The Rev. Dr. John A. Nelson to stay with us and to lead us as our 17th Pastor into the future. His leadership in the recent challenging times certainly shows us that we will be in good hands. And while this will not be the first time that many of us have heard Pastor John’s sermons, it will be wonderful to hear one in person with the full worship experience!
One special note: since we now have a broader understanding of the definition of “presence” at a service, we will also be opening up a Zoom link for the Congregational vote. Stay tuned for information about that if you will be out of town or cannot get to the church building.
There are some practicalities to mention as we return to in-person gathering:
1. Out of a sense of inclusivity and sensitivity to all around us, we will continue the practice of wearing masks in the Meeting House.
2. We will be observing social distancing etiquette.
3. The choir will be joining us on August 1, also wearing masks, to enhance our worship experience.
4. Since August 1 is our customary day to serve communion, we will continue that practice.
5. Our celebration will continue with a coffee hour gathering, hopefully outside if weather permits.
We sincerely hope that you will all make every effort to join us in the Meeting House on August 1, 2021, for what we know will be a joyous reunion and a re-commitment to the future of our church community.