WCC Response to COVID19

Dear WCC Friends,

As the news changes and breaks upon us with more updates and announcements of precautionary closures and safety measures, the leaders of WCC are attempting to stay up to date and responsive to recommendations for best practices.

At this point, the recommendation has not been made by our Conference, our Town, our health professionals to cease holding worship but rather to take preventive steps. As of this morning, the CDC is still reporting less than five confirmed cases of CVID19 in Connecticut. While the reasons for being careful, especially to protect the most vulnerable in our midst, are clear, the necessity for drastic measures or panic is not.

Therefore, please know and abide by the following for worship/Sunday School participation:

– IF YOU OR YOU CHILDREN ARE SICK, STAY HOME! We love you and want to see you…healthy! Care for yourself and care for others by staying home if you’re sick.

– The Deacons began a new sanitizing protocol last Sunday and will continue it:
1) Before worship, Deacons will wipe down commonly touched surfaces with sanitizing wipes, including door knobs and handles and the backs of all the pews where parishioners often place their hands.
2) We will desist from shaking hands or hugging for the foreseeable future during the Passing of the Peace or greeting at the doors before and after worship.
3) We will not pass the offering plates or Communion trays hand to hand. The Deacons and I will be the only ones handling them and will have thoroughly washed and sanitized our hands before worship.
4) Communion will be served in the following way: we will invite ambulatory parishioners forward and will drop a piece of bread (with gloved hands) into their open hand without touching their hands, and will allow each individual to take their own individual cup of grape juice, consuming them immediately and placing the used cups directly in the trash receptacle available. Deacons will bring Communion elements to non-ambulatory worship attenders in their seats with the same procedures.
5) Coffee hour: we will offer coffee and tea in individual cups but will not put out food on a common platter. (Individually wrapped food is acceptable but no one should feel they need to provide that). Creamers and sweeteners in individual containers will be provided to be used and disposed of immediately.

– Hand sanitizer is available throughout the church building.

– Sunday School will use individually wrapped snacks and cups for any snack food served. All personnel will thoroughly wash hands before and after Sunday School and refrain from touching children as much as possible. Sunday School children will be led in handwashing before/after class.

– As of now, the Shoreline Soup Kitchen and Pantries is not recommending closing meal sites, though each congregation is able to make their own judgment call. Sanitary measures are being increased (changing gloves even more often). Some meal teams are electing to serve take-out meals only. Recommendations may change in the coming days; we will keep the congregation posted as we learn anything new.

Again, strong precautionary measures are advisable but panic and overreaction are not. We are staying informed and responsive to recommendations as we receive them. We are being wise and careful and leaning into our faith in God who walks with us through pestilence and danger (Ps. 91:3).

Grace&Peace, Rev. Jan

SOME REMINDERS:

– Individual healing prayer will be offered after worship this Sunday.

– Secret Friend letters are due to Mairi this Sunday from those who have signed up to participate in our adult/child pen pal project.

– The WCC meal site will be serving: “Bob’s Famous” meatloaf, mashed potatoes and salad (in take out containers only).

– New! “Lectionary Lunch” every Tuesday at noon in the Prayer Room. Come dig deeper into Sunday’s scripture texts with John Noyes and Rev. Jan/Mairi.

– Contemplative Prayer circle every Tuesday at 5:45 pm in the Prayer Room.