Virtual Church Continues

A message from the Senior Minister

Dear Old South Church,

Greetings, grace and peace to you in this long season of pandemic. I hope this message finds you well. I hope it finds you managing in what is an extremely unsettling, disorienting and, for some, terrifying expanse of time.

I am writing in the wake of Governor Baker's long-awaited announcement about phasing Massachusetts back into some new normal. The first thing to say is that Old South Church remains closed until you hear otherwise. However, while our doors are shut, our ministries very much continue. Our children and youth are meeting virtually for Sunday School, Youth Group, and Confirmation Class. All our small groups are up and running. Our boards, committees, and task forces continue apace. Our mission and outreach work is happening. Our single, All-Church Worship Service, Virtual Jazz Coffee House, Healing Worship, Daily Prayer, and High Teas are engaging a wide and deep congregation. There is very little we were doing before the novel coronavirus that we are not doing now.

Back to the Governor's message. With respect to churches, the Governor's position seems a bit out of sync with the urgings of the Mayor's office, with the advice of the wider United Church of Christ, and with the recommendations of medical specialists. Indeed, no sooner had the Governor's announcement been made than scientists and epidemiologists weighed in to express concern with the section on churches.

Please know that Old South Church staff and lay leaders are immersed in meetings and webinars with our insurance providers, health and safety experts, government officials and others to gain as much knowledge as we can. In addition, in the next two weeks, we will be convening Old South Church's Blue Ribbon Covid-19 Task Force to consult with them. Until then, we ask you to be patient with us. Please stay put and Zoom in. Your health and safety and the health and safety of our staff are paramount.

Opening Old South Church is complicated. Narrow doorways, halls, elevators, stairwells, bathrooms. A congested Front Desk. Forget the Cloak Room! The requirement to constantly disinfect surfaces. Providing masks and gloves (which are expensive and hard to procure). Receptionists who can only get here via public transportation. And, this: Everyone masked and gloved. No singing. No communion. No childcare. No greeting one another. No fellowship hour. No coffee, tea or cookies. No fellowship pads. No name tags. No offering plate or passing the peace. It's complicated.

Thank you for your patience as we pull together some really smart and thoughtful people to make decisions that are right for us.

If you are not well, or need help, please let me know.

Courage! - Nancy

Nancy S Taylor
Senior Minister