Dear members and friends of the Franklin United Methodist Church,
On March 13, 2020, in response to growing concerns regarding the spread of a novel-coronavirus, I made the difficult decision to cancel in-person worship. The following Sunday (March 15), the Church Council decided to halt all in-person gatherings. For just over a year now, in response to what became a global pandemic, our gatherings have been exclusively virtual. While virtual small groups and virtual worship have kept us connected through this crisis…
IT IS FINALLY TIME!
Over the next several weeks we will begin transitioning to in-person small groups and worship. The metrics that will guide whether or not we gather indoors in-person, outdoors in-person, or exclusively virtual can be found below.
Assuming we meet the metrics, in-person small group gatherings (<20 persons) will be allowed to meet at the church beginning on Monday, April 5. Assuming we meet the metrics, in-person worship will begin on Sunday, May 2. On fair weather days, even if the metrics allow for indoor gatherings, preference will be given to outdoor gatherings. It is important to note that all in-person worship services and most in-person small groups will continue to allow for virtual participation. Links to participate virtually will be sent through the church website and calendar. This will allow people who may be traveling, homebound, in an institution, or living at a distance to participate in the life of the church even though they cannot make it to the facility in-person.
As we make the transition back to in-person gatherings, most COVID protocols will remain in place. You must wear a mask over your nose and mouth, maintain physical distancing, frequently sanitize your hands, and fill out a health questionnaire (for contact tracing purposes) in order to participate in-person. There will be no group singing. And, capacity limits will be set for indoor events in order to maintain physical distancing. A registration and RSVP system will be setup so that we can plan for your in-person worship participation. Virtual worship participants will not have to register for worship. We will not, at this time, be instituting a registration process for small group gatherings.
Below you will find the metrics that will guide how we gather, along with some reminders about our COVID protocols. You will also find a table with current metric data. If you have any questions about the transition to in-person gatherings or you just want to chat, please feel free to contact me directly. I look forward to gathering with you in-person once again that we might worship God, work and live life together for Christ’s sake!
The above letter and graphic were sent out to the congregation via USPS. You can view a printable version of the mailing here. To know where the metrics currently stand, see below. Metrics are updated Thursday evening/Friday morning. Numbers are pulled from the Town of Franklin website and the Massachusetts COVID dashboard.