We have taken a close look at the results of our parish survey and wanted to share them with you. Here is a summary:
Do you wish to return to the church as soon as possible despite all the imposed inconveniences and strict regulations involved? For example, more than likely everyone will be required to wear masks, sign up ahead of time for church and stay six feet apart? Moreover, wine and bread may not be administered at communion and there will be no singing.
Instead of returning to church as soon as possible, would you rather wait until the regulations can be eased up a bit because we know it is safer? Keep in mind, there will still be a risk of becoming infected with COVID-19, but the risk will not be as great as it currently is.
Would you rather wait to return to in person worship until there is either a vaccine or effective treatment for COVID-19?
Have you participated in the online church services?
The last couple questions were a little bit more open ended so we couldn’t simply quantify the answers. Here is a synopsis of common responses and themes.
Most folks who have been attending online services feel that they are well done, though some struggle with technical issues from time to time. The music is appreciated, and suggestions were made to have more piano, to use the organ in the main sanctuary or to even invite accompanying guest musicians. And it was asked that the services get posted on YouTube or GCTV.
As far as growing in faith as a community in the time of COVID-19, it appears that most of us feel that we are doing well under these circumstances. And some very interesting ideas were presented. Those include publishing sermons in the newsletter, marketing ourselves to the larger community, creating a telephone tree for people who do not have internet access, doing an outdoor worship service and creating breakout rooms on video chats for more intimate conversations with smaller groups.
Thanks to all who took the time to fill out the survey. Your answers were thoughtful and we very much value hearing from you! We will use this information to forge a path forward in a way that ensures we are staying connected, growing in faith, following the directives of our bishop while also being responsive to the wishes and needs of our local congregation.
The Church Chat Working Group
-Heather Blais, Karen Greene, Charlie Houghton, Rudy Renaud, & Molly Scherm