Dear First Parish Community,

The theme for this Sunday’s service is “The Ecology of Hope.” It seems fitting that we have hopeful news to report.

The Re-Entry team reports that the latest Covid-related statistics (released late yesterday) enable us to move to the protocols for “High” rather than “Very High” on our tracking chart. This will not involve dramatic changes. Seating simply goes back to every other row, rather than the cushion system we’ve been using. We’ll continue to ask that you wear an N-95, KN-95 or two surgical masks. No masks will be required outdoors for smaller groups (fewer than 40 people).

In light of the continued improvement in conditions, we are thrilled to announce a return to congregational singing, with upgraded masks in place.

The concern with singing has been the result of studies showing that when singing, we project aerosols more broadly than when we talk. A recent study indicates that when singing without a mask, the aerosols spread widely. By contrast, when a singer is masked, the exhaled aerosols are decelerated and deflected by the mask and stay in the singer’s near field around and above their heads. We feel comfortable that singing, masked, will involve minimal risk.

We look forward to singing joyously together on Sunday!

In service,
Rev. Stephanie May
Deb Stubeda and Annie Stubbs, Co-chairs, Parish Committee
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