Another year has begun. It is so hard to believe that 2022 is here! I hope that everyone was able to experience some joy over the holidays. Whether it involved time with family or just giving yourself the permission to relax, I hope you were able to carve out some time for yourself.
As all of you are aware, because of the negative movement in the metrics which we rely on that are provided on the Covid Act Now website, we are now back to virtual-only services. This is disappointing for all of us. Please remember that our concern is for the safety of all of you.
Some of you may be wondering why we have opted to have two services and not just one that we stream. There is a lot that goes into providing a streaming service. We need the right equipment, but more importantly, we need to have enough volunteers and staff to run it and handle some of the administrative pieces that go along with it. And right now, we need more people to help. It is not as simple as turning on a camera. Also, because of the nature of the music that we use, we need to make sure that we have the correct permissions for its use, and we must keep track of the use administratively. Additionally, there are times that we need to pay fees for the use of music in worship. Those fees are different based on whether we are in-person, in Zoom, or streaming. That adds to the complexity of the administrative records we must maintain. And although we cannot sing, there is more latitude in music usage in an in-person service that is not streamed or broadcast in Zoom.
Another reason for the two services is the longer we are together, the greater the risk of catching and spreading COVID. Because of that, we are trying to keep the in-person worship to around 30 minutes. This limits possible exposure. Our virtual service at 11 AM is a bit longer. We also have hymns in the virtual service. So, at least we are able to sing together, albeit virtually. Our in-person service only has instrumental music.
And, as for the 9 AM service time for the in-person worship, we need fewer tech volunteers to run in-person worship, and it was easier to find people willing to commit to the later service.
This is probably more than many of you want to know. But if you have any questions about the way that COVID has had an impact on our worship services, please do not hesitate to reach out to me.
That being said, we need more volunteers to help with all aspects of our worship services. That includes people to serve as Worship Service Associates, members of our Tech Team. If you want to find out more about what either of those things might involve, you can reach out to me by sending me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And as we head into this new year, let’s hope for much better days ahead. And on that note, I want to share with you one of my favorite songs by the group OK Go, “This Too Shall Pass.” There are two versions for your viewing pleasure, and they are both fun to watch. And we all need a little fun right now.
https://youtu.be/UJKythlXAIY — Marching Band
https://youtu.be/qybUFnY7Y8w — Rube Goldberg
In peace and love,
Rev. Viola Abbitt
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