May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be always with you!
Today is day 12 of my post-travel quarantine. I haven't been lonely or bored - fortunately I am an introvert and like being in my own company, and I had lots of practice staying at home back in March, April, and May. That being said, I am looking forward to getting out this weekend - I'm planning to head up to the Kingston Farmer's Market on Saturday, then the church picnic on Sunday.
Our annual church picnic is this Sunday, September 20, at 11 am at the Sherwood's cottage (100 Admiral Lane, Long Reach). If you are driving from the Westfield ferry, head up the road towards Long Reach - Admiral Lane goes off to the left after the Boy Scout camp but before you get to the Neck Road. Head down Admiral Lane, and look for the balloons! It is about a 20 minute drive from Brundage Point (give or take depending on the ferry), and you will want to give yourself some extra time to get parked and get your chairs set up.
I have a couple of notes to pass along, since things will be a bit different this year than usual because of Covid.
there will be flags on the beach to mark physical distancing - we invite you and your "bubble" to find a flag and set your chairs up there
we can't have a potluck lunch, but you are invited to bring your own picnic lunch so that we can eat together (physically distanced) after the service
the cottage won't be open, but Ross has promised to scrub the outhouse and it will be available to anyone who needs it!
Communion: this will be a communion service, but since we have to keep physically distanced, we invite you to bring your own communion elements with you - bread or crackers, and a beverage (juice, coffee, tea, water...). We will have elements available in case you forget, but your own bread from home will probably taste better than the crackers we will have out!
Weather: the forecast is looking bright and sunny for Sunday, but cool and with a north wind. Because the beach faces north, you will probably want to dress in lots of layers! You can always remove a layer or two if you feel warm.
Gaby is preparing some physically distanced activities for the younger members of our community during the service.
Don't forget your lawn chair, sunscreen, and sunglasses!
(If you know anyone in our community who would like to attend the picnic but who isn't on e-mail or who doesn't check their e-mail regularly - please share this information with them.)
The week after the picnic (Sept. 27) is the date when we will be moving back in to our buildings for worship. You should have received a letter in the mail a couple of weeks ago outlining some of the ways that worship will be different - please let me know if you didn't receive this letter.
Session has been re-working our list of greeters and scripture readers, with a note that the duties of our greeters will be different when we return to our buildings. In addition to offering a friendly welcome to everyone entering the building, directing them to the bulletins, and ringing the church bell at Westfield, you will also be asking the worshipers the Covid screening questions, collecting a list of names (in case Public Health has to do contact tracing), and taking 10 minutes after the service to wipe down the "high touch" surfaces in the sanctuary. We are hoping to pair up greeters experienced in these new Covid-protocols with greeters who are new to the protocols, so that everyone can become comfortable. If you are interested in volunteering for this important ministry that is necessary for us to be able to resume in-person worship, or if you would like more information, please get in touch with me.
Gaby has also been working hard preparing programming for our children, youth, and families to keep engaged in faith - watch for more information coming from her in the next week or so!
And I think that is all of the news that I have to share today. I can't tell you how much I'm looking forward to seeing all of your lovely faces at the picnic on Sunday!
Blessings to you and yours, today and always,