Opportunities for Outdoor Worship at Mt. Toby

August 10, 2020

The Mt. Toby Worship Planning Group (2 members of M&W, 2 members of C&C, our current clerk, and our incoming Clerk) would like to offer two summer outdoor Meetings for Worship on the grounds of the Mt. Toby meetinghouse, from 10:00-11:00 am on Sunday, August 23rd, and Sunday, September 20th.

###  As carefully considered as these guidelines are, even this outdoor gathering of Friends is not without risk.  We recommend that anyone with underlying health concerns consider worshiping from home.  Zoom worship will also be held on these days. ###

Please read on for important details, including registration information.

It is our intention to gather in 3 or 4 circles of up to 10 each, following the recommendations of the Mt Toby Ad hoc Health group for outdoor meetings. The understanding is that each of us will:

  • Wear a mask (over age of 2) at all times
  • Bring our own chair, if possible
  • Maintain 6′ distance – to and from parking lot; and before, during, and after Meeting for Worship

The circles (unless the bathroom renovation requires moving them) will be

Inside the back fence (near the playground), under the  Black Walnut trees
Under the  Pine Tree toward the back of the parking lot
Under the  Burr Oak, inside the driveway circle
Under the  Tulip Poplar, to the south of the foyer.

There will be two greeters at the parking lot, one for those entering Black Walnut and Pine Tree, and one for those heading for Burr Oak and Tulip Poplar. Hand sanitizer will be available near each greeter. 

Each circle will have four folding chairs, set up in advance, one in each direction, to indicate the place and size of the circle, and to be used by those who were not able to bring a chair. As you arrive, place your chair at least 6 feet from others. Two or more from the same household may sit close together. Each individual, whether adult or child, counts as part of the 10.

One person will hold and close each circle. Knowing that Ministry and Worship will not be able to provide enough people to hold all four circles, we are inviting those registering to sign up to hold the worship in a circle, if led, provided no one is already listed as holding worship for that circle.
Children of any age are welcome, but no program can be provided for them at this time.  They will need to follow the same distance guidelines as adults.  Parents must be responsible for them at all times, whether in or out of the circle.  

There will be no Fellowship hour.  There will be no bathroom facilities at present.

Friends who wish to participate are asked to register for the Meeting offered, either by using an online Google Doc or by contacting  Fredi Munger at fmunger253@gmail.com or 413-230-6346 (leave message with call back number) to sign up. At registration, each person will select which of the 4 circles they will join. Registration will help us to have an accurate count of how many to expect, direct people to the correct circle, and enable subsequent contact tracing if that were to be necessary,

To sign up for the August 23 outdoor worship, each person will add their information for one of the groups  here. For the August 23rd Meeting, we request that you register by Thursday, August 20 , at the latest. You will receive registration confirmation by email or phone. If your situation changes and you find you will be unable to attend, please remove your name from Google Doc or contact Fredi Munger, so that your spot may be filled by someone else.

We will set up the registration for the September 20th Meeting at a later date (after August 23), allowing anyone who was not able to attend the August 23 meeting to register first.

In the event of rain, the Clerk will email an announcement, by 8:00 am, cancelling the Meeting for that day. If it becomes necessary to cancel one or both of the Meetings for public health reasons, that will be announced with as much lead time as possible before the meeting date.

We welcome your feedback.

Using the guidelines and recommendations prepared by the Ad Hoc Health Committee, we have planned what we believe to be the safest available way for us to gather in worship. However, we cannot guarantee that no Friend will contract Covid19 through participation in outdoor worship.

Cat Chapin-Bishop
Susan Conger
Ruth Hazzard
Sandi Albertson-Shea
Fredi Munger
Danelle Laflower