Given Governor Cooper’s easing of restrictions in the state, the COVID Medical Advisory Group has made the decision to recommend a gradual resumption of in-person activities. We caution that this does not mark an end to our concerns about the potential for transmission of the coronavirus during New Garden activities; however, we are recommending steps that will allow all New Gardeners to participate safely, according to their circumstances and preferences. Programmed meeting for worship: Zoom and Facebook Live Programmed meeting for worship will continue as it has during the past year, from 11:00 am until noon on Zoom and Facebook Live, without in-person meeting. This will remain the safest option for those who are unvaccinated and for those who have unvaccinated or high-risk members in their households.
Unprogrammed meeting for worship in person outdoors
We recommend that, beginning May 9, those Friends who wish to meet in person participate in unprogrammed meeting for worship from 9 to 9:45 a.m. outdoors, adjacent to the porch in the shade by the meeting room. Just as pre-COVID, this meeting will have no prepared message or music. Attendees should sit in family groups, socially distanced at least 6 feet from other households and masked, even if vaccinated. We ask that participants bring their own folding chairs if possible. There will be a few folding chairs available on the porch for those who need them. In case of rain, friends can gather on the porch by the meeting room to the extent that social distancing allows.
The middle meeting house door (leading into the passthrough from the foyer to the offices) will be open from 8:50 until 10:00 a.m. for use of the restrooms: only the restrooms by the fellowship hall (formerly labeled “Men” and “Women”) will be in use, one family at a time. Otherwise, the building will remain closed. We ask that, after use of the restroom, Friends leave the building promptly by the same door. A volunteer stationed outside that door will let Friends know when both restrooms are occupied and ask that they wait outside, socially distanced and masked, until one is vacant.
Sunday morning Religious Education (RE) activities RE activities originally scheduled to begin at 9:45 am on Sundays will begin at 10 a.m. by Zoom until further notice. All other RE activities will remain as scheduled.
On May 16, at the end of programmed meeting for worship (by Zoom), representatives of the COVID Medical Advisory Group will be available on Zoom to discuss next steps. We hope to be able to announce the resumption of additional small group activities outdoors; however, if Guilford County experiences a resurgence of cases, we will recommend a return to virtual activities only.
We continue to urge all New Gardeners 16 years and older to seek vaccination as soon as possible. The more New Gardeners who are vaccinated, the safer we will all be. Please see the newsletter for details about availability of vaccines in the community and other important COVID-related guidance.
Please note: A volunteer is needed to be available to open the designated Meeting House door and be available to direct folks who need the rest rooms to use the rest rooms next to the fellowship room. If you can help with this, contact Jane Foy by email.