COVID - 19 Transition Team Update 

Greetings Saints,
The Covid Transition Team wanted to provide you with an update on our progress. We are wrapping up our work and plan to present our findings and recommendations to council at their next meeting. Council will ultimately make any decisions, but the information we provide can help guide their conclusions.

The Covid Transition Committee broke into 4 teams that each focused on a specific area:

1. a survey of the congregation- we received 81 responses to the survey. A majority are participating in the Zoom services and expect they would continue to use this format at times in the future. Most respondents (over 75%) do not feel ready to return to in-person service just yet. We gained valuable information on safety protocols respondents want to see in place to feel safe returning. The outdoor and Zoom communion options were viewed positively by over 60% of respondents. We also found there were some misconceptions about why singing is not considered safe, questions about where the committee was getting its information from and why we are not asking about vaccination status. The committee is putting together a frequently asked questions page for the Zion website that will answer some of these questions.

2. logistics and procedures for when we return to Zion in person - This team researched and documented safety
procedures that will need to be put in place for a safe return to the sanctuary – masking, pre-registration to limit the number of participants, health checks, seating charts to maintain distance, entry and exit plan, as well as cleaning protocols. When we are ready to return, we have an excellent blueprint for what we will need to consider to provide a safe environment. We will look to council to review this information and decide on policies that will be implemented.

3. innovation for ways to continue our online presence - Our Zoom services have been a wonderful way to continue to worship, stay connected, enjoy music, and open our services to many who would not be able to attend otherwise. We want to maintain this valuable method of worship even once we return. However, there have been some challenges. Keeping the quality of our Zoom services so high has fallen to a few very dedicated members of the congregation who have put in hundreds of hours volunteering. In addition, there is a need to upgrade many of the technology components of our current setup. The Innovation team will be presenting their recommendations to council for consideration.

4. communication to the congregation – the Covid Transition Committee is committed to keeping the congregation informed about our work and answering any questions you may have. Our plan is once the council makes a final decision on our recommendations, we will hold a congregational meeting to share the details and include break out sessions to allow for questions and more detailed discussions.

We appreciate your patience as we navigate this ever-changing transition. We will all continue to look at infection and vaccination numbers and update our plan as things improve. We know that a return to in person worship will not be like a light switch turning on but will happen in phases. Thank you to all who took the time to participate in the survey and provide valuable feedback.

The Covid Transition Team
Judith Arthofer, Johnie Bailey, Wykina Blue, Pastor Bode, Michael A Cruse, Stacey Jamison, Jim Littrell, Stephanie
Melnick, Bev Photiades, Laura Rockwood, Ceil Smith, Roger Smith, Ruth Steinert, Kristy Stoll, Kelly Thacker