Dear Friends in Christ ~
As we turn the calendar from August to September, we move with a sense of hope, curiosity
and openness into a very different autumn than, I suspect, any of us have ever experienced. I
want to share with you that we ─ the Deacons (whose responsibility is the spiritual care of the
congregation) and the Church Council have been talking about how to resume face-to-face gatherings and worship opportunities.
Some meeting in person, in small groups, using safe practices of appropriate physical distanc-
ing, the use of face masks, and hand sanitizer. Men’s Coffee Group has been meeting since June
outside behind the church building, each bringing their own lawn chairs. Ladies Aid has also been
meeting this way, as have, more recently the Trustees.
I’m told that our sister church, Dummerston Congregational Church, is resuming in-person
worship on September 6, and that Centre Church in Brattleboro is likely to do so by mid-
September. Our friend and consultant, Paul Nickerson, tells me that most churches that resume
in-person worship indoors are experiencing 10 to 30% of their usual attendance. Most folk appear not to be ready to return to the usual, pre-pandemic practices.
That’s why we would very much appreciate your response to this brief survey
A Short Survey re: Face-to-Face, In-Person Worship:
In an effort to create a viable plan for reopening our building, it would be helpful to
know the general views of our congregation. Would you please respond to the fol-
I will return to worshiping at the church ____
a. when in-person worship services resume, even if masks, distances, and limited
capacity are required
b. when masks and distances are not required
c. when singing and/or coffee hours are permissible
d. when a vaccine has been found
Please tell us what you think. Email me at email@example.com, or the Church Office at
firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, clip the survey out of your paper STEEPLE, and send it to
Newfane Congregational Church, PO Box 27, Newfane, VT, 05345. Share what you think, and
any other thoughts that might help the Deacons and the Council to act prayerfully and with care
for you who are the Beloved people of Newfane Congregational Church. Your feedback is important. If you don’t share ─ we won’t know!
May God grant us the grace to love one another as Christ loves us; vision to dream of a day
when everyone is valued, honored and celebrated as equally created in the perfect and beautiful
image of God. May the Holy One give us courage to be bold in such a love.
In the peace of the Risen Christ,