Surprise! It’s not the Rabbi! Rabbi Valerie and Jonathan are having their annual visit to Cuttyhunk Island which is located between Buzzards Bay and Vineyard Sound, part of the Elizabeth Islands right here in Massachusetts. Rabbi Valerie usually leads a service at a chapel there, along with delivering a sermon. It does provide a nice break for her and Jonathan and it’s one of their favorite spots.
The in-person gatherings have been going very well. People have been masking up and following the TES policy, which shows how we care for one another. Because of this, we have decided to open the office for regular hours on August 2. Although the office has been opened already, it has not been available to congregants during the hours we were all used to. When you come in, however, you will still be asked to wear your masks.
Our next step will be to invite small groups, such as committees or study groups, to gather outside for their meetings. If we’re outside, we can go mask-less if we feel comfortable. It’s a step in a forward direction, and a positive step from my perspective. Reservation of space and notifying the office will still be required, just as it was pre-pandemic. That way, we can assure that space will be set up properly and that you will be expected on the property. And if you are still a little anxious about coming, an on-line component would still be available. And remember, you can still keep your mask on if you feel better about that. Indoor meeting and groupings will probably also be taking place in this way in the very near future. We’re watching the guidelines, checking the science, and observing other organizations so that everyone will be safe.
There are anxieties with all of the in-person activities, and this is understandable. Whether someone is vaccinated, whether we should hug, shake hands, or even be without a mask…all this is in our brains. We are working on our ventilation system and will be installing some ceiling fans and air purifiers so that when we are back in full swing the air-quality will be safe and clean.
I strongly feel that if we tell ourselves that all will be well and keep a positive attitude, we will lessen some of the anxiety. We should try and be fluid in our thinking, recognize the anxiety, and try and relax. We pretty much have to relearn how to be together again! And if necessary, leadership will pivot to any position needed to make you feel comfortable.
As always, the Board is available to answer questions. If you know someone on the Board, you should feel free to approach them. I’m looking forward to seeing all of your faces!
Paula Selvitella, President