November COVID-19 Advisory Task Force Update.
Wilshire’s ministry ideally begins with meeting people where they are. That’s been challenging in the pandemic.
When our community shut down in the initial response to COVID-19, Wilshire focused on improving and expanding virtual worship, study and community experiences.
As society has started to reopen, we’ve had success with small group meetings and socially distanced outdoor gatherings. A weekly guided Advent experience through the Sanctuary and Cookies & Carols in the north parking lot are two examples of how Wilshire will make in-person holiday events available for those who choose to participate.
Through this journey, we’ve focused on the SEE principle – providing a Safe Experience for Every Body. We initially thought of SEE as the guideline for when we’d reopen the Sanctuary for congregational worship. We’ve come to apply it to the broader range of congregational needs and activities and our commitment to providing safe worship, study and community experiences for everyone, wherever they are and however they choose to participate.
Responses to the recent survey informed our evolution of thought. Most people said they’re happy with how Wilshire has managed COVID. But others said they need more in-person activities to stay connected. That helped us understand that meeting people where they are will require a range of options.
For those who need to stay safe at home or just feel more comfortable with that approach, Wilshire will continue to provide the most engaging virtual experiences we can. For those who need and want to engage in face-to-face experiences, our staff is working to provide additional safe, small-group gathering opportunities.
We will continue to be responsive and responsible as we balance opportunities for emotional community with the obligation to keep our members and regional community safe. We ask for your support in both your church and community engagements. Please wear a mask, wash or sanitize your hands frequently and keep a six-foot distance from others when you can. The latest vaccine news is hopeful, but its impacts are months away and much is at stake in the meanwhile.