Thank you for your response to our Reopening Survey This is a preliminary report with an overview of responses submitted. This preliminary report is a first step, and follow-up is needed.
More information will be shared as we work together for the good of our people and our ministries.
Yours in Christ, Terry Anderson Church Moderator
As Soon as Possible
|• I would like to continue to play in the band when reopening.|
|• State guidance is clear and other churches in the DeForest-Windsor area have safely opened. Schools in our area are opening for in-classroom instruction in the near future. Vaccine is beginning to be available. Adults have shown to be responsible and compliant in the past eleven months. If stores can be opened safely so can others such as churches. We know what to do and how to do it. Now we need to be able to do it. Recommend the results of all surveys be made available to the congregation.|
|• I’m so sorry to say I am not physically able to be helpful right now, as I am still trying to recover from a very painful several months of bursitis inflammation.|
|• We should have One service!!|
|• I could check the opener box except I am not able to do snow removal. Not so sure ushers would be needed right away., possible to just sit out offering tray to utilize as you come in or leave or at an appointed time. less contact.|
|• Have you had correspondence with other area Churches. Door Creek? Wtc|
|• Other churches are open and following protocol. Consider calling them to see what they are doing. We should already be open. I am unsure at this time about committing until more is known on when we will re-open. NAME spoke with Terry Anderson, Moderator, and was told we wouldn’t be open anytime soon. We are going to start loosing member[s] if we choose not to reopen soon.|
|• Should have returned a long time ago. Maybe just so many at a time or whatever it takes. Those who chose to come or not it’s their decision. I’m having a rough time wanting to commit to anything. There hasn’t even been a target date of return. I also understand there was a return plan presented to council back in Oct/Nov with no action taken. Talked with Terry Anderson on 2-3-21 and he indicated we wouldn’t be returning anytime soon. Very discouraging. Many – many churches in area open to some extent.|
Safety Measures Clearly Defined and Enforced
|• We think there could definitely be some combining of duties, especially at first when few members would be expected to be in attendance. We are happy to help with these duties, although we’re not sure about the snow and ice removal (due to his history of back surgeries). Also, we would hope there would be a rotation as we wouldn’t be available every week. Thank you!|
|• We have not run the soundboard but we are willing to possibly help with the livestream and/or Facebook support.|
|• How is the sanctuary going to be set up, will the chairs be spaced or can families sit together? What will be the number of people that can be at any one service.|
|• I would love to help but at this time I have my hands full caring for my husband.|
|• Could some of the above tasks be combined – greeters, guides, and ushers as one…Closers – typically in past this has been the last one leaving the building which has been pastor or Dave…guess we are not understanding what else needs to be done with closing besides lights out and locking doors. Willing to help out on Sundays for services, but think roles need to be redefined to minimize number of people needed to help – List above is at least 10 people needed. Could it be reduced to at most 6? More discussion needed?|
Vaccinated Safety Measures Clearly Defined and Enforced
|• Our extended family situation does not allow us to plan too far ahead. If we signed up for something, chances are we would have to cancel. We assist our daughter with her handicapped husband and their two small children. We hope as the children get a little older to be able to do more.|
|• We are out of state for the winter until the middle of April|
|• Are you still considering two services?|
|• Cleaning building when empty or only staff is present, typing words to hymns to be displayed visually|
|• Thanks for putting this together and for the care and concern for everyone’s safety and well-being!|
|• We fully support continuing streaming the service online!|
|• I couldn’t help with any of the above. I use to help count money/|
|• We will come to church in person after we are vaccinated & ready to bring our newborn (due April) into the church. Social distancing safety protocols and limited capacity in the sanctuary will be helpful in our returning sooner than later.The only capacity in which we are comfortable helping would be as closers.|
|• Ability to help may be limited if we determine that we are also bringing Sunday School back at the same time.|
|• I have a vision for the education of older students and families; lectionary based, focused on relationship building, through story telling, discussion, and activities.|
Vaccinated Masks and Social Distancing No Longer Advisable
|• Planning to reopen for in-person worship and other activities is definitely premature. Covid-19 is still at record levels, only a small percentage of us have been vaccinated, and now experts are warning that the new mutant varieties will likely cause a new, more serious surge in infections. Furthermore, many of our members have underlying health conditions which increases the Covid risk factors further. Objectively speaking, revisiting this topic much later when we have a clearer picture regarding the pandemic and vaccinations are wide-spread is the most sensible approach. We are simply not close yet to the point when in-person activities can be safely conducted. Also have concerns about the sign-up questions with this survey, which seem to imply reopening is “right around the corner” and encouraging members to become participants with in-person worship. In fact, there are numerous churches around the country which have tried to responsibly do all of these things — only to later find signifcant Covid-19 infections among attendees. We care too much about our fellow church members to take such risks with their health and lives. It is frankly a flawed argument that because a few other area churches are holding in-person services that we should also do so — if one person jumps off a cliff, that does not mean that we all should. Let’s follow the science with this. Our staff has done a terrific job with the video services during these challenging times. Post-pandemic, I hope we will continue to offer this additional option in addition to conventional in-person worship. I have no doubt that Windsor Church will get through these times if we conduct ourselves responsibly.|
|• We all long for the day when we can see our beloved church family again and worship together in person, and I feel the same way. However, too many churches have become notorious for becoming impatient and hosting “superspreader” events and services which have led to Covid outbreaks.|
As Christians, I believe that we are called to love and care for each other. One of the things this means to me is that we do not knowingly gamble with each other’s health and lives. I think we might be shocked to know how many people just within our congregation have medical conditions (diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, autoimmune disorders, cancer, pulmonary and respiratory conditions, age factors, etc.) which would put them at high risk should they contract Covid. We cannot allow sentiment (such as thinking back fondly to previous Easter celebrations) to override scientific facts, good sense, and compassion for others.
The fact is that Covid infections are very high, the percentage of vaccinated Wisconsin residents is very low, and far more contagious mutations of the Covid virus are poised to increase exponentially. We are only beginning to understand the catastrophic ramifications of the original virus for Covid “long haulers.” And now we in many ways are back to where we were a year ago: facing a new virus(es) about which we know little and desperately trying to develop new and effective vaccines, with a steep learning curve ahead of us and learning as we go.
If these mutations are as bad and as contagious as predicted, the landscape in which churches find themselves may change dramatically once again — and for the worse.
The fact is that we do not know what lies ahead, but the indicators are grim. In light of these rapidly changing circumstances with so many “unknowns” before us, I believe that a survey like this is unfortunately premature, and lags behind the breaking news about viral mutations which we are hearing on a daily basis. As someone who has developed surveys for a number of organizations, it has been my experience that surveys almost always set in motion a series of expectations. A survey usually implies that something is about to change in response to the respondents’ comments. The section which encourages people to sign up for church tasks almost seems to imply that the church might re-open very soon, and it worries me to think of the premature hopes which this may raise.
I would encourage our church leadership to “stay the course” — to follow the science, to stay abreast of the breaking news, to act with patient wisdom, and to refrain from yielding to what may be well-meaning but misguided pressure. I would also encourage my beloved church family to be patient: to refrain from exerting pressure to open the church prematurely, and to respect the challenges which our church leadership is facing. May we seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit as we navigate the days and months ahead.
[Note: I will gladly volunteer for church tasks when it is safer to do so.]
|• Opening at this time is too high risk for me.|
|• We don’t believe we will be attending church physically for quite some time yet. We really appreciate the virtual service and the messages. Thank you Pastor Craig and David.|
|• Sorry, I think we are too old to commit to any dedicated help. We have helped before.|
|• NAME can help with video recording during the pandemic, but we feel strongly opposed to plans for long term video production particular due to the cost.|
|• We would greet after it is safe. we would remind people about masks etc. but how could one enforce anything?|
|• My immune system is compromised due to ongoing treatment at Carbone. It’s unclear how effective the vaccine will be for me so I have to be extremely careful.|
Plan Not Listed
|• I have had 2 problems with churches even before COVID. 1. The hugging and hand shaking are stupid! We shouldnt be touching each other including Pastors. 2. People always coughing. I know it’s hard to enforce, but people shouldnt be comming to church with colds and coughs. But we both know people too well. They think they have to, or are expected to attend (even when sick). When this changes, I will return. John To Pastor Craig|
|• I am not sure I would return to worship with my children until I felt assured that it was safe for the older members of the congregation, i.e. I would not want to infect anyone else as we attend school and various activities. Also, I am not sure my children can sit still. They are out of practice. 🙂 Plus, our sanctuary does not space many families when accounting for 6 feet of spacing between so I would rather someone take our spot who truly needed a social connection. If a plan does occur to reopen, I would be happy to fill any gaps by coming myself (or my husband) to help.|
|• Though I miss attending in person, I am not ready to return to worship. Numbers are still high, many are not vaccinated and much is still unknown about if vaccinated individuals can still carry virus, I am cautious. We need to limit the number of activities we participate and given the kids are returning for hybrid school this week, we would like to continue online worship at this time. As number of individuals vaccinated increases substantially and guidelines are enforced, we may feel safe to return. Thank you for the safety precautions you have taken thus far!|
|• Unsure when I’ll feel safe to be in a gathering – could come once & then not again for weeks – hard to say – I want to come but may not for awhile|
|• Personally, I am Ok with coming now, but my circumstances are unique and do not apply to much of the church congregation. As an engineer I prefer measurable guidelines that are more factual and less emotional. Consequently, my personal litmus test is when the 7 day average for new covid cases for Wisconsin falls below 500 I will feel more comfortable pursing a broader range of activities. If the 7 day average goes back above 500 then I would scale back again.|
|• When I and 2 remaining members of my family have been vaccinated, and safety protocols are in place and enforced. At such time I would be able to periodically help in the tasks I have checked.|
• In the meantime, I value and will continue to “attend” streamed services.