Outdoor Meetings to begin 9/27, at 1:30pm Sundays

Online Meetings for worship facilitated by Zoom will continue, at 11am on Sundays.

Download the Minute hereContact Gordon Roesler if you wish to confirm the status of this week’s meeting: <gordonroesler@gmail.com> or (571) 214-6312. Weather cancellations are posted on the homepage before 11:30am Eastern each Sunday.

Alexandria Friends Meeting Minute for Outdoor Gatherings

Approved by the Monthly Meeting on 13 9th month 2020

The proposal is to host outdoor meetings for worship at the meetinghouse property, using appropriate health precautions, when the weather permits. Zoom meetings will continue to offer Friends opportunities for worship and fellowship remotely. Meeting for worship facilitated by Zoom will continue at the 11 o’clock hour on First Days, until further notice. Likewise, Adult Religious Education will continue to gather at 10 o’clock each First Day using Zoom.

a. Time and Place: First Days (Sundays) at 1:30pm, in the front driveway under the shade of the big tree. Inclement weather announcements will be made at 12pm rise of meeting, posted online, and possibly sent to a list of people who opt in to receive such notifications.

b. Parking:  We ask that Friends park along the street, outside the Meetinghouse property fence.  If there is not enough space outside the fence, we ask Friends to come in the entrance nearest to Rt. 1, and park on that side, nearest the soccer fields and be mindful of possible children.   

c. Chairs: The Carriage shed contains ~34 folding chairs, a number more than adequate for expected attendance. However, we invite Friends to bring folding chairs of their own for comfort. Folding chairs allow people to place their seats at distance, while also allowing people who already live together to sit together if they wish.

d. Masks and Distancing: We ask Friends who come to the meetinghouse to maintain appropriate distance and wear masks when in close proximity to others.

  e. Children: There will not be a separate program for children at this time. Pending a proposal from CRE, we welcome parents to exercise their discretion: Children who can attend worship or quietly enjoy the meetinghouse property are welcome to come.

f.  Ministry and Announcements: Background noise levels can be significantly higher outside than in the Meeting room, and Friends will, of necessity, be spread out. Please speak out. Friends may form smaller groups if too many Friends choose to attend.

g. Close of Worship: Greetings at close of worship will be carried out in ways that don’t involve close proximity: eg. Waves and “twinkles”/“silent clapping” instead of handshakes and hugs.

h. Common Meal: No common meal will be provided by the Hospitality committee until further notice.

i. Meetinghouse Access: The Meeting will provide cleaning instructions and supplies, so that anyone who needs to use the bathroom may do the necessary cleaning afterwards. Until then, bathrooms will be open if and when Friends volunteer to clean according to appropriate CDC guidelines (Link). We encourage Friends to use the bathroom elsewhere, before and after gathering at the meetinghouse. The Meeting room and the Buckman room will remain closed during gatherings to prevent contamination.
See https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/reopen-guidance.html.

j. Health Concerns: Please consider your own health and that of others when

deciding if and when to attend. We welcome everyone to continue holding worship in their homes, supplemented by Zoom, as they are led. Health guidance is not to attend if:

  • You are running a fever;
  • You or someone in your family unit has used mass transit or returned from being out of the country in the last 14 days;
  • You provide care or have close contact with a person with COVID-19;
  • You or someone in your family have tested positive for COVID-19 or are waiting on COVID-19 test results.

k. Ticks and Nature: We ask Friends who visit the meetinghouse to wear attire they might wear for any outdoor excursion and take appropriate precautions against ticks, and check for ticks after meetings.

l. Greeter: If attendance warrants it, Ministry and Nurture may appoint a greeter to meet people as they enter the meetinghouse property to explain anything that needs explaining and help visitors adapt.

m. Other Precautions: We expect our understanding of the challenges involved, and how to address them, to evolve as we go, and we plan to adapt the plan to take our best understandings into account while caring for the health and safety of those who gather.

n. Risk. It’s important to assess the risk for yourself and your household. You attend at your own risk.

We are a spiritual community whether we meet in person or online. We should be guided by a sense of commitment and mutual care in all that we do.