OUR RESPONSE TO COVID-19


A SPECIAL ADVENT MESSAGE FROM PASTOR KELLY LYN AND OUR DO NO HARM TEAM

NOVEMBER 29, 2021

 

Benson Memorial Friends,

 

The holy season of Advent began yesterday, and we prepare, once again, for the coming of Christ in the child born in a humble stable in Bethlehem. Each week of Advent, we light another candle on our Advent wreaths to help us mark the time and anticipate the celebration of Christmas.

 

In 2021, the beginning of Advent coincides with the beginning of the Jewish celebration of Hanukkah, the festival of lights. During Hanukkah, our Jewish siblings celebrate the rededication of the temple and the miracle of oil that was only supposed to provide enough light for one night, but lasted for eight. This unique year, as the Christian season of Advent and Jewish celebration of Hanukkah begin at the same time and the faithful in each tradition light more and more candles, we can imagine, with each new candle, that we are shining more and more love, light, and hope in the world.

 

The witness of shining more love, light, and hope in the world is also found in our work together to keep one another safe and healthy. Our Do No Harm Team met this weekend to update and make adjustments to our current plan and safety protocols (click here to read all the details and updates). Some things remain the same, such as continuing to follow the Raleigh mask mandate for meeting indoors and encouraging the wearing of masks when gathering outdoors.  We’ve also made other changes: eliminating all pre-registration for worship services, and capacity limits for indoor gatherings. We give thanks that there is plenty of room for us to gather safely at both 8:45 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. worship services.

 

Because we are now singing together in worship (which involves the increased risk for viral transmission), in addition to wearing masks, we will continue to provide extra space between the pews and on the backs of pews following the guidance from the CDC and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. (You can read the NCDHHS guidance for faith communities here.) Those who remain unvaccinated should be diligent in maintaining at least six feet of distance between themselves and others at all times on campus.

 

Thank you for doing your part in caring for the whole of our community, and for your generosity of spirit as you tend the wellbeing of others as well as your own health and wellbeing. 

 

May this truly be a season of more light, love, and hope shining in the dark corners of the world!

 

With Advent Hope,

 

Pastor Kelly Lyn 

 

and our Do No Harm Team:

Megan Alvord, Susan Brooks, April Cervi, Ann Collins, Jerry Crenshaw, PD Hill, Charlie Hobgood, Martha Johnston, Mike Jones, George Lee, Shannon Luxford, Warren Reynolds, Anthony Roncolato,  Kim Sylvester, Ginny Wise, Carol Wright

 

 

OUR CURRENT PROTOCOLS FOR IN-PERSON WORSHIP AT BOTH 8:45 AND 11:00 AM SERVICES:

  • Current Protocols document (updated 11-29-2021)
  • Check-in table opens at 8:15am and 10:30am
  • Following the Raleigh mask mandate, all persons older than 2 years of age are required to wear masks indoors.
    • We continue to strongly encourage the wearing of masks and maintaining safe distance when gathering outdoors out of love for one another
  • Nursery/child care provided by trained staff to return beginning September 12
  • New Protocols in place for Ushers and Greeters 
  • Ushers will seat each household and also dismiss each row 
  • Simplified worship order-displayed on screen (full Bulletin-Beacon available online)
  • No paper bulletins or touch points
  • Special music by vocalists and instrumentalists may be offered
  • Congregational singing with masks
  • No passing of offering plates (offering plates stationed on stands in aisles)
  • Restrooms available in FH (enter from front/exit side or back). Handicap/family restroom only in narthex.