As anyone who attends First Parish knows, our congregation takes seriously the concerns of the day. We pray about current events and strategize how to be allies to the vulnerable. Our preachers interpret the scriptures with an eye toward ethical living in today’s world. We seek justice with mercy for those who are marginalized and ostracized by society. We do these things because we believe we are called by Jesus to love God and our neighbors (Matthew 22:36-40). Ours is an active, relevant faith.
With all these commitments in mind, our congregational leaders came together on May 23, 2020, to discuss the opening of First Parish Truro’s building during the Summer 2020 worship season. They decided to move our congregation to online virtual worship this summer, and to keep the doors of our historic building closed for this season.
In other years, our beautiful church building provides an ideal worship space. Its coziness amplifies our voices as we sing hymns and listen to our musicians. We don’t think twice about sitting in close proximity to one another, and are thrilled when our numbers swell with summer visitors. We hug, shake hands, and otherwise greet each other at the door as we exit the service in a joyous bottleneck.
While the global Covid-19 pandemic is ongoing, the same traits that make our building so beloved also make it a space where it would be difficult to comply adequately with social distance measures. As an open and affirming congregation, we simply couldn’t imagine having “bouncers” at the door to turn people away if we reached the building’s physical capacity under social distancing regulations. We have several members who are particularly susceptible to the virus, and we couldn’t in good conscience put them at risk. And any large gatherings this summer could participate in a strain on public health for the Outer Cape community we love so much.
It just isn’t worth the public health risk to open the building this summer. But this doesn’t mean that our church community is closed or inactive! To the contrary, this summer gives us a chance to worship online together via Zoom whether we are in Truro, Ptown, California, Florida, the UK, or anywhere else in the world. In a summer where travel plans have changed for many, inhabiting a virtual worship space, we believe, is the most inclusive option.
To take part in virtual worship, members and friends have two options:
WORSHIP LIVE VIA ZOOM AT 10AM EACH SUNDAY – Sign up via the online Google Form to receive the weekly email Zoom invitation, which will be sent out at 9:30am, Eastern Standard Time, on Sunday mornings. Simply click the link at 10am that morning (that’s 10am Truro time) to join Zoom and watch worship live with the congregation. There will be a pre-recorded portion of the service with hymns, special music, scripture, and a message. Once this portion is done, those gathered on Zoom will be able to share with one another their prayer concerns and catch up socially as if it was coffee hour.
WATCH THE SUNDAY SERVICE LATER IN THE WEEK – If you can’t join us live at 10am Sunday mornings, the public portion of the worship (the part without people’s individual prayer concerns) will be posted to our church’s YouTube channel and Facebook Feed. You can check out our completed services there and watch them at your convenience.
We look forward to “seeing” you this summer – online, staying safe, and spreading love rather than germs. We look forward to seeing everyone next summer in-person!