July 25, 2021
Beloved members and friends of Foundry,
As we continue to turn the corner toward a full in-person worship and ministry schedule, I wanted to share an update on how things are going.
Our first two Evensong services were a great success. Both services were well-attended, logistics went according to plan, and there was a spirit of joy and fellowship in our Community Commons as we gathered together in our building for the first time in over a year.
For our first service, newly graduated seminarian Cassandra Lawrence provided worship leadership, and I shared a reflection on stamina and resilience and how faith, love, community, and God’s saving grace enabled us over the past 15 months to face challenges, learn from them, and grow spiritually. The second service included worship leadership from Patty Elder and a message from Pastor Will that reminded us to pause and take rest, and that we can always find God amidst the mess.
Music programming included hymns sung by the congregation while masked, along with powerful solos provided by Kathleen Borgueta and Jackie Wright, with Stanley Thurston on piano. Hymnals were provided and lyrics were shared on a projection screen.
For our clergy, staff and lay leadership, many systems were tested, including greeter and usher sign-up, a digital check-in system, the integration of projection screens, and the sale of new Foundry t-shirts, water bottles, and stickers. These processes will be refined as we approach our full in-person schedule in the sanctuary.
We continue to look forward to Communion on the Plaza, with the next services being held the afternoon of Sunday, August 1. Just as we did on July 4, we will hold four services at 4 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 5 p.m., and 5:30 p.m. These later time slots allowed for a cooler climate and more flexibility for those in attendance.
One improvement made since our first summer Communion on the Plaza on June 6 was the switch from pre-bagged juice and bread to the use of our silver cup tray with compostable communion cups and bread distributed by clergy and servant leaders.
We continue to stay in conversation with Colonial Parking Garage and work to secure parking as has been available in the past for Foundry events. The economy continues to move forward positively, and dialogue continues with the management of Colonial. Our staff appears more optimistic that this issue can be resolved in our favor by the beginning of September.
Reentry Implementation Task Force
As always, I am grateful for the leadership and guidance of my fellow members of Foundry’s Covid Reentry Implementation Task Force: Gwen Williamson, Nick Jessee, Matt Hansen, Sam Kilpatrick, Paula Blair, and PJ Taylor.
Please feel free to submit comments and/or questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. To read previous reentry updates, please visit foundryumc.org/covid19.
Rev. Ginger E. Gaines-Cirelli
Foundry United Methodist Church