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Status of church


Status of church normalization  

46 members have voted

  1. 1. To what extent is your Sunday meeting schedule "back to normal?"

    • All meetings are still virtual only
    • Sacrament meeting is in person, but 2nd hour is virtual only
    • Both hours are offered in-person
    • Hybrid: In-person sacrament meeting alternates between segments of the ward
  2. 2. What is the level of "mitigation protocols" enforcement in your church meetings? (masks,

    • Stringently enforced/insisted upon
    • Whatever people want to do, in practice


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I'm assuming that where church is hybrid, 2nd hour is virtual, but I would be interested to find that this is incorrect. 

If you're willing, I'd also be interested in where you are. 

I'm in Pinal County, Arizona. I answered "Sacrament meeting is in-person; 2nd hour is virtual." Technically, we are hybrid, but our bishop has asked us to just all come to sacrament meeting, regardless of how many are there. We have the overflow open, and attendance is near pre-Covid levels. Our area authority is what is holding up 2nd hour being offered in-person.

As is true Church-wide (and similar to most stores, in my experience), mitigation protocols are required, but in practice, masks are optional and a cursory "wiping down" takes place between units meeting. Church sacrament tray policy is being followed. Nothing is said to anyone without a mask (and increasingly more are doing this), in my ward.

I'm interested to see the range of experience in different places.

Thank you!

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We are having sacrament meeting only which is conducted with covid protocols like yours but when the meeting terminates people congregate together like they did before.

I wish they would offer a option for live meetings for vaccinated only also.

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5 minutes ago, CA Steve said:

We are having sacrament meeting only which is conducted with covid protocols like yours but when the meeting terminates people congregate together like they did before.

I wish they would offer a option for live meetings for vaccinated only also.

That would be a real minefield (requiring proof of vaccination for church services). 

Church is pretty normal, now, other than the lack of 2nd hour (people are very Zoom-fatigued). More and more stop wearing masks, as they see more and more doing this, and they are congregating together like before, like you mentioned. 

Our youth activities are completely normal, which is good. 

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4 minutes ago, rongo said:

That would be a real minefield (requiring proof of vaccination for church services). 

I think there would be some issues but I do not see why proof of vaccinations would be required. It would seem a bit contradictory for a person to attend sacrament meeting by lying about his vaccination status. Nothing is totally secure but I would expect that to be a very rare occurrence.

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2 minutes ago, CA Steve said:

I think there would be some issues but I do not see why proof of vaccinations would be required. It would seem a bit contradictory for a person to attend sacrament meeting by lying about his vaccination status. Nothing is totally secure but I would expect that to be a very rare occurrence.

Honor system. Good point.

We're told that being fully vaccinated essentially protects vulnerable populations against hospitalization and death/severe incidence (but not against getting mild cases). Shouldn't fully vaccinated people just be able to go to a mixed-vaccination status church with full confidence (regardless of whether or not there are unvaccinated people in the crowd)?

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The second hour technically could be in person here, but with so many people still not wanting to attend in person, we just decided to keep it virtual-easier

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4 minutes ago, Duncan said:

The second hour technically could be in person here, but with so many people still not wanting to attend in person, we just decided to keep it virtual-easier

Are they not Zoom-fatigued? Most people I know hate it. Class dynamics/participation are not the same (most people don't have their cameras on. Not that people should be forced to or anything like that, but not even the small bit of interaction that comes from seeing other people is available). 

Or, does terror over the virus overrule everything? Or are they enjoying "home churching?" 

My wife is in the YW presidency. They are frustrated that the introverts/wallflowers have now completely disengaged, whereas before they still were in classes with other kids/other girls. One girl had her camera on, and just plays guitar with headphones on during entire lessons. Her mother says she isn't comfortable "tuning in," but at least she's there, right? And, what seems crazy to me --- only 9 out of 42 girls are going to camp this summer. When I was bishop, everybody went. Not because we twisted arms, everybody just went. Girls who struggled with shyness or other things didn't always have an awesome time, but there were good things too, and it was good for them to do things they didn't necessarily want to do. The Covid year+ has led to many not really having to do school, not having to do church at all, and not really doing much of anything. I don't think many of these are going to end up being active in the Church, or going anywhere in life. 

I don't think we're going to dig out from under the Covid wreckage and know where the Church is at for some time. 

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11 minutes ago, rongo said:

Are they not Zoom-fatigued? Most people I know hate it. Class dynamics/participation are not the same (most people don't have their cameras on. Not that people should be forced to or anything like that, but not even the small bit of interaction that comes from seeing other people is available). 

Or, does terror over the virus overrule everything? Or are they enjoying "home churching?" 

My wife is in the YW presidency. They are frustrated that the introverts/wallflowers have now completely disengaged, whereas before they still were in classes with other kids/other girls. One girl had her camera on, and just plays guitar with headphones on during entire lessons. Her mother says she isn't comfortable "tuning in," but at least she's there, right? And, what seems crazy to me --- only 9 out of 42 girls are going to camp this summer. When I was bishop, everybody went. Not because we twisted arms, everybody just went. Girls who struggled with shyness or other things didn't always have an awesome time, but there were good things too, and it was good for them to do things they didn't necessarily want to do. The Covid year+ has led to many not really having to do school, not having to do church at all, and not really doing much of anything. I don't think many of these are going to end up being active in the Church, or going anywhere in life. 

I don't think we're going to dig out from under the Covid wreckage and know where the Church is at for some time. 

oh, everyone is zoom fatigued!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, we wonder how many will return? guess we'll find out

 

home church is fine but if we could go back, taking the opportunity! It's hard though, people that need to come back are susceptible to covid-but hopefully people get their shots

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51 minutes ago, rongo said:

If you're willing, I'd also be interested in where you are. 

I'm in Texas: DFW metroplex. 

Our ward holds sacrament meeting in-person, but it is broadcast through the church's website as well. At-home officiation of the sacrament is still authorized. 

Second hour is held virtually and begins an hour after sacrament meeting ends, so it feels like 3-hour church still even though it's technically only two hours - a miracle!. ;) 

We haven't been doing Primary yet, so that's something that still needs to make a comeback. 

As for "mitigation protocols," those are largely the same as what they have been throughout: seating is extended past the overflow into the gym to allow for social distancing; everyone on the stand wears a mask; everyone participating in blessing / passing the sacrament wears a mask and visibly sanitizes their hands; separate trays are used for taking / disposing of the water cups; etc.

The overwhelming majority of members wear a mask. On any given week there are no more than 3 - 6 people who don't. 

After the meeting ends, members are encouraged to exit the building and not congregate indoors (what they do outside is their own business). The young men then proceed to take care of the sanitization efforts. Since we are the last unit in the building we are able to use the hospital-grade sanitizer that you just spray and then leave to dry - which is much nicer than having to spray and wipe. 

Our area leaders recently sent out guidelines from the church about how to potentially move back to full-meeting attendance. We'll be discussing it in bishopric this week, but it sounds like the move to more in-person attendance is definitely on the horizon. 

 

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22 minutes ago, Duncan said:

oh, everyone is zoom fatigued!!!!!!!!!!!!!!, we wonder how many will return? guess we'll find out

 

home church is fine but if we could go back, taking the opportunity! It's hard though, people that need to come back are susceptible to covid-but hopefully people get their shots. We literally just moved into a new church building on the same property as the yet to be dedicated temple, so that's cool. 

 

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48 minutes ago, rongo said:

Are they not Zoom-fatigued? Most people I know hate it. Class dynamics/participation are not the same (most people don't have their cameras on. Not that people should be forced to or anything like that, but not even the small bit of interaction that comes from seeing other people is available). 

Or, does terror over the virus overrule everything? Or are they enjoying "home churching?" 

My wife is in the YW presidency. They are frustrated that the introverts/wallflowers have now completely disengaged, whereas before they still were in classes with other kids/other girls. One girl had her camera on, and just plays guitar with headphones on during entire lessons. Her mother says she isn't comfortable "tuning in," but at least she's there, right? And, what seems crazy to me --- only 9 out of 42 girls are going to camp this summer. When I was bishop, everybody went. Not because we twisted arms, everybody just went. Girls who struggled with shyness or other things didn't always have an awesome time, but there were good things too, and it was good for them to do things they didn't necessarily want to do. The Covid year+ has led to many not really having to do school, not having to do church at all, and not really doing much of anything. I don't think many of these are going to end up being active in the Church, or going anywhere in life. 

I don't think we're going to dig out from under the Covid wreckage and know where the Church is at for some time. 

I'm impressed you guys are able to do camp this year.  After the church sent out the "what you have to do for overnight church trips during the pandemic" email, most of our overnight stuff was canceled.  

Thankfully our youth have been doing in person weekly activities since the beginning of the school year.  

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1 hour ago, rongo said:

We're told that being fully vaccinated essentially protects vulnerable populations against hospitalization and death/severe incidence (but not against getting mild cases). Shouldn't fully vaccinated people just be able to go to a mixed-vaccination status church with full confidence (regardless of whether or not there are unvaccinated people in the crowd)?

There is still a lot of unknown going on with the vaccination and whether or not a vaccinated person can spread the disease or not. Also vaccinated people can be less vigilant as far as mask wearing and social distancing. Mask wearing is very hard on my wife who has a number of very serious health problems but still wants to attend meetings. If a vaccinated person wanted to attend a mixed group I see no reason why they couldn't. But, right now I would like to see the church encourage as many people as it can to get vaccinated. Offering a vaccinated only meeting might help in that regard. The numbers are starting to go up again, we need to be doing more on all fronts or we will just be back to where we were a few months ago. 

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Layton Utah.

Masks are 'required' in our stake but there is no enforcement.  Almost everyone complies in my ward so it hasn't been an issue.   Our ward could be meeting together every sunday but they have capped our attendance at 150 and we have too many people coming to each separate sacrament meeting to combine them.  So we have had to keep the twice a month in person model for now.

We are also still sanitizing the pulpit after every user, and sanitizing the building when the meeting is over.  Second hour is through zoom and I can't speak for anyone else but I'm zoom fatigued.  

My parents are in northern wyoming and they have been back to having both hours for a while now.  Each "hour" is shortened so they are done with church after about an hour and 40 minutes, but I'm jealous.  I so wish we could go back to both hours in person.

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Anytime i'm on a zoom meeting if there is a goof up on someone's zoom screen I screenshot it and send it to some people!-childish I know but keeps me entertained😈

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In Scotland. BTW, the second question does not allow for all possible answers. There should be N/A in the case of all virtual meetings. 

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Our ward is different that those options listed. We have sign ups for those wanting to attend. All others are Zoom. 100 person maximum in building at any given time.

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43 minutes ago, Amulek said:

Our area leaders recently sent out guidelines from the church about how to potentially move back to full-meeting attendance. We'll be discussing it in bishopric this week, but it sounds like the move to more in-person attendance is definitely on the horizon. 

I sure hope it's on the horizon --- and not way off in the distance, either. 

A facilities management guy in our ward retired early. The Church has strongly encouraged as many as possible to retire, and are consolidating further all buildings under the remaining ones. He says that many things, including some urgent ones, are best taken care of through the high councilor over buildings and even using ward/stake funds, because they are spread very thin. 

He said that the Church will be the very last entity to normalize, well after government and business. The Church does not want criticism, especially on the "good neighbor" front. In Arizona, for example, the Church could fully normalize and get rid of any attendance caps or mask requirements, but it simply won't until there is no risk of criticism over it. 

This has implications about all sorts of things, from temples (the vast majority of which are nowhere near any sort of normal temple activity), to church, to missions. Our sisters knock doors and are visiting people, but I'm not sure how "authorized" that is (I took them to visit a good investigator from a couple of years ago the other night). Other missions are in extreme lockdown. Our friend is hitting his one-year mark trying to get to Brazil, and is in West Virginia. They are locked down like April/May of last year, and he's going insane. The mission president is terrified of Covid.  

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we are in oregon and we are meeting two hours in person,

Mask usage pretty strictly enforced for the two hour meetings, the youth activities, not so much and the smaller meetings (ward counsel, missionary coordination, etc) not as much.

Interestingly enough, the last sacrament meeting, there was one person who wasn't wearing a mask who was the oldest person in attendenc (90 years old, I think)  No one kicked him out. 

 

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30 minutes ago, bluebell said:

I'm impressed you guys are able to do camp this year.  After the church sent out the "what you have to do for overnight church trips during the pandemic" email, most of our overnight stuff was canceled.  

Thankfully our youth have been doing in person weekly activities since the beginning of the school year.  

Camp is also "mask-optional!" I'm surprised by the 9 for 42 batting average. Never in 13 years did I have that low of camp participation. Nearly all of our 35~ girls went every year. It's definitely linked to the conditioning and habits of the last year+. 

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Posted (edited)
28 minutes ago, bluebell said:

Layton Utah.

Masks are 'required' in our stake but there is no enforcement.  Almost everyone complies in my ward so it hasn't been an issue.   Our ward could be meeting together every sunday but they have capped our attendance at 150 and we have too many people coming to each separate sacrament meeting to combine them.  So we have had to keep the twice a month in person model for now.

Our bishop (my former counselor) "called an audible" and told everyone to come every week, if they want to. Most have. We are approaching half of the ward not even bringing masks to church. He also told people they could remove their masks once they are seated (I don't think that's strictly according to church policy), and we sing hymns without them (oh, the horror!). I wish they would put the hymnbooks back --- we're not device "Gospel library app" people, so we bring our own from home.

 

28 minutes ago, bluebell said:

We are also still sanitizing the pulpit after every user, and sanitizing the building when the meeting is over.  Second hour is through zoom and I can't speak for anyone else but I'm zoom fatigued.  

The "sanitation theater" stuff has sharply dropped off with us. Anyone think the Church will phase that out with even the CDC saying that surfaces are not a significant vector? 

I detest Zoom, and from the numbers on Zoom vs. how many would be in a class in person, so does everyone else. I can't imagine trying to teach a class that way. 

Edited by rongo
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14 minutes ago, Meadowchik said:

In Scotland. BTW, the second question does not allow for all possible answers. There should be N/A in the case of all virtual meetings. 

Wouldn't that be option #1?

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8 minutes ago, filovirus said:

Our ward is different that those options listed. We have sign ups for those wanting to attend. All others are Zoom. 100 person maximum in building at any given time.

That sounds kind of like hybrid, except not based on the last names in the ward (voluntary). Where are you at? 100 people is a pretty low number.

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2 minutes ago, rongo said:

Our bishop (my former counselor) "called an audible" and told everyone to come every week, if they want to. Most have. We are approaching half of the ward not even bringing masks to church. He also told people they could remove their masks once they are seated (I don't think that's strictly according to church policy), and we sing hymns without them (oh, the horror!). I wish they would put the hymnbooks back --- we're not device "Gospel library app" people, so we bring our own from home.

 

The "sanitation theater" stuff has sharply dropped off with us. Anyone think the Church will phase that out with even the CDC saying that surfaces are not a significant vector? 

I detest Zoom, and from the numbers on Zoom vs. how many would be in a class in person, so does everyone else. I can't imagine trying to teach a class that way. 

I refuse to use my phone during sacrament so now I only sing the songs that I know by heart.

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6 minutes ago, filovirus said:

Our ward is different that those options listed. We have sign ups for those wanting to attend. All others are Zoom. 100 person maximum in building at any given time.

yeah, we have been doing that too. For our ward the max is 100 and like 77 signed up to come back and we had not even close to that show up and then two weeks ago our building was dedicated and something around there actually showed so ah, I guess every week is different

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22 minutes ago, Duncan said:

Anytime i'm on a zoom meeting if there is a goof up on someone's zoom screen I screenshot it and send it to some people!-childish I know but keeps me entertained😈

My wife was visiting young women with a Canadian woman who is new to the ward and YW. She noticed my wife not wearing a mask, and asked if she was done with the whole mask thing. My wife said, "We never really began it." She gladly didn't wear hers, and said that she was so done with all of this. We also ran into an elderly Canadian couple from Alberta in the store. They stopped us and said how great it was to be able to see people's faces (they are snowbirds down for the winter). 

Our Zoom entertainment consists of elderly couples talking loudly to each other about unrelated things, and the teacher keeps muting them in vain and they keep unmuting themselves. 

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