Friends General Conference

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Memphis Friends Meeting - Visitors Are Welcome

COVID-19 Update - online only on 01/23

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Updated: 01/21/2022

The Thursday joint task force press conference was only partially broadcast and not all data points are currently available. However, available data suggests we remain above approved thresholds. Therefore, our Sunday morning activities on 01/23 will be online only:

7-Day Average for New Cases - below 140 - 1,699 (down substantially from last week)

Weekly Test Positivity Rate - below 10% - 28.8% (trending down)

COVID Positive Hospital Rate - below 10% -  higher than 10% but plateauing (COVID-positive patients this week totaled 760, down slightly from 770 last week)

Reproduction Number - below 1.2 - unknown

More information below...

At the November 2021 business meeting, Memphis Friends approved a new process to review local COVID metrics each Friday to make a determination whether in-person worship on the following Sunday will be an option for Friends. When in-person worship is determined to be allowable, Friends will have a "hybrid worship" - with some Friends connecting to worship via Zoom and other Friends worshiping together in the meetinghouse. When in-person worship is determined to not be allowable, only worship via Zoom will be an option.

Those interested in worshiping in-person should be prepared to adhere to the following guidelines, which were approved at the November 2021 business meeting (we look forward to a time when we can offer more flexibility):

  • Be fully vaccinated.

  • Wear a mask.

  • Stay 6’ away from other attendees not in their own family group.

  • Step outside the meetinghouse to socialize after worship. 

  • A greeter will be prepared to greet newcomers outside the meetinghouse.

During in-person worship, two air purifiers that meet high-grade (H-13) HEPA specifications will be operating, one at either end of the meetingroom. Towards the center of the meeting room, a Friend will be seated with a laptop so that messages from Friends on Zoom can be heard and so that Friends in the meetingroom can also be heard by those on Zoom. This process worked well for us in August when we were able to hold a few hybrid meetings.

Those new to our community who wish to worship with us in person, please email [email protected] so that we can put you in touch with a member of the COVID Protocols Ad-hoc Committee to answer your questions.

Below are instructions for those who wish to worship with us via Zoom

  • If you don't already have Zoom installed on your computer, you'll want to install it on your computer for best results (Zoom is also available for smart phones):  

  • Register in advance to get your log-in information:

    After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about how to log in to our "Virtual Meeting House." If you lose that link, you can always come back to the registration link. (There is a pass code for the meeting that is included in the confirmation email. You may want to write that down and keep it close to your computer.) Feel free to share the registration link publicly with anyone you think might be interested.

  • Pick the comfortable, quiet spot where you will be sitting as you join us for meeting. During the online meeting, your microphone will be muted except when you are sharing a message and at the end of meeting when we share our names, joys, concerns, and announcements. Your video image will be visible to Friends, so you may want to select a spot with the peaceful simplicity of the meeting room.

A few minutes before 11:00 a.m....

  • Join the Zoom Meeting.

  • If your microphone is muted and it is not yet 11:00, feel free to unmute your microphone to say "hello." The Zoom host will make sure microphones are muted again before worship.

  • If you are a first-time user of Zoom, the Zoom host or other Friends may be able to help you find your way around Zoom during this pre-worship time. For example, you may want to make sure you know how to mute and unmute your microphone (a feature that will be used during worship).

  • If you need additional assistance, please contact [email protected]

At 11:00 a.m....

  • We will begin worshipping together in our Virtual Meeting Room, with one computer logged in at the meetinghouse to capture the video and spoken messages of those who are attending in-person worship. 

  • During meeting for worship, if you are led to share a message, please unmute your microphone. As you speak, look at the videos of others in the meeting room to find confirming nods that others are hearing your words.

  • If you unmute your microphone to speak and another speaker instead speaks, please mute your microphone to ensure that everyone is able to clearly hear the speaker.

At noon...

  • The Friend serving as clerk will greet us, and we will begin to introduce ourselves to one another. 

  • During joys, concerns, and announcements, feel free to share information through the chat feature or by indicating to the clerk that you wish to speak.

  • Our sharing will draw to a close by 12:30. 

In light,
Blake for the Communications Committee