Pastor Rick's Letter to the Congregation,
 July, 2021

I feel so very fortunate to live in a place that has produced and distributed safe and effective covid vaccines in record time allowing us to reconnect with friends and family in a way we couldn’t just a few months ago. As of June 28 66% of Monterey County residents age 12 and older have received at least one covid vaccination. If you look just at ages 55 and older the percentage is 78-80%. Like many of you, I am looking forward to the day when we can meet together again in person. And like many of you I have been amazed and grateful for the gift of zoom worship and all that we have learned about one another and our loving, generous, resilient spirit during this pandemic.

The Board of Trustees has already committed time and energy into creating a hybrid service when we do reopen so that anyone unable to physically be present can join us virtually. Rich Cheatham has spent hours exploring the set-up we will need to do a hybrid service. We are hoping that this will begin in August. We are still researching the various streaming options. If we are not able to use zoom to stream the service, we will be able to zoom the coffee hour after the service, which would allow an interactive component every week.

I am also working on the feasibility of zooming the Tuesday Meditation Service so that folks who wish can come to the chapel, while those who are not able to do so can join on zoom. Because of the format of the service, this is easier to do than the Sunday morning service. I would love to hear from folks that would like to attend an on-site meditation service on Tuesdays at 7 p.m. before I actually schedule such a service.

In August the church will also be starting a new book group. Unfortunately I am still researching book options. As soon as I find the “right” book, I will let you all know. We are planning to continue the Thursdays 1:30 to 3 p.m. time frame for this. For the time being we will all need to endure the anticipation!

Finally, as most of you already know, a few weeks ago Carolyn Metcalf died at home with her family and friends surrounding her. The family is hoping to have a celebration of her life sometime in August. I will let you know as soon as plans have been finalized. Carolyn had been a member for many years and was present every Sunday she could make it. She had a wicked sense of humor and was always looking for an opportunity to run over the ministers toes after the worship service. And she loved the chapel community.

Whenever I visited her during the pandemic and I asked her what she would like me to tell the community on her behalf (she was not able to zoom with us) she always said, “Tell everyone I love and miss them, and I can’t wait to get back to church.” Now it’s our turn to tell Carolyn “We love and miss you, and every time we are in church we will feel your presence with us, and give thanks.”

Your partner in our shared ministry,

Rev. Rick Yramategui