Return to Building Update: May 12, 2021
Dear Marble Family,
Recently the mayor of New York City announced all organizations will be able to reopen with safety measures in place on July 1. On the heel of this news, we also learned Broadway will be back in September. These are wonderful developments during the pandemic, and we are excited we will be able to meet in person soon.
We are pleased to announce that as of today 92.9% of our staff are scheduled for vaccinations or are fully vaccinated. This poises our team to be safe and ready to provide in-person Worship. Additionally, we have a task force that has been working diligently implementing the protocols we will follow to return to our building.
Based on these factors, the following is an update for in-person Worship at Marble.
- On July 11, we will resume live streaming from the Sanctuary. Attendance will be for staff who are leading or providing support for the service.
- The latter part of July, staff and volunteers who assist the congregation as part of Worship will attend. They will be trained in the protocols necessary to resume in-person Worship.
- In August, we will pilot having a limited number of people attend worship services so we can ensure we have everything in place to welcome larger numbers. In future updates, we will let you know how you can be part of this.
- In September, we will welcome people back into the Sanctuary based on the capacity we’re allowed at that time.
We are focusing on Worship first because our Sanctuary is our largest and safest environment in which to gather in person.
Additionally, we have some great news: the temporary boiler currently on 29th Street is being moved into our building. This is a large-scale construction project that will last through at least the end of this calendar year. While we are doing this, we are also renovating some of our existing space to better accommodate program needs. This means that other than the Sanctuary, most of our existing campus will be inaccessible until the end of this year. Accordingly, we will continue many of our ministries virtually until we can begin using our program space again.
We also want to reiterate our commitment to provide a parity of experience for virtual and in-person ministry. Through the pandemic, many have joined us from around the country and world, and we are committed to making sure that wherever you are in the world, you can participate in the life of Marble. We also know some will continue to engage us virtually until they feel safe gathering in person, and we support each person’s individual decision. Therefore, our team is working hard to ensure that when we return to the building, our ministry – Worship and the many programs during the week – continues to be available and accessible to all people.
As we approach the return to our building, we will send more details so we all know what to expect as we gather in person. Please keep Marble’s staff and volunteers in your prayers for all they are doing on our behalf. In the meantime, we encourage you to get vaccinated if you have not already done so. It’s a way to protect yourself and others in our shared effort to overcome the virus.
This has been a long journey, yet together we have risen to the challenges we have faced. Words from our sacred scripture come to mind: “Every time we think of you, we thank God for you. Day and night you're in our prayers as we call to mind your work of faith, your labor of love, and your patience of hope in following our Lord, Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 1:2-3).
Dr. Michael Bos
Rev. Elise Brown, Ph.D.
G. Gregory Lozier, D.Ed.
Chair, Marble Board