Dear Church of the Earth Members,
Today is May 8th, 2020 and North Carolina has begun Phase One of reopening the state. The safety and well-being of our members are our top priorities as we move forward. So, what does that mean for us meeting in-person as a group?
According to WRAL, Phase 1 begins today, May 8th at 5 pm and will end on May 22nd. Some state and city parks are open, but the shelters are not. Gatherings of more than 10 people are not allowed. https://www.wral.com/coronavirus/three-phases-to-open-north-carolina/19086586/
As of now, Phase 2 will begin around May 22nd, but this is not set in stone. In Phase 2, even though “places of worship can reopen with limited capacity”, we meet in parks and we are bound by their rules. It is my understanding that only trails and playgrounds will be open, not shelters. Gatherings of “more than 10” will be allowed, but how many is “more than 10”?
Since we meet in the parks and we tend to number more than 10 at a gathering, we will not be meeting in-person during either Phase 1 or Phase 2.
On Monday, May 4th we received a notification from North Carolina State Parks that our reservation for Midsummer at Umstead Park on June 20th has been cancelled. For more information on NC and Raleigh parks, visit this website which was updated yesterday, May 7th: https://raleighnc.gov/SupportPages/parks-covid-19-information
We will have our Council meeting on May 17th to discuss this further and I will let you know what we decide about Phase 3. In the meantime, we will continue to hold our events on-line. Please refer to Meetup for a list of these and look at our Facebook page for our discussions. I hope you have been enjoying these activities. I sure have!
I said this in my last COVID-19 update letter to you, but I think it applies even more today than it did a million weeks ago when this started:
This is a time none of us expected to experience. In these times of uncertainty, I would humbly suggest you be extra kind to yourself. As a practicing Pagan, no matter where you are on your journey, you have tools available to help you get through this. I know when I am stressed, I forget that. I am hoping that reading this will remind you. Also, when you interact with the world, whether going on a quest for fresh food or participating online, be kind to others. We are all under stress these days. It is easy to get sucked into chaos, fear, and anger…but I challenge you to do the opposite if you can. Try spreading hope, peace, and understanding. And reach out to each other! We are stronger together, even when that is not in person.
All my best to you and your loved ones!
Council Chairperson, Church of the Earth of N.C.