Reopening! – Nov 7th Update

November 7th – Well the only thing constant is change! – – – Today’s change is the church’s leaderships decision to delay reopening for the time being. We have been working towards reopening including listening to the experts, buying supplies, and making plans for the last month. But with the increase in the Covid cases this fall it is apparent that it would not be safe for our congregation to have in person services. We will continue with our video taping of services and are planning on expanding them during the Advent season.

Paul Stansel, Moderator

October 31st – We are still planning on having our first in person church service on Sunday, November 22nd. To make this happen we have purchased 5 hand sanitizing stations, a large spool of rope to block off pews, many signs for social distancing & 2 sheets of lexan to make protective panels for in front of the pulpit and lectern. We have also hired a cleaning service to help keep the interior clean. We are planning to have communion with take home elements during the service. It is our goal to continue live services thru the Advent season.

HOWEVER – Although the above outlines our current plans, we all must be aware that with the current state of the pandemic EVERYTHING is subject to change. We will be guided by the Mass Conference of the UCC, the CDC’s advice, the State guidelines and the city’s Board of Health’s recommendations as we move forward. The safety of our parishioners is our top priority.

We will continue to tape services and make them available on Rollstone’s YouTube channel which can be easily accessed from the front page of our website. We also intend to record any live services we hold and make them available on our YouTube channel as quickly as possible.

Paul Stansel, Moderator

September 24th – Earlier this week the church’s leadership held several ZOOM meetings to review our plans for re-opening. After a careful review of our re-opening plans and discussion about them with the Fitchburg Board of Health, who is responsible for the local application of the Governor’s guidance on the Covid Pandemic, we have decided that it is not practical to hold safe in-person services in our sanctuary for the time being.

We plan to continue our video taping of the services for showing on Facebook and YouTube. In addition, if anyone would like to attend the taping we will make provisions for up to 20 people to be present during the taping of the service. These services are currently be held on Wednesday evenings at 6:30. If you would like to attend please contact Paul Stansel (978) 337-1608 for reservations and the latest update on the service’s status.

We apologize for the change in plans, but keeping all our members safe is our highest priority. We are hoping to be able to re-open Thanksgiving weekend if conditions allow.

If you would like more information about this decision or have thoughts or ideas on ways to improve our services please contact me anytime.

Paul Stansel, Moderator

September 16, 2020 – The church’s leadership have been meeting to plan for the re-opening of the church. Our first live service is planned for October 18th at 10am. The service will also be taped and available on the church’s YouTube page, Website & Facebook pages later that day. In preparation for the service we have engaged a cleaning service to clean & disinfect the sanctuary & other sections of the church. In line with safety guidelines from the state and the UCC there will be several noticeable changes to the service. These include:

  • The use of masks will be mandatory. Hand sanitizers will be available throughout the church.
  • Attendance will be taken so that if necessary we can do contact tracing.
  • The seating arrangement will be modified to increase separation between non-family groupings.
  • There will not be congregation singing. The music will be recorded or by Gavin playing the organ or piano.
  • There will not be a coffee hour.



Below is a 2 page survey to help your church leadership understand the thoughts of our parishioners on reopening. Please print it out and send it back to us by email at or by mail at Rollstone Church 199 Main St Fitchburg, MA 01420. Optionally, if you prefer, add a comment to the page at the end of this post. We appreciate your effort to help us determine the right way for the church to go.

Click HERE to download the survey

Note: This survey pdf uses “fillable fields”. Some applications will and some won’t work with them.


Below is the updated results of our re-opening survey with 5 more responses. Thanks to everyone who answered.


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