The most important things in life, as you know, cannot be bought and one of those is a sense of ‘community’. People experience ‘community’ variously – one way is by participating in a church.
Another way is by going to a coffee house with or without friends. So how is ‘community’ experienced variously in Aptos ? How’s it working or not working where you live and work?
Churches — which typically meet once a week — are one way people experience ‘community’. Below are 3 examples of how ‘community’ is currently celebrated variously by three Aptos, CA churches. Some ways work better than others at creating ‘community’.
1) In some churches, people attending services look like masked bandits, everyone stays carefully 6′ apart and most leave the premises as soon as services are over. No singing and no touching or hugging others is encouraged.
2) Church attendees connect only via the Internet with Zoom type meetings offered. All in-person church related meetings which existed prior to the pandemic have been cancelled.
3) Some thing different from the above two. Some people wear masks and most do not. Plenty of chit chat and ‘how are you?’ conversation afterwards with flexible social distancing. Things sort of start on time with considerable attention to the needs of children. People recognize and welcome each other by name. Lots of families are present with lots of children interacting informally. Consideration is given about issues related to the pandemic with few hard and fixed rules.
Resurrection Catholic fits into category #1. In-person services continue at Resurrection Catholic in Aptos, CA. Resurrection Catholic now goes out of doors to celebrate community, It celebrates services outdoors during the week (Tues. -Fri at 10 am) and also out of doors on weekends (Sat at 5 pm and Sun. 10:15 am). You can also attend services from home via Zoom or YouTube. Important: For in-person services, be sure to bring and use your mask at Resurrection; you may have difficulty knowing who is standing 6 feet away from you. People leave services without much chit chat. You need to make a reservations ahead of time to attend Sat. 5 pm and Sun. 10:15 services. Click the link in the paragraph above for reservations.
St. John’s Episcopal fits into category #2. There’s still no in-person services held by the Episcopalians in Aptos, CA. Located across Highway #1 off State Beach Drive (next to the new skateboard park in Aptos) , the Episcopalians offer Zoom services only to create ‘community’. For their most recent Zoom service, click HERE. There’s no mention in St. John’s most recent e-news when in-person community services will occur. No in-person meetings of any kind are happening currently. Mother Tracy puts out a weekly email concerning worship services for the coming week.
Trinity Covenant Church (TCC) fits into category #3. Trinity Covenant offers several ways to connect on Sundays either in-person or via Zoom on the internet. Trinity Covenant, located just off highway #1 and Seascape Blvd, holds weekly service on Sundays at 10 AM.
Services ‘sort of’ start on time. Cars and people float into the church parking lot and building with the service largely starting close to 10 AM. Well behaved children get up during the service to get paper, pencils and crayons. People sit (some wear masks, many do not) either inside the building, outside at patio tables, in their cars in the parking lot or hear the service from home via Zoom. There’s live music with singing and Troy Martin, the pastor, preaches from a raised area in the auditorium. Families sit together (lots of children) with substantial social distancing in between families. People ‘say hi’ and chat informally after services. Newcomers are recognized and welcomed readily. A number of church families recently returned from time together at Big Sur, CA.
And what about how ‘community’ as experience in coffee houses in Aptos? Pacific Coffee Roasting Co comes first to mind with Norma Jean’s Coffee a close second. Yes there are plenty of other coffee houses.
The Pacific Coffee Roasting House keeps all things flexible. There are a few tables inside. You used to be able to bring your own mug and now you cannot. You have to wear a mask inside but not outside on the patio. Located near the Aptos library, next door to Frank’s Pharmacy and within walking distance of a Best Western motel, you will hear various languages spoken on the patio outside Pacific Coffee Roasting Co. Most people do not wear masks as they share conversation, food and company. With a Zamian’s restaurant a stone’s throw away the patio area attracts people throughout the day. It’s a popular place in Aptos, CA to experience ‘a sense of community’ without masks.
written by Cameron Jackson DrCameronJackson@gmail.com