To the editor:
On Saturday, July 25, a memorial service for Philip Bues, a treasured member of our community, was held. You may have noted it if you drove by the Tendai Buddhist Institute on Route 295 in East Chatham that afternoon. We knew this would draw a large number of people as not only did Philip have a large family, he was well known in many circles — from the Dharma Center, the Canaan Congregational Church, to Trout Unlimited, Canaan Conservation Club, the Lebanon Valley Protective Association and Community Hospice, among others. The service was a multifaith and healing coming together for many who have lost loved ones during the pandemic.
Tendai Buddhist Institute has completed and complied with New York Forward Business Safety Plan. The Business Affirmation Safety Plan is available for review on the premises as required. Those of us who planned the event took great care in following precautionary guidelines: without exception everyone wore masks, except while speaking at the podium. We grouped family members together when seated and distanced others. There were markers set at six-foot intervals where people stood in line while registering and in food lines. People may have been without a mask from the car to the line, but masks were required once in line. There were masks available for anyone who did not have one, as well as hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes widely accessible. We took care in serving food and drinks, with no one except masked and gloved people serving. We held the event out in the breezes under a tent. In advance, we consulted with the local code enforcement officer and received a go ahead, despite confusing state and county guidelines. Every person who attended provided contact information, so follow up will be facilitated should anyone report any virus symptoms in the near future.
We are grateful that we were able to hold this event and we appreciate the understanding of the community. We remembered and lifted up all those for whom a service such as this was not possible, and their loved ones who miss them so much. It was not just a service in memory of Philip, but for all of us.
Rev. Paul Monshin Naamon
Rev. Lois Rose