The state of the world for the summer continues to be uncertain in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we don’t yet know how this is going to affect the conferences. What we do know is that the safety and well-being of everyone who comes to Star Island is our top priority. The staff, the board, and several volunteers from our community have been meeting several times per week over the past month, and we’ve been actively considering three scenarios:
- Open on time, and safely, for the season;
- Have a condensed, and safe, season with a later start date (rescheduling some conferences);
- Health risks preventing us from opening safely in 2020.
We hope you can join us Saturday, April 18, at 11:00 a.m. for a conference leadership check-in and Q&A via Zoom. In order to keep this meeting manageable, we ask that each conference limit its participation to one or two conference leaders and send Justina questions in advance (by Thursday). Contact Justina for call details.
We are keeping all Shoalers informed with updates to this page: starisland.org/2020-update
Donating Deposits and Fees
Some conferences and individual conferees have recommended that, should conferences not be able to happen on Star Island this year, we ask those conferees who have already registered to donate some or all of their room & board deposits and conference program fees to Star Island Corporation, if they are in a position to do so. This would be a big help to Star Island in what is shaping up to look like a very challenging year. While we don’t know what will happen with our 2020 season at this point, we appreciate that we need your conference’s input on this suggestion, and waiting to make a call won’t give any of us the time we need to implement a thoughtful plan. Thus, Mike Bray will be following up directly with each conference to gather your thoughts on this recommendation, and we are grateful to you for considering it.
SIC changed our refund policy so that conferees may cancel up to the day before the conference starts and receive a full refund of their room and board deposit. We are grateful to all conferences for matching this policy for program fees.
This is an important time for conference communities to connect and support one another. Consider ways you can support this, such as a virtual chapel service, an active Facebook group, Zoom get-togethers, and virtual workshops.