When the Reopening Task Force got close to concluding our work, we all agreed that what we were deciding was going to work “unless something changes.”  Well, something has changed.  And because Delta COVID + unvaccinated folks have changed the game, we’re changing ours.

Instead of September 12 as our reopening target date, we will now aim for December 5 as our first in-person worship service.  UNLESS SOMETHING CHANGES.  (See a theme?) I’m actually a bit pessimistic that we’ll hit that target because of the vaccination rate of children under 12, but we’ll go with that date for now and see what happens.

This decision was made by UUCA’s senior staff (Rev. Cathy, Rev. Claudia, and me) and is in keeping with the UUA’s “Guidance for Gathering in Covenantal Community”:

As part of our covenantal commitment to care for all, we encourage congregations to maintain a culture of masking while indoors regardless of vaccination status, and to take time to listen deeply to one another’s concerns and fears before making any decisions that might put members of the community at risk, either physically or mentally, with a continued practice of inclusion, covenant, consent, and care for each other.

This decision is for in-person worship services only.  We are not “locking down” the building (yet?) so we are still allowing groups to meet in any room on campus, although we strongly encourage picking the largest room available for your meeting time.  All buildings have had their HVAC systems upgraded with additional filtering and UV-C light treatments, so we feel that the rooms are aired out enough for group meetings.  However, it’s important to practice inclusion, covenant, consent, and care for each other.  Some of us are perfectly happy being unmasked in a room with other individuals, vaccinated or not, others would require everyone to be vaccinated, others will want to have everyone masked, and others won’t go inside just yet.  So as a leader of a group, please get consent from everyone before finalizing a decision.  Remember that the church Zoom account is always ready for action.

As for our in-person November 6 auction, Enchanted Garden, it will now be a somewhat Dis-Enchanted Garden on Zoom.  Same date, different “venue.”  PLEASE help our fabulous auction team by providing donations and attending the eventThese hard-working volunteers deserve your support.

As for worship services between now and December 5 (or beyond), they will all be live online at 11am with a recording available on Monday morning.  Sometime this fall we will switch from live-on-Zoom to live-on-YouTube once our amazing A/V techs learn how to use our fancy new video equipment in the Sanctuary.  We will also be scheduling outdoor events in September, October and November so watch the Weekly eNews or our Facebook groups or our website for announcements (which you should be doing anyway—just sayin’)

Linda Topp, Director of Administration