Greetings UCU family,
First of all, let me extend my sincerest gratitude for your flexibility, patience, ingenuity, and support as we made some last-minute changes to our holiday services last week. It was not an easy decision to limit physical gatherings at the pinnacle of this season, especially after all weâ€™ve been through since March of 2020. Yet the proximity of these services to other in-home gatherings along with the omicron variantâ€™s high transmissibility led us to proceed with extra caution.
During the month of January, we want to continue to keep the number of those physically gathered in the sanctuary on the lower side. Therefore, if the livestream is accessible to you and you are able to join remotely, we encourage you to do so. (More information on connecting to the livestream is available in last weekâ€™s note.)
However, we recognize that COVID is not the only challenge to our sense of physical, mental, and spiritual health and connection. If you are unable to access the livestream, are in need of time spent with others, share a household with someone leading the worship service, or otherwise desire to attend in person, you are most welcome into the church building on Sunday morning, no questions asked. Masks, ventilation, sitting at a distance, and the lower number of gathered people will all help ensure this option remains available to those who most need or desire it. As always, if you are feeling ill, please stay home.
This same principle applies to the upcoming memorial service for Jane Andrews. Out of a desire to keep safe the family and others who will gather to remember her, we are asking as many as are able to access the service via livestream. (Service begins Thursday at 11:00 am.) We will also forego our cookie baking efforts, but will instead distribute special recipe cards in her honor.
Small groups and individuals may continue to use the church building with masks and distance, though Zoom meetings are encouraged when possible. We will discontinue nursery care during the month of January, and the Christian Ed team will be in touch with families to offer support. As previously planned, our Annual Meeting (Jan 23) and trustees budget presentation (Jan 16) will go forward in a hybrid format, allowing for both in-person and remote connection. More details on these events will follow.
We most certainly hope that these measures of additional caution will be short lived. The e-update, website, and Sunday morning announcements will contain the latest information as we move through this next chapter together.
As always, the re-entry team (firstname.lastname@example.org) and myself stand poised to address any questions or concerns. I give thanks that our commitment to loving God and neighbor will shine through these short-term sacrifices.
With gratitude and hope,
Pastor Jen & the Re-Entry Team (Dan & Liz Manz, Robin Simard, and Dianne Sisson)