UUCFL Activities Affected by Local COVID-19 Response
UUCFL Update as of 3/13/20 - Update #2 about the COVID-19 Virus's impact on Services
Dear Members & Friends of UUCFL,
On behalf of your Board of Trustees, Committee on Ministry, and other staff and leaders of our congregation, I wish to make you all aware of decisions that we have made regarding our response to the COVID-19 virus outbreak in our community. We hope that you will find these measures more of a relief than a worry. We know that you have much on your minds, and we wish to take a few decisions off your plate while we protect our largely vulnerable congregation.
All events planned for this weekend (Workday 10-1 on Saturday; Choir and UU Sisterhood at 9:30, Services at 11, and Poetry class at 1 pm BUT NO FOOD!! on Sunday) WILL BE HELD AS PLANNED. Use your own wisdom based on your personal situation when deciding whether to attend. THE MEMORIAL FOR DOT MUISE IS POSTPONED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE!
AFTER MARCH 15, WE ARE SUSPENDING ALL LARGE UUCFL GATHERINGS THROUGH THE END OF THIS MONTH. This decision will be reassessed on March 31. This means that we are cancelling our worship services on March 22 and 29, the CUUPs meetings on March 19 and March 26, and the Ostara Ritual on March 21. Any small group of 12 members or less may meet at your own discretion. If you do meet, we encourage you to use all caution (minimize touch, sanitize your area, wash hands, do not share food, prop open doors, sit at a safe distance, have ill members stay home). The BOLD Justice Nehemiah Action scheduled for April 2 has also been postponed.
We will step up our online presence throughout this suspension of meetings to provide connections, inspiration, and updates. If you do not currently receive our weekly online newsletter, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org to subscribe. If you are on Facebook, make sure to join our UUCFL – BLOG group which is our more chatty and casual presence there. We will post frequent updates and blog posts from me and other leaders on our website.
An entirely new part of our online ministry will be the addition of Zoom meetings via the free-to-you services at www.zoom.us. We will be giving trainings on the use of Zoom this Sunday. You can access these face-to-face meetings via computer, tablet, and smart phone and both talk to and see your UUCFL friends. With a landline, you can call in and hear and talk. With a laptop or computer equipped with a camera and microphone you can log on, see, hear and talk. We can split large groups into smaller breakouts to allow for chatting. Other than Sundays March 22 and 29 at 11 Eastern, I plan to convene Zoom calls at other times of the week. Please check the home page of our website for a link to join and information about more meetings. Of course, we will also be checking in via phone. We’ll be asking small group leaders to be in contact with their members. I will be making calls. If you are the friendly sort who would like to help with this, please let me know.
For worship experiences, I wish to direct you to excellent weekly online services of the Church of the Larger Fellowship at www.questformeaning.org. This is the largest “congregation” in Unitarian Universalism with its own governing body, staff, and delegates to General Assembly. Its mission is to serve UUs who cannot attend in person services including prison and military ministries, those who do not live near a UU congregation, and those who are homebound. No group provides better and more inclusive online worship. It is available at 8 pm Eastern each Sunday night. Their web site is rich with inspirational resources as well. If you participate in the ministries of CLF, I hope you will donate as well.
Speaking of donating, life at UUCFL will go on during this period. There will still be cleaning, bookkeeping, yard work, electricity, insurance, and payroll even though you may not be personally going to the building. In some ways, we’ll all be working harder to bring new ways of connecting to you. PLEASE DO NOT FORGET TO FULFILL YOUR PLEDGES during this time. Mail it in; give via the link of our website home page; drop it off at a small group. We’ll have a few extraordinary expenses if this goes on for more than a couple of weeks, so an extra gift would be appreciated. Freely having received, we freely give.
And speaking of giving, please remember the needs of your neighbors. Who should not be going out and needs a healthier neighbor to pick up items at the store? If school is cancelled, is there a child who needs breakfast or a lunch companion? Do you know a college student who has been turned out of their dorm and needs a place to stay? Could you call a few members of UUCFL for us and check on them? Every little bit helps.
I know that these are worrying times, but these are times that require the higher functioning parts of our minds to be leading rather than the more fearful primal centers. I hope that you are carefully vetting any health information that you are receiving and taking good care of yourself. Choose wisely for your own situation. We have managed these kinds of health crises in the past and will again. And you are not alone.