Thursday, March 12, 2020
See UUCWC’s COVID-19 Response for updates and further changes after this message was written.
Dear Congregation of UUCWC:
We live in challenging times. Whatever might have challenged us individually before, we are now all, across the nation, faced with the challenge of the Covid-19 pandemic. We will meet this together in spirit and with unwavering faith in our dynamic, committed community of UUCWC. We all may be feeling some intense emotions right now, which is completely normal. Let yourself feel them. Whether you feel overwhelmed or fatalistic, be kind and patient with yourself and others. This is an opportunity to find new ways to stay connected and support each other even as we spend more time physically apart.
The Board met Wednesday night and reached consensus that small groups of 14 or less are still welcome to meet at the church. We are canceling, postponing or re-imagining most events for the rest of March and April that involve 15 or more people. If your committee, ministry or group has an event planned for March or April at the church you will receive a separate communication. Groups that are associated with the church but are meeting off church grounds are strongly encouraged to follow these guidelines, as well.
Governor Phil Murphy recommended canceling all public events of more than 250 people, and this follows recent information from UUA president Rev. Susan Frederick-Grey (read more here). It is therefore the decision of the Board of Trustees and Staff of UUCWC that we should cancel the “in person” aspect of our service this Sunday, March 15th. There will be a Zoom version offered at 10am led by Rev. Sue. We will send a separate email with detailed information on how to access the Zoom service by computer or phone as well as an Order of Service. We will be experimenting with holding services via “Zoom” for the next few weeks. Please join us!
There is good news. The steps we can take to protect one another are simple: stay away and stay connected. Even though we will be practicing social distancing, we can continue to create emotional and spiritual connections. We are not taking a hiatus from church life, but re-imagining how we can we move forward with it in creative, nurturing ways. Ask yourself, “What is possible for me right now? What can I do in this moment that is simple and possible?” This is a time for all of us to express our UU values and beliefs by embracing a few unfamiliar processes to allow us to continue our deep commitment to UUCWC and each other.
We need moments of connection and community to look forward to. We’re hoping to reimagine Welcome Table Wednesday for March 25th and details will follow. What can you re-schedule in a fun, creative way for your committee, ministry, or faith group? How can you creatively develop moments for fellowship and care for others in our community? What brings you joy and how can you share that in a safe, healthy way?
The UUCWC Staff will continue to work, either in the office or from home. Please call ahead if you need to stop by the church for any reason other than scheduled meetings.
This is a time of challenge and opportunity. Together we can help make it manageable for our faith community and our world. We can stay away AND stay connected. Stay away from what is potentially harmful and embrace creatively how we can connect through it all. We are resilient – we are ready – we are together.
In faith and wishing you good health,
The UUCWC Board of Trustees and the UUCWC Staff