Dear UUCWC members and friends,
It has been a great joy and privilege to lead services from the sanctuary these last two Sundays. I have imagined so many of you there with me, and dreamed of how it will be when we share that and remote spaces one day, too.
As you know, the Staff has been utilizing so much of the work of the Reopening Team to create Regathering Guidelines. For the last two weeks the church building has been available to small groups, and we’ve been preparing for multi-platform (in person and remote option) service for September 12. You will find those guidelines, as well as a shorter FAQ, here.
Unfortunately, you will see from these documents that in these last two weeks, the rise in COVID cases in both Bucks and Mercer counties surpasses our ability to remain open to small groups.
As of today, August 12th, the UUCWC building will once again be closed to members and friends; the staff will stagger our use of the building with no more than two of us, at a time.
As I write this, I need to remind myself, and so offer to you as well, that this does not mean we are shutting down again for another 15+ months. Most adults have access to a safety tool this time (vaccinations), and soon children will too. Additionally, our mindset on staff is not “if” but “how” we can gather. This is an important shift in possibility and intention that I want you to hold onto.
In fact, I will continue to lead services from the sanctuary on Sundays, given our ability to distance from the other four leaders needed. And just in case we don’t see dramatic positive changes before September 12, I am working with the worship staff to create an outdoor service for that Sunday (a remote service will be offered at the same time). We’re watching the metrics daily and making decisions in real time.
Again, these decisions are for right now; until the spike falls back down.
When we closed our doors in March of 2020 it was of course with elements of confusion and even some panic. Today, we communicate this closure with much more information – scary or frustrating as it may be. I know I have been dreaming, building toward, planning for a post-pandemic life. Today I am beginning to imagine what a “fluid future” might mean. To quote a colleague:
The next new world may be less “post” anything, and instead more fluid, more back-and-forth, more poly-spatial. The next new world will have times where we need to increase precautions, and times where we can move about more freely.
We are not moving into a world that is all exactly as it was before the pandemic, and we are not moving into a world that is exactly as it was in 2020 – and we aren’t even moving into a world that is the simple addition of these two together. This world remains emergent and evolving, and requires our willingness to stay adaptive, and creative, where we learn how to exhale even in the midst of these shifts.
I join you in grieving what we believed was so near. I hope you will join me in appreciating all that we’ve learned – our collective resilience, wisdom, creative joy even now – that makes this time unlike any other. We are here, now, together still.