On March 15, 2020 we held our last in-person service at UUCCH as we quickly pivoted in a matter of days to online services and went into pandemic mode.
Now, as we being to move into a ‘new normal’ and peel back the layers of our ‘Covid Onion’, things seem like a whirlwind. Last Friday, there was an announcement in the Order of Service that we would be officially reopening the Church grounds for ‘Sunday’s at the Arb’. In the communication sent last Friday we specified that masks would be required.
Just yesterday (5/24/21) Gov. Murphy announced that the mask mandate will be lifted for most businesses on Friday, May 28.
Given the new guidance by the Governor, the Covid Task Force (established in July 2020) will advise in the article below that masks will be optional for vaccinated people during Sundays at the Arb.
As we move to pivot back, while maintaining the online connections that have managed to keep so many of us scattered across the country and time zones together, we as a staff and as the Covid Task Force appreciate your grace and understanding.
In addition to the rapidly changing guidance from the state and federal government, we have the added constraint of major Sanctuary reconstruction and the usage of Fellowship Hall as storage and/or overflow from the aforementioned construction. Fellowship Hall will not be open and available as it was at the start of the pandemic while construction takes place.
This article has been circulating amongst other UU congregations and does a wonderful job at addressing the various concerns we have upon reopening. It was written by C.B. Beal, who many UUCCH members met in person here on campus at the last OWL training.
Some excerpts because it’s a long article.
“[W]e closed to protect the most vulnerable, and the most vulnerable now are adults who can’t get vaccinated, adults who always had difficulty accessing our in-person worship in our buildings, and our youngest children. In speaking of the vulnerability of children, we are talking about every young family who is part of our congregation now, as well as families that may be drawn to our saving message of Beloved Community.”
“We are getting so close to being able to open safely we can taste it. But we have to be careful not to spit out other people in the process.
Be excited about creative possibilities as we move forward carefully. We need to move with thought and intention toward what is safer rather than embracing something as “immediately safe for most of us.”
“We don’t have to suddenly pivot. We can bend and reopen in a way that will embrace all with inclusion, equity, and justice. We co-create Beloved Community so that All of Us Means All of Us in a meaningful, liberatory way. So we all get free together.
Amen. Blessed be. May it be so because we make it so.”
We are excited to return to a version of normal. We are also excited to continue to foster the connections we bridged over the past 15 months. We will continue to follow the guidance and work just as hard as ever to include every single person that is part of the UUCCH community.
Church Administrator and a member of the UUCCH Covid Task Force