Members of the UUCCH Board of Trustees, Covid Response Task Force and staff met on September 8 to review current Covid data and the results of the congregational survey, to make a decision about whether to gather for in-person Sunday services at the Moorestown Community House. The Covid environment has changed substantially since July when we thought it might be safe to gather in person this fall.
The plan to meet in Moorestown has been canceled. Reasons include the local escalation in Covid infection rates with the Delta variant; the increased exposures as children return to school; and the opinions of the congregation as expressed in the recent survey. The survey indicates clearly that a majority of UUCCH members and friends do not believe we should move ahead with the Moorestown plan; in fact, very few indicated that they would attend, and many believe there is too great a health risk for the congregation to meet in person.
So we will not be renting the space at Moorestown Community House this fall, as the health and safety concerns in the midst of the continuing pandemic outweigh our desire to worship together.
However, we do recognize that some of our members are experiencing significant emotional distress in not being able to gather in person for Sunday services, and their needs are clearly not being addressed by the Sunday afternoon gatherings or other church events. Completion of the Sanctuary is a few months in the future; we cannot gather in Fellowship Hall due to the construction that is now under way in the building; and we do not have a way to zoom out services from any of our accessible outdoor spaces, and we want to continue to provide access for those not able to attend in person.
With that in mind, the staff and worship leaders will examine the feasibility of zooming services from another space in the church that would accommodate in-person attendance by a small number (10-20) of people each week, by reservation, which is about the number indicated by the survey results. We will keep you posted as that exploration and planning move forward.