(Updated at 1:45 PM on Friday, March 13)
The Coronavirus pandemic continues to spread, and we now have publicly confirmed cases of the COVID-19 infection here in Minnesota. Science, history, the wisdom of experts, and the experience of those in infection hot zones tell us many things.
Ultimately, we as a faith community have the ethical responsibility to do all that we can to protect the most vulnerable and slow the spread of the infection. The most prudent guidance encourages us to be proactive. Therefore, we will be closing the church to all congregational gatherings and public events effective immediately, and continuing for the indefinite future. This includes worship, children and youth religious education, ministry team meetings, small groups, etc.
It pains us to make this decision. We know how much it means for us to be together, and how we are stronger together than alone. We look forward to seeing each other in a variety of places and at many times. And yet, in this case, the people who know best tell us that continuing to meet in close proximity increases the burdens on people’s health and the healthcare system exponentially.
As this pandemic continues, we may not be together physically in our church building, but we will continue to care for each other and find creative ways to remain connected … to tend to our collective physical, emotional and spiritual well being … to feel supported and know that we are not alone in whatever fears or anxiety we may be feeling.
We are working on detailed plans for worshipping together online, supporting families with religious education, and continuing many of our meetings by video or audio conference calls. We are setting up phone call chains and bolstering our networks of care to ensure no one is isolated. As these and other details are formed, we will be sharing them by email and on UUCM Happenings.
Throughout this pandemic, please continue to follow situation updates and prevention recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Please know that your ministry team and this whole community is here for you. If you or someone in your family becomes infected, self-quarantined, or caught up in a travel ban, let us know. If you are experiencing economic hardship because of the virus, we can help. If your anxiety about this is overwhelming, please reach out. We are here for each other.
With love and care,
Rev. Terri Burnor, Rev. Meg Riley, Arif Mamdani
UUCM Interim Ministry Team
Rev. Terri: firstname.lastname@example.org
Rev. Meg: email@example.com
Church office: (952) 473-5900