What you can expect on September 12
Online Worship Note: If you would like to continue attending worship online, please check your Friday Update email for the Zoom link and follow the usual steps to connect. For technical support, text your name to 612-486-2656 (or call) and a member of our team will help you.
Fred Hulting and Rev. Lisa Friedman
We are looking forward to welcoming everyone back this weekend for the multi-generational Ingathering Service that marks the traditional start of the UUCM program year!
As discussed in previous articles, the church has moved to Phase 3 of our COVID-19 building reopening plan, which allows regular use of the building with safety protocols still in place. Please know that the Board, the staff, and our volunteers are all working hard to offer a multi-platform worship experience and to minimize the risks association with gathering in-person at the church.
In creating a new hybrid in-person and online version of Sunday mornings, we are working through many difficult decisions. These decisions are grounded in the values of safety, inclusion, and consent (see Rev Lisa’s video). They are informed by MN regulations, UUA recommendations, and CDC guidance. And they reflect the feedback that over 60 Members and Friends provided during the recent survey. We heard that many of you are looking forward to returning in-person and being in community. We also heard that you have concerns about the spread of the virus and want us to take precautions (e.g., masking). We are planning accordingly.
For this Sunday, September 12, our Worship Arts team will offer a wonderful in-gathering service in a multi-platform format for all generations. We are starting simple and focusing on the basics to ensure a safe and successful first hybrid service. As we gain more experience, we will be able to add back more to our Sunday morning. So just because we run the service a certain way this week, it does not mean that is how it will always be. For those that are attending in person, here is what you can expect:
- The UUCM Board of Trustees and Rev. Lisa Friedman strongly recommend the COVID-19 vaccine for everyone that is eligible. This is the most important action we can all take for the safety of our community, especially our youngest children.
- Masks will be required in the building. We will be making a few exceptions for speakers and performers while they are on stage and at a distance from those in attendance. Masks will be available for you if needed.
- There will be no capacity restrictions. All are welcome to attend in person.
- We will encourage social distancing and do what we can to manage the flow of people in our common areas. For example, the pitchers for joining of the waters will be located outside, and we will have multiple doors open to the sanctuary.
- However, if a large number of people attend, we may not be able to enforce social distancing in the sanctuary.
- We will not be serving coffee and food after the service and we will encourage people to spread out to visit with each other outside or in the larger space of the sanctuary.
For those who are uncomfortable attending in person, we will continue to offer a Zoom option, which will include live video from the sanctuary.
It is important to note that list does not include new protocols for our religious education program for children and youth. That program does not start until September 19, and we will share more details next week. We are being particularly careful with our children since they do not yet have the opportunity to be vaccinated.
If we all work together, we can make this Sunday a success. Thank you in advance for following the rules and guidance.