Message from Jon: Building Closed
Dear Members and Friends:
Last Sunday I announced to those in attendance at church that we would suspend Sunday services and church school for the month of March. Due to health safety recommendations against gathering in large groups, we would not meet at UUC but hope to provide online content for church school classes and Sunday worship services. Staff are working this week to create that content (lesson plans for classes and music/meditation/sermon for worship) and to determine the best electronic means to share these experiences with you (via livestream or recorded programming over the internet, or by using Zoom Meetings, a user-friendly video-conferencing tool).
By the end of this week please look for information from us about ways we can stay connected in small and large groups during this coronavirus outbreak.
Not having services in March also means that we have had to postpone our building rededication activities for the weekend of March 22 and the launch of our annual giving campaign which had been scheduled to start last week. Our special guest for the rededication services, the President of the UUA, the Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray, was totally supportive of our decision to postpone activities. It is likely we will reschedule that event for September when she can join us in Seattle. We have also decided to ‘pause’ the launch of the giving campaign so that we may spend our time and energies now keeping caring attention on each other. We can wait until April to refocus on the campaign, if that seems like better timing for us all. Look for the special announcement from Katie Renschler and Lora Poepping, co-chairs of the campaign.
There are also a couple of other bits of related news I need to share. We have decided that it would be wisest to cancel all building use for the remainder of the month. Staff are contacting their respective groups to assist them in this effort. We are also encouraging all church groups, teams, and committees to meet via technology, including Zoom meetings.
The church office will be closed, and staff working from home. Individual church staff, including the ministers, will still be available by phone and email, and by appointment either in person, by phone, or video call. Please be in touch with us!
This means that we will be a virtual church for a couple of weeks. While these decisions have been made in the interest of protecting each other, there is some emotional fallout as a result. I felt a great sense of grief once we decided not to have Sunday services. I realized how much it meant to me to see and greet you each week, and that I counted on that contact as an affirmation of our being in community. I can only assume that many of you will feel the same way. But I am comforted by the fact that this is a temporary situation and that we will be all the more eager to gather together again when it is safer to do so.
Stay tuned for updates. Be well!
Rev. Jon M. Luopa