Homecoming Sunday, September 12—Reconnecting at Two Services!

Perhaps even more than usual in this time of pandemic limitations, we are ready to celebrate the familiar return to fall’s rhythms with Homecoming Sunday on September 12, offering two Sunday Services at the church, at 9:30 and 11:15. We will continue the livestream at 9:30 as well, and record it for later viewing as we have been doing. We have a growing and lively “virtual congregation” that offers outreach and engagement we are delighted to embrace.

Different this year, though, will be opportunities for our two in-person services to support varying priorities for safety and inclusion in gathering as we respond once again to heightened concerns around COVID-19, with variants taking hold locally and increasing risks to even the fully vaccinated.

Beginning with Homecoming Sunday, September 12, our two services will follow this pattern until further notice:

9:30–10:20 a.m. Worship Service – summary

The first service will be open only to those who are fully vaccinated. Proof of vaccination must be presented or on file before entering the building. Masks are required for all in the building. Please do not arrive before 9:05 a.m. so volunteers and staff can prepare the building and hospitality for you.

See below for full details about attending the first service, including check-in requirements and safe gathering protocols.

11:15 am – 12:05 p.m. Worship Service – summary

The second service is ideal for families, as childcare and programs for children and youth will be offered concurrently. The building will be open only to those who are fully vaccinated AND to children under age 12 who are currently ineligible for vaccination. Proof of vaccination for those age 12 and over must be presented or on file before entering the building. Children and youth go directly to their program areas following check-in. Elementary programs will be held outside, and children should be prepared for the weather. Masks are required for all in the building, with an exception for those under age 2. Please do not arrive before 10:50 a.m. for the second service, so volunteers and staff can prepare the building and hospitality for you.

See below for full details about attending the second service, including check-in requirements and safe gathering protocols.

Coffee & Conversations outside for both services

Before and immediately following the service, you’re invited to join others outside the upper and lower entrances for coffee and conversations. Outdoor seating is available in the Memorial Garden (upper level) and the Lower Plaza (parking lot level). Gluten-free or vegan cookies and juice boxes for the kids are available at the kitchen window in Nathan Johnson Hall.


Safe Gathering protocols for on Sundays

  • Face coverings are required for all during the service and while in the building as described in the detailed information for each service, below.
  • All attendees over age 12 must present proof of full vaccination before entering the building.
  • Children who are not yet eligible for vaccination may attend programs for their age groups while parents are on-site.
  • Attendance records created through the check-in kiosks provide us with the ability to do contact tracing should it be needed. It also helps us to see who is attending, which may inform our responsiveness to congregational engagement and safe gathering.
  • The Chapel (Sanctuary) is large enough to provide physical distancing for households. Nearby Nathan Johnson Hall is available as overflow space, which is also large enough to provide physical distancing. Livestreamed or recorded video & audio of the Worship Service will be available in Nathan Johnson Hall.
  • Both the Chapel and Nathan Johnson Hall have continual circulation of outside air.
  • Worship services have been shortened to approximately 50 minutes.
  • The Order of Service will be on-screen only. It may also be downloaded to mobile devices.
  • We have made the difficult decision to discontinue congregational singing and choirs at Sunday services and other indoor gatherings until further notice, following the advice of public health authorities and music professionals. Words to the hymns will continue to be on-screen. Please sing in your hearts, but not out loud.
  • Hymnals will not be distributed but may be picked up from racks in the Chapel or Nathan Johnson Hall if desired; leave these on your seat after the service concludes.
  • An offering will be announced during the service to support the work of the church and its many ministries. On second Sundays, the offering is donated to a community organization. Collection plates will be available as you exit the Chapel. Online giving is also available via Text to Give or UUC Connect.
  • The Chapel and Nathan Johnson Hall will remain vacant for at least 30 minutes following the conclusion of the worship service, except for volunteers and staff engaged in cleaning or preparing for the service. This supports full circulation of outside air.
  • If you have a medical condition that precludes you from being fully vaccinated or from wearing a face covering, we encourage you to take advantage of the livestream. Concerns may be addressed confidentially to one of the ministers.

AND – if you are ill, exhibiting any symptoms of COVID-19, have had a positive test result, or have recently been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or a positive test result, STAY HOME. Please review these guidelines before you return to gatherings at UUC.

If you have recently attended a gathering at UUC and have tested positive for COVID-19 or had a significant exposure to someone who has had a positive diagnosis or test result, please contact Byron Krystad (206-454-7723) in confidence so that we may initiate contact tracing as appropriate.

Remember – you are not alone. If you or a loved one is ill with COVID-19 and you need support or just someone to talk to, our UUC Care Team is here for you: email care@uuchurch.org or call our Care Line, (206) 454-7722. A trained Care Team member will return your call or email within 24 hours.


THE FULL DETAILS – First Service (9:30 – 10:20 am)

The 9:30 -10:40 am fully vaccinated first service requires a two-step entry process for all attendees:

  1. Proof of vaccination must be presented to a Greeter at the upstairs or downstairs entrance. The date of the final vaccine must be at least two weeks prior to the attendance date.
    • Those who have had their proof of vaccination verified at UUC for an earlier event are already in our “Fully Vaccinated” database and may proceed immediately to check-in (step two).
    • Those attending for the first time will be cleared to check-in once their vaccination status is verified.
  2. Upon entering the building on the upper or lower (parking lot) level, all attendees must check in at a kiosk.
    • This is a quick process for those already in the database; a Greeter will be available to coach as needed.
    • Those attending for the first time will need to provide contact information (email address and/or phone number). This is also a quick process, and a coach will be standing by.

Face coverings are required for all during the first service and throughout your time in the building.

Children and youth who are fully vaccinated and have checked in as above are welcome to join their families attending the first service. Childcare for Sprouts (infants and toddlers) and programs for children and youth are available only at the second service at this time.

Thank you for delaying your arrival to no earlier than 9:05 a.m. for the first service, so volunteers and staff can prepare the building and hospitality for you.

Click here to review Safe Gathering Protocols on Sundays.


THE FULL DETAILS – Second Service (11:15 am – 12:05 pm)

During the second service, the building will be open to those age 12 and above who are fully vaccinated AND to children under age 12 who are currently ineligible for vaccination. Elementary programs will be held outside, and children should be prepared for the weather. Childcare for Sprouts (infants and toddlers) will be upstairs in the Children’s Suite. Programs for youth (ages 12-18) will be in classrooms on the lower level of the building.

Plan ahead for Sprouts Care (Ages 0-4 1/2): Quality and loving childcare is available to our youngest community members, in our Sprouts classroom during the 11:15 a.m. service. Please note: following Health Department Guidelines, we are currently limiting Sprouts to 10 children. We ask that families who need Sprouts Care during worship reserve a spot ahead of time.

A two-step entry process is required for all ages:

  1. Proof of vaccination for those over age 12 must be presented to a Greeter at the upstairs or downstairs entrance. The date of the final vaccine must be at least two weeks prior to the attendance date.
    • Those who have had their proof of vaccination verified at UUC for an earlier event are already in our “Fully Vaccinated” database and may proceed immediately to check-in (step two).
    • Those attending for the first time will be cleared to check-in once their vaccination status is verified.
    • Families with unvaccinated children under age 12 may enter the building and check in at either the Children’s Suite on the upper level (Sprouts care) or opposite the elevator on the lower level (elementary and youth).
  2. Upon entering the building, all attendees must check in at a kiosk on the upper or lower level.
    • This is a quick process for those already in the database; a Greeter will be available to coach as needed.
    • Those attending for the first time will need to provide contact information (email address and/or phone number). This is also a quick process, and a coach will be standing by.

Face coverings are required for all during the service and while in the building for those over age 5. Children aged 2-5 will be supported in wearing facemasks while at UUC. Children under age 2 are exempt from wearing masks.

Unvaccinated children, including Sprouts (infants and toddlers) will not accompany their families in the chapel except for Intergenerational Services on the 3rd Sunday of each month. Protocols for these services are still in development and will be announced later.

  • Childcare for Sprouts (infants and toddlers) will be in the Children’s Suite upstairs, which has its own restroom.
  • Elementary programs (ages 5-11) will be held outside, and children should be prepared for the weather.
  • Programs for youth (ages 12-18) will be in the classrooms on the lower level of the building below the Chapel.
  • Elementary and youth programs will use the restrooms on the lower level of the building.
  • Programs for children and youth will meet for 50 minutes only. Children and youth of all ages should be picked up from their program areas promptly after the worship service concludes.

A private lactation room for parents and infants is available on the lower floor, and may be used any time.

Thank you for delaying your arrival to no earlier than 10:50 a.m. for the second service, so volunteers and staff can prepare the building and hospitality for you.

Click here to review Safe Gathering Protocols on Sundays.

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