Testing On-Site Sunday Services

UUC chapel, empty - July 2020 photo
Photo by Lara Swimmer Photography

Please note: our June 13 service will be online-only (and shortened) followed by our online-only Annual Congregational Meeting.

As Washington State and King County Public Health help us navigate towards “reopening” our church after so many months online only, we have been testing our systems and protocols for safely offering on-site Sunday services again. This has involved many conversations as we interpret the sometimes unclear or seemingly contradictory guidelines from health authorities and requirements of employers to provide safe workspaces, balanced within the context of broadly varying perspectives held by UUC members and friends.

We have realized there is no path forward at this time that will satisfy everyone. So we have opted for imperfect decisions. We have been trying things out with the help of test groups who are coming to the church on Sunday to help us discover what might work, and what might need to change. We expect that changes will be pretty constant—and that it’s important to give early notice of new ways as we “pivot” in response to rapidly moving road blocks and on-ramps. We want to bring you with us on this journey, and it’s going to be a bumpy ride! Thank you in advance for your patience, goodwill, and thoughtful feedback.

But here’s our plan for Summer Sundays at this point (yes, subject to change):

  • June 13 – UUC Annual Meeting Sunday, online-only. No activities in the building.
  • June 20 – On-site and online options. Registration for on-site attendance will be available beginning Tuesday, June 15.
  • June 27 – UUA General Assembly Sunday, online only. No activities in the building.
  • July 4 – Interdependence Day! Building open at 100% capacity. Small group meetings, including Sermon Discussion, UUC Info Sessions and more, at the church with online access for those off-site. Possible Coffee Hour celebration!

We anticipate continuing Sunday Services through September 5 as described for July 4. When we have the all-clear from Public Health and demonstrated willingness within the congregation, we will open Sunday Services to all, without advance requirements for registration.

2 Responses

  1. William Corriston says:

    Here at Horizon House we have up to 20 UUs meeting together in front of a big screen to participate in Sunday Services. The streaming and Zoom capabilities have allowed us to get together as community to fully participate and sing! We understand that streaming and Zoom will be available through the summer. As a group, we here at Horizon House strongly encourage that this capability continue in perpetuity. Not everyone here will be able to return to the church’s physical site every Sunday for a variety of reasons: illness, no transportation, vacations, etc. What a wonderful thing to be able to participate whenever and wherever we are!

    • Janine Larsen says:

      We agree, Bill! We are committed to continuing the online option for Sunday Services through the Live Stream, and not just for the summer. We are very much leaning into becoming a “dual-platform” church (on-site and online) and nurturing congregational life beyond our building’s wall. We also intend to encourage small group meetings and large events to be accessible online, and are investing in technology upgrades at the church to help this be seamless for our volunteer leaders to host and our members and friends to join wherever they are! It has been a silver lining to discover that virtual community is real community, too – and that it is not beyond most of us to use. Hugs to all of you at Horizon House!