8/27/2021

A special update from the Gathering Guidelines Team

Dear members and friends,

Like many of you, we are disheartened with the risk of variants, and to be planning for a very different fall than we had hoped. While we wish we could gather more fully in our building, we know that our collective health is the most important. Luckily, we have many creative people who are imagining ways to stay connected – outdoors, online – through these weeks.

This past week, the UUA provided updated guidance for our congregations. You can see their full update and guidance linked below. It includes a metric reference to CovidActNow.org, which provides information on local community risk. Currently, Olmsted and Rochester Metro are both in the “Very High” risk category. This means that indoor gatherings need to be limited, and outdoor gatherings need to include mitigation, requiring masks. Here are a few notes for the coming weeks:

Special In-Person Events are being planned for September, including:

– Welcome Back Picnic – September 12 at Slatterly Park

– Outdoor Services – September 19 & 26 at the Olmsted History Center
(we plan to hold our annual Water Communion service September 19)

Other programming includes the following:

– Sunday Services will continue to be live-streamed at 9:00 am.

– Sunday Social Hour will continue in the upper parking lot each week following the service. Masks are required when in close proximity to others.

– Forums and classes are being planned to be held online this fall, including weekly  Wednesday forums..

– Children and Youth will have occasional gatherings, outdoors, as weather allows. Monthly Spirit kits will begin again in September, and outdoor activities will occur on Sundays when we begin in-person attendance. For more information contact Amy Nelson at dre@uurochmn.org 

– Small groups are encouraged to meet online or outdoors, and if meeting in the building, must maintain distance and wear masks (contact the office for more info.)

– To sign up for small groups or learn more ways to connect, visit https://uurochmn.org/community/ or contact office@uurochmn.org.

More details on all these events to come.  For now, please reach out if you’re seeking ways to connect, and we will continue to monitor community risk and imagine possibilities to stay connected. We hope to gather with many of you in these weeks, and we are ready to expand ways to gather in-person as risk decreases.  We will all need to continue to use the skills and tools – of technology and soul – that we’ve built this past year to carry us through these weeks. We will do so, in grace and hope, together.

We are grateful for the creativity and good spirits of many in our church helping us find hope, connection – and to be reminded you are beloved!

Guidance from the Unitarian Universalist Association:

Press release/President’s statement:
https://www.uua.org/pressroom/press-releases/guidance-delta-variant

Leadership resources:
https://www.uua.org/leadership/library/delta-guidance

In care,
Gathering Guidelines Team
Rev. Luke Stevens-Royer
Joe Lobl
Erika Beetcher
Ann Hutton, President