Updated: Mar 26
As we face a health emergency of a magnitude perhaps unseen in over a century, the Board of Trustees and Rev. Renfro of the UUCBV have been monitoring advice from government agencies, the UUA, other UU churches and others with expertise on the COVID-19 virus. A small group of Jerry Wagnon, Joyce Langenegger and Rev. Donna has been formed to make decisions about best practices for our church.
The small group has come to the difficult decision that we will discontinue live worship services at the Hillel beginning this Sunday, March 15, until further notice. Rev. Renfro, Joe Daigle, and others are working to make recordings, if not live-streaming, of worship available on an electronic platform and will announce when that is available. In addition, we are working on ways to conduct meetings with remote participation and evaluating the best electronic programs for that purpose. Our goal is to allow congregational life to continue, albeit in a new form, through the coming weeks or months.
Pastoral Care Connections
Please let us know if you have decided or are ordered to self-quarantine and whether you might need any food or other supplies while staying home. Also let us know if you are ill, have tested positive, and/or have been hospitalized. You may reach out to our Caring Committee chair Eleanor Ford, firstname.lastname@example.org, cell 979-218-6192 or to Rev. Donna Renfro email@example.com, cell 732-513-8867. Because some may feel isolated, we may need more helpers for Caring Committee who can make visits, deliver supplies, make a phone call, assist with technology, and help those who may not be going out at this time. If you would like to help, please contact Eleanor or Rev. Renfro. We are also thinking of other ways to connect – including online story times, virtual coffee hours, covenant group check-ins, playing online games together, and more. If you have ideas or wish to help, please reach out to Rev. Donna.
Looking beyond our immediate procedures at the church, we must also consider our UU Principles as we confront a larger society filled with anxiety and fear. The most vulnerable groups become the hardest hit by such crises. Anti-Asian sentiment is being openly expressed. We must promote the notion that we are all a part of an interconnected web of life and of societal bonds.
If you are over the age of 60 or have underlying health problems as communicated in reliably sourced media, you should begin social distancing, including staying home from gatherings of multiple persons.
We also know that younger folks may get sick and could also be carriers, so social interactions can compromise otherwise healthy people. The communicability of this virus means that we should all consider practicing “social distancing” to prevent the spread.
Let’s be clear: we trust you as adults to take care of yourself, to know when you’re sick or need to self-quarantine. AND the reason this virus is spreading so quickly is that folks don’t necessarily know if they have been exposed and are often out in public/in close social interactions after they have been infected. We don’t know how many people are actually infected – because of how this virus spreads, incubation periods, and lack of testing, the number is likely much higher than is being officially reported. Social distancing is not about distrusting individuals – it’s about a community mindset – it’s making sure we are taking care of all of us.
This congregation is a beloved community, and we are all in this together – let’s take care of one another with kindness, love, and comfort.
Jerry Wagnon, Board President, UUCBV
Joyce Langenegger, Committee on Ministry, UUCBV
Rev. Donna Renfro, Minister, UUCBV