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UUA Newsletter February 2022


As February draws to a close and we approach the second anniversary of the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, many of us are exhausted. We recognize the worry, uncertainty, and devastating loss of loved ones. For BIPOC UUs, the disproportionate impact of trauma and the deaths of so many incredible leaders have been especially painful. Despite the difficulties we have endured, we have not been alone. We have found creative ways to support each other in deep care and in the nurturing of our communities. Early in 2020, the Unitarian Universalist Association consulted with health officials and many others to provide clear guidance to congregations when little other information was available or couldn’t be trusted. Now, as local infection rates trend downward and decisions about in-person gatherings are being made locally, the UUA has shifted to offering strategies to support congregations in mitigating risk. In this newsletter, you’ll find new and revised resources to guide local decision-making as well as additional materials for inspiration, connection, and sustenance.


Love,


Susan

Rev. Dr. Susan Frederick-Gray spends her days strengthening the thriving mission of this faith. In her spare time, she enjoys being with her family and playing with their dog, Hercules.


In this call to worship from Side With Love’s 30 Days of Love Sunday worship service, Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray affirms, “However you come to the work of being human right now, as you are willing and able, I invite you to bring your spirit. Lean into the power and strength of your wider faith community. You are welcome here. You are precious.”

As the pandemic has evolved, the UUA has evolved in the guidance it provides to congregations. The previous metrics-based resources have been revised to present up-to-date strategies that can help mitigate risk when meeting in person. The decision of whether to meet in person is now best made at the local level, and the UUA is committed to supporting that process.

Seven strategies form the foundation of the UUA’s new approach to supporting congregations in making decisions about in-person gatherings. Turn to this information when your congregational leadership discerns—based on your community, your building, and your people—that some in-person meetings, programs, and worship can be adequately safe.

Virtual and multiplatform methods for connecting in community—whether for worship, events, or committee meetings—are here to stay for many Unitarian Universalist congregations and communities. There are many ways to imagine incorporating online options for in-person events, and the UUA continues to maintain an updated library of resources online.

As Unitarian Universalists, we find hope and sustenance in affirming our part in the larger interdependent web of life. Beyond our congregation’s walls, beyond our local community, we can connect with so many others working for love and justice. Make that connection today with Side With Love’s 30 Days of Love Sunday worship service.

ICYMI: UUA regional staff work closely with congregations, partnering with them in the ups and downs of this journey through COVID. When one regional staff member shared how telling our personal stories with COVID can help us cope with living through this pandemic, it rang true for many of our Facebook followers. We hope you will find it helpful, too.

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