Back in the spring, we formed an ad hoc “Transition Group,” an advisory group of UUCC members created to reflect on options and opportunities during the pandemic. The group includes Melanie Greeley, Michael Kelley, Sheila Lay, Claire Lukens and Lee Martinec and includes seniors, parents, and some in the high-risk category; it is staffed by Jay Leach.
In a meeting earlier this month, the group commended the professional staff’s efforts to create and sustain a robust virtual congregation. And, it also suggested that it is now time for us to explore the possibility of offering limited in-person activities. The members of this group considered at some length all of what would be required in order to offer such activities in the safest possible way.
The professional staff reflected on this counsel initiated by our members, grateful for their advice. In conjunction with what we’ve heard from our Transition Group, here, for now, are the proposed guidelines for such possible activities:
- All UUCC in-person activities will comply with local, state and national mandates and will be conducted in compliance with the best practices commended by the C.D.C. and other scientific/medical advice.
- There are two potential sites for in-person activities: the parking lot/grounds and Freeman Hall. No other portion of the building will be in use for now.
- Importantly, because we cannot assure adequate air circulation to create a safe environment, we are unable to use any of the restrooms in the building at this time. To assure compliance, doors to the office area and to the hallways will remain locked. There will also be no access to the kitchen.
- Gatherings on the grounds for adults will comply with safe distancing requirements. The parking lot is being marked to indicate where seating can be placed. Participants are encouraged to remain masked except when sharing in a meal outdoors. These gatherings will not have any access to the building.
- Gatherings on the grounds for children and youth will be consistent with what students in CMS schools are now experiencing: when actively engaged in socially-distanced, physical activities outside, masks will not be required. Otherwise, masks will be worn and at all times, social-distancing will be observed.
- Gatherings indoors may be held only in Freeman Hall. All participants must remain fully masked while inside the building and must comply with safe distancing requirements. Entering and departing must be staggered to assure meeting the safe distancing requirement while in the vestibule or on the stairway.
- We will only schedule one gathering at a time. Those wishing to request access to the grounds or to Freeman Hall will indicate that through a sign-up system.
- All groups will keep and submit a roster of participants. This is being done in an abundance of caution should we discover a need to engage in contact tracing.
- We will intentionally begin with very small activities (approximately a dozen participants). These may include ARESD offerings, Community Building opportunities, CYRE and Family Ministry activities or members meeting on the grounds for social interaction, conversation and shared meals.
- Any group wishing to schedule an in-person activity will be asked to agree to the guidelines. We expect each participant to join in assuring compliance during the group’s activity, aware that non-compliance will put this possibility in jeopardy for all of us.
We are hopeful that we can make this initial transition successful and can then move to expand the use of our building and grounds in ways that can continue to keep us all as safe as possible. In anticipation of moving toward this possibility, we invite and encourage your feedback. Contact a member of our professional staff or a member of the Transition Group should you wish to offer suggestions or to raise questions.
Thank you for the continued generous support of the UUCC that makes all of what we are offering and will offer possible.