Update from the Pandemic Policy Team, March 24, 2021
- We are guided by deep compassion, desire for inclusion and equity, and recognition that we are part of an interdependent web where our choices impact much more than ourselves. We encourage you to read the UUA’s Guidance on Gatherings which informs our faith-based response.
- On March 23, we updated our Campus Use Policy which governs when and how in-person gatherings will be permitted.
- Indoor gatherings will be allowed as soon as at two things happen: 1) we improve our ventilation system and/or augment it with other air purity mitigation measures and 2) transmission in Merrimack County declines to Moderate or Minimal (with possibility of meeting during Substantial transmission for vaccinated people.)
- Because vaccinations are now in progress, we added a section that allows gatherings at different transmission phases if 100% of attendees are vaccinated. At this time, there are no exceptions for those who can’t be vaccinated such as children or those with health contraindications. There are no exceptions for those who had a negative COVID test or previous COVID infection.
- COVID transmission is still “Substantial” (red). Therefore, no indoor gatherings are permitted unless 100% of attendees are vaccinated AND we resolve our ventilation/air purity questions. We are hopeful that transmission might decline this spring to allow small in-person gatherings.
- Hybrid Participation: We value inclusion of people who can not or prefer not to attend in-person gatherings due to COVID. Therefore, a virtual option will be provided for any gathering upon request of one or more person(s).
- Small outdoor gatherings are allowed in the front courtyard, back patio, or grove. Contact Heidi Page (email@example.com) to learn more if you are interested in holding an outdoor meeting.
- We are actively working to improve the ventilation/air purity in Fellowship Hall, so it will be ready for gatherings as soon as transmission declines. We are focusing on Fellowship Hall because it already has some ventilation (providing about 2 air exchanges per hour) and it can be configured in a variety of ways for meetings, meditation groups, or hybrid worship.
- Rentals: When we are in Phase 3, we will reopen for recurring support groups, but not for new rentals. New rentals will not resume until Phase 1.
Our Pandemic Policy Team is developing policies and procedures that balance the desire to experience church activities face-to-face with the need to keep our congregants as safe as possible. The PPT includes:
- Rev. Michael Leuchtenberger (Senior Minister)
- Rev. Lyn Marshall (Minister of Lifespan Faith Development)
- Lea Smith (Director of Membership & Administration)
- Heidi Page (Office Administrator)
- Jim Schlosser (Board of Trustees)
- Belinda Nerl (Operations Leadership Team)
- BJ Entwisle (Member at Large)
- Jeff Fetter (Member at Large)
We know you miss each other, you miss our sacred church building, and you want to gather ASAP. The PPT has been meeting regularly since September and we have plans for safer ways to gather when the time is right.
Science is showing that outside gatherings are relatively safe. If your group meets the criteria for outdoor church events, you are welcome to email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an event in the courtyard, back patio, or grove. Of course, we ALWAYS require masks and physical distancing.
We’re also working towards hybrid gatherings where some can be present physically, while those who don’t feel safe to gather can join virtually in ways that help everyone see, hear, and connect with one another. Providing multiple ways to participate is vital for respecting the inherent dignity of each one of us. We are building the technological infrastructure for it and we can’t wait to see how this helps us grow in love, service, and connection.
Pandemic Policies and Procedures
New policies will be added here as they are developed.
Certain groups may meet outside on the grounds according to our Outside Meeting Rules. — updated on 12/29/2020
COVID Campus Use Policy 1.2 — published 3/24/2021