So much of what we love to do together happens in close physical proximity – the sharing of food, our worship, the singing, holding hands, playing games, eating chocolate, sitting in circles, or embracing one another as we show our care and affection. Now, as always, and perhaps more than ever, we need each other.
At the same time, the projections of how our present public health emergency will develop means we need to imagine new ways of doing church, of staying connected, of being there for and with each other. Many of you have reached out to me already expressing your concerns. Others feel there is the possibility we may be overly cautious.
Last night, the board and our staff met to discern and decide on a course of action given the rapidly evolving situation. With a heavy heart, yet also an inkling of possibility, we came to the conclusion that we will suspend all in-person church activities, re-imagining as many of them as possible as online gatherings. We will be in touch with details about what that might look and feel like for groups large and small – with the invitation to help us be creative in the days and weeks to come.
As we journey through these uncharted waters, please be gentle and kind, especially in emails, especially on social media, and especially with each other. Now more than ever, it would be good to be good to each other, patient with each other, and generous and forgiving.
We are not alone as we navigate this transition. We are joined by many UU Churches around the country, including our sibling churches nearby. Most Concord area faith communities are actively discerning what to do. It is my hope that our decision will contribute leadership as the larger community works to slow the spread of COVID-19.
We have a church community that cares deeply about one another. I look forward to the many ways this will show and shine as we practice “Physical Distancing while Staying Connected.” Please reach out to one another on your phones, computers or by snail mail. Our staff team is here to support you get connected digitally and ready to listen to any thoughts, concerns and ideas you have.
With great love and great sadness,