Saturday, June 6, 2020
Dear Members and Friends of Chalice,
Last Sunday some church’s buildings reopened in our State and around the country. As I shared during last Sunday’s sermon, we at Chalice are in the fortunate position of being able to continue living into our mission virtually while keeping everyone safe. Though our buildings are closed, our Fellowship is very much open and reaching those who cannot attend in person – whether they are immune compromised, elderly, or unable to get to the Fellowship. We are holding fulfilling Worship, Singalongs, a weekly Meditation and Check-in, Family Chapel, RE groups, Chalice circles, doing justice work and more, all virtually.
The Board and I have looked very carefully at what reopening the buildings should look like for Chalice. We are committed to science based and phased plans that take the health and well-being of our whole congregation in mind. We are concerned about how we can best serve our mission and our whole community while not endangering one another. The UUA is encouraging congregations to keep their buildings closed until May 2021 until treatments or vaccines are available for COVID-19. We are taking into account the UUA guidelines, our State and County recommendations, the CDC, our insurance company’s suggestions, as well as what our local UUA staff and other congregations are recommending. We are also observing other churches’ unfortunate experience with opening. Here is a graphic from the CDC about a church in Arkansas that stayed open.
The most important question for Chalice is whether we are living into our mission now? Yes, we are. Would we meet it as well with all the restrictions currently necessary for worshipping in person – like 20 – 25 people max in the Sanctuary, no singing, everyone having their temperature taken, sitting 6 feet apart with masks on, and endless disinfection protocols? The answer is a resounding ‘no’. And yet, we are currently very much living into our mission to “nurture spiritually courageous people who transform the world through justice and compassion” with our Sunday virtual worship and our many groups and activities available throughout the week. So, for now, our buildings remain closed until Labor Day. At that time the Board will reassess the safety of gathering. Our commitment is to show unity by not leaving anyone behind, and to care for our whole community.
Thank you for understanding and for your faith as we seek to serve this community in the best way possible.
Please join us tomorrow at 10 am for our service on the UU spiritual journey and how we respond to this moment in time. We look forward to being together virtually.
In faith and fellowship,
Reverend Nica Eaton-Guinn & The Chalice Board