Plans for COVID-Safe Worship for Fall 2021

(updated 10-7-21)

Our 2021-22 Covid Safety Team (Florence C., Jeanie H, Mary H., and Cathy S. with advisors Dan G., Rev. Susanne, DRE Katie Campbell, and Music Director Tara Tresner-Kirsch) continue to regularly review the local COVID numbers, listen to congregation feedback, and consult with the Worship Committee to determine appropriate safety protocols for indoor and outdoor worship. Currently, we are continuing to offer a hybrid worship on Sunday mornings, welcoming small groups of in-person worshippers who sign-up online ahead of time and also offer access through Zoom. We are also continuing to create additional outdoor events.

Primarily guided by the current UUA Guidelines for Gathering, this is our updated plan for safe and meaningful worship this fall:

  • Increased Limited Capacity (11 family groups: 8 pods of up to 4 and 3 pods of up to 8) for in-person worship. Here is an online signup sheet. People in the Sanctuary will practice social distancing (seating chart) and wear well-fitting masks (except for the minister when speaking from the pulpit, which will be more than 15 feet from the nearest congregant). We expect those who can be vaccinated to be vaccinated.

  • People may self-select to be in a pod of up to 4 or 8 with others they feel safe sitting close to but must make arrangements prior to signing up with the online signup sheet.

  • Masks: A KN95 mask will be given to every person entering the Sanctuary (including children) to wear while in the building.
  • Improved Ventilation: Two large air filters are being added to the Sanctuary. They change the air approximately three times per hour in addition to any intrinsic ventilation in the space. The units are on wheels so they can be moved into Parish Hall as needed. A carbon dioxide sensor will also be
    installed. In addition, three smaller air filters will be placed in the Library, the Office, and the Multipurpose Room to improve ventilation in those spaces. If these air filters prove to be satisfactory, additional units will be purchased for the Supper Room and other small rooms.
  • Singing:
    • Inside: Once the new air filters are installed in the Sanctuary, singing will be allowed as long as KN95 masks are worn and people are socially distanced. This includes soloists and members of the choir.
    • Outside: When singing outside, masks must be worn, and people should be socially distanced. A song leader may take off their mask to sing outside but should be socially distanced.
  • Improved Multi-platform Capability: Thanks to a recent generous gift, we are continuing to upgrade our AV capabilities in the Sanctuary, to create worship that invites and includes participation from at-home and in-person audiences as equally as possible.

  • Conversation Hour (formerly Coffee Hour): happens on our lawn, masked, without food or drink. All are welcome.

  • Outdoor RE will continue to be offered this fall, weather permitting. DRE Katie and the RE committee will be contacting RE families separately.

  • Choir and Music: We hope to add in at least one live performance per service on our piano or organ.

Clearly, there are many moving pieces here. Your leaders are doing their best to create opportunities to meet everyone’s various social, medical, and spiritual needs while remaining reasonably safe. We are interested in your feedback and would like to know more about your needs, wants, and comfort levels. Please do not hesitate to reach out to any of us. We will be meeting the first Tuesday of every month.

Yours in Faithful Care,

Safety Task Group: [email protected]

Florence C., Jeanie H., Mary H., Cathy S.
Dan G., Rev. Susanne, Katie C., Tara T-K


LINK TO WORSHIP ONLINE SUNDAYS 10:30 am