COVID Response

As more of us are vaccinated, we’re feeling hopeful about returning to our building as soon as this is feasible. 

In the words of UUA President Susan Frederick Gray: “There is good news on the horizon, though we are not yet able to gather in person. We are in a critical phase of the pandemic where we need to reduce the spread of the virus to combat new variants while vaccine distribution continues. Each person and family will have different levels of risk and risk tolerance. As leaders, we have to navigate complex decisions taking into account care for the whole of our communities. Our priority continues to be abiding care for the most vulnerable, within and beyond our congregations.”

We’re not there yet, but your Board and staff are already planning what’s needed for safe in-person gatherings. Guided by the best science from the CDC and the Mn. Dept of Health, by the UUA, and by the core values and covenants that ground our church community, we are imagining new possibilities. Please join your Board of Directors for a final Congregational Conversation to be held on Wednesday, May 19, hosted by Victoria. Click here to register, so we can plan for breakout rooms: https://wbuuc.breezechms.com/form/f95012

Helpful background documents:

When We Meet Again 4.2021

From The UUA President – Navigating an In-Between Time

Re-Opening As An Act of Radical Inclusion

 


 

Statement of Recommendations
August 2020

WBUUC Covid-19 Protocols Team

Carol Nelson, Laurie Wenker, Stephanie Ward, Anna Gehres

A team of WBUUC church members who are health care providers has been meeting with Victoria Safford and Anna Gehres to make recommendations related to the COVID-19 pandemic and on-site church attendance. We are using the guidance provided by the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH). We adhere to the principles of good science, guided by our deeply held values of care and concern for those most vulnerable and our commitment to  social justice. Minimizing the risks for our staff and our entire church family is equally important.

We have been vigilantly watching the COVID-19 pandemic situation in Minnesota and Wisconsin.  We are in agreement with the UUA recommendation to tentatively continue virtual gatherings and operations through May 2021. Many of our members are vulnerable to contracting and becoming ill from the virus, which is a risk none of us want to take. We, as a faith community, can do our part in fighting this virus by not opening our church doors until it is determined entirely safe to do so. As this is a changing situation, our recommendations will evolve over time.  The criteria for reopening the church include:

  • Multiple weeks of reduction in infections
  • Adequate testing supplies
  • Sufficient personal protective equipment available
  • Effective contact tracing
  • A widely available vaccine

We realize that “caution fatigue” and “isolation fatigue” are real. We will get through this together.  During this challenging time, we are called to persevere and be resilient with the hope of increasingly better treatments and an effective vaccine.  Our covenant is to find ways to help one another. During this time apart we encourage you to maintain relationships with fellow church members. Some of you have found creative ways to meet while still respecting social distance and wearing masks. Keep up the good work! However, out of an abundance of caution, we are not recommending this type of gathering of church members and friends on church property until the above criteria are met.

In September, we will offer Zoom gatherings for you to ask questions and to further discuss these recommendations with our Protocols Team of health care providers.

 

References:

https://www.uua.org/safe/pandemics/gathering-guidance

https://www.health.state.mn.us/diseases/coronavirus/guidefaith.pdf

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/organizations/community-based.html

 

COVID-19 Protocol Team members

Victoria Safford, Lead Minister, WBUUC
Anna Gehres, Operations Director, WBUUC
Laurie Wenker, APRN, CNP, HealthPartners
Stephanie Ward, APRN, PHN
Carol Nelson, MD, MPH, Hennepin Healthcare

 

Questions, ideas concerns?  Contact office@wbuuc.org