Over the last few weeks, the impact of the COVID-19 virus has lessened. There are significantly fewer cases, hospitalizations and deaths – in our community.
With new information from the CDC, the GA Department of Health, and ACC and Oconee counties, the Gathering Anew task force has begun to think about coming together again in person, in the sanctuary. While this is a time to rejoice, it is also a significant moment in our individual and community lives. There are both celebrations and lamentations in our hearts.
We, along with the Ministry Council and Transition Team, want to honor the significance of this coming back together. We want to do so with the support of our interim minister, Rev. Lisa Schwartz. Her pastoral presence, along with the presence and support of our Community Minister, Don Randall, will help make room for the grief and the joy that may arise as we come back physically together in worship.
We are making plans for small groups to begin to worship together upon Rev. Lisa’s return in August from her study leave as long as the reduction of the impact of COVID across our community continues.
In the meantime, the Gathering Anew Task Force plans to move on June 7 to Phase 3 of the Reopening Plan, which provides for up to three groups (indoors or outdoors) of up to 50 people can meet at UUFA at the same time. This would allow us to gradually reaffirm our ties and community life in person. Masks would not be required outdoors unless children (1-11) are present or someone at the meeting requests them – either before or at the beginning of the meeting. Masks would be required inside. You can view the UUFA Pandemic Response Phase here.
When the key numbers the Task Force has been monitoring are in the right range, we will all come back together with a water ceremony, that important symbolic event in the life of our congregation. This year, it will affirm the covenant of our community in the face of the dramatically challenging circumstances of a global pandemic.
With the fire of commitment,
The Reopening Task Force (Susan Curtis, Vivian Preston Sellers, Heather Jensen, Lee Cornell, Rev. Lisa Schwartz, Amber Fetner, Shaye Gambrell)
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