It has been a lovely two months with you so far. I have enjoyed getting to meet so many of you who attend the congregation. As always, if you would like to talk one-on-one, please feel free to email me at email@example.com. I am available by appointment Tuesday–Thursday.
In our last month of ministry together, I would like to focus on deepening our relationship to this congregation and to greater Unitarian Universalism. The beginning of a congregational year is a great time to center collective priorities for moving forward. This time also invites us to consider the individual commitments or changes we need to make for these priorities to be successful.
The board of your congregation meets monthly, and they are actively engaged in narrowing down the goals for the year ahead. You are also nearing the end of your current 5-year plan. Because markers for success in this plan have been greatly impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it is possible this brings about a mix of emotions.
Whatever your blend of emotions around the end of this plan, which takes us through June 30, 2023, it is time to begin imagining what work the congregation will be doing in the world by June 2028. Who will be here? How will you help one another and the surrounding community? How much money and time and how many other resources will you devote to your plans? These are the questions your board might guide you through over the next several months.
The Coordinating Team
Your congregation has a unique leadership structure wherein the board sets policies and ethical limitations for your staff and the Coordinating Team to execute on a day-to-day basis. The Coordinating Team also holds the resources and authority of any non-functioning or former congregational committees. This team meets at least twice a month and has been dedicated to helping us navigate guidance around multiple pandemics and congregational safety.
It was at the recommendation of this committee that we were recently able to increase seating capacity in the chapel due to decreasing Covid and Monkeypox case rates. The rest of the committee and I are eager to continue following science and our Unitarian Universalist values and ethics to provide wise counsel to the congregation on in-person safety.
To this end, I want to remind everyone that it remains our policy that everyone who works with children and youth or enters the chapel needs to be fully vaccinated and wear a mask. The new bivalent COVID-19 boosters, which protect against initial strains of Covid and the more contagious Omicron strains, have changed the definition of fully vaccinated. An adult is fully vaccinated if they have received the full series of initial vaccination (2 shots for Moderna or Pfizer, and 1 shot for Johnson & Johnson) and 1 bivalent booster of Moderna or Pfizer. There are differences based on age. With current CDC guidelines, children under 12 are not eligible for boosters.
Cold and flu season, which exacerbate the likelihood of passing Covid to others, intensifies in October and generally peaks between December and February. Please get your bivalent booster no later than October 31, 2022, if you are eligible, to optimize protection. Now is also a good time to get your flu shot if you are eligible. It is safe to get your flu shot and COVID-19 bivalent booster at the same time. Please consult your physician for further question about both vaccines.
The Safety Team
We are returning to some same practices that we have been flexible with over the past few months. Doors to the Chapel and the Hub will be locked at the beginning of service (around 10 AM Sunday). If you are running late, just knock: a greeter will let you in at the chapel or a childcare worker will let you in at the Hub. Volunteers, the Tech Team, and the Worship Associate and/or minister have walkie-talkies that we can use to discuss anything happening on campus.
Please remember to keep doors closed from the time service begins until service ends. Religious education classes might exit to the patio and playground earlier than the end of service, provided they have adult supervision. Feel free to contact me if you have any question about campus safety.
It is such a joy to welcome folks back to more routine church attendance as we have had different patterns over the course of the summer. In just a few weeks, we will also welcome back Rev. Sharon. Congregational life is always full of transitions, and I am looking forward to all the ways we continue to navigate this time together.
Have a Beautiful October!
Rev. Dr. Greg