Dear Beloved Members and Friends of OCUUC,
We are in the midst of fast paced change, as our wider community and our congregation's leadership work quickly to address the spread of COVID-19. We are blessed to be in an area that has not seen widespread outbreak. We want to keep it that way and support the efforts to do so.
Thus, using an abundance of caution, Rev. Sian, our Board of Trustees, and Rev. Judy, and with consensus and collaboration we decided to suspend in-person Worship and most activities at OCUUC through 2020 and into 2021.
Sunday's Worship Service
Rev. Sian and Beth, along with dedicated musicians and singers, and many others, are working hard to offer online worship services through Zoom. Please click here for details about Zoom and how to access meetings on Sundays. These services are also recorded and the video recordings are available on our Sermon archive webpage for viewing as well as the OCUUC YouTube channel.
Religious Education Programming
Sunday morning Religious Education programming utilizes Zoom with class content tailored for children and virtual meeting. Contact Rev. Judy for details of how to join and check the currently scheduled religious education programming on the church calendar.
When may we come back on site?
April 2021 Update - Coming back on site has lots of moving parts, and a task force is working hard to create a plan that gets us back on site safely and honors our principles and mission. On Sunday, April 11th, a Town Hall Meeting (click here for the video recording) described our progress and guidelines for reopening. A draft policy document is available here (OCUUC Reopening Guidelines 041121). Prior to the meeting, the congregation completed a survey (OCUUC Congregational Survey) about returning on site.
For now, small groups may start meeting on site. We do not yet have a regular Sexton, so group leaders are responsible for cleaning as well as maintaining compliance with COVID guidelines. We do not yet have the technology set up for Zooming on site, but should very soon. Small groups are encouraged to meet using the method (Zoom, on site or hybrid) that maximizes engagement.
Our Care Team and our staff is mobilizing to support our community. Expect regular contact via our regular online platforms like Facebook, phone calls to check in, opportunities to connect via the internet. In addition calls will be made to vulnerable community members and those that don't regularly utilize the internet. If you know of those who are most vulnerable, please reach out to them and let them know that you care. We all need to hear that right now.
For all meetings, please click the Zoom meeting hyperlink: https://zoom.us/j/3931579606
You can access the audio portion by dialing in to one of these numbers and entering the meeting ID:
+1 253 215 8782 US
+1 301 715 8592 US
Meeting ID: 393 157 9606
We live in a world of amazing technologies. They are not comfortable for everyone, but we encourage you to embrace these new methods of communication and connection. We have organized a "Geek Squad" to help you become familiar, should you need it. We don't want people to be isolated. While it may be frustrating and uncomfortable at first, know that everyone can learn these technologies as many of our former Luddites will attest! We have moved many of our gatherings onto Zoom, a wonderful technology that we utilize already. Please click here for more information or help with Zoom.
Staff will be working, either at home or at the office as they feel they need to, during their regular hours. We are here for you, so reach out if you need us. If you would like to know more about what the staff and leadership are doing in response, you can check out our COVID-19 Response Plan. We are considered in Phase 3: http://bit.ly/39KlWI6.
We all certainly hope that these measures are temporary, but we will keep you updated as it all unfolds. Email will be a primary form of communication, so please read emails carefully. Those that need it, will get phone calls. Your staff and leadership are somewhat overwhelmed by all these changes as we're sure you are. But we are in this together, and we are all so grateful for everyone's support and patience as we learn how to navigate all these changes.
Your OCUUC Ministers, Staff and Executive Leadership
Rev. Sian Wiltshire, Minister
Rev. Judy Tomlinson, Director of Religious Education
Beth Syverrson, Director of Music Ministries
Sarah Jones, Administrator