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 the month of September.
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
Religious Education Programming is also cancelled through September. Families have received details regarding the ways in which our congregation will remain in relationship with children, youth and families. Rev. Judy is working to ensure that youth group continues virtually, and that families receive support during this challenging time.
Events, Programs and Committee Meetings
Congregational Events and Programs have been cancelled through September. Programs (book groups, sermon discussion groups, etc.) are welcome to use Zoom. All Committee Meetings are encouraged to meet virtually via Zoom. In June, we conducted a Survey with members and friends about re-opening for small groups and in-person meetings. A summary of the Survey results are here. For now, the Property Use Group (PUG) will continue to look at what it will take to open the building for small church groups - it would take a lot. Until we know more and have a system in place that we can adhere to, we will continue to meet on Zoom for small groups, meetings, and church activities.
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