Minister Reflections – May 2021

Outdoor-Indoor Rationale
Rev. Eric Severson

I am SO looking forward to seeing people in person again, shaking hands, giving hugs!
COVID-19 numbers finally are going in the right direction. State and federal authorities have relaxed masking and distancing rules for fully vaccinated people. (Nearly 80 percent of our adult congregants have reported being vaccinated.) And the UUFoM board approved, last Tuesday, a policy allowing fellowship-sponsored gatherings outside, while maintaining some precautions.
We know that people are itching to get back together, so let’s do so as safely as possible. Leaders are actively exploring options for in-person outdoor gatherings! 

  • Who would like to have picnics at the fellowship?
  • Who wants to play yard games?
  • How about a talent show?
  • Rotating garden tours?
  • Kite flying?
  • Bubbles and sidewalk chalk?
  • Nature walks?
  • Bike rides?

Barring unexpected developments, we expect to resume indoor activities in September, and some folks have asked for more information about why. Here are some reasons: 

  • I will be away for the month of July and want to be present when we do resume indoor gatherings, just in case. There is a lot of planning to do to make that happen.
  • Our COVID-19 task force is watching several public health metrics, which essentially need to look good for a month before we can safely meet indoors in person.
  • The Worship Team plans Sunday services months ahead of time. Speakers from other cities and states are already booked for Zoom appearances into August. 
  • We need to beef up our technical capacity and train volunteers so that we can provide multi-platform (in-person and online) programming for small-group ministries, religious education, and worship. A limited WiFi signal makes outdoor services unavailable to many congregants. Until we’re back in the building, we encourage vaccinated folks to hold Sunday service “watch parties” at people’s homes. 
  • Children will be vaccinated no sooner than August, and segregating families from the rest of the congregation is not equitable. We want to safeguard our children and adults.

Until we can be back in the building together, let’s enjoy our newfound freedoms and have fun together outside! Please send ideas or questions to a board member, task force member or me.  Or to schedule a gathering, please contact Wendy.
Thank you and blessings!
Rev. Eric