Hello everyone,

Last week’s Ingathering Service was wonderful.  We were happy to have more than 100 adults and children outdoors on our church campus, watching the service together – the same service everyone at home was watching at our new, easy-to-find livestream location:  uucw.org/livestream.  And then folks enjoyed sharing Joys and Concerns, making a butterfly craft, and receiving “water blessings,” too.  There was some UUCW “swag” too – including booklets of the monthly Chalice Lighting Readings for the whole year!

The greatest news?  We’re gathering outdoors again this Sunday, September 19 – and for the next four Sundays after that, too (weather permitting).  The COVID-19 pandemic may mean we can’t worship together indoors right now, but we won’t let it keep us from being together!  There was so much joy in our UUCW “back yard” last Sunday – I hope you were there to experience it.  (Check out the photos on our Facebook page HERE.)

Now, that doesn’t mean everything was PERFECT.  We learned a few things from this first event!  So here’s what to expect in the upcoming weeks.

  1. Please Plan to Arrive EARLY – Our COVID safety protocols include having you sign in when you arrive (for contact tracing purposes, if needed). Service begins at 10 – come early and avoid the lines! (We’ll also double the sign-in stations – to make the sign-in process quicker.)
  2. Bring Your Own Chair, and Allow Space for Others When You Set it Up – Again, COVID safety protocols call for space between folks not in the same household. (Arriving early helps with this, too.)
  3. A Better Sound System for Outdoors – You let us know we needed better speakers – thanks for the feedback!
  4. Easy-to-Find Donations Box – You who came in-person were ready to give – we promise that you’ll be able to find the Donations Box for your offerings on the 19th and beyond. Thank you.
  5. Sunday Volunteers are NeededSign Up Now! – We’re so grateful to the fine folks who helped last week (see their names below) when we were uncertain of exactly what we needed them to do. We’ve now revised the job descriptions and streamlined the set-up processes, and we’d love to have your help.  Sign up HERE, and find a PDF of the job descriptions at this LINK.

So, what happens AFTER October 17th – after six weeks of our planned outdoor worship viewing experiences?  We’ll monitor the COVID trends in our area, and the weather, and consult with our Reopening COVID-19 Task Force (headed by Board Member Stephanie Wahlen) and figure out whether we can move indoors or not.

Many of these details were in the “Back to Church” packet sent by postal mail to everyone on our list last week.  You can find that packet HERE.

In the meantime, THANK YOU to last Sunday’s in-person volunteers:  Mike and Stephanie Wahlen, Jeanne Jarecki, William Bowen, Randi Kreger, Kathy Lake, Rosie Kapp, Anne Deahl and Dave Feil, plus Dennis Wanless, who helped lead kids’ activities.

We look forward to seeing you soon – and if you have ideas or feedback for us, please be in touch!  Blessings to you,

Rev. Suzelle Lynch