March 12, 2020
RE: Adjustments NSUC is Making to Help Prevent Further Spread of COVID-19, and Plans We are Putting in Place to Stay Connected as a Beloved Community
Dear NSUC Friends,
Over these last few weeks, NSUC’s minister, staff and leadership have been responding to the ever-changing landscape, making adjustments and plans to keep you and our community both safe and connected. While these actions may seem “alarmist,” NSUC must do its part to minimize the number of interactions that cause the opportunity for COVID-19 to spread. If no one from NSUC gets sick and COVID-19 goes away, you may wonder what all the fuss was about. Yet public health experts remind us that if this fizzles out because of our efforts, then we’ve done it right. Here are some of the immediate measures we will be taking:
NSUC’s Plans for Worship, Programs, and Services
These plans and directives are valid as of March 11, 2020, and will continue until May 15, 2020. Church leadership will reassess these measures at that point and be in touch with the community.
- Worship: We will suspend in-person worship services and post-service activities; we will stream our services instead.
- Listen via phone or connect online via Zoom. Simply click the link below for 10 AM live worship. We will be doing this in place of in person worship for the time being. https://zoom.us/j/588358300
- Meetings: Unless absolutely necessary, conduct business via email OR choose to meet online. You can sign up for a free Zoom account here: https://zoom.us.
- Religious Education: Religious education will be suspended. But our services will be short, interactive, and friendly for all ages. Please join us!
- Staff: We are encouraging staff to work from home as they see fit.
- Renters: We are in conversation with other renters about their programs and services.
Pastoral Care Connections
Please let us know if you have decided or are ordered to self-quarantine and whether you might need any food or other supplies while staying home. Also let us know if you are ill, have tested positive, and/or have been hospitalized. You may reach out to Rev. Lucas Hergert (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Intern Minister Anne Clough (email@example.com).
Because some may feel isolated, we would appreciate having more helpers for Caring Team who can make visits, deliver supplies, make a phone call, assist with technology, and help those who may not be going out at this time. If you would like to help, please contact Anne Clough to get on the list (firstname.lastname@example.org).
We are also developing many other ways to connect – including online story times, an online adult enrichment class, caring circle check-ins, and more. If you have ideas or wish to help, please reach out to Rev. Lucas. We will send along a schedule of these great ways to connect each week.
As always, please let us know how we may be of assistance, and what questions you may have.
Our Role in Preventing Further Spread of COVID-19
We know that pandemics rely on close social contact, and we can “flatten the curve” when we reduce our social interactions. This is the graphic adapted from the CDC:
This is important, because COVID-19 is a highly contagious virus that adversely affects people living with compromised immune systems, older members (over 60) whose immune systems are generally more vulnerable than younger members, and people living with chronic health conditions, especially lung conditions. There may also be underlying conditions that have yet to be identified. We also know that younger folks may get sick but are also carriers, so social interactions can compromise otherwise healthy people. This means that we should all consider practicing “social distancing” to prevent the spread.
Let’s be clear: we trust you as adults to take care of yourself, to know when you’re sick or need to self-quarantine. AND the reason this is spreading so quickly is that folks don’t necessarily know if they have been exposed and are often out in public/in close social interactions after they have been infected. We don’t know how many people are actually infected – because of how this spreads, incubation periods, and lack of testing, the number is likely to be much higher than is being officially reported. Social distancing is not about not trusting individuals – it’s about a community mindset, our interconnected web. It’s making sure we are taking care of all of us.
This is a beloved community, and we are all in this together – let’s take care of one another with kindness, love, and comfort.
With love and warmth,
Rev. Lucas Hergert
 Wording borrowed from Rev. Kimberley Debus and the White Plains UU Congregation.