ERUUF COVID-19 Updates
- Published: Aug 12, 2021 Aug 12, 2021
ERUUF feels like home but it’s actually a public place, and so as always our updated policies are designed for the whole community, which includes people of all ages and health statuses. And together, while we always respect individuality, right now it’s important that we act in ways that protect the good of our spiritual community as a whole. Even more, at ERUUF we care for each not only by following our safety policies but also by honoring the spirit of love, respect, choice, equity, and inclusion at the heart of our life together.
Here are three highlights from our updated policies. You can read the latest policy update in full here.
- At this time the combination of the Delta variant and upcoming Sanctuary construction require a change in plans. Like other institutions that are trying to keep people safe and local hospitals from being overwhelmed, ERUUF will require either proof of vaccination or weekly testing for staff and volunteers who come in contact with the public.
- In-person worship, with clear safety guidelines, for a limited number of adults (social distancing) begins at 11:00 a.m. Sunday, August 15.
- Online worship will continue at 11 a.m., and RE will meet (mainly outdoors) at 9:30 a.m.
A Change in Plans.
Due to the highly contagious nature of the Delta variant, like other congregations, schools and businesses ERUUF policies will now require staff to either show proof of vaccination, or negative results from a weekly covid test (no more than 48 hours before Sunday). And, we’re going to require the same of volunteers who interact with the public. While this is a highly unusual level of inquiry, it’s what’s currently recommended by several religious denominations and the state of NC DHHS.
We will keep information about individuals’ vaccination status confidential and secure. We’re very grateful to our team of five health care professionals, Nancy Henley, Ruby Long, Ross McKinney, Barb Sheline, and Nicky Yates for their careful consideration of our questions and review of plans.
We are ready to welcome people in person to the Sanctuary beginning August 15th. Masks must be worn and Greeters will help individuals and groups be seated at least 6’ apart in all directions. The cantor will lead hymns from the Chapel. Attendees may hum or sing softly. If needed, seats will be ready in the Fellowship Hall for people (6’ apart, masked, etc) and the service can be enjoyed with others via Livestream. Children are always welcome to attend the service with their parents.
Unfortunately, due to the installation of the new audio visual equipment, from August 16 through mid-September the piano will be moved out of the Sanctuary, along with all the podia and chairs, and the wooden chancel floor will be covered with protective mats. Sadly, it’s going to be about as attractive as attending worship in your unfinished basement. Truly because of how we’re going to produce this there will be not much to see and hear in the Sanctuary. For all this and additional reasons during these few weeks of construction the service will available for listening and viewing in the Fellowship Hall and online, but not in the Sanctuary. It’ll be odd to produce worship where the equipment is, then Livestream it across the plaza to where some people might be (as well as sending it online as usual). But we’re doing this to meet the needs of people who emphatically have told us how much they need to be at ERUUF with other people.
Other Good Things Are Already Happening. And it’s going to get even better! This August RE for children continues at 9:30 on Sunday morning outside the CARE Building. And this September we’re excited to offer RE for all ages—children and adults—at 9:30 a.m. including Inquirers classes. This is in response to a long-standing request from some parents that we offer adult programs while children are in classes, and we’re thrilled to have this unique chance to try it. RE will be followed by a Chapel for All Ages at 10:35 a.m. Families will have the option of staying or leaving for the regular worship service at 11 a.m. Afterward, ERUUF’s Worship Associates will host an online conversation about themes from the morning’s service.
Connection, not Perfection. Is this perfect? Heavens no! Is some of it startling? Hell yes! But after talking extensively to our members and lay leaders we’ve made these plans because we’re aiming for connection, not perfection.
As always, check e-news and the website. While we’re always hoping for the best, if local covid conditions worsen our plans will change accordingly.