We’ve heard from so many people who’ve shared how discouraged they are this September. We sure get it. We’ve all been sorely disappointed, and emerging information about boosters and breakthrough cases is quite confusing. Right now no one really knows whether this fall’s restrictions will last for six weeks or much longer. So we’re mainly online and outside right now, and we’re committed to opening the Sanctuary and campus to in-person attendance just as soon as it’s safely possible. As we have since day one, we continue to follow the recommendations of the CDC, the state of NC DHHS, and the UUA. In addition, at ERUUF we’re very fortunate to have a team of five health care professionals who review all our safety guidelines every time there’s a change to make sure we’re doing the safest things for everyone in our community.

They are researchers and physicians Nicky Yates, Barb Sheline, Ross McKinney, Ruby Long, and Nancy Henley. While the CDC, NC DHHS, and UUA all strongly advise vaccinations for everyone, none are calling for vaccine mandates at this time  And the UUA in particular reminds us that our UU values prioritize inclusion of the most vulnerable—those who can’t get the vaccine, including immunocompromised adults and children under the age of 12 who currently aren’t eligible.   

To follow through on our commitment to inclusion, our staff are working with lay leaders to set up covered outdoor spaces with patio heaters so that children and adults will be able to meet outside in person no matter the weather this fall. And of course, there’s new sound and video equipment going into the Sanctuary to help us stay connected in new ways. We’re also just beginning to envision some outdoor, masked and socially distant ritual experiences for all ages once a month on Saturday at 4 pm (stay tuned!).  

This fall, even though we can’t be in person as usual, there are a lot of amazing online program offerings—film series, book discussions, groups, classes, and Sunday services. Questions? Contact a member of the Coordinating Team: Rev. Cayer, Rev. Brett, Jean O’Barr, or Daniel Trollinger.