COVID Plan Version 3 Approved

Dear Members and Friends in the JRUUC Community,

We are proud to introduce the latest version (v3) of our COVID-19 Strategic Plan which was approved by the Board of Trustees on January 19, 2022. Here are the links to the Strategic Plan, the rubric chart and FAQs

Thank you to everyone who has worked on the COVID-19 Task Force (CTF) since its inception and to all who have shared your feelings, frustrations, and suggestions during this ongoing process. This pandemic has deeply challenged our JRUUC community to live the words of our website’s ‘Welcome’ page: “We are brave, curious and compassionate thinkers and doers. We create spirituality and community beyond boundaries, working for more justice and more love in our own lives and in the world.” This continues to be true!

We are all tired of this collective global pandemic trauma, which feels like a terrible roller coaster that we’ve been unintentionally riding for almost 2 years. We are reminded that change is constant, and that we need to be gentle and patient with ourselves and our congregation during this chaotic time. It was amazing to see the differences between the 2 listening sessions held by the CTF: one when Omicron was an issue on other continents, and the other when the variant was rapidly pressing down on our own area. 
One of the hardest things about this pandemic is that we have no control over the variants or the case counts or vaccine/mask effectiveness.

We DO have control of how we manage risk, and of how we are with each other. We are a faith community rooted in Unitarian Universalist principles, called by love to welcome the seeker, cultivate relationship, nurture spiritual wholeness, and grow justice in the world. That is our mission. We have a congregational covenant that represents the promises we make to ourselves about how we want to treat each other. We know that each of us has a different balance between risk tolerance and the need to be together in person, and this version of the Strategic Plan is meant to help us all find our balance. At the same time, we recognize that an integral part of balancing individual and group needs is our ability to offer one another choices within the guidelines of the Plan. To help us do that in an intentional way, we’ve adopted the concept of covenantal consent offered to us by the Unitarian Universalist Association: a practice of inclusion, covenant, consent, and care for each other. 
The CTF has created this new version of the Strategic Plan with the goals of minimizing risk and offering options, rather than our earlier vision of simply keeping our community members from spreading the virus. At the same time, we acknowledge that for some people, simply minimizing risk isn’t enough, and that we all need to make choices based on our risk tolerance. The risk category levels are based on the number of daily new cases – meant to offer responses to changing conditions, not to the reasons for those conditions, which continue to evolve. The current level will be posted on our website (along with the chart) and announced in the weekly email. 

If you read nothing else in this letter, please read this: once we’re out of the “severe” (deep red) risk category, there is a lot we can do indoors that we couldn’t with the last plan, like small group gatherings and choir rehearsals indoors when the metrics have dropped to “very high.” We heard your need to be together loud and clear at the listening sessions. At this point, we’re essentially just waiting for the Omicron surge to end before we begin to worship and gather in person. Here’s a glance at how different this version is:

We also want to remind you that, even with unprecedented spikes in the metrics such as we’re seeing now, gathering outdoors for small groups and singing when the weather is amenable is still an option. 
Finally, we are certain this will not be the last COVID Strategic Plan revision. We intend to be as agile and responsive as possible, as science, knowledge, experience, and needs change. The much more restrictive version 2 of the plan was adopted only 5 months ago, and we can all feel how much has changed since then. We do not know what the future of this virus will be, but we will continue to face it, adapting our practices in response to continuing change, together.

Here are the links to the Strategic Plan and the rubric chart and Frequently Asked Questions.

We will persevere with love,

The CTF: Elliott Flowers, Jocie Luglio, Mary Pitassi, Rev. Karen Armina, and Board liaison Deb Myrbo

Click here for our COVID-19 Page with the current level and quick links.