UPDATE March 27, 2020: Due to recommended health and safety guidelines which have been enacted in response to the pandemic, all church events and reservations are cancelled/postponed until the ALUUC board of directors has authorized a date for us to reopen. This decision will be made in accordance with Governor Pritzker’s orders.
Dear Members and Friends of ALUUC,
On Wednesday evening (March 11, 2020), the Board of Directors discussed appropriate steps that we intended to implement immediately in the hope of reducing the risk associated with coming into contact with the Coronavirus (COVID-19). As we have all heard, this disease has now been declared a pandemic, disrupting the lives of millions of people at home and abroad. In the thirty-six hours which have passed since the Board met, there has been a cascade of updates by health agencies, including the Sangamon County Department of Health which has declared that “cancellations are not an overreaction.” Although there are no confirmed reports of anyone living in central Illinois testing positive for this illness, countless local institutions, ranging from schools to museums, have responded by announcing closures and large events have been indefinitely postponed.
On Thursday, March 13, 2020, the President of the UUA, Rev. Susan Frederick-Smith issued a recommendation that all UU congregations suspend worship and other activities . I have consulted not only with UU colleagues but most especially with ALUUC Board President Deborah Hagan and we have agreed that the proper course to take at this time is to err on the side of caution. Therefore, starting with this Sunday, March 15, our regular Sunday worship services and other in-person gatherings – including concerts, groups, and other events – will be postponed, at least through the remainder of March 2020.
We understand that many of us value not only the content of our worship but also the bonds of fellowship – to address these needs, we are exploring ways so that groups and meetings can transition to on-line platforms. More details will be shared in the days ahead.
I would encourage each of us to reach out to our friends and family members, so many of whom are experiencing a lot of uncertainty and anxiety. This is an opportunity for all of us to create a deeper pastoral relationship with one another, albeit from a safe distance.
We will reassess the situation for April as things progress. Right now, our volunteers are exploring ways that we might pivot to worship online. Please check our website (www.aluuc.org) for updates. We will continue to post sermons, newsletters, etc., there. If you have not already joined the ALUUC Facebook Group, please consider doing that now — updates will be shared there too.
Last night, I wrote the following reflection and posted it on my Facebook page:
“Many people are now facing a sudden and significant disruption in their daily lives, if not their expectations. For some, this is a sobering moment, for others, chilling. As people of faith, we are reminded that throughout our lifetimes, each of us is often a vulnerable being, and that compassion is sorely needed. This appears to be such a time. Those in school, those who are employed, those with children, those already in ill health, etc., are experiencing much anxiety. Let us remember, as one blessed soul wrote, ‘that we are not isolated beings, but connected in mystery and wonder’ … and include that we are also connected to one another in our circles of care and concern. Let us be generous with one another, and may we find ways to uplift and support one another, through these difficult days and weeks.”
We hope that our response will alleviate some of the concerns raised by the current health crisis. Please feel free to call me if you have any questions.Sending my best wishes to one and all,
Originally Published March 12, 2020
I know that this is a time of uncertainty and concern for all of us and I wanted to be in touch with you to share some of the ways that the UUA is deepening its response to COVID-19.
We are monitoring the situation closely and doing our best to implement public health and CDC recommendations. In Boston, the cases of COVID-19 have been doubling most days. On Monday, UUA leadership shifted staff to working virtually, I have suspended all of my travel at least through mid-April, and we are cancelling events or moving them to online formats.
Additionally, we strongly recommend that congregations avoid gatherings of more than 25 people, including worship and religious education for the time being.
Ways to Stay Connected
ALUUC Private* Facebook Group
*You must request an invitation to join.
ALUUC Public Facebook Group
Sunday Services by video are on ALUUC YouTube channel
Additional information is coming soon.
Rev. Woulfe’s Podcast
Rev. Woulfe’s is reaching out to the ALUUC Congregation while the State of Illinois continues “Shelter-in-Place” practices intended to mitigate the growing COVIC-19 pandemic.
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