Update on UUCD’s Response to COVID-19 Crisis

Friday, 28 March 2020 at 1:18 PM

Dear Ones,

We wanted to reach out with another update about how things are going with UUCD, and what our plans are moving forward. It feels like this is a time of “another week, another e-Blast” … and that’s OK as we want to be in as close touch as we can be with our community as we go through this uncertain time together. I will try to keep this email as brief as possible.

We are going to try our first UUCD Virtual Worship service via Zoom on Sunday, April 5th at our normal 10:00 am time. This will be followed by a “Virtual Coffee Hour” (a time of conversation). More details about this will be coming out next week, so that you know how to connect and have all the information you need.

In the meantime, this Sunday, we invite you to worship virtually with another UU congregation that is streaming its services. We’d like you to do this for at least three reasons: (1) to tend to your own spiritual needs for gathering for worship, (2) to maintain the discipline of regular attendance as it can be important when everything is changing to have some routines that ground us, and (3) to experience the variety of other worship styles and formats of other Unitarian Universalist congregations and bring back your thoughts of your favorite things to us, so that we can continue to improve and enhance our community’s worship.

Highlighting those geographically close and of possible special interest for this Sunday the 29th of March (all times in Eastern Daylight Savings Time):
· 10:00 am: UUs of Southern Delaware
“Intentional Conclusions” – Rev Michelle Collins
· 10:15 am: Arlington UU (VA)
· 10:30 am: First U of Wilmington (DE; you need to register ahead of time to be sent a link to use each Sunday). Go ahead and do it now so you don’t forget.
“Reviving Hope” – Rev Pamela Wat
· 11:00 am: Cedar Lane UU (Bethesda, MD)
“Spiritual Practices for These Times” – Rev. Abhi Janamanchi
· 1:00 pm: Foothills UU (Ft. Collins, CO)
“We Are Enough, Love Is Enough”
· 8:00 pm: Church of the Larger Fellowship
“Creativity in Chaos”

You may wish to search for another streaming (or recorded) service – there are many available. We located a list of UU congregations offering virtual worship, along with their times and connection details, here: Streaming UU Congregations.

Please let us know which ones you attend and what you think of your experience!

Community Check-Ins via Zoom
We are meeting via Zoom each Tuesday evening at 7:00 pm for a time of check-in, sharing joys and concerns, and connection. We had approximately 24 people (and a few pets) participating in our first check-in last week, and so far the feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. It was great to see one another and hear what’s most on the minds and hearts of the folx we care so much about. We’ll make some slight adaptations to our format as we learn together what works best.

We sent full instructions for how to use zoom via computer, tablet, or phone last week. If you missed this email and would like to join us, please let us know and we’ll send it right away. If you would like to have a one-on-one “tech session” to test your connection and computer/ phone setup and familiarize yourself with the zoom platform, please contact kharma. We are more than happy to make time to ensure you are as comfortable as possible with this way of connecting.

UUCD Members and Friends Discussion Forum
If you wish to join this Private (closed) group, these instructions should help:

  1. The Group Name is UUCD Members and Friends Discussion Forum and the direct link to this on FB is: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1058588337555918
  2. If you go to this link, you should see an option that says “Join Group” at the top of the screen. (Actual screen arrangement can vary according to your own computer setup.)
  3. Click Join Group and FB will send a request to join the group to our Group Administrators. We will “Approve” your request, and you will receive a message to that effect via FB.
  4. Once you are a member, you should be able to go to your groups, and this group will pop up. You can also click the above link anytime to go directly to the group discussion page.

If you see someone missing from the group who is already on your Friends List, you can also invite them to the group.

Moving Forward
Like all of us, the leadership of UUCD is paying attention to what’s happening in the world and, particularly, in Delaware. We are listening to updates about the COVID-19 situation from health experts as well as government and public officials. We will be making choices based on the best information available to us as this time extends. The UUCD Board of Trustees will continue to meet at various times via Zoom to discuss actions necessary to maintain UUCD operations until and after this crisis is over. We’ll communicate with you as soon as we have information to pass along.

Please stay safe, reach out to one another, let us know if you need anything at all, and join us for the above mentioned virtual community gatherings as you are able.

Much love,

Friday, 20 Mar 2020 at 4:17 PM

Dear Ones,

Wednesday night the UUCD Board of Trustees discussed issues affecting the care of our community, including decisions about when, where, and how we meet and connect with one another during this unprecedented COVID-19 Crisis.

First, we want you to know that we are canceling any face-to-face meetings until after 15 May, this is in accordance to Gov John Carney’s State of Emergency restrictions. This includes the cancellation of our face-to-face worship services this Sunday March 22 through Sunday May 10. As we have said in earlier communications, we are complying with the advice offered by the CDC, the UUA, and other federal, state, and local health officials.

At the same time, we realize that our need for community is greater than ever. We will get through this TOGETHER.

In our recent UUCD Community Needs survey, we learned from you:

  • About 65% would tune into a virtual worship on Sunday mornings.
  • About 90% would tune in to a “community check-in” (sharing joys and concerns, generally checking in) in the mid-week timeframe.
  • NO ONE wanted a phone call.
  • NO ONE currently needs practical assistance with groceries, errands, etc.

Of course, this could change as we live through this new time. But, we want to respond to your real and expressed needs.

In response to you, we are doing the following:

  • We are going to institute a UUCD Community Check-in for our own community on Tuesdays at 7:00 pm Eastern Time via Zoom (rest assured, we will provide a separate message with instructions on how you can connect and join us).
  • We are creating a Closed/Private Facebook Group so that members of UUCD can connect anytime to enter chats, share needs, reach out, and offer encouragement. We will send a separate message for how to make this connection.

We want to hear from you as soon as you think you have a need for anything—conversation, spiritual support, practical support (groceries, etc.). Please contact Kharma at kharmaamos@gmail.com.

We want you to know you are loved, you are valued, you are so important to who we are and what we do as the Unitarian Universalists of Central Delaware, and as people committed to compassionate and just living in the world. We take our primary value of community seriously, and are doing what we know to do. If you have ideas or need anything at all, please contact us.