One of the things I’ve learned during this COVID time is how different we humans are in our assessment and ability to risk. This is apparent in our response to the pandemic, which has asked us to do hard things for a really long time in order to protect our health and the health of our community. Some of us have responded by donning masks and doing many of our usual activities, including going to work. This is especially true for those of us who are front-line workers. Others of us have stayed home. We have each weighed our circumstances and health status and economics and many other factors to come up with how we can be safest. Not safe, but safest.  

At OUUC we have been online for 11 months. I never imagined that this would be the case, and here we are. We will continue to be online for as long as needed to ensure that our community stays as safe as possible.  

In the meantime, those of us who use the church building are taking precautions to be as safe as we can when we are there. We wear masks when inside and ask everyone else to do so in common areas. (When I am there, I wear a mask whenever I go outside of my office.) We log where we have gone and wipe down the areas we use. If we encounter someone, we practice distancing.  

Some of you have expressed concern about Troy and the musicians who are offering us amazing music. You may have noticed that Troy has set up a studio in the Commons, which has all kinds of cords and devices that you can’t see on camera! Please rest assured that Troy and the guest musicians are also practicing the advised safety measures: masks whenever possible, distancing, cleaning, and running the air purifier. Come Spring, the door in the Commons will be open for good ventilation. 

The Health & Safety Task Force and the Tech Team are working with us on staff to plan what our hybrid future will look like. In the meantime, let’s hold on to the hope of vaccines and stay as safe as we can.  

Blessings on your week.  

Rev. Mary 

P.S. This COVID poem was one of several shared with me by Elayne Crow, wife of member Otto Buls. To me it speaks to our longing for community. Thank you Elayne!  



I want to wake up 
from this nightmare 
of closed doors and masked faces  

I want to burst out
of restrictions on where, when, how to go 

I want breathing room and spacious, spontaneous 
gatherings and celebrations 
of lives, loves, moments –  

Musicians and poets 
I call you 
back from the abyss 
back from the cold dark region of empty space 
to the warm embrace of Earth 
the touch of fingers and hands, 
the press of lips on cheeks of long-lost friends.  

I want to welcome you back to 
this place in my heart where 
you never left, you always remained, beating 
with vitality and rhythm and the pulse of life 
you sing my veins alive 
you further feeling and that is all we have  

In our