The OUUC sanctuary has been a busier place than usual lately, so I thought an update on activities might be helpful.

Who was in the sanctuary on Sunday? 

Last Sunday, August 8, there were more people in the Sanctuary for the service than we’ve seen for a while.  In addition to the musicians and worship leaders, members of the Health & Safety Task Force were there to help determine how to best get people in and out of the Sanctuary safely when we gather.  The Sanctuary was not open to everyone yet, and all the people there had a purpose. Thank you to Jen Sabel, Carol Williams, and the Task Force members who are writing greeter and usher protocols.

What is the status of the HVAC repair and replacement? 

In order to make sure the ventilation and airflow in the Sanctuary are as safe as possible, we are having work done on the ducts and replacing broken and old air handling equipment. This project has been in process since early Spring and is moving along. We expect that the major work will being this month and we hope it will be completed in October. Until that work is completed, we open doors and windows so there is as much fresh air as possible. This will be more of a challenge as the weather gets cooler, which I know is hard to imagine this week! The rains will come again.

What’s next? 

We learned a lot last Sunday and I know we will continue to learn more. On August 22, we will stream the Sunday service from the Sanctuary again. This will give us the chance to learn more about the technology and test the greeter and usher protocols. Based on COVID recommendations from the Department of Health and the CDC in the next week, we’ll decide about inviting others into the Sanctuary that morning. If we do, you can expect to use a reservation system, and that masks will be required. Check the weekly update next week for more information.

We are taking this slow, testing all the pieces and parts as we go. In these past weeks, I have learned that it is much more technically challenging to offer a multi-platform/hybrid service. We’ve done great work with the many hands that support our Sunday worship and I know we’ll do this.

Many of us are eager to gather in person, and we’ll offer opportunities to do so as much as possible, as quickly as possible, and as safely as possible.

Thank you for your patience.

Rev. Mary

Water Communion and Ingathering September 12 

Although we don’t know yet exactly what the service on September 12 will be like, we do know that we’ll gather in some way to begin a new congregational year.  The tradition is a water communion service, where we bring water from our individual lives to share and mingle with the water from others—that’s the water communion.  So, as you travel or stay home, gather water from wherever you are and plan to share it in some way on September 12.  We’ll share more information in the Weekly Update as we know more about the Fall.