Last Sunday, July 11, we took our next step toward offering our worship services in person as well as online. There were 19 of us in the sanctuary: 12 singers, three worship leaders and four Tech Team members. We learned a lot about the tech needs as well as the process of coming together again. Many things worked well, and not everything did, so we have a bunch of things in process for the next test. That will be on August 8 when Rev. Carol McKinley is in the pulpit.   

On August 8, we will test livestreaming again, using what we learned last Sunday. We will also be testing building entry, seating, exit and screening protocols so we can help everyone feel as comfortable and safe as possible, as well as meet our state health requirements. The Health & Safety Task Force will be onsite that day to help revise the OUUC guidelines and develop greeter protocols.  

After that, the next test will be on August 22 when I return to the pulpit. On that day, my hope is to invite more people into the sanctuary as we test what we’ve learned so far. The goal is to be ready to welcome as many people as possible on September 12 for our Water Communion in-gathering.  

So, here’s the plan as of today: 

August 8-one service live streamed from the sanctuary, revise & test entry, exit, seating & screening protocols.  

August 22-one service live streamed from sanctuary with more people in the sanctuary, final test of technology and protocols, greeter/usher test. 

September 12-return to two services live streamed with as many people in the sanctuary as we can fit safely. 

Of course, we will continue to offer meaningful worship services every Sunday, so please enjoy the diversity of voices from our virtual pulpit this Summer.  

I know many are eager to gather in person to worship together. And I know you share the goal of being able to continue to welcome all who want to join us virtually. We’ll take one step at a time.  

In the meantime, join others at OUUC for in-person gatherings as you are able and comfortable. On Saturday, July 31 at 1 pm we’ll gather in the North parking lot near the Memorial Garden for Ritual of Remembrance. On Sunday, August 22 we’ll gather at OUUC and Burrie Park for a congregational picnic from Noon-3 pm. You can find more information in the OUUC Weekly Update. 

I am grateful for the choir community and Troy Fisher, OUUC Music Director, for leading the way to gathering in person again. They have tested and modified screening and building entry protocols as well as technology. Their experience has been a great resource for how we will invite anyone who wishes into the sanctuary again.  

See you soon. 

Rev. Mary