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Link to the May, 2021 policy on Meetings & Events During the Pandemic

Outdoor Space Reservations

Link to Lay Leader Info including how to reserve Zoom rooms

 

COVID-19 Update May, 2021

UUAA Re-Opening Update 5/25/21 - by the members of UUAA's COVID-19 Advisory Team (Jim Lee, Jim Marks, Tom Reischl, Laura Bauman, QuianaDenae Perkins, Cassandra Hartley, and Manish Mishra-Marzetti)

Our COVID-19 Advisory Team, charged with determining the timing and safety parameters for in-person UUAA activities, has been closely tracking available county, state, federal, UUA, and other relevant guidance since the beginning of the pandemic. We are encouraged by the improving infection trendlines at the county and state-levels. This is good news for us as a society, even as many of us, at the individual and family-levels, are continuing to navigate specific health-related concerns, including the reality that vaccines are currently unavailable for children under the age of 12.

At the level of UUAA's programmatic planning, our professional staff and lay program chairs/leaders have been earnestly planning for our eventual full re-opening since February 2021. Those programmatic and logistical preparations are continuing, including significant improvements to our HVAC (air filtration) system as well as technological investments that will allow us to move into a multi-modal era of congregant engagement with UUAA's activities and programs. This work has been in progress and will continue over the summer months. We are holding an aspirational goal of shifting into full multi-modal, physical campus-based operations by Water Communion Sunday (our annual fall in-gathering time), which occurs in the first half of September 2021.

Acknowledging that aspirational goal, it is clear to us that our beloved UUAA community will have two on-going and inter-related needs: What are the parameters under which a small group or committee can meet (in-person or via multi-modality)? And, what are the parameters under which large gatherings (potentially of dozens or hundreds of people) might be possible (in-person or via multi-modality)? Our approach to these questions is guided by a commitment to holding the health and well-being of UUAA's members and friends (including its children & youth) at the center of our work, as well as the values of accessibility and inclusion.

All groups/activities that are officially organized under UUAA's institutional umbrella should adhere to UUAA's current guidance for congregational activities and meetings. This official guidance, for summer 2021, can be read following this link.

For this summer, UUAA's outdoor spaces are now and will continue to be available, on a reservation basis, for UUAA small group activities, programs, and meetings.

In addition, we are aware that some UUAA small groups/activities have been meeting off-site, including in the homes of UUAA members/friends, and we assume that those types of UUAA-related meetings/activities/gatherings will continue.

UUAA's facilities are being prepared for small group, indoor meetings and we are developing the needed staff support for such. (As community members may recall, UUAA's professional staffing for in-person building operations was significantly reduced for the majority of the pandemic.) Our team will advise when indoor small group meeting spaces at UUAA will be available and under what safety and accessibility parameters. Please look toward our team's next update in the second half of June.

Small Group Gatherings

Because we, a team of seven persons, cannot personally assess the real time health and safety needs of any specific small group gathering, our team's recommendations for official UUAA outdoor and off-site small group activities are intentionally conservative. We recommend, in general, an adherence to the safest measures currently recommended, as an expression of our community's shared commitment to inclusion, accessibility, and care for one another.

Side-by-side with that, we are recommending that UUAA small groups, activities, and committees engage in consensus-based dialogue among all members, in advance of an in-person or multi-modal meeting, so that the participants in that small group/activity/committee have the opportunity to directly share with one another what their individual or family's health and safety needs are. The goal is not to exclude anyone based on vaccination status, but rather to supportively figure out what modes of 'getting together' are going to work for all involved in the small group/activity/committee. For example, what health and safety related needs do each of us bring to the group that we are involved in? What safety measures and modes of participation (in-person vs. virtual) do we individually need, in order to participate in a way that feels safe and inclusive?

We believe that these smaller, group-specific conversations are essential and encourage you to have them if your UUAA group, activity, or committee has not already engaged in such intentional dialogue. UUAA staff member QuianaDenae Perkins (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and members of the LOV Team (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) can serve as a sounding board in support of this kind of consensus-based, health-informed decision-making. Such consensus building may also usefully inform how your group begins to plan for fall 2021 meetings and activities.

Large Public Gatherings

Our team recognizes the need to integrate into our fall 2021 planning county, state, federal, UUA, and other guidance related to large indoor gatherings. We note that the public health guidance that we track has been changing, at times rapidly and surprisingly so. It is quite likely that the existing guidance will not be what we are looking at in July or August, depending on whether the public health environment continues to improve, as we all hope it will, or it suddenly and unexpectedly worsens. We will continue to track this information closely and will provide our community regular updates as circumstances develop, approximately once every 4 weeks or so, and more often if warranted.

Questions/Feedback

Any questions or feedback about our team's summer 2021 guidance can be directed to Executive Minister, Rev. Cassandra Hartley (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.), who will share such, as appropriate, with the full team.

We wish you a beautiful month ahead, as we begin to enjoy Michigan's typically delightful summer season.