Please note: this letter outlines important changes regarding Sunday Services
March 11, 2020
Your ministers and church staff have been paying close attention to the developing news around Coronavirus (Covid-19) these last several days. As a community that includes hundreds of people of all ages, some with special health concerns, we are committed to being a caring presence that you can count on. This includes adapting as needed, as science reveals a shifting health context for our gatherings.
With confirmed cases of Covid-19 now present in New Mexico, Governor Lujan Grisham has taken decisive action to slow the spread of the virus and protect vulnerable people by declaring a state of emergency. She also has asked people to avoid large gatherings, specifically including churches.
At this point, we feel the most loving and faithful thing to do is move from in-person services to a virtual service on Sunday morning. Instead of gathering in the sanctuary, this Sunday’s service will be held online at 11am, via Zoom. We expect the Zoom service to be a fun and more participatory experience than our typical large church worship. The service will include a story for all ages, too. We hope you’ll join us! Watch for upcoming communications that will include the link for those who wish to join by video on computer, a phone number for those who wish to dial in instead, and instructions for both of these options and for accessing tech support volunteers beforehand. There will be no Sunday morning services held on campus at First Unitarian this week. We are also postponing the special congregational meeting that was scheduled for this Sunday.
We will send updates for future Sundays each week until regular services resume.
We know that for a smaller number of people, in-person support may be especially needed during this time. The sanctuary will be open for drop in hours on Sunday evening from 4:30-6:30pm. Ministers and Care Team volunteers will be present to greet you.
You can also reach the Care Team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. We especially want to hear from you if you test positive for or suspect you have Coronavirus, or if fragile health and self-quarantine are resulting in a sense of isolation for you during this time. We are standing by to provide support.
A few more notes:
- At this time, programming that typically runs concurrently with Sunday services, such as Adult Religious Exploration, is suspended
- Other small group events may continue at First Unitarian, at the groups’ discretion. We do discourage potluck-type sharing.
- Because there is still need in our community, Family Promise and the food pantry are still operating. Donations may be dropped off at the church office Mon-Thurs, 9am-4pm or brought to the church during sanctuary drop-in hours. Stay tuned for any updates about other outreach programming.
In trying times, we need one another and our spiritual community. Our commitment to adaptation is part of our commitment to you, and to being a resilient faith community. Your kindness, care for one another, and ways of showing up for each other are truly blessings.
The Revs. Angela Herrera and Bob LaVallee