“There are years that ask questions and years that answer.” ~ Zora Neale Hurston
While 2020 has certainly been a year that has asked a lot from each of us, the year did not seem very forthcoming with any answers. We, as individuals, had to rely on ourselves and find our own answers to identify the path forward to move through this strange and unusual year. This is also the case for the UUFP. There is no guidebook or map that shows us how to move forward to maintain and sustain our UUFP community. We’ve had to rely on ourselves and the Board to make the best decisions for the larger group. In fact, that was the reason a questionnaire was sent out last month, looking for input and interest in re-opening the fellowship for in-person services. The results from the survey are as follows:
• 27 people completed the survey (Thank you!)
• While it was split with regards to the percentage of people who wanted to attend socially distanced events and those who did not, the comments made it quite clear, that the majority of respondents felt that now was not the time to have indoor services/events. However, respondents felt quite comfortable with outdoor events.
• 96% of the respondents would commit to wearing a mask, keeping a 6-foot social distance from others and submitting an RSVP for a service/event, if asked.
• 70% of the people with children who responded stated that they would still attend if we did not have RE or Nursery services, however the comments made it quite clear that they would like to have their children be able to be outside.
As I write this column in mid-November, the cases of Covid-19 continue to escalate (in fact, it no longer looks like a curve – just a straight line upward). While there has been very promising news regarding vaccines, it will still be a while before the general population will have access to them. With all of this data in mind, the Board of the UUFP has decided that we will not consider re-opening the fellowship for in-person services any time sooner than Spring 2021. I know that this is a disappointment for many, however the Board feels that the health and safety of the friends and members of the fellowship take priority.
But there is good news!! We have almost completed the set up for us to live-stream our Sunday services. We will no longer be dependent on Zoom. Live streaming will enable us to have a lay leader at the fellowship (won’t it be nice to see our beautiful sanctuary again) and have a speaker—well—just about anywhere. And at such time that we are having in-person services again, we can still live-stream to those who may choose to watch it from home. It is very exciting, and we hope to have this up and running by the New Year. Many thanks to Rick Duske for his technical expertise, as well as Jon Price and Kris Barnthouse for assisting with the set-up.
And, there is more good news! The “Raise the UUFP Roof ” campaign that was started to help to defray some of the cost of the roof repair has raised $4,150. Thank you to all who have donated. Your generosity is greatly appreciated. We are still accepting donations, so if you would like to contribute, you can either send a check to the fellowship or donate on-line on our website. And, so, the leak in the roof has been repaired!
I will close with another heartfelt thank you to Kay and Jon Price for setting up and managing two bonfires. The turn-out was excellent and everyone had a great time. Stay tuned for more outside events. With this in mind, I will leave you with words from an individual who lived most of their life in Sweden: “There is no such thing as too cold; you’re just underdressed.”
Wishing you all health and happiness for the holiday season, Linda K.