View this email in your browser
First Unitarian Church
March 12, 2020
Update on First U steps for safety
Very dear ones,
After careful discussion and reflection, and with the utmost concern for the safety and well-being of the congregation, the Prudential Committee of the First Unitarian Church of Providence has decided to close the campus and buildings for the next two weeks, beginning on March 12, 2020. 
This means that there will be no in-person meetings, nor will there be on-site Sunday services or religious education programming for the next two weeks. All committees of the church, including small group ministries, will either suspend meetings or hold those meetings via phone or electronic means. 
We will be closing our Parish House to rentals as well.  Staff will only be onsite to perform work that cannot be done remotely. The only exception will be the Food Pantry, which will be open in a very modified format with a smaller staff team, for those who depend upon it for the necessities for sustenance of their families and themselves. 
This wasn’t an easy choice. We have made this extraordinary decision and are taking these steps after taking into consideration the recommendations and guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the Rhode Island Department of Health. We will be carefully monitoring information about the COVID-19 virus over the next two weeks, and will reassess our congregation’s situation considering guidance from the RI Department of Health and the CDC. 
You may not have expected this step yet. In Rhode Island, we now have minimal-to-moderate community transmission. In recommending that all gatherings of 250 people or more be cancelled for two weeks, RI Department of Health Director, Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott, said on Wednesday, “As a state, we have a unique opportunity to have a positive impact by implementing these steps now, prior to the onset of widespread community transmission.” 
It’s essential, at times like this, to find ways to be together, to stay connected, and to help each other. We have very simple and accessible online formats like Zoom for upcoming meetings. We will be rolling out information and orientation for this over the next few days. We are creating a buddy program for people to check in with each other. Liz, Cathy, and Roger will be regularly posting material for support, inspiration, and care. Staff will be available by email and by cell phone for urgent matters, as usual. Now is a good time to make sure you’re familiar with our virus support page; click here. We’re also launching a YouTube page for videos and music that we’ll be generating along the way.
Please keep checking our website, and reach out if you have thoughts or concerns. And please know that your leadership is working very hard to be resourceful and responsible. Your support and patience as we all navigate these uncharted seas will be indispensable.
This will be a challenging time, but ours is a strong, resourceful and loving community. We are going to move through the challenges with great care and commitment. Together we can do this.
With Love,
Cheryl Bartholomew, Prudential Committee President
Rev. Liz Lerner Maclay, Parish Minister
Cathy Seggel, Director of Religious Education
Copyright © 2020 First Unitarian Church of Providence, All rights reserved.

Our phone number and website are:
(401) 421-7970

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp