A message from the Board President regarding UUCGF and the COVID-19 pandemic.

By Will Aitcheson.

To my knowledge, there has never been two letters from the president in one month; nor has it been often when there were two board meetings in the same month, and never have we closed our facility for health reasons. These are strange and difficult times that require more than usual vigilance, care, and effort. So here are some results of that effort:

The Board met as promised on Tuesday night, March 24th, via Zoom to discuss further facility closure. A motion was made to close our church until further notice, and to review that decision as the first item in new business at each of our regularly scheduled monthly board meetings until we decide to reopen. The motion passed unanimously.

Let me restate this for clarity. The church is closed until further notice. The Board will review this decision at each monthly meeting until we reopen.  We also decided to try again this Sunday to participate in Rich’s wonderful service considering the messaging of the religious right.  There will be an email on Friday night with a link in order to attend the Zoom meeting. Special care has been taken to ensure that everyone who joins will be able to participate for the entire service and discussion afterward. Please do not respond to the email because such responses will obscure the link. We Zoom participants have discovered this the hard way.

Other things were also discussed and decided. Board members will be calling each and every member and friend to check in and support any way we can. We also remind people of our pastoral care committee: Rich Myette, myself, Bob Rockwell, and Karen Johnson. It is our mission to listen carefully and thoughtfully, especially in times of stress and difficulty. Please reach out when you need to.

And then there is a pandemic and our necessary response. The danger is so great and so imminent, the Wed., March 25th Post-Star printed its editorial above the fold on the first page. Here are some excerpts:

  • “We do not want to instill panic, but… if the virus projections come to pass, we need to be prepared.”
  • “As New York City goes so goes upstate.”

In the editorial, the editors urged everyone to self-quarantine and to urge local communities to mobilize plans for alternate Medical Center’s if hospitals are full.

Let me urge our community to follow such CDC guidelines as to maintain a 6-foot minimum distance with anyone you are interacting with. That would include while hiking or grocery shopping, for instance. Wearing disposable gloves when shopping or otherwise interacting is a good idea. Wiping down packages with disinfectant wipes after shopping is also recommended. Please rethink carpooling and visiting friends and relatives. Finally, if there are additional questions, please go to the New York State services website and click on the coronavirus page.