By Rev. Carol Bodeau
Dear Members and Friends,
I know that many of you are concerned about the increasing spread of the COVID-19 illness, as public agencies and the media attempt to help us minimize the effects of coronavirus. As a community, we strive to support one another’s best health in all ways—physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. In order to help protect ourselves, and those who are most vulnerable, we want to do what we can to mitigate the effects of the virus at Westside, and in our families and community. And yet we want to stay connected, because fear and isolation can be traumatic and damaging, too.
The Unitarian Universalist Association has today urged that our congregations cease having services if those gatherings are larger than 20-25 people (which ours always are). Many congregations have already confirmed that they are doing so, and this is the direction Westside will be taking.
So here are some measures we are taking to help keep all of us as safe as possible, and yet still connected to one another:
• Cancelling all services, effective this week until further notice. This will last for at least two weeks, and quite possibly through the end of March. The Board will be deciding when to begin services once again, and we will communicate that to you as soon as we make that decision.
• In the meanwhile, I and our Membership Coordinator, Wendy Weiss, will be working to coordinate a communications network to stay in touch with you all and to keep tabs especially on those who are most at risk.
• We will also be working with our administrator, Brad Kurtz, to come up with methods for doing some virtual gatherings—worship-lite, or reflection time. Look for info on our website and our Facebook group in the coming days about that.
• If you want a more complete worship experience, here are some possible options:
o TVUUC and Oak Ridge UU Church Sunday services are livestreamed on Facebook (pending their decisions about how to handle the closures, as well)
o The online UU congregation Church of the Larger Fellowship livestreams worship services every Sunday at 8pm at https://www.questformeaning.org/worship/
o The Westside website has a number of our older services available as audio files, and there are also some text sermons available. Visit westsideuuc.org/last-week
If you are concerned, or just want to check in, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also text me at (650)315-9595 (direct phone calls are a little iffier, given cell reception at the farm). Please take care of yourselves, everyone, and take care of one another. Remember that even if we’re not together in-person, we are still together in our hearts and minds.
Rev. Carol Bodeau