March 13, 2020

Dear UUCP Community, 

After deep thought and careful consideration, last night the Board, staff and I decided to discontinue all in-person worship, children’s ministries programs and meetings at UUCP until the virus dissipates. The important Neuro-Diversity/Inclusion service planned for this weekend will be rescheduled. The Traveling 2 nd Friday gathering tonight is cancelled as are all other gatherings from today forward. 

This does NOT mean that we are discontinuing worship, or children’s ministries, or meetings, or community-building. It just means that we have the opportunity to do them in different ways. While we are sad to not meet in person, we believe this can be an innovative, caring and pivotal time for UUCP where we reach out and care for each other and develop community in creative and personal ways. 

Your staff, your leaders and I are all committed to your safety. We are making this decision based on recommendations from the Unitarian Universalist Association, the CDC and community activists. We are doing this to protect those in our community who are most vulnerable, to make sure that we are not unduly spreading it within our community and to do our part to contain this virus—or at least spread out the impact so that all of our support services will not be as overwhelmed. 

I ask you to be patient with us as we learn how to do all of this in a virtual way. 

Here is what we know at this point:

Worship:  We will be providing worship this Sunday at 10:30 as a single service online. We will include standards of the service—music, together time, joys & sorrows, a message from me, although probably in slightly different ways. We hope you will join us so we can be together. We will provide a link that you can access on your computer or phone closer to the time. Check the website for updates. 

Communication:   We hope that our webpage will be the best way to get new information. We will be using the website and Facebook for things like family story time, reflections from the minister, daily meditations, etc. We will also be using email and phone calls to connect. 


Pastoral Care:  If you become sick, need pastoral care, are quarantined and need food, or any other assistance, please reach out to Rev. Christine ( minister@phoenixuu.org ). We are coordinating care teams right now and are finding responsible and nurturing ways to take care of each other during this time. If you can deliver food (at doorsteps, no contact), call to check on people (even if it is just a couple of people every other day), or help with technical assistance, please volunteer on this form here:  https://forms.gle/yhvUfgy5WCSw476S8

Connecting in Small Groups via Zoom Virtual Meetings:  We have several virtual meeting rooms available for small groups, committee meetings, friendship circles, etc. Our Business Administrator Stephanie Breidel-Vigil will be scheduling them and managing them. Please feel free to take advantage of them to connect with your UUCP people. You can reach Stephanie at administrator@phoenixuu.org .

Support for our Hourly Employees:  We have reached out to our hourly employees who will be affected by the lack of in-person programming. We care about our childcare workers, sextons and musicians and will be finding creative ways to make sure that their incomes will not be affected during this time. Our values continue to be paramount. 

Stewardship:  This is a difficult time to have a pandemic for many reasons, but one of them is that it is the middle of our Stewardship drive. We have 30% of our pledge forms completed and are still hoping for 100% completion. You can complete your pledge right here online: https://www.phoenixuu.org/10536-2/ . We sincerely hope you will help our congregational leaders and this congregation by not having our stewardship affected by this virus. 

Now, as always, and perhaps more than ever, we need each other. We will be physically separated but we will strive to be spiritually and emotionally connected. Let’s take care of each other—reach out and check on each other during this time. And know that community is defined in many different ways—I look forward to exploring them with you. 

With great love and care,
Rev. Christine