This letter will be familiar, but includes important information not available in last week’s article.
Dear UUCPA friends and members,
I am delighted to report that we’ll be able to gather in person at UUCPA beginning on September 12 at 9:30 am. The online service will continue, now every week at 11 am.
In-person attendance will be limited and require pre-registration. We will do all we can to accommodate everyone who wishes to attend in person, but only trial and experimentation will tell us how many people do, so please be flexible as we all learn together.
I know this is long, but it’s full of details you’ll want to know, so please read on.
Health and Safety First
Children, most of whom are still completely vulnerable to COVID, will be on our campus having their program at the same time. It is vitally important that adults respect the fences put up around the campus and not enter any space except that designated for the service. I would be so sad to cancel our in-person gatherings, but more heartbroken if a child were infected with an increasingly dangerous variant on our campus, so please: No entry into the religious education space except for those teachers and staff explicitly authorized by Rev. Dan Harper–no exceptions.
On to the In-Person Service Plans
When? The in-person service will be at 9:30 am; the online service will continue, now at 11:00 am. Other than the change in time, the online service is unchanged—all of the rest of the following information pertains only to the 9:30 am, in-person service.
Say more about when? We have two services scheduled for in person: September 12 and September 19. We’ll review the experience, make any necessary tweaks, and if all is well, continue in October. (The service on September 26, being pre-recorded video of the Ware Lecture, will not have an in-person option. The Children and Youth Religious Education Committee program will offer an alternative for parents whose children are in class that day.)
Where? The service will take place in a clearly marked area of the back parking lot. It is not the most beautiful part of our property, but it will be made lovely by our presence. Look for the blue canopy.
How? For the time being, attendance at the in-person service is limited and requires pre-registration. Realm, UUCPA’s database, offers an excellent registration process, so please activate your account with Realm now if you have not done so before.
Pre-registration for in-person services is open now. You can register two ways: go to the UUCPA Realm events page (select the event listed on the linked page and click the “Register by…” link): https://e.onrealm.org/events. Or contact Jeff or Debra via email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or phone: 408-550-5835 and tell them how many people you’d like to register.
Note that leaving a message or sending an email does not finalize a reservation. You must talk to someone to receive verbal confirmation, or receive a response confirmation email. Registration for the September 12 service closes at the close of business on Thursday, September 9.
Jeff or Debra can also help you with activating your Realm account.
What if the service is full? We do need to limit attendance. If you get a message that the service is full, please go on and register for the next week. (In the meantime, if you do get a seat on the 12th, please hold off on registering for the 19th for a few days, to make room for those who could not attend on the 12th.)
What about parents whose kids are in class and people helping to run the service? Do we have to pre-register too? Yes. This is important for us to know when we are reaching capacity.
What about masks and all that? Masks will be required, as they are on the UUCPA campus at all times, and seating will keep a six-foot distance between households. We strongly recommend that you be vaccinated, for your own and others’ well-being.
Can I drink coffee? Coffee is a UU sacrament, isn’t it? Yes–do bring your own! (Lifting your mask to take a sip is fine.)
Can we sing? The guidance of scientists suggests that it is safe to sing if we are outdoors, wearing well-fitted masks (no gaps, and preferably N95, KN95 or double masks), and 10-12 feet apart. That’s a big distance. So our plan is to sing once at the end, when we can spread out.
What if it’s smoky? Please check the Spare the Air forecast the previous evening:
Click on “Full Forecast”
Check the reading for South Central Bay, Sunday
If it predicts that Sunday’s Air Quality Index will be 100 or higher, in-person services will be cancelled. We will also update our outgoing phone message if services will not take place. Other sites may have different readings, but we will be guided by Spare the Air.
What do I do when I get there? Park in the back or along the exit driveway. If you arrive late, please park along the entrance driveway. Then, go to the check-in table before having a seat. For extra-easy check-in, download the Realm Connect mobile app.
Is it handicapped-accessible? Yes!
What if nature calls? Service attendees will use the restrooms in the Main Hall lobby. Please use the walkway alongside the entrance road to reach the Lobby door. Do not use the walkway adjacent to the patio.
Can I attend in-person and online? Sure! After the 9:30 service, settle back in at home and enjoy the second service starting at 11 am. They will be similar but with significant differences, such as different music.
Thank you so much to the Hybrid Services Task Force and so many others–Brooke Bishara, the Worship Tech crew, Rev. Dan Harper and the Children & Youth Religious Education Committee and staff, Jeff Cashdollar, the Building and Grounds Committee– for the hard work and creative problem-solving that make this possible
I can’t wait!