It would be incorrect to say we are “re-opening.” The truth is: while our physical doors were indeed shuttered in the name of public health, our community was never closed. Far from it.
The past 15 months have tested our creativity and our resolve. We’ve been asked to dig deep, to not take little things for granted. Like keeping in touch. Like hugs and high fives. We’ve been asked to act for the common good, and we have. We’ve asked to prioritize those who are struggling most, and we have.
We cancelled in-person programming a week before most of our neighbors. At the time, we knew we had an opportunity to do things differently. To make good decisions, together. In hindsight, it was the right call… though no one would have guessed how long our physical doors would remain shut.
Today, we find ourselves in new circumstances. We’ve changed, as individuals and as an institution. We’ve grieved together. We’ve learned together. We’ve celebrated together, albeit in new ways. And today, we hear news that some restrictions are no longer needed, thanks to advancements in science and medicine that have also occurred over this past year. Here we are, with another chance to do things right, with another opportunity to make good decisions, together.
Obviously, the priority is the health and safety of everyone. On that, we follow the experts, the scientists & doctors. Beyond that, however, we follow our hearts… because we care about one another and about core values like access, inclusion, and dialog.
The UUSGS Board of Trustees has provided initial direction to begin movement toward re-engaging in person – likely in smaller groups first – and ultimately culminating in a hybrid approach to ministry, or what some are calling “multi-platform” (online & in-person). We have set the Fall as a goal to be launched fully in this regard. Staff and lay leaders are currently adapting programming, and researching & implementing new technology… from connectivity to ventilation. There is a lot to do, and we look forward to moving through this transition to something new together.
In the meantime, we would love to hear from you about your feelings currently regarding in-person gatherings. Please complete a short survey here: https://uuspringfield.breezechms.com/form/gatheringsurvey
Also, in an effort to coordinate activity and keep folks safe in the meantime, we’ve created a space reservation request system for members & friends who are looking to hold an activity on the congregation’s Porter Lake Drive campus. Please complete this form to let us know of your interest; one of our team members will be back in touch with you shortly. (Rentals are handled separately – please contact the UUSGS office @ 413-736-2324.)
Thank you in advance for your patience, communication, and goodwill as we endeavor to takes steps as a community to re-engage in-person activities in a manner that is rooted in our shared values. Should you have questions or comments at any time, contact information for key leaders can be found below:
- – With questions regarding space usage and/or the reservation process, please contact Denise Benoit: Denise@UUSpringfield.org
- – Rev. Jason Seymour can be reached at: RevJason@UUSpringfield.org
- – The UUSGS Board of Trustees may be contact through the following web form: https://uuspringfield.breezechms.com/form/ffc10b
The Unitarian Universalist Association has provided additional guidance to congregations like ours. UUSGS Board and staff are remaining apprised. Should you like to see the guidance yourself, you can find it here: https://www.uua.org/safe/pandemics/covid-19