As you know, there are many of us who gather in spiritual community on the Unity Campus. Today we are writing to let you know that the Boards of High Plains Church UU and Unity Spiritual Center met last night and have jointly voted unanimously to take precautionary action and suspend all gatherings in our buildings beginning at 4pm today, March 12th through March 31st.
In the last week of March, our Boards will re-visit and re-evaluate this decision, and we will be providing updates as needed along the way. Caring for EVERYONE is our primary concern, and this step is taken because it is the socially responsible action to take. Please know that we make this decision from a calm and hopeful demeanor, rather than from fear.
This means that we will be temporarily suspending all activity on the Unity Campus. However, classes, events, worship services, meditations, and other activities for Unity Spiritual Center, High Plains Church Unitarian Universalist and BodhiMind Center MAY be held in online forums. Look for details and more information from your individual community coming in the next few days! We are working out procedures.
Our communities will continue to be as fully operational as possible. All normal day-to-day operations will continue from remote locations. Our staff members will continue to work remotely and will answer the main office phone lines and email during regular office hours. As always, you can contact us any time.
High Plains Church UU
Office: 719-206-1080 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Unity Spiritual Center in the Rockies
Minister: Ring through to the minister’s extension, which calls Ahriana’s cell phone as well as leaving an email alerting her to your call.
Why so soon? Why now?
1. We know that the #1 recommendation, and the most effective action we can take in dealing with this virus, is to refrain from being around a lot of people. If we were to have one person attend an event in our building who is later diagnosed with COVID-19, we could feasibly need to ask everyone who has visited our building to self-quarantine for up to 3 weeks. Between all three spiritual communities and various other group activities, we estimate that about 400 people are meeting on our campus each week. We can slow the spread of disease by finding ways to gather without the physical presence of staff, congregants, and community members in our building.
2. In addition, a high percentage of our members fall in vulnerable categories for this virus. Many people have already told us that they will not be attending services and activities for a while. Holding our services online means that we ALL stay connected even as we must separate a bit from each other. Additionally, we serve many people who might be kept from working during this kind of a quarantine. The economic concerns this might create for those people is worthy of our consideration and care. The most ethically-driven decisions often prioritize the most vulnerable members of any given community and call us to be proactive members of our society.
3. This is the BEST way for us to care for each other during this uncertain time. We acknowledge that it is distressing to make decisions that have challenging consequences for the people we love. We know that by taking this action, we are supporting the well-founded efforts being made across our state, our country, and the world, to slow this virus down while medical specialists look for answers. Please look for additional ways to support one another, as there is likely to be an increased demand for care from some of our members.
4. Fortunately, with the gifts of technology and creativity, we can continue to be connected even when in-person gatherings are ill-advised. Technology allows us to be nimble and adapt how we “do spiritual community.” We can organize for connection and take the necessary precautions until we can be back together in person. We will be holding worship services, meditations, online team meetings, covenant groups, and support circles, etc., via Zoom so that we can see each other. Sunday Services and Meditations will be available both to participate as they happen live online or view as recorded versions later. Each community will distribute Zoom instructions and links, send recordings out by email, and post them to Facebook. If you don’t have internet or need support with technology, please ask! We will do our best to help you stay connected by phone or online.
What you can do:
· Upload “Zoom” to your phone or computer.” This free program will be used on Sundays for worship and for any sanctioned community activity. Zoom allows us all to be together in a way that we can see one another and stay connected without physical proximity. All of us will be making social choices every day about where we go and who we see. So, even with any small group gatherings, please be mindful that the recommendation is not to meet in person at this time.
· Call your friends and make sure they have seen this message. Stay connected to each other and help each other stay engaged by participating online. Real community can happen and be sustained in this way.
· Watch your email and our Facebook pages for updates and opportunities. Call if you need Tech support.
· Take good care of yourself and others – if you have symptoms or feel sick – stay home. Stay away but stay connected. Please let us know if you are ill or have special needs.
· Continue to be calm and centered. Try to find a middle place of reason between denial and panic. If you need support, reach out to a minister, leader or friend. This is precautionary and meant to bring us all more peace of mind, body and spirit. Our LOVE for one another is stronger than this virus!
· Have confidence. Leadership from all three communities are working together to make these decisions in the best interest of everyone who uses the Unity Campus.
Warmest regards and blessings,
Rev. Ahriana Platten, Unity Spiritual Center
Rev. Julia McKay, High Plains Church Unitarian Universalist
David Gardiner, BodhiMind Center