Look here for official information from the HPCUU Board of Trustees regarding any emergent crisis, COVID-19 or Post-Election updates. 

 

Post-Election Resources

Services During COVID

COVID-19 Resources


May 2022

CURRENT HPCUU MASK POLICY

Right now, we are gathering together in person to worship on Sundays at 3:30 pm. The service is also available on Zoom for those who do not feel comfortable attending in-person service. We encourage our members and visitors to make the best decision for themselves based on their own health conditions and current data.

Masks will be required while gathering in the sanctuary for Sunday service. We feel that masks make singing together safer. We are not checking for proof of vaccination. Still, HPCUU encourages members to follow the CDC recommendation that everyone aged five years and older get a COVID-19 vaccine to help protect against COVID-19.

After each service, we offer two different options to connect with others in the congregation. Those attending the service on Zoom will join breakout rooms to discuss topics from the day. For those attending in person, coffee and snacks will be served in the Fellowship Hall from 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm. Masks are optional for Fellowship Hour.


March 17, 2022

Dear High Plains Family,

When our former minister Rev. Mike Moran takes the podium as our guest speaker on Easter Sunday, it will be our official start to in-person services. Masks will be required in the building but not proof of vaccination. HPCUU encourages members to follow the CDC recommendation that everyone ages five years and older get a COVID-19 vaccine to help protect against COVID-19. We have 2 HEPA filters in the Sanctuary now for the service. If you want to leave after the service, you may. However, members can bring food or drinks to share at the Fellowship Hour if you are comfortable. I hear there is a plan to have Easter candy and outdoor food and drink if the weather is good. Zoom services will still be available for those who don’t feel they should join us in person.

Gretchen Hein, President
HPCUU


January 6, 2021

Dear HiPsters,

Well… it’s 2022! Happy New Year to You!

AND… here we are again… making COVID-based decisions. Sigh.

These last 2-3 months, we have felt comfortable gradually beginning to meet in person — asking you to make your own decisions within the scope of our guidelines, .i.e., proof of vaccination, masked, and distanced. And as reticent as our hearts are to halt in-person gatherings — just as we were getting back to seeing each other — with El Paso County being in the highest category of risk, the Board and I think it is prudent for even our small groups and teams to meet on Zoom for the month of January. ❤

If it is any comfort, most (if not all) of the UU churches along the front range have decided to suspend in-person gatherings (including any outdoor and/or youth gatherings) for the month of January and will not return to in-person gatherings until cases begin to drop for two weeks or more. We believe this is the course for us, too. ❤

As far as I know, HiPChurch has not had any outbreak or transmission from our events or team meetings so far, and we would like to keep it that way!! We will re-evaluate at the end of the month to see where we go next. Thanks for your understanding. I know how difficult this is. REALLY, I do. ❤

Let’s continue to love and care for each other because that is what is most important right now. Let’s continue to appreciate and reach for the ways that we do get to be together in this time. Please reach out if you need anything. There are many souls to assist with whatever it might be… ❤

See you Sunday!

Rev J


December 15, 2021

Holiday Message from your Acting President 

I am excited to announce that we plan to reopen High Plains Church for Christmas Eve 2021.

The following paragraph will identify our guidelines for attending the service on Christmas Eve and services into the New Year.

Christmas Eve Service will begin at 7:30 pm

We will be gathering in person and there will be a connection on Zoom as well!  We hope most of you will feel comfortable coming to be together in this special way.  We will only sing as a group outside and with masks on. Other music for the service will be performed by soloists during the inside portion of the service.

We will begin our service outside to sing and then process in to decorate the chancel with any greens that you bring. We ask each family to bring one pine frond, or rosemary stem, or any live plant stem that you believe will celebrate bringing our church life back into the sanctuary!

Then, at the end of the service, Reverend Julia and the Worship Team will lead a procession with candlelight out of the church to sing together.  Then if you choose, you are invited to come back inside for a social hour of cookies and beverages, or you may wish to go home at that time based on your sense of personal safety.  We ask you to stay masked during the social hour when not eating or drinking.

We will not be collecting an offering at this service – this time together is our gift to you for hanging in there and supporting each other through these last two years!

Community Safeguards

Proof of vaccination will be required to attend any High Plains services. We ask that everyone take a photo of your vaccination card and email it to office@hpcuu.org so you do not need to remember it on the first day you attend in person.  Once you are on our list as vaccinated, you will not be asked again for verification.  If you prefer, you may bring proof to your first service, and it will be noted on an ongoing master list of church members.  You can provide proof in person by bringing your actual vaccination card, a photo of it, or show your vaccination record on the myColorado app (found in your particular app store for free download).

In lieu of vaccination, a recent negative covid test within 72 hours of attendance would be required to attend.

 If you wish to social distance we will have colored stickers to denote

  1. Green: I feel okay with you in my personal space.
  2. Yellow: Ask first.
  3. Red: Please keep your distance.

Masked covering of the mouth and nose will be required in all areas inside the building. High Plains attendees will be informed of ongoing requirements via our website (https://www.hpcuu.org/official-board-updates/), announcements at worship services, and weekly e-blasts. In addition, signs will be posted at Unity Campus notifying attendees of the need to wear masks and provide proof of vaccination. Disposable masks will be available on-site to be given to those who do not come with a mask.

A greeter or church staff person will verify vaccination status or a negative covid test as soon as individuals enter the building. A list of those vaccinated will be maintained to verify proof for future visits.

Most of all, I want to let you know that I am happy to continue to serve as your Board leader to finish out this fiscal year.  If you would like to contact me for any reason, please email pastpresident@hpcuu.org.  And, even though we have been challenged these last two years, we have so much to be grateful for.  I wish a happy holiday to you all!

Gretchen Hein, Acting President of HPCUU


 

September 12th Outdoor and/or Indoor In-Person Services Put on Hold

COVID and Air Quality Impacting the In-Person Return to Services

 

The HPCUU Board of Directors is following the UUA guidelines and UUA churches along the Front Range in not having indoor or large group outdoor gatherings while our COVID Act Now data indicates we are in the “very high risk” (red) level. In addition, Air Quality Index (AQI) this week has often been over 100 for El Paso County, which makes many of us too vulnerable to be outside as well.  Please stay tuned about further upcoming worship service information.

Covenant Groups and Ministry Teams may still meet in person at your homes, as well at the Unity Campus if you choose. You may decide amongst yourselves whether you want to wear masks and practice social distancing. If you choose to use the Unity campus you must pack-out and clean up any time you use the building. Please contact Gretchen Hein, to schedule your time on campus, so that we may alert Unity.

We’d also like to let you know that our Board President, Rick Carpenter, was in a car accident in St. Louis on Tuesday. He’s had suffered moderate injuries, is not in the ICU, and hopes to be released from the hospital this Friday. Reverend Julia spoke with him today and his sense of humor is intact!!! Please send your Best Wishes for a speedy recovery.

In Peace,

Gretchen Hein

HPCUU Past President


All,

After much research, the board has decided that we should not have potlucks at gatherings at this time… The CDC guidance says to Avoid situations at a gathering where utensils are shared, and people congregate, like buffets, etc. Also, given the fact that El Paso County is #2 in positivity and incidence in the state and that breakthrough cases have gone from 3% of cases to 20% of cases, we think this is the correct decision at this time.
We understand that potlucks are a staple of the church get-togethers, but with the Delta variant allowing fully vaccinated people to carry the virus and infect others unknowingly, it is too risky at this time.
We monitor the El Paso County Health website and the CDC website weekly. Hopefully, the risks of transmission will decrease over the next few months.
The links for the El Paso County Health dashboard and CDC Small Group Guidance are below if you would like to review the research and recommendations.
Sorry,
Thank you for your understanding.
Rick Carpenter
President HPCUU Board of Trustees

Summer Building Usage and
Soft Opening in September
This summer will be a practice for us to feel comfortable at in-person gatherings. Starting this month, Reverend Julia will offer a Pet Blessing Service for us outside the church on June 20, 2021, at 3:30 pm. The service will also be online in our Zoom room. Fellowship will have some lemonade and cookies for us after the service. This will be a pack-out event, which means whatever we bring in, we’ll need to take out with us. At present we don’t have trash pickup or cleaner. If you would like to volunteer please call me at 719-291-3522.

 

On August 22nd, Fellowship has planned quite a gathering for us, an All-Church Sunday FUUnday & Picnic at Black Forest Regional Park, 4800 Shoup Rd, Colorado Springs, CO 80908. Fellowship will keep us informed of the details.

 

Small-Group and Ministry Teams may meet in person at your homes as well at the Unity Campus. You may decide amongst yourselves whether you want to wear masks and practice social distancing. If you choose to use the Unity campus you must pack-out and clean up any time you use the building.

 

Use of Unity Campus – Anyone who wants to be on Unity grounds for any reason, please contact Gretchen Hein. She is the liaison between Unity and High Plains for any summer activities at Unity Campus. She will be in contact with the Unity Office Administrator and will get it scheduled on the joint calendar with Unity. Please let her know at least three days ahead if you’d like to use the building by email her
at Gretchen H. or call her at 719-291-3522.

 

A Soft Opening at Unity September 12th – Ingathering Service in the Sanctuary at 3:30 pm. Mark your calendar. More to come later. For those who are not ready to meet in person, we will continue to have an online presence. Services will be on Zoom throughout the summer.

 

Can’t wait to see you all in person!!
HiPChurchUU Board President

News on Covid Policy from the HPCUU Board

March 22, 2021

Recently, congregants have been wondering when we will be able to return to in-person meetings. The Board pledges that we will be transparent, responsive, and deliberate about how we go about this. We value your input and value our being together. Before we make a major decision regarding meeting in person, or any other major decisions regarding our response to COVID, the Board plans to gather your thoughts through a personal call and/or survey questions. We will welcome your feedback, questions, and concerns.

The HPCUU Board will continue to follow guidelines of the CDC, the State of Colorado Department of Health (CDHP),  and the El Paso County Health Department (EPCHD) criteria for meeting in person, masking, and social distancing as we have all along. The Board will also continue to collaborate with the  Unity Board on decisions regarding the use of the campus.  As options come to our attention the Board will inform the congregation through the HPCUU Web Site, Urgent Board Updates tab.

If you haven’t gotten vaccinated yet, we hope that you all join the excitement about getting vaccinated and follow through when it’s your turn.

Rest assured, we will continue our vibrant online presence regardless.

Sincerely,

Gretchen Hein, Board President