March 13, 2020 

Dear UUCE Community,

As John Lennon sang in Beautiful Boy, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” The purpose of this letter is to outline for you, our response to the Covid-19 slice of life we are currently facing. As I’m sure you are aware, things in our community, our country, and the world are changing at an unbelievable speed. This is our best guess about what an appropriate course of action should be at this time.

After considering information from the UUA (Unitarian Universalist Association), the CDC (Center for Disease Control), the WHO (World Health Organization), and church leaders within our congregation, the Board of Trustees of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Erie, voted to close our building beginning at 1:00 pm tomorrow, March 14, 2020 through March 30, 2020. We will continue to monitor the situation during that time and plan for what steps should be taken beyond those dates.

Here is what that will look like:

1. All services, meetings and events are cancelled. The UUCE building will be closed as of Saturday at 1:00 pm. No non-essential persons should access the building after that time.

2. For anyone who wishes to gather on Sunday by phone or video, Rev. Charlie will lead a half-hour pastoral service from 10:45 to 11:15 AM. The simplified service will include joys and concerns, readings and our congregation’s rituals. You are welcome to join by phone (1 646 876 9923 , access code 125 202 643) (this is a NYC number) or by video– on your phone or computer click https://zoom.us/j/125202643 You do not need to register with Zoom to join the event, though zoom.us may ask you to download an app or install a viewer, No camera or microphone? Just join and watch and use Wifi to avoid 4G data charges. Try it in advance to set up the app.

3. Our Office Administrator Joanne, will be working from home. You can reach her via email at joanne@uuerie.org.

4. Board members will reach out to hear your needs and ideas for staying in community over the next few weeks, both online and by other means. Please reach out to us, as well. Julie Maguire, Board President, can be reached at juliemaguire626@gmail.com or (814) 882-2031. All members of the Board are in the church directory. Please do not hesitate to call, especially if you are concerned about your well-being or the well-being of a church friend. We will work diligently to keep you informed of any changes via email, our website (uuerie.org), our Facebook page (Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Erie), the Beacon, and the Weekend News.

Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding as we do our best to practice our 7th principle, “Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.” Regardless of the means or methods we employ, we will continue to strive to live up to our mission of being “a vibrant and inclusive community”.

Sincerely,

The UUCE Board of Trustees
and
Rev. Charlie Dieterich