All Activities CANCELLED for Sunday, March 15

Dear Members and friends of ORUCC

This has been a crazy week for everyone as we grapple with the reality of the coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic. The last couple of Sundays, we had already changed how we pass the peace and receive the final benediction to minimize person-to-person contact. We have been following closely the guidance provided through local and state health departments, the United Church of Christ, the Wisconsin Council of Churches, the CDC, and our own members who are part of the healthcare community.

The virus is a fast spreading virus, and the major focus at this time is to prevent the rapid spread through the community. While those most at risk of serious health issues are those over 60 or who have other existing health complications, the virus can be carried by any person of any age, even if they haven’t traveled outside the country.

I am writing to you today to let you know that the pastors have agreed to CANCEL all activities for Sunday, March 15. We will have a broader conversation with the Leadership Team on Tuesday to make plans for the next several weeks, to figure out how to communicate more effectively using digital platforms, and to deliver a meaningful worship experience electronically at least through Palm Sunday, April 5.

This decision does not come easily. This action is both about managing our own risk as well as modeling the kind of leadership and behavior we want to see in our community. We are called to love our neighbors as our selves and to show that love in both our actions and in speaking honestly about the need to protect one another through social distancing. We do this not out of fear, but out of love for one another.

If you have responsibility for meetings or other activities through the week, please be in contact with the office. While we are not mandating everyone stay away, we are trying to minimize large groups of people gathering in the building until we know the rate of spread of the virus is under control. If an event is held, please attend to your own health first – if you are not feeling well or have concerns about attending, do not attend.   If you have a scheduled meeting, please consider options where people can call in remotely using platforms such as Skype, Zoom, or even a simple phone call.

The spread of this virus is swift and schedules and protocols can change very rapidly. Please make sure you are checking the church Facebook page and watching your email regularly. If you know of someone who may not see this or a future update, PLEASE SHARE THE INFORMATION. It is better for someone to get the notice multiple times than not at all.

One final comment – our commitment to social distancing creates other kinds of opportunities to create community and reach out to those who might be feeling alone or vulnerable. If you are missing seeing someone, choose to pick up the phone and call them, or send them a note. Check on neighbors and ask baout their needs. If you are running to the grocery store, offer to shop for the person down the street who is unable to do so for themselves. Utilize neighborhood message boards to share resources if you find that store shelves are empty.

We can be the church in many important and tangible ways in this time. If you have any questions or concerns, please call the office or one of the pastors. Blessings and peace to all – stay well and stay safe.

Laura Crow

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