WORSHIP SCHEDULE CHANGE: Message from FUS Leadership
March 13, 2020
Dear FUS Community,
As we continue to monitor the outbreak of Coronavirus in our community, we have decided to stop in-person worship services starting this weekend March 14 and 15. This is a change from our email yesterday.
Worship will take place virtually this Sunday, March 15, at 10 am. Please use this link to watch us online: https://www.youtube.com/user/fusmadison.
This decision was made out of love and care for our community and at the recommendation of UUA President Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we continue our efforts to care for one another and those unknown to us.
Other important information:
- Children’s Religious Education classes are canceled this weekend. CRE Director Leslie Ross has emailed parents and teachers with more information. For questions about CRE, contact Leslie at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- The town hall meeting (“Who are we called to be”) for this Sunday, March 15, has been postponed. A new date will be provided later.
- As of today, currently scheduled meetings of small groups (defined as 15 people or less) are permitted to continue meeting at FUS if they feel comfortable attending. If you have questions or concerns, please reach out to your staff liaison.
- The Red Floors for this week will be shared on Monday, March 16, with information about how to navigate FUS for the coming week. If you have any changes to events you need to be shared with the congregation, please contact Brittany with this information at email@example.com.
- We will temporarily change the look of our website homepage (www.fusmadison.org) to better assist you with navigating FUS virtually. Please continue to visit our website for updated information.
- All messages shared with the congregation regarding the Coronavirus can be found at www.fusmadison.org/coronavirus.
- We are planning several virtual meetings and events designed to keep us connected as a community. More will be shared as we finalize plans.
- The physical offices are temporarily closed, but your staff and ministers are available by phone and email. Please visit www.fusmadison.org/welcome/our-staff-2 to find contact information.
We continue to hold you in our thoughts and hearts. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to the ministers or a lay minister 608.233.9774 ext. 126 for support.
In community and with hope,
Rev. Doug, Rev. Kelly, and Monica
Message from FUS Leadership
March 12, 2020
To our FUS Community,
We continue to hold you all in our thoughts as we move through this challenging time. For many of us, uncertainty and anxiety occupy our minds and hearts.
Our principles teach us that we are part of the interconnected web of life, that our actions impact the lives around us. We believe deeply in community care and the need to protect the most vulnerable among us. It is in this spirit of connection and care that we are moving forward with safeguards to protect each other. As your leadership team and staff, we have identified the following next steps:
Weekend Services for March 14 & 15
- We will continue to hold our regular services on Saturday at 4:30 pm and on Sunday at 9 am and 11 am. In compliance with CDC recommendations, please do not attend services if you are ill or if someone in your home is sick.
- If you are planning on attending services:
- please honor your neighbor by maintaining a safe space when possible (and be aware that others may be seeking a safe distance from others too),
- coughing or sneezing into your elbow or a tissue,
- washing your hands,
- and not shaking hands or hugging.
- We will not be holding coffee hour after services.
- We will not hold our 2nd Saturday Potluck.
- We will continue with our Town Hall Meeting on Sunday, March 15, at 12:30 pm.
Weekend Services starting March 22
- We will discontinue regular, in-person worship services starting the weekend of March 21 & 22.
- We will livestream one service on Sundays at 10 am. More information,including links to the livestream, will be provided next week in an email and on our website.
- We will continue to assess the situation and update you on Wednesday, April 1 on how services in April will be held.
Office Closure begins on Monday, March 16
- Our physical offices will be temporarily closed, but our staff will be working remotely and will be accessible via phone, email, and video chat. Closing the building ensures safety for our members, visitors, and staff.
- If you need to reach a specific staff member, visit https://fusmadison.org/welcome/our-staff-2.
Future meetings and events.
- We are also planning other ways that we can stay in touch with one another and care for one another without meeting in person. In the meantime, we encourage you to take the initiative in reaching out to other members and friends of the congregation who you think might appreciate it. This is a time when we need more connection with one another, in the time being it will need to take a different form.
- Various events are being evaluated to determine if they can be postponed or should be canceled. We will share this information as soon as possible on our event calendar and in the Red Floors.
- Staff will be reaching out to groups regarding meetings to identify the best way to continue our work. Please look for emails from your staff lead.
- We will also be utilizing Zoom to hold meetings and other small community gatherings. Please visit https://zoom.us/andhttps://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362233-Where-Do-I-Download-The-Latest-Version- to learn more and to download the program to your phone or computer. This is free for you and we have an established FUS account that will allow us to invite you to our meetings. Staff will be available at the welcome table this weekend to help you with any installation needs.
We will reevaluate these practices regularly. In the meantime, we are taking extra measures to disinfect common spaces and are adding more stations with tissues and hand sanitizer.
Where to start. On Wednesday, we shared with you “A Message from the Ministers.” With this message, we created a new webpage www.fusmadison.org/coronavirus. We will continue to update this page regularly. You will also see additions to the Red Floors designed to help you navigate FUS virtually for the upcoming week. We will also send out more regular mass emails to keep you informed. If you need to subscribe to these emails, please click here.
We know that this is a particularly anxious time for many of us. If it would be helpful to you to talk to someone, please feel free to reach out to Revs. Kelly and Doug or any other staff member by phone or email. You can always call our Lay Ministry line at 608-233-9774, ext. 126. If you have any questions or concerns about this email, please feel free to contact us as well.
Please take care of yourselves, and may we hold in our hearts all of those in our community and around the world who are most affected by the coronavirus as we hope, pray, and do all that we can to minimize the suffering it is inflicting. Our community life continues in compassion, creativity, patience, and grace.
In community and in hope,
Rev. Doug Wadkins, Rev. Kelly Crocker, and Monica Nolan
A Message from our Ministers
March 10, 2020
Dear FUS community,
Our lives have been inundated with news reports, social media threads, and conversations regarding the global outbreak of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). Worry and concern for our loved ones, communities, and ourselves weigh heavily on our minds. As your spiritual and religious home, we understand the importance of grounding oneself in uncertain times.
In these times, we must practice care both for ourselves and our neighbors. Small acts of care such as washing hands, staying home when we’re sick, and offering a greeting without physical contact, honor the interconnected web of life around us. We need each other to do our part to reduce the risk of infection to those we know and those unknown to us. We are also called to continue our work in advocating for justice. In an email to all UU congregations, UUA President Susan Frederick-Gray reminded us that “UUs must also speak up against the anti-Asian sentiment that has emerged when people talk about the coronavirus.” In efforts to protect our communities, we also called to dismantle prejudice born of fear.
We recognize there are concerns among us about participating in events at FUS in the coming weeks as we continue to see the spread of COVID-19. Our leadership team has developed an action plan specific to this outbreak and has informed staff of the necessary steps should we need to implement. This plan is based on the recommendations from both the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the Wisconsin Department of Health (DHS), and we continue to monitor their reports closely. We are fortunate to be able to livestream our worship services on Sundays at 9 am and 11 am. If you are feeling unwell or are concerned about attending services during this time, we encourage you to join us virtually at www.fusmadison.org/worship/livestream.
As recommended by the CDC and DHS to reduce the spread of infections, including COVID-19 and influenza, please:
- stay home if you are sick (or if someone in your home is sick),
- cover your cough with your elbow or a tissue,
- avoid physical contact with others such as shaking hands,
- avoid touching your face,
- and regularly wash your hands for at least 20-seconds.
Your staff is thinking about how we can continue FUS programming in order to support our community and offer care to one another during the days ahead. Updates will be available on the website as these plans emerge.
We have called upon our tradition to see us through difficult and challenging times, and we have relied on each other to build this supportive community. We will remain connected as a community through the many avenues available to us–even in isolation, we are not alone. We encourage you to contact us if you have concerns, questions, or need support at 608-233-9774 ext. 126.
In hope and love,
Revs. Kelly and Doug