Top Things We Think You Should Know:
New Resources for December 2021
Covid Conversations: Ask the Doc About Covid, Church and Christmas (webinar recording)
The Connecticut School Mitigation Strategies for Arts Instruction and Performance, Yale School of Music Requirements, the Journal of the American Medical Association, COVID-19 Precautions Help Make Music That’s Beautiful and Safe (published October 14, 2021) agree on this basic guidance:
- Again: GET VACCINATED if eligible. That means get all doses of the vaccine recommended at this time, including a booster shot. Get the COVID-19 vaccination AND get your flu shot!
- Wear a well-fitting multiple layer mask. A brief YouTube video by the American Chemical Society demonstrates the reduction in aerosol release when singing with a mask. Singers, theater performers, and musicians must wear well-fitting surgical masks while singing or speaking. More here.
- Consider using bell covers made of a 3-ply surgical mask for small instruments or a MERV 13 filter inside a Spandex cover for larger instruments. More here.
- Maintain physical distance of at least 3-6 feet between performers and at least 12 feet from the audience.
- Limit performances to 30 minutes indoors and one hour outdoors, or 50 minutes indoors if three air exchanges or more per hour occur. Rhode Island Department of Health provides tips to improve ventilation indoors by opening windows, using high-efficiency particulate air cleaners, or increasing the ventilation system’s air exchange rate. The more air exchanges per hour, the lower the risk of disease spreading through the air.
- Open the windows even just 6 inches, across the room if possible. Tell parishioners to wear their jackets indoors.
- Limit the number of choir members as space allows to maintain physical distancing. RI recommends 12 ft from other people if singing).
- Perform outdoors when possible.
November Covid Update for Churches: Singing! - November 2021
Gathering Guidance (Delta Variant) from the UU, October 21, 201
With One Body and One Spirit - Returning to Church 3.0, September 21, 2021 resource from the Wisconsin Council of Churches
The Southern New England Conference UCC region has reached approximately 67% of the population fully vaccinated! This is good news; however a deeper look at the data identifies socially vulnerable communities, and populations report full vaccination rates of only 45% to 56% across the three states
Covid Guidance for Church Offices by Deborah Ringen, SNEUCC Minister of Health and Wellness, August 17,2021
Excitement is growing, the desire to, “resume life as normal, pre-pandemic,” is strong, but is it safe? Southern New England Conference UCC states are beginning to ease COVID-19 restrictions on businesses, gatherings, and activities.
In this resource, Health and Wellness Minister Debbie Ringen writes: "We hold tightly to the promise of the time when we will be able to freely gather, converse, hug, and fully participate in gathering for worship and faith filled community with one another....
"The answer to the question of resuming in-person worship is that it will take time, patience and careful consideration of all of the variables in each local community to re-open safely and prevent resurgence of the coronavirus and its variants."
COVID-19 2021 Update: Seeds of Hope (Video 2/11/21)
Rev. Darrell Goodwin, Executive Conference Minister, and the Health & Wellness Team present the first in a series of discussions: COVID-19 2021 Update: Seeds of HOPE. Panelists include:
- Deborah Ringen MSN, RN-BC Minister for Health and Wellness, SNEUCC
- Peggy Matteson Ph.D., FCN Minister of Congregational Health, RI
- Kathleen Zagata RN, MSN Health and Wellness Minister First Congregational Church Winchester, MA
- Rev. Saramaria Allenby
- Rev. Lee Ireland
The American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act of 2021, signed into law on March 11, will make health insurance coverage more affordable and accessible for many Connecticut residents during the current health crisis. This flyer explains the new law. More information and insurance updates for all states here.
Vaccine information on your state Corononavirus pages:
Where Two or More Are Vaccinated: Advice for Churches in 2021 Daniel P. Chin, Christianity Today
"Fauci Urges Vaccinations to Stop New Virus Strains - Viruses Cannot Mutate if They Don't Replicate" CNN Newsource, February 8, 2021 retrieved Feb. 16, 2021
Reflection: The Inside Story of a Nurse Vaccinator by Deborah Ringen, Health and Wellness Minister
COVID-19 Indoor Air Quality: Best Practices for Houses of Worship (3/10/21) Video from Mass. Interfaith Power & Light. Curt Freedman, Professional Engineer and adjunct professor at Western New England University provides an overview of the factors houses of worship should consider as they plan to resume in-person worship. How to calculate capacity of the sanctuary, improving ventilation, use of filters and air purifiers and other topics.
The current phases of re-opening can be found on your state coronavirus pages:
Does Your Church Have a Plan? The Insurance Board
Coronavirus Response Resource Pages
This is an ever changing document of resources, advice and prayers. In it you will see the hope we share in Jesus. Thank you for making this possible with your gifts.
- Phasing Forward
- Finances, CARES and PPP Loans, UCC Insurance Info, & Conducting Business
- Outreach Ideas and Resources
- Pastoral Care, Self-Care, Mental Health Resources
- Resources for Ministry with Children, Youth and Families
- Worship & Nurturing Community Online
- Grief Resources, and a Page for Remembering Loved Ones
On this page:
- New Resources for 2021
- COVID-19 Physical Health Updates
- The Big Picture: What Does this Mean for the Future of the Church?
Covid19 Health Updates
Racism in the Time of COVID-19 by Zinzi Bailey, Sharrelle Barber, Whitney Robinson, Jaime Slaughter-Acey, Chandra Ford, Shawnita Sealy-Jefferson
Transition or Transformation? David Cleaver-Bartholomew writes: I frequently hear people express their strong desire for us to transition out of this pandemic and return to basically what life was before it struck. While I completely understand this, I humbly disagree. March 27
Coronavirus: The good that can come out of an upside-down world BBC article to help think about church on the other side of the pandemic. March 30
- Crisis Can Help Us Reorient What We Prize Sojourners article by former MACUCC Conference Minister Jim Antal, the UCC's Special advisor on Climate Justice. March 26