Sanctuary Reopening Delayed Beyond May 2

The Reopening Team has delayed the return to live services planned for May 2, due to a steady rise in COVID cases in Marion County. Congregants would be at a high risk of exposure if we reopened as planned.

Live stream services at 10:30 and Children and Family Services at 9:45 will continue, until we can reopen when COVID cases are reduced. Watch for updates via email and weekly and monthly newsletters.

Our Re-opening Task Force has been planning since last November how to welcome congregants and friends back into our building. Here is the plan for re-opening, when it is possible.

The group has designed 3 building use phases. First, we will open to our congregants for Sunday Services. Next, when Marion County risk levels fall to moderate, per Oregon Health Authority and our governor, we will open the building to our congregant members, teams and Affiliated Ministries to convene their on-site meetings. And the third phase will be opening to the wider community, folks who want to rent the facilities. Building Use Guidelines for all 3 phases will be posted when the building is open for that use.

The re-opening task force realizes that the guidelines suggested below will not be adequate for all individuals; some people may feel safer worshiping from home until a later time. We will continue offering live stream online services for all who prefer that option. For the rest of the congregation, we are assuming you are willing to accept the personal risk of being together inside.
Below are the Building Use Guidelines for Sunday Services When we reopen for the first time in over a year, this plan will be continually adjusted. Thank you for your adaptability and patience.
~Christine Ertl, UUCS Board Chair representative of the Re-opening Task Force

Building Use Guidelines for Services – now delayed beyond May 2, 2021
SERVICE TIMES: We will be offering two services each Sunday at 9:30 and 11:15.Seating will be available for 42 participants in the sanctuary at each service. The 9:30 service will continue to be Live-Streamed. ASL interpretation will occur at the 9:30 service only. Closed Captioning will continue to be available on the recorded service mid-week.
MAKE A RESERVATION FOR ATTENDING A SERVICE: Pre-registration for services will be required. Reservations will be available beginning each Monday the week before the service. Watch for the link on the website. You will need to reserve a spot every week for that week’s service. When registering, indicate if ASL interpretation is required for you. People can also call into the church Monday thru Friday (503-364-0932) to make a reservation.
CHILDREN: Religious Exploration will be offered for all children at both services. Children will need to be registered with their family. Children will be greeted by an LRE volunteer and escorted to the LRE wing. Parents will need to pick up children from the LRE wing using the east side door at the end of services. Read more about children and the Religious Exploration program in this newsletter here, or email Lily Walker at to be placed on the Children & Family Religious Education email list.
ENTERING THE BUILDING FOR SERVICES: To preclude the desire to socialize, people will be asked to arrive no more than 20 minutes before worship. Anyone who is not feeling well is asked not to attend an in-person service. Everyone coming into the building must wear a mask and keep the mask on at all times in the building. Everyone must observe social distancing coming into and in the church itself. Inside the church will not be a place to socialize.
HOSTS: A Host will offer a mask if you do not have one, take your temperature, check the COVID Site Entrance Survey and check you off the registration list. No one will be allowed to be in the church without a mask. Hand sanitizer will be used by everyone coming in the building and will be available for all. Hosts will direct participants to the sanctuary.
ENTERING THE SANCTUARY: Hosts will guide people to a seat, seating participants from the front to the back of the sanctuary leaving 6 feet between parties. You will have to decide who you consider to be in your safe “bubble” for seating purposes. This seating will allow maximum use of the space and ensure that no one is wandering around looking for a seat. We ask that participants stay seated, not move around to greet friends and do not move chairs.
NAME TAGS: Name tags will not be used at this time, as we will not be greeting each other in the sanctuary.
ORDER OF SERVICE: At this time, there will be no physical Order of Service. The order will be projected during the service.
SHARE THE PLATE: We will not be passing offering baskets. A box will be provided at the entrance to the sanctuary for people to leave their offerings either before or after the service.
MUSIC: Congregational singing will not be allowed but congregants will be encouraged to hum to the musical offerings. Hymnals will not be available, but music will be projected for all to use to hum along.
LEAVING THE SERVICE: When the service is over, participants will be dismissed by a Host to exit the sanctuary.
RESTROOMS: The restrooms in the main hallway and in the fellowship hall will be open. Spray disinfectant and disinfectant wipes will be available for use by anyone who may feel vulnerable.
SOCIALIZING: As hard as this will be to do, attendees are asked to please refrain from socializing inside the church building. There will be no Fellowship Hour in Hanneman Hall for the foreseeable future. All socializing must be done outside the building in the fresh air. Our goal is not to stymie friendliness but to keep everyone safe.

Understand that as we move forward things may change. Please be flexible and patient with us.