UUFC Board President’s Letter March 28, 2022
Dear UU members and friends,
The war in Ukraine rages on with senseless death and destruction in an effort to break Ukrainian resistance and subdue Ukrainian resolve to determine their own destiny in a democracy. Sounds a lot like our fifth principle, “the right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large.” Our April 17 Give Away the Plate will go to support Jose Andres’ World Central Kitchen, which is so essential in feeding millions of Ukrainian refugees.
- After much consideration, and in response to polling during the Annual Business Meeting, the Board decided to make masks optional, with some stipulations, starting next Sunday, April 3. Many decisions that the Board makes are about compromise. After looking at local pandemic data and listening to concerns, we came to this decision. We urge everyone who attends services to be fully vaccinated, with a booster, not just for personal protection, but to protect others. N95 masks or KN95 masks are recommended for those wanting the greatest protection. Cloth and paper masks do not offer comparable personal protection. If you have not been vaccinated, you are required to wear a mask. The vast majority of our congregation has been fully vaccinated. The Fellowship Hall will be divided into two sections: the diagonal section of chairs, to the right of the dais as you enter the Fellowship Hall, will be the mask required section, and in the center section in front of the dais, masks will be optional. Microphones and collection plates will be handled by masked volunteers. We urge everyone to be sensitive to possible anxiety and give others space. There may be some confusion at first, but with compassion towards others, we will adjust. As always, the Board will monitor the pandemic situation and our mask policy will be modified accordingly. If there are concerns, please contact me: email@example.com or 706.577.9242.
- On Sunday, March 27, we were happy to induct a new member: Shannon Cruzan. She has been a regular with the Wednesday Night Discussion Group during the pandemic and frequently attended services with her mother, Robbie Henson. Welcome Shannon!
- Thanks to Connie and Ron Ussery our UU Library has been cataloged and is now online. Check it out by going to our website at uucolumbusga.org and look to the right on the tabs. A book of the month is featured. The Library has been all spruced up with two really comfortable chairs and a compass rose floor covering to help you find your way out. If you want to take some time to read after Service, Grace Fellowship Hall will be open for a while following the Service. Be sure to let Brenda know you are going to be there.
- At our March 13 Business Meeting, the Fellowship elected Robbie Henson to fill a vacant trustee position on the Fellowship’s Board. Robbie previously served on the Board, and we appreciate her volunteering again.
- On Sunday, April 3, coffee/tea and some munchies will be served in the Meditation Garden area before Service, weather permitting, from 10:15 – 10:55 a.m. We ask that those gathering outside finish their food and drinks before entering Grace Fellowship Hall. Why? If we start consuming food in Grace Fellowship Hall, we will need to start cleaning services again, an expense of about $300 per month. The Board does not want to incur that expense until we fully resume activities and start having our oh-so-missed monthly luncheons, with good food, friendship and conversation. Until then, you are invited to coffee time al fresco.
- Scientists now predict that because of global climate change, the pollen season will gradually be extended 40 more days in a year. Already, we are being assaulted by pollen. Our new Eufy robotic floor cleaner has been very useful in reducing allergens in Grace Fellowship Hall.
- I talked with Sergeant Aaron Evard of the Columbus Police about some congregants’ concerns about security in the Fellowship. There will be a Citizens Law Enforcement Academy starting around July for a couple of hours, one day a week, for sixteen weeks. The other option is a Police Department seminar on Church Safety and responding to active shooters being held on April 25 for about two hours. If you are interested in either please contact me for more information.
For the Ukrainians: “You can’t separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has freedom.” Malcolm X
UUFC Board President