Unitarian Universalist Church of the Monterey Peninsula (UUCMP)

SEPTEMBER 20, 2021

Here is a summary of the policy for use of UUCMP buildings in church-sponsored events, proposed by the
UUCMP Reopening Task Force and approved by the UUCMP Board of Trustees:

  • Scheduled meetings up to a specified number of people may use designated rooms in the church
  • A specific point of contact is responsible for the group’s adherence to UUCMP standards
  • All participants must wear protective masks covering their mouth and nose while in the building
  • All participants shall maintain social distancing of at least 3 feet from other individuals
  • The meeting room must be well-ventilated, with air exhausting to the exterior, during the meeting
  • The group contact will obtain sign-in/waiver signatures from attendees for retention by the church
  • The group contact will ensure sanitary wipe-down of high-contact surfaces, after the meeting

In the spirit of inclusivity, our primary concern in any UUCMP group gathering needs to be protecting the safety of the most vulnerable among us. This is of special concern for those with existing health issues, and for unvaccinated children.

The Reopening Task Force has been working on plans for phased re-opening, considering the possibility of groups of adults who are all vaccinated to choose to meet unmasked. This option, however, has been deferred with the recently increased cases of the Delta variant and the local public health recommendation that groups meeting indoors be masked. The Board of Trustees (BoT) has agreed to allow small groups to meet in our building, masked, and maintaining at least 3 feet of social distance, following the maximum capacity determined for each space. Space reservations should be made through the church office, and all attendees will be asked to sign in to allow for contact tracing. Until the planned ventilation system is installed, we will have box fans that can be used at windows/doors to exhaust air to the exterior from different rooms. Fans should be blowing out of windows or opened doors, with other windows/doors left open to draw fresh air in. Spaces will have a 3-hour idle period between uses to allow dissipation of lingering airborne virus.

Susan Panttaja, our Sabbatical Minister, is working with Media Director Timothy Barrett, Director of Religious Exploration Erin Forstein, Music Director Camille Hatton, volunteer Fred Hamilton, and our Worship Associates to develop plans for resuming face-to-face services. We appreciate the input received from 88 congregants who completed the survey about re-opening. The results, including many individual comments, are being used to inform our planning. A follow-on survey of congregational preferences will be forthcoming in October.

Key issues associated with returning to in-person worship include improving ventilation in the sanctuary, guidelines for singing, and protecting our unvaccinated children. The BoT has approved the installation of an upgraded air ventilation system (HVAC), and contracts have been awarded; installation will depend on delivery of equipment now on order, targeting late October 2021. Even considering universal masking and upgraded HVAC capacity, prospects for choral activity (by either choir or congregation) remain under review. UUA and CDC guidelines are being closely considered. Similarly, RE leadership is considering various options for Sunday programming until vaccines are available to children under 12. Whenever we begin offering services in the sanctuary, we will also be providing opportunities for virtual participation. We will also implement a system to manage the number or people attending in person, to preserve social distancing.

We appreciate everyone’s patience with this planning process. We are fortunate to have the opportunity to be together virtually on Sundays while we are waiting to be together in person.

If you would like to understand more in depth on protocol for indoor activities for third parties, regular indoor activities, and outdoor activities, please click on thee particular link accordingly.