As they are passed the COVID-19 related policies will be added/updated on this page.

COVID-19 In-Person Offsite Gathering Policy (Adopted 10/12/2020)

As the elected board of the congregation, we take our responsibility to craft policy seriously. We also recognize that we are experiencing a global pandemic unlike any we have seen in our lifetime. During the formation of this policy, we have endeavored to keep a variety of needs expressed by our community in mind. These include needs for connection, safety, respect, trust, fun, creativity, freedom, equity, flexibility, long-term vision, and attention to science. We know that we, as the Tree of Life Unitarian Universalist Congregation, can work together to meet many needs, but we may not always meet them in specific ways desired by each individual member.  Even when we are unable to meet a need, at this moment, we honor that need as valid and support individual members in seeking additional opportunities to have their needs met. 

After a period of discernment during which we examined the range of needs expressed by our community along with recommendations from the UUA and health organizations, the Board, in conjunction with the COVID response committee, would like to clarify its stance regarding in-person offsite gatherings for church-sponsored events.  The goal of the policy is not only to reduce the risk of COVID spreading among TOLUUC members and friends but also to keep in mind our commitment to equality and inclusion of all who wish to participate in the life of the congregation. 

The policy is as follows:

To strongly promote virtual meetings within the congregation, in-person offsite gatherings should be limited at this time to no more than 3 people associated with TOLUUC. Virtual meetings will improve access and decrease risk among the community. However, we also recognize that some essential work of the church may only be possible with groups of 3 or less meeting in person. When meeting please follow current CDC guidelines as they relate to safety. 

This policy does not prohibit social gathering of TOLUUC members so long as the gathering is not promoted as an official church activity. It also does not govern building use by staff or contractors. 

The board will evaluate the need for revision of this policy at every board meeting. A key benchmark we will consider will be the percent positivity rate for the county and surrounding area. We will follow Illinois Department of Health tracking statistics which can be found here: https://www.dph.illinois.gov/regionmetrics?regionID=9 . The WHO has advised that a rolling average percent positivity rate of below 5% be met for at least 2 weeks before restrictions on meeting size are eased. Recently, , we have been seeing steadily increasing rates in the county, with a current rate of 8.7%.

The Board is working on additional policy regarding building use as well as a phased reopening plan. Please reach out to President@TreeofLifeUU.org or Rev. Jenn at Minister@TreeofLifeeUU.org with any questions, including any questions you may have about whether a specific activity would fall within the guidelines of this policy.