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March 13, 2020
 
Dear Friends,
 
The Unity Santa Fe Board of Trustees met via Zoom last night. In the spirit of world citizenship, we voted unanimously to take precautionary action and suspend Sunday services and any group gatherings in our building beginning at 5pm Friday, March 13th through at least March 31st. The only exceptions will be anyone who shows up for service this Sunday. In the last week of March, the Board will re-visit and re-evaluate this decision, and we will be providing updates along the way.  
 
Caring for EVERYONE is our primary concern, and this step is taken because it is the socially responsible action to take in order to support efforts to prevent spread of the virus. No one reading this email knows right now if they have been exposed or infected by COVID-19, we simply do not know if our every cough, sneeze or handshake puts someone in our vicinity at risk. We may know more a week from now, perhaps two weeks, but at this point in time none of us knows what we're really facing. In this context, we made this decision from a calm and prayerful consciousness-not from fear.
 
Classes, events, services, and other Unity Santa Fe sponsored activities will be suspended or held via online forums such as Zoom.
 
In addition to offering Sunday services online, I will be facilitating a Zoom Connection Call on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. The call will be an open forum providing a way to interact, experience connection and hold sacred space for one another.
 
Our spiritual center will continue to be as fully operational as possible. All normal day-to-day operations will continue from the office or from remote locations including the main office phone line and emails during regular office hours.
WHY SO SOON? WHY NOW?
 
1. We know that the #1 recommendation, and the most effective action we can take in dealing with this virus, is to refrain from being around a lot of people.
If we were to have one person attend an event in our building who is later diagnosed with COVID-19, we could feasibly need to ask everyone who has visited our building to self-quarantine for up to 3 weeks. Between Sunday service and other activities we estimate that about 150 people are meeting in our facility each week.  We can slow the spread of disease by finding ways to gather remotely rather than by physical presence. 
 
2. In addition, a high percentage of our members fall in vulnerable categories for this virus.
Many people have already told us that they will not be attending services and activities for a while. Holding our services online means that we ALL stay connected even as we must separate a bit from each other. Additionally, we serve many people who might be kept from working during this kind of a quarantine. The economic concerns this might create for those people is worthy of our consideration and care. The most ethically-driven decisions often prioritize the most vulnerable members of any given community and call us to be proactive members of our society.
 
3. This is the BEST way for us to care for each other during this uncertain time.
We acknowledge that it is distressing to make decisions that have challenging consequences for the people we love.  We know that by taking this action, we are supporting the well-founded efforts being made across our state, our country, and the world, to slow this virus down while medical specialists look for answers. Please look for additional ways to support one another, as there is likely to be an increased demand for care from some of our members.
 
4. Fortunately, with the gifts of technology and creativity, we can continue to be connected, even when in-person gatherings are no advised.
Technology allows us to be nimble and adapt how we "do spiritual community." We can organize for connection and take the necessary precautions until we can be back together in person. We will be holding worship services, team meetings, and other activities via Zoom so that we can see each other and interact. Sunday Services will be available both to participate as they happen live online or view as recorded versions later. Our Zoom link is listed above and we will be sending recordings out by email, Facebook and on our website. If you don't have internet or need support with technology, please ask! We will do our best to help you stay connected by phone or online. 
 
WHAT YOU CAN DO :
  • Upload "Zoom" to your phone or computer." This free program will be used on Sundays for worship and for any sanctioned community activity. Zoom allows us all to be together in a way that we can see one another and stay connected without physical proximity. All of us will be making social choices everyday about where we go and who we see. So, even with any small group gatherings, please be mindful that the recommendation is not to meet in person at this time.   
  • Call your Unity Santa Fe friends and make sure they have seen this message. Stay connected to each other and help each other stay engaged by participating online. Real community can happen and be sustained in this way.

  • Watch your email and our Facebook pages for updates and opportunities. Call if you need tech support.

  • Take good care of yourself and others - if you have symptoms or feel sick - stay home. Stay away but stay connected. Please let us know if you are ill or have special needs.  

  • Continue to be calm and centered. Try to find a middle place of reason between denial and panic. If you need support, reach out to a minister, leader or friend. This is precautionary and meant to bring us all more peace of mind, body and spirit. Our LOVE for one another is stronger than this virus!

  • Have confidence.Our leadership team is working to make decisions in the best interest of everyone who uses our Unity Santa Fe facilities.

REMEMBER:
 
Call forth your Twelve Powers under the direction of Christ Consciousness KNOWing that:God within you is greater than anything in the world, including the COVID-19 virus. And please don't allow fear to weaken your immune system.
 
Much Love and Many Blessings,  
 Brendalyn
Rev. Brendalyn Batchelor
Senior Minister