Dear Members:

The Board of Trustees for Northwoods have been wrestling with what steps we can safely take to resume some activities at Northwoods. We are guided by considering the safety of our congregants, staff members and sanctuary guests. Recent publications regarding how the virus is most commonly transmitted suggests that wearing masks, keeping socially distant and washing hands are the best ways to minimize the spread, so we will emphasize those.

We used guidelines from the Northlake UU Church in Kirkland, Washington, shared by their minister, Rev. Reverend Nancy Reid-McKee, and modified them for our church. They recognize four stages of opening, and we are in the second stage, the start of reopening (mid-June until the sanctuary is first opened for services).

We will continue to have our Church services online and suggest that member committees and groups meet online.

We are asking that all groups continue to observe social distancing guidelines. Groups that meet off site and wish to advertise in the Beacon Bits and and FaceBook pages will need to register with the office. Groups who use the church parking lot should also register with the church office and only park in every other parking space. Entry into the church is by appointment with staff only, and is limited to Church Staff, Sanctuary family and team volunteers, musicians or others recording for a service, church maintenance, or groups sanctioned by the Minister, RE Coordinator, or Board of Trustees. Rental groups with 5 or less participants can also meet in the lower floor rooms.

These are our Board approved guidelines for this stage:

General Guidelines

  • Continue holding online worship services only.
  • Committees, book clubs, member meetings and small groups will continue to meet online.
  • High risk individuals (people over 60 and those with underlying conditions), whether staff or volunteers, should continue to shelter in place.

Meetings Off site

  • Groups that want to meet off-site should follow all guidelines for safe social distancing, including staying at least six feet apart at all times, wearing masks, and either use hand sanitizer, wipes or wash hands with soap and warm water at the start of each meeting.
  • Groups who use church media outlets to advertise meetings (Beacon Bits, Church FaceBook pages, Slack) must register with the Church Administrator by completing this form, must provide the organizer and contact name, and acknowledge and agree to follow the guidelines listed above.

Meetings in Parking Lot

  • Groups that want to meet in the Church Parking lot will be limited to parking lot use, must also register with the Church Administrator, must agree to the guidelines listed above, and in addition must agree not to enter the church building, garden or meditation areas (even if they have keys).
  • Group members must park in every other space in the lot.
  • The total number of households attending must be fewer than half the available spaces in our parking lot.

Church Building Availability

  • Individuals may only enter the church building by appointment with the Church Administrator, RE Coordinator, or Minister, with signage posted at all entrances to this effect. This applies to all church members, even those with keys, coming alone, or dropping things off. For the protection of both staff and members, the Church Administrator’s Office, the RE Coordinator’s Office, and the Minister’s Office are off limits.
  • Small Groups or individuals meeting inside the church will be limited to Church Staff, Sanctuary family and team volunteers, Musicians or others recording for a service, church maintenance, or groups sanctioned by the Minister, RE Coordinator, or Board of Trustees. Groups inside the building are limited to 5 or fewer participants.
  • Building access will be limited to essential operations. Those in the office will be wearing masks if more than one person is in the office. Surfaces, including the phone, will be regularly sanitized.
  • Rentals and Weddings
    • Building users/renters may be allowed back in if they are able to observe gathering limits and distancing protocols, and able to accommodate the cleaning needs.
    • Rentals will be limited to the lower floors of the church building.
    • Life rituals (weddings, funerals) will be kept to five or fewer participants (up to 10 participants if all–excluding the Minister–are in the same housing unit).

Scheduling Events and Meetings

Please use this link to schedule events or meetings, and refer to the guidelines above. If you would like to make an appointment to get into the building for any reason, contact a staff person:

Rev. Sarah: sarah@northwoodsuu.org

Gay Lynn: re@northwoodsuu.org

Jamie: office@northwoodsuu.org