First Congregational's COVID-19 Response Plan
First Congregational’s Executive Committee, Church Council, and staff have been evaluating appropriate responses to COVID-19 in relation to church services and activities. After weighing current – and rapidly changing – recommendations from the Wisconsin UCC Conference, the CDC, and Wisconsin and Eau Claire County health departments, it has been decided that:
- Worship will be suspended and will resume again on Sunday, May 17, in compliance with the CDC recommendation of an 8-week suspension of groups of 50-plus people.
- Sunday school, Middle School Youth Group, Wednesday suppers, Youth Choir, and Chancel Choir will be suspended for the same period of time.
- Church Council, committees, sub-committees, and task forces are strongly advised to meet digitally.
- Small groups are strongly advised to suspend gathering or communicate digitally.
Recognizing that it is important to stay connected as a community of faith, the staff will:
- prepare material for households’ home use to support Sunday worship at home
- prepare packets of material that households with children and youth could use to support faith formation, mailed or made available for pick-up at church
- prepare devotional material for our not-so-out-and-about members, to be distributed as we are able
- assist High School Youth Group members in volunteering in the community and helping people in need in the congregation and community (at the discretion of the Youth Task Force and Shannon)
- keep both newsletters going as usual to keep all of our households connected by a common thread
- keep regular office hours at the church as a point of stability, allowing people to call or to stop in for conversation and support. General office hours will be 9:00 a.m. to at least 3:00 p.m. weekdays. (Occasionally on Fridays, we may close at noon depending on staff availability.)
- identify additional ways to keep us connected and be in the presence of God
Please frequently watch your email, the First UCC EC app, and the church’s Facebook page plus the Congregational Connections newsletter for additional communications. The Executive Committee and church staff will continually monitor the situation and alter our actions as needed.
Thank you for your flexibility and resilience during this challenging time. Stay healthy and safe, and may God’s peace be with you.