The UUA presents best practices for reducing the risk of COVID-19 transmission at in-person worship and events, recognizing that this virus is going to be with us for a long time. These strategies are based on the advice of UU public health experts as well as effective practices that some of our congregations are already using. None of these strategies are meant to stand alone. Combined they offer layers of precaution that increase safety and inclusion for all members of a community. We recommend that you start with this curated a list of strategies and accompanying resources.
The strategies and tips we offer are based on the advice of UU public health experts as well as effective practices that some of our congregations have been using. None of these strategies are meant to stand alone. Combined, they offer layers of precaution that increase safety and inclusion for all members of a community.
Each congregation decides for itself how it will gather given the risks and needs in its community, and decisions will change as the virus surges and dissipates. The UUA supports congregations that make the decision to suspend all in-person gatherings, and we also support congregations that decide to combine in-person and online engagement. The strategies below are meant for times when the congregational leadership discerns—based on your community, your building, and your people—that some in-person meetings, programs, and worship can be adequately safe.
You Are Not Alone
As the pandemic continues, we will continue to face uncertainty. The best we can do at any given time is to lean in to our values as well as draw on the gifts and wisdom of our own people.
We encourage congregational leaders to move with care and humility, and a willingness to reverse course if things aren’t working, or as the situation with the virus changes. In this difficult and extraordinary time, we invite you to engage with us in ongoing creativity as we all minister to one another and the world.
Know that, whatever comes, we as your UUA staff are your partners. We will be here to help you think through tough situations and find a way forward. We will help connect you with others so we can all learn together. We will be there working alongside you for love, care, spiritual connection, and justice in your communities and beyond. Find your congregation's regional staff for direct support.
Pandemic Resource Library
Scrolling below you will find strategic resources for congregations during a pandemic. Additional pandemic-related resources include:
- Worship resources for the COVID-19 pandemic
- Resources for Multiplatform (in-person and virtual) worship and programs
- The robust Lay Spiritual Care Training for non-ordained leaders
- Insights on the legality of holding official meetings online during a pandemic
- Technical guidance for online virtual voting in all-member congregational meetings being conducted virtually
- Browse a complete list of resources tagged as a COVID-19 related resource.
by UUA Congregational Life Staff Group |As congregations return to in-person ministry there are creative ways to honor religious professionals' need to reduce their own risk. Such approaches avoid forcing religious professionals to serve in person when doing so would put their health or their household's health at significant risk.Filed in: Pandemic Safety
A combination of strategies can offer layers of precaution that increase safety and inclusion for all members of a community.
A letter explaining the UUA's shift toward presenting COVID-19 risk mitigation strategies rather than specific metric-based guidance.
by UUA Congregational Life Staff Group |Because our UU faith is grounded in values that call us to care about one another, we want to consider the vulnerable among us when making decisions.
Here is guidance from the UUA about around gathering in person as new variant emerge.
by UUA Congregational Life Staff Group |Guidance and questions to consider for congregations considering asking for or track COVID-19 vaccination status for volunteers, members, or all participants.Filed in: Pandemic Safety
by UUA Ministries and Faith Development: Office of Church Staff Finances, UUA Human Resources, UUA Congregational Life Staff Group |Resources to help you make sound decisions and ensure that you are treating your employees fairly and legally.
We know that congregants are eager to be able to sing together and to enjoy the singing of their choir and soloists, but we need to exercise caution.Filed in: Pandemic Safety
by Jan Gartner |How can your congregation be a good employer during the COVID-19 outbreak? Caring for staff is an opportunity to model your values and spirit for the congregation, to demonstrate the kindness, creativity, and interdependence that these days ask of us....Filed in: Pandemic Safety
by UUA Congregational Life Staff Group |Trying to figure out how to talk about wearing masks in church? Here are some examples!Filed in: Pandemic Safety