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Masking Guidelines in Covenantal Community

Part of Strategies

By UUA Congregational Life Staff Group

As new, more transmissible, variants of COVID-19 emerge (e.g. Delta and Omicron), the need to limit the spread of the virus continues.

Whether the CDC says vaccinated people do or don’t need masks, the CDC’s guidance is about individuals. As congregations, our decisions about masking or un-masking need to be about community. We are in covenant with one another to act not just as a collection of individuals, but as a body that works for the good of all.

Because our Unitarian Universalist faith is grounded in values that call us to care about one another, we must continue to make our decisions by centering the needs of the most vulnerable among us.

When making decisions, always practice covenantal consent—taking time to listen deeply to one another’s concerns and fears before making any decisions that might put members of the community at risk, either physically or mentally.

The UUA encourages congregations to maintain a culture of indoor masking when they gather in person. This is because of who we are, as congregations, at our best:

  • We are all-ages communities, and not all ages have been able to get vaccinated yet.
  • We are all-abilities communities, and some of us have immune systems that do not mount a strong protective response after the COVID vaccination and can suffer severe consequences upon infection.
  • We care for the health of all. Even though “breakthrough” infections are rarely severe, we know that they can cause long term symptoms and contribute to the spread of COVID.

About the Author

UUA Congregational Life Staff Group

The regional Congregational Life staff are congregations' local connection to the UUA. All of the program Congregational Life staff have expertise in most aspects of congregational life and each also has a few program areas of expertise. See the...

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Covenantal Consent

The continued practice of inclusion, covenant, consent, and care for each other before making decisions.

More About Covenantal Consent

Comic showing why to wear masks in church

Masks in Church?

Person #1: We're both vaccinated, why are we still wearing masks in church?

Person #2: Kids under 12 aren't. Have you ever tried getting kids to do something adults won't? (masked family with children in the background)

Person #2: Plus some folks' bodies don't produce a lot of antibodies, or can't get vaccinated. And they might not want to stand out. And it's not welcoming to ask visitors if they're vaccinated!