Updated 10.4.2021

Jefferson Unitarian Church will hold in-person church activities if they can adhere to the following guidelines. These guidelines are intended to minimize the harm resulting from exposure to COVID-19 during church activities.

We continue to offer a variety of online/hybrid options for congregants who are not comfortable with in-person meetings. We highly recommend that you get vaccinated when you are eligible to do so and highly suggest you participate online if you are unvaccinated.

Guiding Principles

  • JUC is cultivating a culture of “we,” which is focused on what’s best for the greater good and the most vulnerable in our community. 
  • JUC will take all reasonable steps to reduce the chance that people who attend JUC activities contract COVID-19. 
  • While following our safety guidelines, congregants must make their own decisions regarding the safety of attending church activities. 
  • JUC will balance risks with the need to support the spiritual well-being of our community.
  • JUC has a responsibility to the larger Denver Metro community to limit the spread of COVID-19 where possible.  
  • When there is a conflict between safety and inclusivity, we will prioritize safety. 
  • JUC follows the scientific information provided by the Centers for Disease Control, especially when there is a conflict between local guidance and CDC best practice. 

Vaccination

If you can get vaccinated, JUC STRONGLY urges you to do so in respect for the interdependent web of all existence. You can find resources on becoming vaccinated here: https://covid19.colorado.gov/vaccine-providers  

Based on our poll from June 2021, over 95% of our adults and those aged 12 and over are vaccinated against COVID-19. However, our children under 12 are not yet able to get the vaccine. 

We are requiring vaccination for congregants in certain high contact roles:

  • Choir Members
  • Faith Exploration Teachers
  • Greeters
  • Ushers
  • Coffee Attendants
  • Commons Coordinators

In addition, we have ensured that all of our staff are vaccinated. 

If you are eligible but not vaccinated at this time, we highly suggest you consider our online options. Worship will be livestreamed and there are online Faith Exploration classes and other activities.

What JUC is Doing

Gathering is a core component of being a church community; however, being together in-person poses many risks during a pandemic. At this time, JUC will hold in-person gatherings if safety precautions can be met.

Strategies for Safety

Based on the latest guidance from the CDC, the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment, and the Jefferson County Public Health Department, JUC events will layer multiple safety measures to limit the spread of COVID-19.  For ALL events on JUC’s campus: 

  • Masks are required indoors at all times for everyone over 2 years old.
  • For outdoor meetings, masks are optional, except on Sundays for visiting after worship.
  • If you are eligible and unvaccinated, JUC strongly suggests that you participate in online options. 

We cannot ensure social distancing given the size of our church. If you are unvaccinated, please take this under advisement if you choose to attend an in-person gathering at JUC. 

Offsite gatherings are allowed, and we encourage those coordinating offsite events to choose venues that allow for the added safety measure of social distancing. 

Specific Guidelines for Events

Sunday Worship

Our safety strategy is three-tiered:

SAFE: 11 a.m Service includes children who are not able to be vaccinated – those 12 years old and over are expected to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19

SAFER: 9 a.m. Service is for adults – all are expected to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

SAFEST: 9 a.m. and 11 a.m services are livestreamed for those who are not comfortable being in-person.

  • Masks are required at all times for those over 2 years old. 
  • Service will be at full capacity; social distancing cannot be guaranteed. 
  • Services will be limited in length to 45 minutes.
  • When possible, windows will be open.
  • The choir pieces will be pre-recorded.
  • Congregational singing will be limited to a final closing song, which congregants are encouraged to hum.
  • Coffee will not be served.
  • You are invited to visit outside after service. Masks will be required outside for larger groups such as on Sundays.

Faith Exploration Classes

Since our children under the age of 12 cannot get vaccinated, we need to take different precautions. At this time, JUC is offering in-person Faith Exploration classes as follows: 

9 a.m. – no in-person classes. Classes for those 5th grade and under will be online after the time for all ages.

11 a.m.

  • K-5th grade will be in the chapel following the time for all ages
  • 6th – 8th grade meet in their classrooms
  • Younger children can be with their families in the sanctuary, or in the commons if that meets their needs better. There will not be any childcare or programs for children pre-K and younger.

In-person classes will have the following precautions:

  • Teachers will be required to be vaccinated
  • Masks are required.
  • HEPA filters are in all classrooms and the multi-stall bathrooms, to increase Air Changes per Hour.
  • Attendance will be taken for contact tracing.
  • If a participant tests positive for COVID, members of that person’s class will be asked to stay home for the next Sunday. 
  • Singing will be limited to the Chalice Lighting song, and kids will be encouraged to hum.

Small groups (20 or fewer)

  • For small gatherings, the event coordinator must keep a list of event attendees with contact information to use for contact tracing, should exposure occur.
  • Masks are required inside. 
  • There is no time limit for small group gatherings. 

After Events

  • If any attendee develops COVID-19 symptoms or tests positive for COVID-19 within 14 days of the meeting, you commit to notifying Jefferson Unitarian Church ASAP, by emailing safety@jeffersonunitarian.org
  • JUC will be responsible for notifying all other attendees, while maintaining your privacy. 

External Factors

The JUC Safety Team is monitoring local conditions. We will notify the congregation if additional measures (including ceasing in-person activities) is necessary. 

Planning an Event

  1. Please use this online form to schedule any event – at JUC or off-site. We will need one person designated as Event Coordinator, who will be in charge of ensuring safety measures are taken.
  2. Events on campus MUST BE scheduled on the main calendar. 
  3. Please use this form for contact tracing. You do not need to return the form to the church, but please maintain the contact information for 14 days.
  4. The designated Event Coordinator will distribute the contact form, and will notify all participants that if they contract COVID-19 in the next 14 days, they will need to contact safety@jeffersonunitarian.org 
  5. The Designated Event Coordinator will also be responsible for gaining access to the church. 

Before Coming to JUC Events

  • If you or someone in your household is ill, DO NOT attend a JUC event. Please participate online, and be aware of COVID symptoms. These symptoms include:
    • Fever or chills
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Unusual fatigue
    • Muscle or body aches
    • Headache
    • New or unusual loss of taste or smell
    • Sore throat
    • Congestion or runny nose
    • Nausea or vomiting
    • Diarrhea
  • If you or someone in your household meets the CDC definition of “at risk” you are encouraged to stay home and stay safe.

Safety Team

The Safety Team is made up of staff members and includes consultation with medical professionals. Current members are: Rev. Eric Banner, Rev. Keith Arnold, Jules Jaramillo, and Carol Wilsey. You can reach our team members by sending an email to safety@jeffersonunitarian.org