Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) are integral to our American cultural mosaic. AAPI communities encompass a wide range of diversity consisting of approximately 50 ethnic groups speaking over 100 languages, with connections to Chinese, Indian, Japanese, Filipino, Vietnamese, Korean, Hawaiian, and other Asian and Pacific Islander ancestries.
Over 24 million Americans, or 7.3% of the U.S. population, identify as AAPI.
Despite having been integral members of our country since colonization, the US has a history of racism towards, and oppression of, Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities and peoples. Examples include, the Chinese Exclusion Act, Japanese Incarceration camps, and the Wisconsin Sikh Temple shooting. More recently, between March 2020 and September 2021, greater than 10,300 incidents of hate against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders were reported to the Stop Asian Hate website. This must stop.
As a congregation, we have covenanted to affirm and promote the 8th principle of Unitarian Universalism: journeying toward spiritual wholeness by working to build a diverse multicultural Beloved Community by our actions that accountably dismantle racism and other oppressions in ourselves and our institutions.
(You can watch our worship service streamed at 11 am on our Facebook page https://tinyurl.com/yfx9pnx6, or our website https://tvuuc.org/ and also on our YouTube channel https://tinyurl.com/ycksxc98.)
𝗔𝗱𝗼𝗽𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗼𝗳 𝗡𝗲𝘄 𝗖𝗢𝗩𝗜𝗗-𝟭𝟵 𝗥𝗲𝗼𝗽𝗲𝗻𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗣𝗼𝗹𝗶𝗰𝘆
Effective May 1, 2022, TVUUC will be operating under a new COVID-19 reopening policy. This policy was crafted by the COVID-19 task force, voted on and approved unanimously by the Board, and is supported by the executive leadership of the church. Here is the link to the new policy itself. https://tinyurl.com/2p97u5vr
Under the new policy, the church will use the CDC’s COVID-19 Community Level metric to assess local community risk. Levels can be low (green), medium (yellow), or high (orange). This three-level risk assessment tool replaces our previous use of CovidActNow’s five-level metric.
At each risk level, the framework provides recommended COVID-19 mitigation measures for indoor and outdoor large group and small group activities at the church. The framework also provides guidance about when and how to step up or step down COVID-19 risk reduction strategies when community risk levels may change.
Knox County’s current risk level is low. At this level, the new framework states that masks are encouraged but no longer required in indoor spaces, including at worship services, and there are no other COVID-related restrictions in place. The Lizzie Crozier French room will be available as a designated viewing space during Sunday services for those who would prefer to be only with others who are masked. Room A will be available for families with children who prefer an area where children may play during the service, with masks required for all over the age of two. We will also continue to provide livestreamed services for those who would prefer to watch from home. These changes will take effect starting next Sunday, May 1.
People will have differing levels of comfort with these changes, and it is important that we all recognize and respect these varying levels of comfort. People may choose to mask at any time, even if masks are not recommended at that risk level. In addition, per the CDC, anyone with symptoms, a positive test, or exposure to someone with COVID-19 should wear a mask, regardless of the community risk level. Masks protect others as well as ourselves. Some of us are not or cannot be vaccinated. Some of us are immunocompromised, or live with or care for someone who is. People may also have differing levels of comfort with physical closeness.
As we move forward together, please remember that we are each other’s keepers.