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January 5, 2021
December 2, 2020
Dear University Avenue Church of Christ,
As elders and ministers of this church, we are dedicated to serving our church family and our community, guided by the Holy Spirit, prayerfully asking for wisdom and clarity in every decision we make. With that in mind, this year has presented unique and significant challenges as we strive to worship together and to serve others during a worldwide pandemic. We are especially grateful to our entire ministry team for their ability to adapt and to continue to minister to this church by any means necessary. Their resilience in overcoming obstacles has been exceptional.
Unfortunately, as our team evaluates the current status of the pandemic, including rising levels of infection, and with the expectation that December will be especially challenging across our country, the State of Texas and in Austin, we have come to the decision to suspend our in-person worship service until January 10, 2021. As of this Sunday, we will recommence online worship. Please visit the UA website or watch for additional information in the form of an email.
This is a decision made in an abundance of caution. We simply do not want to put our members, ministry staff, and volunteers at risk when other less desirable, but safer options are available. We also know that this is disappointing, especially in light of the upcoming Christmas season. Hopefully, with the introduction of vaccines and other medical advances, we can return to a normal worship service in 2021 and once again enjoy the blessings of each other’s company. We are so thankful for your ongoing prayers and understanding as we navigate what has been an unprecedented year.
November 21, 2020
To the UA Church family,
Earlier on Thursday, November 19, Austin and Travis County health officials increased the COVID-19 risk in our era to Stage 4. In short, this means that the risk of contracting the disease has increased. Based on this new information we believe it is incumbent on us to remind everyone in the UA family to remain vigilant, and in the case of our at-risk members, ask that you consider not attending our services in person. Those at risk include those who are 65 or older or have any of the following conditions: diabetes, high blood pressure, heart, lung and kidney disease, or are immunocompromised, along with other factors.
We are doing all we can to keep our church doors open, and those of us who choose to attend in person have a responsibility to protect one another by following our safety protocols, including always wearing a face mask, maintaining a six foot social distance, and doing all socializing outdoors.
We love each and every one of our UA family members and look forward to the day when these issues are no longer a consideration and we can return to a normal in person worship service. In the interim it is important that we are diligent in protecting those of us who are most at risk.
We are prayerful and ask God's protection for each one of you, along with all those affected by this virus.
The UA Church Elders and Ministers
June 25, 2020
To the University Avenue Church family:
Due to the trends in the ongoing spread of COVID-19, all in-person gatherings will continue to be postponed until further notice. This includes the previously scheduled weekly worship gathering that was to resume on Sunday, July 5.
The UA leadership has been carefully monitoring the public health status in Austin and the continued rapid and record-setting spread of the virus in our area. Recommendations from the Austin-Travis County Public Health Department, including the published Risk-Based Guidelines, place the city in a Stage 4 level of risk, which recommends that even healthy individuals avoid all social gatherings and other groups of more than ten people.
The situation in Austin is, unfortunately, more serious than when the strict lockdown began. The University Avenue Church of Christ remains committed to its mission of loving others, which in this case means doing our part to lower the risk to the community and each other so that we can more rapidly return to a safer situation for all.
We know that community is essential, and the leadership is dedicated to helping us remain connected to each other while we must continue to be physically apart. We encourage all members to check in on each other, participate in or start an online Connection Group (contact us to find out how), and find ways to serve each other while remaining socially distanced.
As followers of Christ, we live in love, not in fear. We encourage you to help keep yourself, your family, and others safe. We don’t live according to a fear of the virus, which God will overcome. We live according to our love for God and our neighbors. This love is requiring challenging sacrifice of us all, but God will carry us through this time.
The UA leadership will continue to monitor the situation and will work to draw us back together physically when it is safer for all to do so.
Love God. Love Others.
The UA Church of Christ Elders and Staff
March 14, 2020
The spread of the coronavirus around the world and its immediate effects on the Austin and UT campus communities is unprecedented. It is scary, much about it is unknown, and it is invisible. It has now arrived on our doorstep as UT campus-related cases have emerged.
The leadership of the University Avenue Church of Christ has made the decision to suspend gatherings, including worship on Sunday morning, March 15, to do our part in helping mitigate the risk that COVID-19 poses to our community.
We do this as an act of solidarity with our city, our nation, and our world. We do this in accordance with the second most important commandment from Jesus Christ himself - to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Right now, loving our neighbor actually means staying where we are.
Staying where we are, rather than gathering in groups, is the best defense we have against the encroachment of a worldwide pandemic. Staying where we are is the best thing we can do to serve an overwhelmed healthcare system. Staying where we are is how we protect the most vulnerable among us. Staying where we is not an act of fear, but a wise response to a uniquely challenging circumstance.
Staying where we are is hard. We don't want anyone to be isolated and we will not sacrifice the community that Christ calls us to love. We now have new opportunities to practice community, even if that is without physically being with each other. We have great opportunities to love, to be connected by alternative means, and to help each other "not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." (Philippians 4:6).