A Belated Recognition of Our COVID Shutdown Heroes

At Sunday’s (February 5, 2023) service, Board President and Service Leader Henry Millat led the congregation in recognizing several intrepid volunteers who helped us through our COVID shutdown. Below are his remarks.

I would like to take a few minutes this morning to recognize some special people who did special things during a very special time period – that time for a year and a half or so when the building was closed and we had no minister. Someone still had to look after the building. We still wanted to have services. Someone had to devise a new way of presenting the services over the internet. Let’s thank, this morning, those people who did those things.

Even though the building was closed, turkeys still pecked at it, coyotes still chewed through the irrigation system, drain lines could become clogged with sediment, plumbing could spring a leak, and TV screens could spontaneously fall off of the wall. Required inspections were still required. Christina Wilkins took care of the building during the closure and led the way with the many tasks required to prepare it for our reopening. Christina, would you please come up and accept this card of thanks for a super job.

These cards, by the way, were created by our talented Sandy Davenhall expressing our thanks for your dedicated service of the individuals we are recognizing this morning. Thank you, Sandy.

To have services with no minister, suddenly a guest speaker was needed every week. A different speaker was recruited each week. Services needed to be planned, music selected, videos downloaded, power point slide shows prepared – a different one each week. Leading that effort to find speakers and prepare services was Val Conde as chair of WRaP, the Worship Resources and Program Committee. Val, please come up and accept our thanks. Excellent job.

Once the service was planned, it had to be sent over the internet by some method. This was all brand new. The word Zoom became part of our everyday language. Services and meetings were broadcast. Almost everyone needed to learn how to use Zoom. Recordings of the services were uploaded to our You Tube channel. The person who organized, planned, and coordinated this Zoom program for us, allowing our services and meetings to beam out to everyone, perhaps the most remarkable achievement of the time, was the talented and dedicated, and I would say, relentless, Val Rosado. Val, please come up and accept our thanks.

Of course, the two Vals did not prepare and send the services alone. WRaP members and a new group called the Tech Team worked together to accomplish the extraordinary new tasks. Several were members of both teams in this effort. Let’s recognize them all: Kristen Hughes (WRaP and Tech), Janeane Reagan (WRaP and Tech), Suzie Lockwood (WRaP), Chris Cleveland (WRaP), Kit Tatum (WRaP and Tech), Carole Armel (Tech), and Henry Millat (WRaP and Tech) for our work in preparing, leading, broadcasting services over Zoom, and keeping UUCLC meeting for Sunday services and viable during that time. I must recognize that Kit Tatum’s honor here is posthumous, and ask Bill Hermann to please come up on her behalf.

left to right: Christina Wilkins, Val Conde, Kristen Hughes, Val Rosado, Susie Lockwood, Chris Cleveland, Carole Armel

Thanks to all. Great job.