Rev. Virginia Jarocha Ernst

The whole idea of compassion is based on a keen awareness of the interdependence of all these living beings, which are all part of one another and all involved in one another.  — Thomas Merton

For three months now, we have been living with the hope that we can gather again in our beloved Earth Room, sooner rather than later. We imagined a mass reunion, a packed Community Room Coffee Hour—cake even! The reality and timeline of this pandemic has been hard to grasp from our respective homes in quarantine. While Monmouth County has not been as hard hit as North Jersey and New York City, we are still very close to those areas. As restrictions loosen statewide, and travel to our area increases with summer activities, we may become more vulnerable again. We also know that, as a multigenerational community, many of our members are especially vulnerable to this serious illness until widespread immunity is achieved.

Given these realities we have been thinking hard about the shape of our congregational life, and how we will continue to serve UUCMC in the coming year. The best that we can determine now is that we will need to continue to meet virtually for longer than we realized. At some point, small, less vulnerable groups may be able to meet in person utilizing our grounds and larger meeting spaces, but numbers will be severely limited. Distancing and hygiene precautions will need to be enforced. Here is a link to our current thoughts about how we will meet in a hybrid format:


The UUA has recommended that we plan to be in a virtual mode for services through May 2021. This recommendation is in alignment with what we were discovering as well. This is very difficult to hear, we know. Things are certainly in flux. But in order to secure ourselves for various outcomes, we have to live into new realities. We can do it, together.

We welcome your feedback and your help in keeping UUCMC connected through this crisis and beyond.

Revs. Virginia and Craig