A Pastoral Note on Mask Wearing at Summer Institute

From Rev. Sunshine J. Wolfe, June 2022

In recent weeks, we have heard concerns about he requirement to wear masks at all times while indoors (except in your rooms or while eating or drinking and for children under 2).  Yes, this is a requirement for UUA events, but it is way more than that.  It is a decision rooted in our values and our desire to maintain meaningful relationships with one another.  To this, I want to say a little more.

We are a justice minded people and we believe that our communities are sacred and meaningful.  To that end, the mask requirement is there to protect those among us who would not be able to attend without it.  As one of those folks, I am grateful.  Even with vaccines, my partner would likely need a transplant were they ever to get covid.  They are far from the only one.  We have folks who are able to attend SI with disabilities and illnesses that put them at risk BECAUSE we have the mask and vaccination requirements.  You are wearing your mask to protect them and for that, I know there is so much gratitude.

It isn’t easy or comfortable.  We know this AND it helps us keep the SI magic alive, not just for ourselves by all in our community.  I have been told that SI is about that community and the magic that is possible.  So, thank you for committing to keeping that magic alive.  I imagine my mask as a magic cloak that has the power to protect.  It is a physical embodiment of our values- a chalice of cloth that helps us create our beloved community.

Perhaps that sounds fantastical. I’m ok with that.  It is what helps me say yes to discomfort for the love of the people I get to be in community with.  I hope it can help you do the same.

If you have questions about masking, please feel free to contact me via text at 317-448-3818 or e-mail at swolfe@uua.org.