Dear Church Family,

Since the appearance of the COVID virus several months ago our lives have certainly been disrupted at many levels; one big one being the closing of our church. We closed to comply with our state’s and the Minnesota Conference of the United Church of Christ guidance at that time to help reduce the spread of the virus. As we moved forward in time, more was learned about this virus and how to control it.

When our state did start “flattening the curve” and set new guidelines for churches to reopen we formed a reopening team to plan how we would do that. The team has reviewed the guidance issued by both the State of Minnesota and the Minnesota Conference UCC and has developed a reopening plan which is posted at the church and on our website (CLICK HERE to download a copy of the plan). There were many details to cover. Overall, the guidance from our Conference stressed moving slowly and carefully with the plan to re-open. Given that, our main emphasis was on 
re-opening safely.

The following are the details of the plan:

  • Beginning on August 2nd, we will be able to have between 34 and 46 people attend Sunday worship in the CGUCC sanctuary. (The variance in the number is due to how many can sit together. Current state guidelines only allow people living in the same household to sit together without social distancing.)
  • Reservations for Sunday worship are not required; however, this is subject to change. Please arrive early (by 10 am) so that you/your family can be greeted and seated before worship begins at 10:15 am.
  • If you are sick or you have been with a sick person, we ask that you please stay at home.
  • Our live streaming worship service on Facebook will continue every Sunday at 10:15 am for those who are unable to attend or are not yet comfortable participating in worship in-person.
  • Everyone entering and exiting the church building is asked to do so by the East side doors (next to the Celebration Garden). You will be met by a greeter/usher who will ask you to review a list of health questions to see if it is okay for you/your family to come in.
  • Face masks for indoor worship are mandatory. A disposable mask will be provided if you do not have one (long term we ask that you provide your own, if you need assistance in knowing where to buy them, we can help you). If you are unable to wear a mask or have an underlying medical condition, we encourage you to worship with us online. Please contact the church office in advance if you have an underlying medical condition and want to attend worship so that special accommodations can be made.
  • Please adhere to the social distancing guidelines (the 6-foot rule) at all times, from the time you leave your vehicle until you return to it. Please refrain from gathering in any groups where social distancing cannot be maintained.
  • The greeter/usher will take your name and phone number (this is required in case contact tracing is needed).
  • Hand sanitizer will be supplied to clean your hands upon entering and exiting the sanctuary.
  • An usher will lead you to your seat(s). The sanctuary will be filled from the front pew first and then towards the back. Please sit where the usher seats you.
  • Some pews will not be used, they will be marked.
  • After service ushers will lead you out of the sanctuary starting from the back.
  • Please place your offering in the box provided at the rear of the sanctuary when exiting.
  • The church has been sanitized, including the pew cushions.
  • All items have been removed from the pews: Bibles, hymnals, envelopes, etc.
  • There will not be a coffee and fellowship time after service and congregational singing will be limited during worship (face masks must be worn).
  • During services when Holy Communion is celebrated, the sacrament will be administered via individual communion kits that congregants will pick up as they enter the sanctuary, thus allowing for each person to take communion without leaving their seat during the service.
  • Restrooms on the upper level are open and available for use. The lower level will not be in use while the church building is open nor will the drinking fountains.

We realize this is quite a bit of information, and of course brings many changes. We think the most important things for all of us to remember are to be gentle and gracious with one another, wear a mask, wash and sanitize our hands often, and social distance. This will help keep all of us safe and healthy as we gather in community once again, which is the ultimate goal.

We miss all of you and look forward to seeing you in-person for worship at CGUCC when you feel comfortable regathering in community.

Sincerely in Christ,
Pastor Bryan and the Church Council


Please join us in continuing to pray for everyone impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic both here and around the world. Let us pray for the healing of those infected, strength and health for the doctors, nurses, emergency personnel and all those caring for them, and wisdom for the medical researchers as they work on developing a cure/vaccine for the virus.

Every day at 9:30 a.m. CST, a group from CGUCC is praying (wherever we are at) for a cure to be found for the COVID-19 virus and an end to these days of pandemic. This is not a virtual meeting but a time for us to collectively come to God in prayer and boldly ask for what our world so desperately needs. We will continue to pray this way every day until the pandemic is over. Take heart in knowing that at 9:30 a.m. every day we are joining our prayers to hundreds and thousands of other people’s prayers in our local community and around the world. Please pray with us daily and invite your family members, friends, and neighbors to join you!

If you are in need of things like groceries, medications, and cleaning and personal hygiene products and are unable to go out and get them or have them delivered at this time, please contact Pastor Bryan at or 651-459-1501 and we can help to arrange a member/friend of the church to come and assist you.

If you or someone you know is in need of food or other personal items at this time, please find contact information for the three food shelves in our local area on the opposite side of this page.

Let us continue to do our part to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus in our community and keep our eyes and hearts fixed on the One who is our true Healer, Protector, Provider, and Redeemer; Christ Jesus our Lord.

Coronavirus (CoVid-19) is a respiratory illness that causes flu-like symptoms including fever, vomiting and difficulty breathing.

 If you have any of these symptoms, seek medical advice.  Call ahead before you go to a doctor’s office or emergency room. Tell them about any recent travel and your symptoms.  Stay home. Do not travel while sick. Avoid contact with others.
 Ask to join meetings via video or telephone conference call while you are recovering. Join worship via livestream.

Helpful links:

 Short educational video on the “5 Things to Know About COVID-19”
 Latest guidance from the Center for Disease Control (CDC)
Steps for Staying Mentally Healthy During COVID-19

As the faith community, we have a special responsibility to care for our fellow congregants and communities. When we are prepared, we are in a better position to help others. Get the facts and restate them accurately. Check in frequently with our fellow congregants. And counter scapegoating such as already has been shown to some Chinese and Chinese-Americans. They are not to blame for the coronavirus!


As we all journey through these uncertain days of the COVID-19 pandemic together we can be assured that, no matter what, God is with us and working for our good through Christ who loves us. We can also be assured that Pastor Bryan, Austin, and the CGUCC staff and elected leaders on the Executive Team and Council are working hard to do the best ministry on behalf of our congregation and community during this time.

While we are unable to worship in-person at CGUCC until it is safe to resume public gatherings again, we do rely on your continued faithful stewardship and financial tithes and offerings to help our shared ministry thrive.

In this time when we are unable to collect a physical offering during Sunday morning worship, please consider giving your tithes and offerings to God and the church through one of the following ways:

Mail a check or cash to the church

Please send offerings to:
Cottage Grove UCC
7008 Lamar Ave S.
Cottage Grove, MN 55016

Make a safe and secure online gift


Sign-up for Automatic Giving


Please download and complete the automatic giving authorization form and mail it to the church office.

Thank you for your faithful stewardship of Cottage Grove UCC and its ministries and ministers during this time. If you have any questions, please contact Bruce Fiedler, Finance Team Chair, at your convenience.

Local Food Shelf Information

Friends in Need Food Shelf
535 4th St., St. Paul Park (behind Carbone’s)
(Call Mondays 12-3 pm or Tuesdays after 7:30 am to make an appointment)

Tuesday: 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
Wednesdays: 5:30-7:00 pm


Christian Cupboard Emergency Food Shelf (CCEFS)
8264 4th St., Oakdale, MN
(next to Guardian Angels Catholic Church)

Drive-up Market Hours
Monday 12 – 4 pm
Thursday 3 – 7 pm
Friday 10 am – 1:30 pm

Drive-up Wildcard Wed
Wednesday 11-1:30 pm

Drive-up Produce Fair
2nd and 4th Saturday 10-11:30 am
Hastings Family Service
(Visit the web site or call for Food Market pick-up information)
301 2nd Street East
Hastings, MN 55033