Friday March 27, 2020
Due to the ongoing threat of the Coronavirus, Westminster Unitarian Church will be closed for all in person services, meetings and large activities until the Board of Trustees votes on a safe date to reopen onsite events.
If you’d like to find out more about committee meetings, congregational events, and specific opportunities for congregational responses to the current health crisis (e.g. how to help make masks for medical professionals and first responders), you can subscribe to our “e-blast”: email [email protected] to sign up. This will also give you access to our “theme materials of the month” (April is Liberation).
And, of course, you are always invited to join us for Worship, which will be online, at 10am on Sundays.
Monday March 17, 2020
In lieu of regular church, as promised, our amazing tech team has been working on getting things set up for connections online.
Initially we’re going to create a few Zoom rooms (online meeting spaces) to connect. And we’ll experiment this week:
Tue: 7-7:45pm Tuesday Chat (Tonight!)
- How does your faith help you in times like these? How does your personal theology support you? What’s your good news?
Wed: 12-12:45pm Links over Lunch
- Let’s talk about how things are going – what’s working for you? (no talking with your mouth full!)
Thu: 4-4:45pm Coffee and Conversation
- Grab a cup of coffee (or tea, or water, or just your computer) and join us. Here’s a question for reflection: Where have you encountered kindness in these days?
Fri: 7:15-7:45am Morning Meditation
- We will begin with a hello, then a reading from Buddhist nun Pema Chodron, then we will meditate together for 15 minutes, followed by a few minutes to connect before we begin our respective days.
We are also working on moving Connection Groups online, starting on Wednesday.
Here are a few videos on Zoom, to help you get connected for these meetings: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-
Friday March 13, 2020
After careful thought, discussion and consultation with healthcare professionals, we have decided not to hold any events at the church for the next two weeks.
As you know, the CDC is recommending “social distancing” as a key way to slow the spread of this virus. And slowing the spread of this virus is the most important thing we can do to minimize the risk of over-stressed health systems and unnecessary death. As a congregational community whose spirit is love, we have an opportunity to do our part for the public good, even though it does temporarily mean the loss of opportunities to connect in person.
Although the service originally scheduled for Sunday March 15th will not be happening, we will offer a brief service of meditation and music in its place. Please join us at https://tinyurl.com/WUCworship.
We are also looking into creative ways to connect via phone or online 1:1 or for Connection Groups or other small group or committee meetings. Stay tuned for more!
In the meantime, we offer to you these words from Rev. Sunshine Wolff:
“Stay Away and Connect”
We are in the midst of a COVID-19 pandemic. This is not the first crisis we as a nation or world have met and it will not be the last. Yet we have survived and will continue to survive together. You may be feeling a lot of intense emotions right now. This is normal and understandable. You are not alone. Those feelings can be overwhelming and we may even want to shut down or deny that anything is wrong. All of this is normal. Please kind and patient with yourself and others.
There is good news. The steps we can take to protect one another are simple. When thinking about these steps, ask yourself, “what is possible for me right now? What can I do at this moment that is simple and possible?” Do what you can and add on more as you are able.
In this challenging time, I encourage you to stay away AND stay connected.
1) Stay away from the germ AND stay connected to yourself- Wash your hands with care – in body and spirit.
When washing your hands recite a poem, dance a dance, do a breathing meditation, or put all of your focus on how your skin and hands feel as you wash them. Make this a time when you ground yourself and find connection in yourself.
2) Stay away from people AND stay connected in creative and fun ways.
At this time, canceling events and gatherings of around 50 or more helps reduce the chance of spread. That does not mean we cannot connect. Social distancing protects all of us – especially those high at risk. We also need one another. Call a friend, play Words with Friends, chat with someone online, chat with a neighbor from one another’s doors or porches. Have your friends set a time when you will all go out and howl at the moon. Find creative ways to connect while keeping social distance – make a game of it. Get the holiday lights out and make different affirming messages each day with them. Tell jokes. Sing songs. According to your own ability, find the creative connection unique to you. Distance and connect! Distance AND. Connect!
3) Stay away from information overwhelm AND stay connected to a few reliable resources.
In this day and age- there are tons of places to get information. News outlets make money on crisis and it is not in their best interest to limit that information. Pick two or three places that you will routinely check for information that has reliable and factual information on the virus. For example, you could choose the World Health Organization, your friend Cam who reads everything and distills on their FB page, and your local health department. You do NOT need all of the information (unless you do- some among us manage crisis by having all of the information, that is ok). If you are feeling overwhelmed by the information – you can choose your sources. It is better to pick what is manageable than it is to ignore this all completely.
This is a time of challenge and together we can help make it manageable for ourselves and our world.
Stay away AND connect. Stay away from what is potentially harmful and embrace creatively how we can connect in spite of it all. You are not alone (but if you are, reach out).
Westminster’s Board and Minister