cover take 3

The Call of Covenant

The Reverend Rachael Hayes
Zoom link for September worship:
Meeting ID:
Passcode: 294900
Or call in: 646 876 9923 and enter the Meeting ID 968 8783 0406 when prompted.
This week:
Sunday, Sept 19th directly following the Zoom service, a conversation with the Social Justice Committee | more information below

Wednesday., Sept 22nd @ 7 AM: Men's Breakfast @ Kelly's

Thursday, Sept 23d @ 12 PM: Women's Circle
Thursday, Sept 23d @ 7: PM: Green Sanctuary Committee contact Jeff Clark for more information (3)
Thank you to the following individuals for helping to make the Sanctuary welcoming for all those who participated in our Water Ritual event last Saturday!: Anne Louise White and Susan Rice helped pare down the 6 different tubs of plasticware we had managed to collect over the years and to Anne Moore, Libby Walton-Stanforth, Rebecca Fricke and Becky Lockwood who greeted visitors and also tidied and cleaned the building, including reinstalling our name tag wall! Thank you also to Tom Fricke and Ron Grosslein who have been behind the scenes tending to regular maintenance and repair of the meetinghouse. This is what community looks like!
This Sunday Rev. Rachael will be joining us at Wildwood School Playground at 9 AM to help us bless our backpacks! Parents and children are invited to participate. We will gather all together at the beginning of the hour.

Bring a bag that you carry to school, or to work and a picnic blanket if you can, and we will form a big circle.

Please follow our rules when attending RE:
  • Do NOT come if you have any symptoms of illness or if you have been in close contact with someone who has. Be safe, not sorry.
  • Masks must be worn at all times by ages 2 and up. (Exceptions will be made for non-verbal children.)
  • Adults and children will sanitize hands upon arrival.
  • Social distance will be maintained during activities. (Adults should bring chairs for the small group session.)
  • At this time, for the safety of all, we can only provide programming to children 3 and up who can separate from their family.
  • Rebecca will send out an email by 8 AM if RE is cancelled due to rain.
In the very near future we will have an RE zoom option for those families who can not make it to our in-person sessions.

RE Registration is Open! Please understand that we are all going to have to be flexible in order to take care of ourselves. Here is the Registration Form:
Youth Group (high school aged)
We had a successful YG Orientation last Sunday from 4-6pm over Zoom! This week, we will be meeting at the Hadley Town Commons on Sunday the 19th from 4-6pm, weather permitting. Johnny has sent out an email with more details. If for some reason you didn't receive it, please email Johnny at A signed permission slip and mask will be required for any youth who wishes to participate. The permission slip has been attached to the email that Johnny sent out and paper copies will be available to fill out the day of. We are still looking for one or two youth to help plan and facilitate the meeting. If you are interested in that please email Johnny.
The Young Adult program (ages 18-30) is *also* starting back up in September, though the date and time for our first meeting are still being finalized. Our new Youth & Young Adult coordinator, Johnny, sent out an email with a when2meet scheduler to try and find a time to have our first in-person meeting of the year together. If you didn't receive an email you can email Johnny at to be added to the mailing list.
This is repeated from last week
UUSA Reopening Task Force Update
This is a brief overview of what the Reopening Task Force has done, our findings and our plans going forward. To see a more comprehensive summary of the Congregational Survey and Cottage Meetings, please click this link.

Survey of the Congregation
We began by launching a congregational survey in July to get a clear sense of people’s hopes and concerns. We were thrilled with the response rate. Ninety-one people responded. Overall, people agreed that we should move slowly and carefully in the fall, explore hybrid solutions, and keep the lines of communication open between the congregation, task force and the board. There was a broad range of viewpoints regarding people’s comfort level with returning to in-person programs. More than half of respondents expressed a longing to be back together in community and to resume or start programming and events. There were also concerns of resurgence due to the rise of new variants and/or the effects of seasonal change.

Cottage Meetings -
Aug. 8, 16, 25, 30, 2021
Most people expressed more concerns in August since the delta variant became more prevalent. The optimism that existed in July has diminished. Those who strongly favored returning to the sanctuary in the July survey are much more hesitant in August. As we try out various ways of re-opening, we need to take an experimental approach with a number of options; it is important to be transparent about what we are trying, get community feedback afterwards, and modify as needed in the next round of experimentation. A number of people expressed interest in options for meeting together outdoors during the fall. Regarding our religious education program, parents are not comfortable with indoor RE for kids. Outdoor RE is strongly preferred.

Hybrid Service Planning
Some of us attended a Hybrid Services seminar to learn how we could develop this option for our community. Our technology volunteers ran wiring for a better Wifi signal in the sanctuary and purchased a computer to control cameras and sound for streaming. They are researching additional equipment to improve our streaming ability and will procure more equipment as we move slowly in implementing a quality hybrid service. They are conferring with a video streaming and production expert to ensure we have the proper set-up.

Building Ventilation System
UUSA is having an engineer come to assess our ventilation system to advise us on making sure our ventilation system meets Covid-19 standards.

Covid-19 Building Use Policy
The task force has drafted a comprehensive Building Use Policy, following guidance from the UUA. This Policy will have clear protocols and practices tied to the level of COVID-19 reported. Stages will be determined in conjunction with the status in Hampshire County. The task force recommended this policy to the Board on September 16th and the Board is in the process of reviewing it.
If you missed this month's letter from Rev Rachael, you can find it here.
Repeated from last week

Social Justice Committee

As the church year begins anew, the Social Justice Committee is looking forward to a new productive year. We welcome all members of this faith community who wish to work toward securing a better society for all. Please attend our first meeting, held 9/19, immediately after the service.
In the meantime, if you have any questions, you are welcome to contact:
Gabriela Horvay
Maria Lydia Spinelli
Mary Beth Seminario
Mary Latham

Small Group Ministry

This week you should have received an invitation to join a newly formed small group at the UUSA.
If you missed it, please click here.

Dedicated Offering Committee

Beginning in September, each month will be devoted to a new DO recipient whose representative will speak on the first Sunday. We will no longer hold a separate offering for the DO recipient but will split every Sunday's offering plate 50/50 with the recipient organization. The offering plate includes all cash and undesignated checks that are donated on any given Sunday (in person or through the mail or PayPal). This move symbolizes the solidarity we feel with the organizations we choose to support, and it also gives us all more opportunities to contribute. As always, please specify whether the funds you send to the office or by PayPal are for the Plate, your Pledge, or some other purpose.

Our Dedicated Offering recipient for September is Abundance Farm.

Many UUSA committees/groups are seeking new membership; if you are interested in learning more or becoming involved with committee and/or ministry-level efforts at the UUSA, please email Lea.

The Social Justice Committee would like to help Afghan refugees.

At this point, we're thinking of forming a circle of care. If you're interested in being part of this effort, please contact Gabriela Horvay:; at this point we're just taking names.

In the meantime, donations of kitchen items, toiletries, linens and baby clothes and diapers are welcome; dropoffs can be made by the Kellogg St door of the UUSA.
If you need the code to that door, please contact Lea.

For now, to make a financial contribution, you might want to visit:
Catholic Charities of the Springfield Diocese:

Jewish Family Services of Western Massachusetts:

Thank you.
Amherst Survival Center
Continues to need paper bags to package groceries which they use to make delivery and pick up easier for community members. Please drop clean, untorn paper bags and/or clean egg cartons off to the door under carport/by side door off Sunderland Rd., anytime between 9am-4pm on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday. Thank you!
In case you missed it! Original UUSA content from this entire worship season is available on our YouTube channel:
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