Minister’s Letter – April 2020

Dear UUSA,

In the last three weeks, our lives have changed. We became an online community rather than a physical one. We learned – and are still learning – how to have meaningful worship over Internet and telephone connections. (If you would like some help accessing our services over Zoom, please reach out to Lea in the office!) We are doing our best to stay connected with the people whose hands we touched each Sunday.

We have closed our building to minimize the risk of spreading the virus. We still host Wednesday Community Breakfast with Craig’s Doors, but this service now happens outside. Sunday morning worship services, religious education, and meetings now happen online and by phone.

This will continue at least until May 10, following Governor Baker’s stay-at-home advisory. I urge you to continue to stay at home as much as possible, continue excellent handwashing protocol, and to minimize your trips out for supplies. Please do continue to exercise as you are able and get into the spring sunshine when you can. Keep a six-foot distance from anyone who’s not part of your household.

Everything about this pandemic is hard. During this time when we crave the consolation of those we love, we need to remain apart to protect each other. This truly is a time of loss and grief in our culture, and we’re all going through it at the same time, and many of us don’t have someone to give us a hug. Please be gentle with yourself and those around you. Not everyone will have the same response to this moment, and what’s hard about this pandemic may be compounded by things that were already hard.

I may be working from home, but I am still here. Please reach out if you are having a rough time, if you are sick, if you are afraid. I am here. The Pastoral Care Team and Caring Circle are still here, staying in touch with the members of the congregation. You may get a phone call from one of them. If you haven’t gotten a phone call and would like one, let us know!

We, the minister and staff and board and leaders of UUSA, have committed to keeping our community going during this crisis. Please continue to support the congregation as you had planned with your current-year pledge and offering plate contributions (which you can send by check or through the website). If you are still financially comfortable, I invite you to share what you have with the minister’s discretionary fund; if you have lost in- come due to COVID-19 and need financial help, please let me know.

If our Sunday services have been a good part of your week, invite a friend. The Zoom account we use can accommodate 500 participants. If you know someone whose religious community is not currently meeting, or anyone who might appreciate our service, anywhere in the world, please invite them to join us.

In this time, we share hope from one person to another. By sharing we keep it alive much better than we ever could on our own. Let that hope be our connection while we are physically separate. Let that hope sustain us.
In faith,
Rev. Rachael

Virtual Lunch with the Minister, April 22 at 12:00 p.m.

Note new link and meeting ID, but phone number is the same as for last month’s virtual lunch: https://uuma.zoom.us/j/193118329 or call in at +1 646 876 9923 and enter Meeting ID: 193 118 329.

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