Dear Members and Friends of UUCR and UUFE,
Wow. What a week! And through it all we can sense the energy as members and friends reach out to one another with support and love. Numerous congregants have stepped forward as volunteers and with creative ideas of how to move forward. Thank you!
Based on updated recommendations from the CDC, it will be awhile before we can gather in person. Nonetheless, we will continue to thrive and serve as congregations. In this spirit, your leadership teams have developed a plan to ‘do church’ differently for the next 8 weeks, and longer if needed. This is a work in progress that we will fine-tune over time.
Sunday Worship – Beginning this Sunday (March 22) we will offer a ‘virtual’ service each week. The service will include message from Rev. Sue and several familiar aspects of our service, including Joys and Sorrows. If you would like to have Joy or Sorrow included in the service, please submit it in writing to Rev. Sue at firstname.lastname@example.org by Noon on Fridays and she will read them each as a part of the service. (Note: We have moved the deadline to Noon Friday.)
Accessing the service. A virtual service is one we access through the Internet. Access the virtual services here.
We will also have written versions of the service available that we can email to you or mail to you by US postal service. Please keep the office posted on your needs.
Pastoral Care and Connection – We are here for you! We will focus on staying directly connected with our members and friends, especially those who may need assistance or support. The caring teams from each congregation are staying in touch. We have healthy, lower-risk volunteers willing to do errands if anyone would like support. If you are available to help others, please contact the offices so we have your name on our lists. We are also exploring ways we can stay in regular connection through phone, email and Zoom ‘conversation groups’ during the week. We’ll have details on how these will work out shortly. Please be in touch with any of the contacts below to stay connected. Please be in touch with the office for contact information.
Rev. Sue 703-201-2745; email@example.com
UUCR: Jan Whitney (Office Manager) 410-778-3440; firstname.lastname@example.org, Kevin Brien, Gayle Folger, Nancy Holland, or
UUFE: Elizabeth Tong (Office Manager) 410-822-8103; email@example.com,
Rita Barker, Mary Dunlavey, or Suzanne Todd
Communications – While in-person meetings won’t be possible, staying connected in fresh ways through our Broadheet and UUliFE newsletters and website platforms, possibly more frequently than we normally do, is still possible. We will include spiritual materials and opportunities for reflection and connection in newsletters, in addition to our traditional informational updates.
Connection with Children, Youth and Families – We will care for our children and families, with an awareness of the stress that comes from schools and activities having been cancelled. We also recognize children are quite aware of what is happening around the world and carry that stress as well. At UUCR stay tuned for BITES, a new family section of Broadsheet, which will include ways families can nourish themselves spiritually through affirmations, reflections, fun activities, and random acts of kindness. At UUFE Mystery Friends is happening (albeit virtually), and check out the new Google Classroom Ms. Liz has set up. If you need support, ideas or a a friendly ear please be in touch with Rev. Sue any of the team listed here.
UUCR: Pat Bjorke or Connie Schroth
UUFE: Liz Hausburg or Patty Hamsher
Other Programs and Activities – Each congregation has cancelled its upcoming in-person events. We encourage individuals or groups to explore ways to gather virtually (by conference call, Zoom meeting, or other application). If you need technical help, please let us know.
Caring for the Basics – The Boards will continue to guide the congregations. They will keep moving toward the requirements for the annual meeting (finalizing budgets, selecting leaders), caring for staff and working on priorities. Our treasurers and office teams will be sure bills are paid and finances are managed. Our leaders will assure buildings and grounds are maintained. The goal will be to handle all of these basics in a safe manner.
Greater Community – We will do all of the above with care, and will also be intentional about the needs of our community partners. We will reach out to our partners to see if there are ways we might help. As we learn of needs (and where necessary with our Boards’ review) we’ll present invitations to congregation for response.
Throughout this week, your leadership teams have begun planning for how to support and nurture UUFE and UUCR during this time of disruption. We welcome your thoughts and comments on these plans at any time. We commit to stay in close communication over these next weeks.