This page will be updated weekly with the latest information about the virus and our Fellowship’s response.


Join Us for Online Sunday Services

During the public health emergency, all Fellowship gatherings, including Sunday services, have been moved online. Join us for service on Sunday at 10:00 a.m. (new time as of May 24, 2020) by clicking on the link below a few minutes prior to the scheduled start time. Especially during this time, it is good to be together. We would love to see you there.

We use the video conferencing service Zoom for our online services and meetings. Zoom can be accessed from any computer or mobile device with an internet connection.

If you haven’t used Zoom before, we suggest clicking the link a few minutes early as you’ll need to install a browser plugin (or app if on a mobile device) which should just take a minute or two. If you would like a quick primer on the Zoom features we use during services, here’s our 5-minute pre-service technology orientation. https://youtu.be/zPijgrj3_Ks

Join our Sunday services here.

June 18, 2020

Beloveds,

As we continue to adjust to pandemic life, I remind us once again that the Fellowship is here for you.  Although we can not meet in person as we used to, and won’t be able to for quite some time, we have multiple ways to stay connected. I hope you are joining into our 10 am Sunday Services.  In addition, state and county guidelines are permitting outside gatherings, with physical distancing precautions.  Check out the BVUUF calendar for opportunities to gather safely. (Organizers of events — don’t forget to update the calendar!)  

I understand that gathering outside may not feel comfortable for some of you, for a variety of reasons. We are committed to providing a virtual option for any Fellowship-wide event (like the Open House — see below). And we are asking all small groups to please be considerate of all of your members’ needs before choosing an outdoor option.

We continue to have zoom gatherings and meetings, which have proven to provide more connection and even intimacy than any of us thought. And, of course, don’t forget the old fashioned telephone! Staying connected remains our primary goal as a congregation.

At the same time, we are also learning how to sharpen our ‘outer focus’, even during pandemic times. Many of us are deeply concerned about the recent killings of Black people by the police, by the ongoing climate crisis and the upcoming election, to name a few of our justice-oriented initiatives. We are working to get the Fair Tax initiative on the ballot, showing up to local NAACP meetings, getting the vote out, and doing a variety of other things. Keep an eye out for how you can keep involved!

I hope these beautiful summer days are providing some respite from the harsh realities around us. Lean into summer, allow yourself to recharge, even as you step into new roles and experiment with new things. Connecting with beauty and experiencing joyful moments refill the well for the work ahead. 

May you be well, and stay well,

Rev. Lydia

Open House

We invite you to visit Boulder Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship on Saturday, June 20, to:

  • Explore the building and our beautiful grounds.
  • Bring a pen and take part in social justice action. Sign the Fair Tax Colorado petition if you have not already done so.
  • Bring your paper cranes if you still have them to participate in a spiritual homecoming, and
  • Safely socialize with your Fellowship friends!

The doors are open and welcoming between 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. this Saturday.

Please RSVP here for a time slot to join us Saturday, June 20 to tour the building. 

In an effort to maintain social distance and to allow people to enjoy seeing our new building, we ask that you sign up for a five minute entrance slot with up to three family groups per slot. Please follow these simple guidelines to enhance your visit:

  • Be at the Ceres Drive parking lot a couple minutes before your time slot.
  • You are welcome to wait in the shade of the apple tree or building until you are let in by a member of the Hospitality team.
  • Remember to wear a mask, and bring a mask for each person attending (over age 3).
  • In accordance with the guidelines for places of worship, we will maintain 6′ distancing between members of different family groups and masks will be worn at all times.
  • One restroom will be available for all genders. This bathroom has 5 individual stalls with toilets, as well as a changing table and 4 sinks.
  • If you or someone in your family unit is part of a vulnerable population*, in accordance with the current State and County Safer at Home guidelines (currently the same) you are encouraged to stay home. However, we are taking steps to adhere to safety protocols throughout this event, and it is up to your discretion to determine the best course of action for your family.
  • Please remember to practice patience and respect throughout your visit.

*Individuals who are 65 years and older; individuals with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma; individuals who have serious heart conditions; individuals who are immuno-compromised; pregnant women; and individuals determined to be high risk by a licensed healthcare provider are considered vulnerable under Executive Order D 2020 044

If anyone in your household has experienced any cold or flu-like symptoms please stay home, let us know if you need any support, and get a COVID-19 test. Free testing is now available for anyone experiencing symptoms.

If you cannot be with us physically for any reason, consider joining a virtual tour of the building with Kitty Kaler, School of the Spirit Teacher. The tour runs live from 10:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at this zoom room (room opens at 10:20 a.m.). At the same time, the tour will be livestreamed from our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/bvuuf.

We look forward to welcoming you to our new spiritual home! There is more work to do in moving back in, but we hope you enjoy your visit today.

Looking ahead

We wanted to be sure to have this open house before our regularly scheduled July slow-down. More than any other year, staff (and I think leaders too!) will need this time to catch our breath. Our Lifespan Faith Formation Director, Jessica Laikeman, and Music Director, Tad Koriath, are on 11 month contracts and usually take much of  July completely off. Carol and I will both be taking vacation in July as well. 

Therefore, in order to keep safe, allow staff time to settle into the building and take needed time off, there will be no meetings inside the Fellowship in July. Any outside meetings at the ‘ship must be staffed by an employee, because they will know all the protocols, have access codes, etc.  without needing to connect with other staff.  I hope you will be understanding of this need.

You may be hearing that other congregations are opening their doors. We will continue with our Zoom services this summer, and will not be having live services in our building at this time. Remember, we have the added complexity of moving into our building, and training on all the new systems. We also want to be sure to have all Fellowship-wide events accessible virtually, which is a whole other set of learning tools. The Worship and the Arts Council is in discussions now about what those options are for the fall. I know that may be disappointing for some, but accessibility to Fellowship services and safety for everyone are our primary concerns. 

Rev. Lydia’s Schedule

June 22 — 28:  I’ll be at Virtual Ministry Days and Virtual General Assembly.  I won’t have office hours, or be at any meetings. I am available by text for time sensitive matters and any pastoral care. (720-272-8284) I don’t expect to be checking email that much. 

June 29 – July 17:  Available, as usual.

Office Hours:

Tues. June 30 1:30 – 3 pm

Wed. July 1  7 — 8:30 pm

Thurs. July 9 1:30 – 3 pm

Thurs. July 9  7 – 8:30 pm

Tues. July 14  1-2:30

Thurs. July 16  10-11:30

July 18 – July 31:  Vacation. I am available by text for pastoral care only.  I’ll have an email responder with details about who to contact in my absence.

Aug. 1 — 10  Study Leave/Planning time.  I won’t be available for regular meetings.  Please text me for time sensitive matters and any pastoral care. 

May 27, 2020

Beloveds,
“We meet dozens of people, have so many conversations, [look at hundreds of posts]. We do not feel how much energy we spend on each activity, because we imagine we will always have more energy at our disposal. This one little conversation. This one little extra phone call, this one quick meeting, what can it cost?…..But it does cost…..it drains yet another drop of our life. Then, at the end of days, weeks, months, years, we collapse, we burn out, and cannot see where it happened. It happened in a thousand unconscious events, tasks and responsibilities that seemed easy and harmless on the surface, but that each one after the other used a small portion of our precious life. And so, we are given a commandment, which is actually a gift: ‘Remember the Sabbath.’”—Wayne Muller

The Fellowship’s COVID-19 Response Team took a well deserved break from our weekly meetings this week. If you are the type (like me) who equates worthiness with productivity and who is increasingly glued to the latest notifications about the progress of COVID-19, I highly recommend giving yourself a break. Take a few deep breaths and allow for some fallow time, as all of creation needs fallow time to survive.  
The governor is holding his phone call with faith leaders Thursday afternoon, so I should hear more then about how the spread or decline of the virus is impacting congregations.  I’ll make sure it is communicated to you on Sunday or before. Until we hear otherwise, we’ll be following State Safer at Home Orders for our Fellowship meetings and activities. Here’s local information for BoulderBroomfield and Weld Counties as well. 

I also have been hearing more about uncertainty in your financial lives as the economy continues to be rocked by the virus. Please do feel free to contact me, as I do have resources, generously donated from members of the congregation over many years, to support members of the congregation in financial distress. Interfaith Alliance has developed an extensive list of community resources for those impacted by COVID-19.  
As the days get more beautiful with the fecundity of Spring, do remember that it is the fallow time of winter that enables the plant to blossom. Take time yourself now in these glorious days — an hour a day, a day a week, a few days a month . . . to replenish yourself by unplugging and just relaxing.

Office Hours
Since I don’t get to check in with you when you pop over to the Fellowship, I’m holding weekly Zoom Office hours — they are a time to just chat, or stop in and share whatever is going on with you. If more than one person stops in, I’ll manage the flow of people and conversations. Feel free to hop onto my Zoom room on:
Thursday, May 28, 12:30 – 2:00 p.m.
Thursday, June 4, 9:00 – 10:30 a.m.
Wednesday, June 10,  7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Thursday, June 18, 12 Noon – 1:30 p.m.
I am attending the virtual UU Ministers Association and General Assembly the week of June 22-28. Then I’ll be back in the beginning of July, before taking a break later in July.

Our Community
Our Fellowship calendar is chock full of activities for folks to do virtually. And, in anticipation of further opening of restrictions, we are exploring activities we can do outside of the Fellowship, and creating protocols for the use of the bathrooms in the Fellowship.  
It’s not too late to apply to be a service associate for the 2020-21. Service Associates serve for up to two years (September to August), then take a break for at least a year to allow for others to join in. We meet monthly as a whole group to reflect upon the themes together, then individual service associates work with me or another service associate to develop each Sunday. If you like to think creatively with a team and delve into topics, give this a try. There’s ample support and training! Click here to apply:  Service Associate Application The Worship and the Arts Council will meet in early June to look at the mix of folks we have so we can ensure they are representative of our congregation.  

Impacts on the Building
We now have a temporary certificate of occupancy (CO)! We are awaiting news about a small item that needs adjustment, but hope to get a permanent CO soon. In the meantime, we are looking for folks to help out moving back into the building. We’ll be following protocols all along the way. If you are not in a vulnerable population, and have some time on your hands, please sign up here, and we’ll let you know when we’ve developed a schedule for moving.

As we wait for our building to be more fully utilized, I’m exploring other uses of the building that can help us realize the ‘outer focus’ of our vision. I’m contacting city and county officials, local non-profits, and others to see if our space can be helpful to someone during these days of COVID-19.  I’ll keep you posted! 

We are a strong community with all we need to stick together during these difficult times.  

May you be well,

Rev. Lydia
May 20, 2020

Beloveds,

This week, congregational leaders received an updated guidance for gathering from UUA President Susan Frederick-Gray. In short, the UUA is recommending that we plan for virtual operations until May of 2021. For me, it was like a sock in the stomach, as we all sit at home, poised to move into a building that we’ve poured our heart and our resources into for the past three years. It comes at the same time as we are opening up public spaces again, and some people are feeling more optimistic. And yet, the recommendation (not mandate) to plan for virtual services for the next year is sound. Our congregations contain many people in vulnerable categories, COVID-19 is highly contagious, and the singing, multi-generational and familial nature of religious gatherings make them high risk events. Please read her full message here

The UUA recommendation was yet another wake-up call that the virus will be with us for a long time, and it’s time to adapt. If gathering in large groups is out for a long while, we’ll continue to create meaning together in our Sunday Services on ZUUm. (thanx to Meri Gibb for that!) We’ll also find other ways to meet our social and spiritual needs, following state and local public health orders. Keep an eye out in the coming weeks for more small group on-line opportunities.  

As a reminder, Colorado continues to be under the “Safer at Home” Order, which allows for groups of 10 or less to meet in person, physically distanced and with face masks for everyone who is under 65 and not an at-risk individual. At-risk individuals and those over 65 should continue to stay at home except for essential needs. The State is waiting until May 25 to collect the adequate data to determine next steps. Once we move to the more open “Protect Your Neighbors” phase, we do anticipate being able to plan some outdoor, physically distanced, small group events for everyone this summer. And we are looking into safe ways to gather our children and youth over the summer as well. 
It remains my hope that we will be able to gather as a whole congregation in our building well before next May. But for our own safety and that of others, we will put public health above our own personal desires. At the same time, we are social beings, and public health and spiritual health are at odds with each other now. Many of us gain great satisfaction and well-being from the practice of service.  

This week, I recommend you explore the Tree of Contemplative Practices. While many of these practices are oriented towards gatherings of people, not all of them are. Engaging in new practices can open up new personal insights. If you are an outwardly focused person, you may also consider contacting your favorite organization and find out what you can do during this time of physical isolation. 

Isolation can be very challenging. Please feel free to contact me for any sort of spiritual support, or pop into my office hours. 
 
My upcoming office hours are: Wednesday, May 27, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m.Thursday, May 28 12:30 to 2:00 p.m.Thursday, June 4, 9:00 to 10:30 a.m.

Some Offerings to Consider
Back by Popular Demand!
 Fellowship Talent Show, Take Two! This Saturday evening, May 23, 7:00 p.m. until we are done! Send your submissions of five minutes or less to Tad Koriath at musicdirector@bvuuf.org by Friday evening, if possible. Live performances welcome as well. Just let Tad know.

Nature Connection Stories with Karen Axe Monday, May 25 from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. (Click on the title for the zoom link.)

Stretch and Strengthen with Juli Mackenzie, Tuesday at 9:00 a.m. (Click on the title for the zoom link.)

Impact on our Building
In the midst of all this required physical distancing, we are trying to get our building completed and move in as best we can. I apologize for any confusion around what we can and can not do in this regard. This past week, the COVID-19 Response Team realized we relaxed things on our end beyond what the State orders require. That is, we have allowed folks in those vulnerable populations to be in the building working. Even using precautions, Safety at Home asks that vulnerable populations stay at home as much as possible. Everyone, of course, will determine their own propensity for risk, but for the sake of caring and safety for all of us, we will not allow any Fellowship related activities that go against the State order. 

Here’s how we intend to go forward:
Getting the Certificate of Occupancy and finishing up with the contractors is ‘essential,’ and we are moving as quickly as possible to achieve this. The next step is to complete the move of items from the storage pods into the Fellowship. This work is largely done outdoors. Unloading the pods means we can remove them from our property and save money. It also allows for the parking lot to be used for outdoor activities. Until the Safer at Home orders are lifted, however, we will need people under 65 and with no underlying health conditions to help us with this. Household groupings are encouraged! Please sign up here, and we’ll let you know when we have developed a schedule. We next want our staff to be able to move into their offices, so they can choose to work there if they wish. Again, this will be done with protocols and if needed, with help from family groupings.  

It has been a year of a lot of change, and a lot of confusion, for all of us. Those of us on the COVID-19 Response Team are doing our best to keep up on the latest science and state and county requirements as we proceed with caring for members of our Fellowship and community. 
We are a strong community with all we need to stick together during these difficult times.  

May you be well,

Rev. Lydia
P.S. Helpful Links related to COVID19 are moving to Connections Weekly for your easy reference. Connections Weekly comes out every Friday at 2:00 p.m.

May 13, 2020

Beloveds,
This week, my head is spinning, as I continue to grapple with the rapidly changing environment of both the science of Covid-19 and the government policies that also by necessity take into account economic and social realities. For a laugh, check out this video, and you’ll get a glimpse into my brain, and perhaps yours too!

Each of us is making daily decisions about how to live our lives in a rapidly changing and sometimes contradictory environment. When is it OK to go out? Gloves or no gloves? Can I take a run without a mask? Such constant external change and shifting messages is exhausting, so please do go easy on yourselves. The fatigue, the brain fog is real, and your best bet is to honor your body’s messages and go at a pace you can sustain.  
How does one find and keep one’s center when the rhythms of our external lives have been disheveled? Certainly, developing new patterns that help anchor you is important. The time I’m not driving kids around is now recouped for a more intentional quiet start to my day. And my daughter and I have started doing a yoga video every afternoon – we are on Day 46!

But the one big spiritual lesson of this time may be learning to loosen our hold on seeking security in our exterior environment, and finding our anchors within. One approach to this is affirmations. Affirmations are an ancient spiritual practice — especially within Buddhism. They reorient the mind towards right-relationship and right action. 

In all activities, train with slogans. Atisha Dipankara

In the 11th century Atisha Dipankara brought the complete bodhichitta teaching from India to Tibet. After his death, they were kept secret until the 12th century, when Tibetan Geshe Chekawa organized them into 59 slogans. In Pema Chodron’s book The Places that Scare You: A Guide to Fearlessness in Difficult Times, she helps make these ancient teachings even more accessible to a western audience. (I highly recommend that book for these times.)

Kelly LoGiudice offered these affirmations for the time of Covid-19 to our office manager Carol, who shared them with me. I found their sentiments quite powerful. You may want to develop your own affirmations as well, and repeat them daily.  

Beloveds, let’s remember that even though we are physically distanced, we are in this together. There are many ways to reach out for support, and the Fellowship will be here for you through this, and beyond.

Practicalities

Connecting via Zoom 
We continue to keep our community together through Zoom.  All Fellowship Sunday Services can be found at the link on the home page.
Meetings with me will be on my personal zoom link. If you get stuck, remember that the meeting IDs for meetings with me are the same as my cell phone number.  

All School of the Spirit events can be found at: https://zoom.us/j/552956886  
Check out our Fellowship google calendar for all our activities. 
For security reasons (who wants a Zoom-bomber in the middle of a covenant group?) we will no longer be putting these zoom links on our Fellowship calendar. If it is helpful, you can bookmark them on your browser. 

Sunday Services
Sunday Services on Zoom are our primary way to gather the whole community together. 
Starting May 24, our services will start at 10 a.m., with a 9:55 a.m. tech talk.  This Sunday . . .Karin Griglak and Irene Faivre lead us in a service entitled: We are still ourselves on this side of a Threshold. While many of us have been staying home for these last several months in order to” flatten the curve,” it is easy to feel like we’ve lost ourselves on this side of the threshold. As I was watching the movie “Hook,” I realized that we may feel like the older Peter Banning, stuck where we are and lost to the magical people we were. Please join with us as we explore how to reconnect to our Peter Pan and the promise of the future. Next Sunday, Rev. Lydia and Pete Wernick lead a service entitled: “Layers of Loss.” For this year’s Memorial Day service, we’ll explore the complex grief that accompanies war losses. What similarities and differences are there between war losses and the immense loss of life we are experiencing now in this pandemic? What are the lessons of loss?  

Office Hours and Packing/Moving time
My upcoming Zoom office hours are:Tues. May 19, 2:30 — 4 p.m.Wed. May 20, 7 — 8:30 p.m.
This time can be used for personal meetings as well. If we are chatting and someone else joins in, I’ll let them know I’ll text them when our time is complete. 

I won’t be taking appointments the week of May 25 — 31 so I can continue to sort through my home office books and materials and organize my Fellowship office.  

Our Fellowship Building
In these confusing Covid-19 times, the Fellowship’s Covid Response team is continuing to navigate these confusing times, sifting through new information every week.
Protocols have been developed for us to safely unpack the pods outside using family groupings within the next few weeks. What we are able to do inside with groups will depend upon how our HVAC system is configured. We expect to learn more about that this week. On or about May 25, the CO Department of Public Health will have enough data from the “Safer at Home” order to be able to make decisions on the next steps for the entire state. We continue to closely monitor the state and county public health notices.    
Please remember that “Safer at Home” still recommends that vulnerable populations stay at home as much as possible.  

Some Offerings to consider
Please do stay connected! Don’t let physical distancing lead to social isolation. Check out the BVUUF Calendar to see all we are offering. 
Here’s some options to consider:
Mist Ari’s Morning Merriment: Monday through Friday 9:30 — 10 a.m. Keep connected with all your BVUUF preschool friends and Mist Ari every weekday morning!

Poetry Night: Join Rev. Lydia on Thursday, May 14 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. for a contemplative evening of sharing using poetry. Rev. Lydia will provide a poem for us to dive into, based on the Soul Matters theme of Thresholds. There will be time for personal journaling or drawing, followed by small group sharing. (These events used to be called “Deepening the Conversation,” and are based on the work of Parker Palmer). We’ll join together using my personal zoom link.

Longmont Unitarian Universalist Presence (LUUP) Online Dinner Church: Friday Night, May 15, 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Grab your meal, put your feet up, and join with other UUs. All are always welcome to join this evening of ritual and eating together. The LUUP dinner church is an opportunity for a multigenerational community to share a meal and meaning-making rituals. Each time we gather, we explore questions and do an activity around a theme. The experience is interactive and accessible to people of many ages, even online.  Every first and third Friday night.

May we continue to bring love, reason, compassion and justice into the world, no matter how we gather, 

May 6, 2020

Beloveds,

You may have noticed that we are hearing more sharing in our services from people personally impacted by COVID-19, from deaths of relatives and friends to concerns for their own exposure.  Please know that I am available for pastoral care of any of you — whether you are experiencing grief from personal losses, or anxiety from the immense toll this is taking on literally the whole world.  

And, for your own health and safety, please remember that this is not just an older person’s disease.  Young people can get sick from coronavirus, and the symptoms vary.  Although all around us, things are ‘opening up’, physical distancing, as tedious as it may be, is still the most effective way to reduce transmission of the virus. 

That said Saturday, Boulder County is going to enter into “Safer at Home” orders. Here’s Broomfield County’s Blueprint for Reopening, as well as a great quick video, suitable for kids and adults.  

The Fellowship’s COVID-19 Response Team still meets weekly, on Tuesdays. Thanks to Carol Pranschke, our Office Manager, Jessica Laikeman, our Director of Lifespan Faith Formation, and lay leaders Karen Axe, Constance Holden, Janet Meyer, and Judy Schmidt.  This group is coordinating with the Building Committee as well as the Move Back In Team to ensure we develop safe protocols as we plan anything related to the building.  (see below for more details)

Are you getting weary at home?  I know I am. My desire to connect deeply with you in person is only growing.  But I am confident we will stay connected through this time.  We have a long history of deep relationships within this congregation, and our recent big undertaking of a building project has taught us flexibility and perseverance, along with a handy set of Zoom skills.  

Practicalities 

Connecting via Zoom 

We continue to explore ways to make our  Zoom access both accessible and secure.  

All Fellowship Sunday Services can be found at:  https://uuma.zoom.us/j/993783355

or call in at: 1-346-248-7799 Meeting ID: 993 783 355

There is also a link on the home page of the Fellowship website.

Meetings with me will be on my personal zoom link. If you get stuck, remember that the meeting IDs for meetings with me are the same as my cell phone number.  

All School of the Spirit events can be found at: https://zoom.us/j/552956886  

Check out our Fellowship google calendar for all our activities. 

For security reasons (who wants a Zoom-bomber in the middle of a covenant group?) we will no longer be putting these zoom links on our Fellowship calendar. If it is helpful, you can bookmark them on your browser. 

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Sunday Services 

Sunday Services on Zoom are our primary way to gather the whole community together. For the next two weeks only, they  will continue to be held at 12:30 p.m., with School of the Spirit Zoom class at 11:45 a.m.   Starting May 24, our services will start at 10 am, with a 9:55 a.m. tech talk. When we first started these zoom services, we thought it would only be for a few weeks, and we’d be back in our building soon. Now we know better, so 10 a.m. it is, until further notice. 

Be sure to join us this Sunday, 12:30 p.m. for our Youth Service — where our bridging (graduating) Seniors will share some words about this threshold time in their lives. 

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Office Hours and Packing/Moving time

I am not taking appointments next week, (May 11 — 17) so I can focus on repacking up my home office and setting up my Fellowship office. I don’t expect to be on email much either, so please text me at 720-272-8284 if you have something time sensitive I can help you with. 


My upcoming Zoom office hours are:

  • Thurs. May 7, 5 — 6:30 p.m.
  • Tues. May 19, 2:30 — 4 p.m.
  • Wed. May 20, 7 — 8:30 p.m.

This time can be used for personal meetings as well.  If we are chatting and someone else joins in, I’ll let them know I’ll text them when our time is complete. 

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Our Fellowship Building

As of now, we are anticipating receiving the final inspection and certificate of occupancy within the next couple weeks. Irony of ironies — right? Our building is ready to occupy, and we can’t meet there. But we can get ready to gather there. There are lots of details to consider, and we are going slow. The Move Back In Team is beginning meetings with our COVID-19 Response Team to develop protocols for us to begin the process of emptying the pods and moving items into our new space.  

Unfortunately, even under the next level of loosened public health restrictions (Colorado’s Protect your Neighbor), we will not be able to have large gatherings. We are exploring ways for people to come to the building in small groups and celebrate this milestone in our congregation’s history.  Stay Tuned! While it’s hard to let go of our visions of a ‘grand opening’, public safety will remain our highest priority. 

For the health and safety of everyone, it continues to be important to minimize the number of people at the building.  Please continue to contact Carol to sign up for building access.  (officemanager@bvuuf.org and 847-687-0259)  

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The Conversation Project and Covid-19

The many impacts of this pandemic are hard to take in, and can feel overwhelming. But spending some time thinking about your own needs and wishes should you become ill can be empowering. I share this video from The Conversation Project with you about what to think about in terms of end of life wishes in this unprecedented time we are in. 

Please feel free to reach out to me, Constance Holden, or Scott Nelson and Mzia Chatara (our lay pastoral care associate coordinators), to discuss your plans or concerns during this time.  

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Some Offerings to consider:

When the leadership of the congregation decided in August of 2018 to adopt one congregational goal, and then reaffirmed that goal in August of 2109, I don’t think any of us could have ever imagined that “Staying Connected” would take on this much importance!  Please do stay connected!  Don’t let physical distancing lead to social isolation.  Check out the BVUUF Calendar to see all we are offering. 

Here’s some options to consider:

Mist Ari’s Morning Merriment: Monday through Friday 9:30 — 10 am Keep connected with all your BVUUF preschool friends and Mist Ari every weekday morning!

Longmont Unitarian Universalist Presence (LUUP) Online Dinner Church: Friday Night, May 15,  6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Grab your meal, put your feet up, and join with other UUs. All are always welcome to join this evening of ritual and eating together. The LUUP dinner church is an opportunity for a multigenerational community to share a meal and meaning-making rituals. Each time we gather, we explore questions and do an activity around a theme. The experience is interactive and accessible to people of many ages, even online.  Every first and third Friday night.

Mama’s Movie Night: Saturday, May 9 7 pm – -9 pm Kick back and start your Mother’s Day Celebration early with this School of the Spirit staff offering. 

Poetry Night: Second Thursdays in May and June. Join Rev. Lydia on Thursday, May 14 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. for a contemplative evening of sharing using poetry. Rev. Lydia will provide a poem for us to dive into, based on the SoulMatters theme of Thresholds. There will be time for personal journaling or drawing, followed by small group sharing. (These events used to be called “Deepening the Conversation,” and are based on the work of Parker Palmer).

Rev. Lydia

Links:
If you are experiencing economic hardship, here’s a link for Help for workers in CO during COVID-19  

Interfaith Alliance has developed an extensive list of community resources for those impacted by COVID-19.  

Recommended links for online, reputable sources for more information:

Please use reputable websites for accurate information including the 

These websites often link to other sites they have vetted and consider accurate.  

Here are two additional resources you may find helpful:

April 22, 2020

Beloveds, 

Starting next week, some of our restrictions in Colorado will be lifted, as we move from a “Stay at Home” order to the  “Safer at Home”. Click here and here for details. Please note that the very first directive for Safer at Home is that everyone should still stay at home as much as possible. And for people over 70 or with compromised immune systems or other health issues, there is no change from Stay at Home orders. 

As for what the future holds, on his call with faith leaders on Tuesday, Governor Polis reminded all of us that this virus is ‘extremely contagious,’ and that the orders set to begin next week will go through at least the end of May. The next phase “Protect Your Neighbors” could optimistically start in June, but more likely July. Even during that phase, the expectation is that social distancing will still be required, with larger group gatherings being permitted if we can assure that family groupings are 8-10 feet away from each other, and that entry and exit and shared spaces, like bathrooms, have extra protocols. All this to say, we’ll be in this for a while.

Whether you are settling into a new routine, or itching to get back into your old ways of being, the uncertainty of these times do take their toll. Some days I find I can lean into the new rhythm, and appreciate everything around me. Other days, not so much. Perhaps it is the same for you. 

In the midst of the enormity of disruption to our lives, we must continue to find ways, great and small, to take care of ourselves. With spring coming — many are finding solace in the outdoors. My invitation to you this week is to let the earth hold you. Spend some time each day intentionally connecting to nature, even from your window if that’s what’s best for you. Use the poem that was so beautifully read by our service associate Irene Faivre last week, to unshoulder your burdens, and rest in the grace of the world.  

The Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me

and I wake in the night at the least sound

in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,

I go and lie down where the wood drake

rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.

I come into the peace of wild things

who do not tax their lives with forethought

of grief. I come into the presence of still water.

And I feel above me the day-blind stars

waiting with their light. For a time

I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

If it sounds good to you, pick a nice warm day, find time to lie down on the earth, recite or listen to this poem, and simply rest. 

Beloveds, even though we are physically distant, you are always on my mind and in my heart.  Please do let me know if you are sick, and/or in economic distress. The Fellowship is here for you. 

Practicalities 

Connecting via Zoom 

We continue to explore ways to make our  Zoom access both accessible and secure.  

All Fellowship Sunday Services can be found at:  https://uuma.zoom.us/j/993783355

or call in at: 1-346-248-7799 Meeting ID: 993 783 355

There is also a link on the home page of the Fellowship website.

Meetings with me will be on my personal zoom link. If you get stuck, remember that the meeting IDs for meetings with me are the same as my cell phone number.  

All School of the Spirit events can be found at: https://zoom.us/j/552956886  

Zoom links for any Fellowship meetings will be made available on our calendar, found here: Fellowship google calendar.

For security reasons (who wants a Zoom-bomber in the middle of a covenant group?) we will no longer be putting these zoom links on our Fellowship calendar. If it is helpful, you can bookmark them on your browser. 

************

Sunday Services 

Sunday Services on Zoom are our primary way to gather the whole community together. For consistency, they  will continue to be held at 12:30 p.m., with School of the Spirit Zoom class at 11:45 a.m.  

This Sunday, we will complete our series on the Five Jagged Rocks of Unitarian Universalism this Sunday this week’s Jagged Rock:  Truth continues to be revealed.  As much as we’d often like to have life be predictable, it never is.  Every day offers new adventures.  Our first UU Source, which invites our direct experience to inform our understanding of truth, means that each day we live offers us the possibility of new truths.  Today, Rev. Penny Rather shares how we might remain open to new truths, as she shares with us the next adventure in her own life.  Pete Wernick will be the service associate, and I’ll be co-leading as well. 

In May, we’ll return to the Soul Matters Theme of Thresholds — a juicy theme for this time in the world’s history.

**********

Office Hours

Each week, I’ll open my Zoom Room for anyone who wants to hang out. (Zoom office hours!)  Here’s my office hours schedule for the next couple of weeks:

  • Thurs. April 23 from 12:30 — 2 pm
  • Tues April 28 from 2 — 3:30 pm
  • Thurs. April 30 7 — 8:30 pm

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Our Fellowship Building

I remain deeply concerned about the class and racial inequities in safety and health care that are once again revealed by crisis, and am doing what I can to assure that our construction project is following protocols. Right now the top priority is for the construction workers to finish up their work. In this last phase, there are often a lot of different contractors at the building finishing up. For the health and safety of everyone, it is important to minimize the number of other people at the building, and let the contractors finish up their work. 

For at least the next two weeks,  no one from the Fellowship is allowed in the building without specific approval from Carol.  (officemanager@bvuuf.org and 847-687-0259) If you do need to go to the Fellowship, you can also schedule it through this link.  Karen Axe is also available to help anyone who needs to work at the Fellowship to think through safety protocols. Colorado’s physical distancing to date has been effective at flattening the curve, but we are still in a critical time. We want to be guided by wisdom and care for all of us, not our impatience to be in our beautiful new space.

**********

The Conversation Project and Covid-19

The many impacts of this pandemic are hard to take in, and can feel overwhelming. But spending some time thinking about your own needs and wishes should you become ill can be empowering. I share this video from The Conversation Project with you about what to think about in terms of end of life wishes in this unprecedented time we are in. 

Please feel free to reach out to me, Constance Holden, or Scott Nelson and Mzia Chatara (our lay pastoral care associate coordinators), to discuss your plans or concerns during this time.  

***********  

Some Offerings to consider:

Fellowship Open Mic/Talent Show This Saturday Night, April 25,  7:00 9:00 pm on Rev. Lydia’s Zoom Room. Hosted by Tad Koriath. There’s a growing roster of participants, but it’s not too late for you to join if you’d like.  You can either perform via a video which you send to Tad (musicdirector@bvuuf.org), which is the preferred method, or you can perform live via Zoom. Entries should not exceed 5 minutes (shorter is just fine). And, of course, everyone is welcome to attend whether you’re performing or not.

Fellowship Zoom Game Night Saturday, May 2nd on the School of the Spirit Zoom. Join Jessica Laikeman and other SoS staff for an evening of family-fun games!

Poetry Night: Second Thursdays in May and June. Join Rev. Lydia on Thursday, May 14 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. for a contemplative evening of sharing using poetry. Rev. Lydia will provide a poem for us to dive into, based on the SoulMatters theme of Thresholds. There will be time for personal journaling or drawing, followed by small group sharing. (These events used to be called “Deepening the Conversation,” and are based on the work of Parker Palmer).

Rev. Lydia

New Link: 

If you are experiencing economic hardship, here’s a link for Help for workers in CO during COVID-19  

Links We’ve Shared Before

Recommended links for online, reputable sources for more information:

Please use reputable websites for accurate information including the 

These websites often link to other sites they have vetted and consider accurate.  

Here are two additional resources you may find helpful:


April 15, 2020

Dear Ones,

By now we may be adjusting to a ‘new normal,’ as we enter into the fifth week of physical distancing. We are, by necessity, learning how to stay connected, and even build deeper connections, while we remain physically distant from one another. I do hope you are all taking care of yourselves mentally, physically and spiritually.

This morning I read an article that invited me to ask myself five questions each day, while in this time of social distancing.

I’m going to try this, and add my list to our Fellowship Facebook Page. Join me and add your own answers!

And finally, some good news humor. You may be aware that I’m a big fan of “The Office.” It’s my binge-watch favorite. So, I was delighted when my daughter shared with me John Krasinski’s “SGN” (Some Good News) I’ve shared with you Episode one of three. I hope it lifts your spirits as much as it lifted mine. 

Please don’t hesitate to reach out if I can be of support to you. We are in this together, and we can be here for one another.

************

Practicalities 

Connecting via Zoom 

We continue to explore ways to make our  Zoom access both accessible and secure.  

All Fellowship Sunday Services can be found at:  https://uuma.zoom.us/j/993783355

or call in at: 1-346-248-7799 Meeting ID: 993 783 355

There is also a link on the home page of the Fellowship website.

Meetings with me will be on my personal zoom link. If you get stuck, remember that the meeting IDs for meetings with me are the same as my cell phone number.  

All School of the Spirit events can be found at: https://zoom.us/j/552956886  

Zoom links for any Fellowship meetings will be made available on our calendar, found here: Fellowship google calendar.

For security reasons (who wants a Zoom-bomber in the middle of a covenant group?) we will no longer be putting these zoom links on our Fellowship calendar. If it is helpful, you can bookmark them on your browser. 

************

Sunday Services 

Sunday Services on Zoom are our primary way to gather the whole community together. They will continue to be held at 12:30 p.m., with School of the Spirit Zoom class at 11:45 a.m.  

For the coming weeks, we will ground ourselves in the Five Jagged Rocks of Unitarian Universalism. Each Sunday, we will focus on one aspect of our theology and how it can provide strongholds during these uncertain times.  Here are our upcoming services: 

April 19:  All Souls are Sacred and Worthy  Eric Williams and Irene Faivre, Service Associates

April 26:  Truth Continues to be Revealed  Rev. Lydia and Irene Faivre, Service Associate

I’ll be off this weekend, not leading worship, but you’ll see me in one of the tiny boxes on Sunday morning, joining the service for my own nourishment. 

In May, we’ll return to the Soul Matters Theme of Thresholds — a juicy theme for this time in the world’s history.

Office Hours

Each week, I’ll open my Zoom Room for anyone who wants to hang out. (Zoom office hours!)  Here’s my office hours schedule for the next couple of weeks:

  • Thurs. April 16, from 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon
  • Wed. April 22, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

********

Our Fellowship Building

As a reminder, the entire state is under stay-at-home orders until (at least) April 26. And, it’s clear that the limitations won’t be lifted all at once. I am very concerned that we follow both the spirit and the letter of these orders, for our own safety and that of others. Therefore, the Fellowship building is NOT open now, except for essential tasks that are needed for contractual obligations or building safety. If you do need to go to the Fellowship, please schedule it through this link, as we are monitoring the activity at the Fellowship to follow safety protocols as best we can. Karen Axe is also available to help anyone who needs to work at the Fellowship to think through safety protocols. It seems that Colorado’s physical distancing to date has been effective at flattening the curve, but we are still in a critical time. We want to be guided by wisdom and care for all of us, not our impatience to be in our beautiful new space.

**********

The Conversation Project and COVID-19

The many impacts of this pandemic are hard to take in, and can feel overwhelming. But spending some time thinking about your own needs and wishes should you become ill can be empowering. I share this video from The Conversation Project with you about what to think about in terms of end of life wishes in this unprecedented time we are in. 

Please feel free to reach out to me, Constance Holden, or Scott Nelson and Mzia Chatara (our lay pastoral care associate coordinators), to discuss your plans or concerns during this time.  

***********  

Your Generosity Makes a Difference!

Thank you to everyone who was able to be a part of the Easter Bunny Match. A generous anonymous donor offered a 1:1 matching grant for $5,000 and we matched it, raising $7,070. This outpouring of generosity brings us that much closer to reaching our goal for this year’s pledge drive. We still have $24,930 to raise to meet our $489K goal, and until Friday to do so. 

****************

Some Offerings to consider:

Longmont Unitarian Universalist Presence (LUUP) Online Dinner Church: This Friday Night, April 17,  6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Grab your meal, put your feet up, and join with other UUs. All are always welcome to join this evening of ritual and eating together. The LUUP dinner church is an opportunity for a multigenerational community to share a meal and meaning-making rituals. Each time we gather, we explore questions and do an activity around a theme. The experience is interactive and accessible to people of many ages, even online.

Poetry Night: Second Thursdays in May and June. Join Rev. Lydia on Thursday, May 14 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. for a contemplative evening of sharing using poetry. Rev. Lydia will provide a poem for us to dive into, based on the SoulMatters theme of Thresholds. There will be time for personal journaling or drawing, followed by small group sharing. (These events used to be called “Deepening the Conversation,” and are based on the work of Parker Palmer).

May we continue to bring love, reason, compassion and justice into the world, no matter how we gather, 


~ Rev. Lydia 
on behalf of the COVID-19 Preparedness team

  • Carol Pranschke, Office Manager; 
  • Jessica Laikeman, Director Lifespan Faith Formation; 
  • Marky Lloyd, Board President; 
  • Deborah Mensch, A/V; 
  • Nancy DiLaura, Vice President; 
  • Karen Axe, Health Information Task Force; 
  • Judy Schmidt, Health Information Task Force;
  • Constance Holden, Caring Council; and
  • Janet Meyer, Communication and Personnel

I’m finding great solace in the way our governor, Jared Polis, has responded to the Coronavirus. Here’s his briefing from Monday. 

Links We’ve Shared Before

Recommended links for online, reputable sources for more information:

Please use reputable websites for accurate information including the 

These websites often link to other sites they have vetted and consider accurate.  

Here are two additional resources you may find helpful:

April 8, 2020

Beloveds,

This week’s message comes to you on the first day of the Jewish holiday of Passover and during the Christian Holy Week. In both traditions, it is a time of looking suffering squarely in the eye, and reaping lessons from life’s hardest moments. In both stories, a whole group of people find salvation — a return to more wholeness from a place of hardship and brokenness. To be clear, I am NOT one who believes in redemptive suffering — that is, that we suffer SO that we can be brought back to wholeness. Instead, I believe that no one can escape challenge and suffering in life. And in the midst of that, we can ask “What can I learn here? Can this moment of challenge become an initiation for some new way of being?”

In the northern hemisphere, Easter and Passover both come during Spring — a time when the Earth wakes up from the dead of winter. This week, as we all remain hunkered down at home for at least the next three weeks, I invite you to look for signs of renewal. What places of brokenness or suffering are showing glimpses of restoration? Of new growth? Start with the low hanging fruits — nature — consider taking pictures of daffodils, or studying a bud on a tree, or looking for the return of insects. As you progress in this practice, focus on signs of renewal, signs of hope, in our world. Where is kindness overcoming the bleak trajectory of the coronavirus? Finally, look for renewal in your relationships – long time friends you’ve reconnected with, family rituals renewed, or old hurts forgiven. What can you initiate in this time of challenge that might bring new beautiful things into your own life?
 
Please click to view A Message from UUA President Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray,who offers a greeting to all Unitarian Universalists ministering to one another.

Practicalities — 

Connecting via Zoom 
We understand finding one’s way into a “Zoom Room” can be challenging and we are trying to minimize the confusion.   All Fellowship Sunday Services can be found at: https://uuma.zoom.us/j/993783355 or call in at: 1-346-248-7799. Meeting ID: 993 783 355
There is also a link on the home page of the Fellowship website.
Meetings with me will also be on this same Zoom link. 
All School of the Spirit events can be found at: https://zoom.us/j/552956886  
Zoom links for any Fellowship meetings will be made available on our calendar, found here: Fellowship Google calendar.

************
Sunday Services 
Sunday Services on Zoom are our primary way to gather the whole community together. They will continue to be held at 12:30 p.m., with School of the Spirit Zoom class at 11:45 a.m.  

For the coming weeks, we will ground ourselves in the Five Jagged Rocks of Unitarian Universalism. Each Sunday, we will focus on one aspect of our theology and how it can provide strongholds during these uncertain times. 

Here are our upcoming services:  
April 12: Salvation in This Life: EASTER Reinterpreted Rev. Lydia and Karin Griglak, Service Associate 
April 19: All Souls are Sacred and Worthy Eric Williams and Irene Faivre, Service Associates 
April 26: Truth Continues to be Revealed Rev. Lydia and Irene Faivre, Service Associate Office Hours

Each week, I open my Zoom Room for anyone who wants to hang out. (Zoom office hours!) Here’s my office hours schedule for the next couple of weeks:
Thurs. April 9, from 11:00 a.m. to 12 noon
Tues. April 14 , from 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Thurs. April 16, from 10:30 a.m. to 12 noon
Wed. April 22, from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

********
Visiting the Building
Our building is nearly complete, but we are still in a time of required physical distancing. The Fellowship has developed protocols for who can be in the building, as well as the spacing of people there. Please schedule the time you’d like to be in the building through our calendar. The office can put you in touch with Karen Axe, who is available to talk over specific protocols for you (in addition to basic safety steps) to consider depending upon what you are doing at the building. Please do consider whether what you are doing is ‘essential’ during this time, or if it can wait until the physical distancing requirements are lifted. 
To schedule your activity at the Fellowship on the calendar, you can submit a request to update the Fellowship Calendar; you can also find the form at the top of the Fellowship Forms page. The calendar will reflect “1241 Ceres Drive” as the location for your visit. Thank you; this helps keep all of us safe, perhaps especially those among us who need to visit the Fellowship and prefer to do it when no one else is there.

**********
The Conversation Project and COVID-19
This week, a dear family friend, my “Uncle Perry” passed away. My dad met Perry Zevin as a medical school resident in the early 1960s. Without any close relatives in this country, my parents’ friends, Uncle Perry and Aunt Janet, became that family — spending every Thanksgiving with us for over 20 years, vacationing together, and spending many hours at their backyard pool. Perry was ninety years old, and in frail health. While he did not die from the coronavirus, the impact of the coronavirus meant that Aunt Janet and their three children were not able to be with him in the last weeks of his life.  
The many impacts of this pandemic are hard to take in, and can feel overwhelming. But spending some time thinking about your own needs and wishes should you become ill can be empowering. I share this video from The Conversation Project with you about what to think about in terms of end of life wishes in this unprecedented time we are in. Please feel free to reach out to me, Constance Holden, or Scott Nelson and Mzia Chatara (our lay pastoral care associate coordinators), to discuss your plans or concerns during this time.  

***********  
This Sunday — Your dollars multiply like bunnies!
As we wrap up our 2020-21 pledge drive, I’m delighted to announce that one of our generous donors has offered a dollar for dollar matching gift for any new donations toward the 2020-21 pledge. In addition to sharing our Easter offering with the Boulder County AIDS Project (BCAP), we will also have a second offering this Sunday towards this matching gift. We know that in these uncertain times, not all of you will be able to either increase your pledge (preferred) or make a one-time gift. But for those who can, your ongoing generosity helps the Fellowship continue to provide spiritual sustenance and community in the midst of the challenges of our times. You can also consider donating all or part of your stimulus check to the Fellowship if it is not required for your own needs. Gifts for this match must be made by Friday, April 17.  

****************
Poetry Night: Second Thursdays in April, May and June 
Join me on Thursday, April 9 from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. for a contemplative evening of sharing using poetry. I will provide a poem for us to dive into. There will be time for personal journaling or drawing, followed by small group sharing. (These events used to be called “Deepening the Conversation,” and are based on the work of Parker Palmer).

May we continue to bring love, reason, compassion and justice into the world, no matter how we gather, 
~ Rev. Lydia 
on behalf of the COVID-19 Preparedness team
Carol Pranschke, Office Manager; 
Jessica Laikeman, Director Lifespan Faith Formation; 
Marky Lloyd, Board President; 
Deborah Mensch, A/V; 
Nancy DiLaura, Vice President; 
Karen Axe, Health Information Task Force; 
Judy Schmidt, Health Information Task Force;
Constance Holden, Caring Council; and
Janet Meyer, Communication and Personnel 

********************
Links We Like to Repeat
Recommended links for online, reputable sources for more information:
Please use reputable websites for accurate information including the World Health Organization (WHO)Center for Disease Control (CDC)Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDHPE), and your county health department. These websites often link to other sites they have vetted and consider accurate.   

Here are two additional resources we hope you find helpful:
This article from John Hopkins Hospital describes the characteristics of the COVID-19 virus and why it breaks down when washing your hands or using disinfectant. Read this short article if you want to know why not to shake your linens or clothing and the role of sunlight, alcohol, hand lotion, and even trimming your nails.
This link discusses the new recommendation regarding cloth face masks, their purpose and when to use them.

Weekly Message from Rev. Lydia Ferrante-Roseberry

April 1, 2020

Beloveds,

Tuesday’s news about the magnitude of anticipated loss of life in this country sent me into a funk. (Apologies to those with whom I was on my last Zoom call for the day.)  I’ve heard that the peak here in Boulder County is anticipated to be about two weeks from now. And, of course, there is so much uncertainty about that, so much we can not control about the path of this epidemic.   

For some, like those who watched their friends die in the early days of the AIDS epidemic, this time may bring us back to other traumatic times. For others, personal losses may be revisited.  And still for others, real fears for your personal health and well-being may arise, especially if you are still required to go out into the world on a regular basis.  

Keeping your own center in the midst of this is challenging. Be sure to take plenty of time for rest and quiet reflection. In this quiet time, use art, long walks, journaling, gardening, movement or sitting meditation to see what comes up. And don’t push it away. Binge-watching Friends or baking up a storm are only temporary salves. As are the distractions of over-working or over-serving others. But by all means, do indulge in those distractions that bring you ease and a sense of purpose. Know, however, that your own discomfort only amplifies when you repeatedly push it away. Learning to stay with uncomfortable feelings that arise strengthens our capacity to respond with compassion to whatever life brings us. Be gentle with yourself, and remind yourself regularly that whatever you are feeling is fine, and impermanent. It too, will pass.

Beloveds, we are going through this together, and we have each other for support.  
“Reach out, keep reaching out, keep bringing in”
Marge Piercy, the Seven of Pentacles (still running through my head)


Practicalities:


Connecting via Zoom

We understand finding one’s way into a  “Zoom Room” can be challenging and we are trying to minimize the confusion.  

Meetings with me will also be on this same Zoom link. 

Sunday Services 

Sunday Services on Zoom are our primary way to gather the whole community together. They will continue to be held at 12:30 p.m., with School of the Spirit Zoom class at 11:45 a.m.  

For the coming weeks, we will be grounding ourselves in the Five Jagged Rocks of Unitarian Universalism. Each Sunday, we will focus on one aspect of our theology and how it can provide strongholds during these uncertain times.  
 

April 5:  Courageous Love Transforms the World   (UUSC Sunday)  — Rev. Lydia, Rev. Catharine Harris and Pete Wernick, service associate
 
April 12:  Salvation in This Life: EASTER Reinterpreted  Rev. Lydia and Karin Griglak, service associate
 
April 19:  All Souls are Sacred and Worthy  Eric Williams and Irene Faivre, service associates
 
April 26:  Truth Continues to be Revealed  Rev. Lydia and Irene Faivre, service associate
 

Office Hours

Each week, I’ll open my Zoom Room for anyone who wants to hang out. (Zoom office hours!)  Here’s my office hours schedule for the next couple of weeks:

Thursday, April 2, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Wednesday, April 8, from 12 noon to 2:00 p.m.
Thurs. April 9, from 11:00 a.m. to 12 noon
Tues. April 14 , from 2:30 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Offerings

Playshop moves to Zoom! Yes, you CAN do Interplay online. I’ve been zooming in Interplay communities for years. Join me on Saturday, April 4 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. on my Zoom Room. We’ll share and move and connect body and spirit in the midst of this great worldwide pandemic. All are welcome! 

Poetry Night: Second Thursdays in April, May and June. Join Rev. Lydia on Thursday, April 9th from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. for a contemplative evening of sharing using poetry. Rev. Lydia will provide a poem for us to dive into. There will be time for personal journaling or drawing, followed by small group sharing. (These events used to be called “Deepening the Conversation,” and is based on the work of Parker Palmer)


Pledge Drive

Please remember that we have extended our pledge drive, and are still waiting to hear from about 35 members and friends. Keep an eye out for an announcement about upcoming pledge drive news. 

Financial Assistance

If the economic fallout of the corona virus has already impacted you, please do let me know.  In addition to my minister’s discretionary fund, I am learning about other sources of economic support available. 


Caring and Being Cared for


Caring needs are likely to increase as we hit the peak of this virus and social isolation and the global economic crisis impact our most vulnerable populations. If you would like to be a part of our growing caring network, email the Neighborhood Connector Coordinators, Sharon Hardin and Sheri Price. If you would like support, email laycarecoordinator@bvuuf.org.

See after my signature for recommended online resources for up-to-date information, and for important information communicated in my last letter.

May we continue to bring love, reason, compassion and justice into the world, no matter how we gather, 

Rev. Lydia, 
on behalf of the COVID-19 Preparedness team
Carol Pranschke, Office Manager; 
Jessica Laikeman, Director Lifespan Faith Formation; 
Marky Lloyd, Board President; 
Deborah Mensch, A/V; 
Nancy DiLaura, Vice President; 
Karen Axe, Health Information Task Force; 
Judy Schmidt, Health Information Task Force;
Constance Holden, Caring Council; and
Janet Meyer, Communication and Personnel
 

********************


Recommended links for online, reputable sources for more information:
Please use reputable websites for accurate information including the World Health Organization (WHO), Center for Disease Control (CDC), Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDHPE), and your county health department. These websites often link to other sites they have vetted and consider accurate.  
https://www.who.int/
https://www.cdc.gov
https://covid19.colorado.gov/
Your county health department
 

You can expect to receive weekly information from me in these forms:

an email communication with this same title from me on Wednesdays
a link on Connections Weekly on Fridays, and
an update on Sundays, no matter how we gather
these will be linked to Facebook etc. 

March 25, 2020

Beloveds,

Today the regional stay-at-home orders arrived, and the restrictions on our lives continue to increase. Lately, I can’t get Marge Piercy’s poem “The Seven of Pentacles” out of my mind, especially the line: 

This is how we are going to live for a long time, but not always

We may be here, each in our homes, physically distant, for a long while. There is much loss in this time, so much uncertainty. Without annual events like the Council on World Affairs and the Bolder Boulder that connect the community and provide us something to look forward to, we may feel adrift. With long awaited milestones like graduations, family reunions, and anniversary celebrations knocked off their chronological pedestal, we may feel anger. With the anxiety of an invisible sickness making its way through our community, we may feel scared. And for some, there may be a sense of relief, a welcome change of pace, a reconnecting to family and the earth. Be gentle with yourself and whatever emotions are arising for you during this time. There is nothing to judge, just notice them arising and let them be.

As the magnitude of this worldwide pandemic started to enter my awareness, I began asking myself and congregational leaders:

What if everything you and I have experienced to date 
has prepared us for this moment in our history?


This week, as a spiritual practice, I invite you to find some quiet time, center yourself, and make a few lists. You may choose to do this over a number of days, or all at once. Keep adding to your lists as more items arise for you:
Name 50 people who have influenced your life — include people you know personally, and people you have never met; include people living today, and any ancestors; include people whose names you know, and people who remain anonymous to you.
Name 20 experiences that have influenced your life — include high points and low points, ordinary and peak experiences, events with personal impact and events with global impact.
Name 10 personal attributes you have that serve you well — things like a sense of humor, generosity, kindness, etc.  Include attributes you freely share now, and those that have been dormant for a while.

Trust that you have what you need. 
Trust that you are not alone.
Trust that we will get through this together.  

Practicalities

Connecting via Zoom

We understand finding one’s way into a  “Zoom Room” can be challenging and we are trying to minimize the confusion.  

Meetings with me will also be on this same Zoom link. 

Sunday Services 

It has been such a joy to see your faces on Sunday these past few weeks. Even more folks were able to join us this past Sunday with our new expanded Zoom capacity. Invite your friends! 

Sunday Services will continue to be held at 12:30 p.m., with School of the Spirit Zoom class at 11:45 a.m.  

For the coming weeks, we will be grounding ourselves in the Five Jagged Rocks of Unitarian Universalism. Each Sunday, we will focus on one aspect of our theology and how it can provide strongholds during these uncertain times.  

March 29:  There is a Unity that Makes Us One  — Dana Samani and Chris Rathweg, service associates, with Rev. Lydia

April 5:  Courageous Love Transforms the World   (UUSC Sunday)  — Rev. Lydia, Rev. Catharine Harris and Pete Wernick, service associate
 
April 12:  Salvation in This Life: EASTER Reinterpreted  Rev. Lydia and Karin Griglak
 
April 19:  All Souls are Sacred and Worthy  Eric Williams and Irene Faivre, service associates
 
April 26:  Truth Continues to be Revealed  Rev. Lydia and Irene Faivre, service associate
 
Office Hours

Each week, I’ll open my Zoom Room for anyone who wants to hang out. (Zoom office hours!)  Here’s my office hours schedule for the next couple of weeks:
Tuesday, March 31, from 12:00 noon to 1:00 p.m.
Wednesday, April 1, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Thursday, April 2, from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Wednesday, April 8, 12 noon to 2:00 p.m.


Pledge Drive

Please remember that we have extended our pledge drive, and are still waiting to hear from about 65 anticipated members and friends.  How grateful I am that people have already pledged $404K towards our $489K pledge drive goal. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

During these uncertain times, we understand that you must make the best decisions you can for yourself and for what you can share with the Fellowship. Sending in a pledge, no matter the amount, enables the Fellowship to plan for the coming year. Even telling us you are unable to pledge this year (by writing the word “exemption” on your pledge card, or in the on-line pledge form) will help us wrap up this pledge drive and create our 2020-21 budget. Your generosity shows up in so many ways, and inspires me deeply.


Caring and Being Cared for

Caring needs are likely to increase as we hit the peak of this virus and social isolation and the global economic crisis impact our most vulnerable populations. If you would like to be a part of our growing caring network, email the Neighborhood Connector Coordinators, Sharon Hardin and Sheri Price. If you would like support, email laycarecoordinator@bvuuf.org.

See after my signature for this week’s list of recommended online resources for up-to-date information, and for a list of how I am communicating at this time.

May we continue to bring love, reason, compassion and justice into the world, no matter how we gather, 

Rev. Lydia, 
on behalf of the COVID-19 Preparedness team
Carol Pranschke, Office Manager; 
Constance Holden, Caring Council;
Deborah Mensch, A/V; 
Janet Meyer, Communication and Personnel
Jessica Laikeman, Director Lifespan Faith Formation; 
Judy Schmidt, Health Information Task Force;
Karen Axe, Health Information Task Force; 
Marky Lloyd, Board President; and
Nancy DiLaura, Vice President.

********************

Recommended links for online, reputable sources for more information:
Please use reputable websites for accurate information including the World Health Organization (WHO), Center for Disease Control (CDC), Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment (CDHPE), and your county health department. These websites often link to other sites they have vetted and consider accurate.
 
The WHO website posted some common myths about COVID-19 answering some questions about prevention and treatment using home remedies.
 
The CDC website offers regular Situation Summary updates at this site.
 
CDPHE website posts daily case data and other information.
 

You can expect to receive weekly information from me in these forms:

an email communication with this same title from me on Wednesdays
a link on Connections Weekly on Fridays, and
an update on Sundays, no matter how we gather
these will be linked to Facebook etc. 

March 18, 2020

Beloveds, 

As the landscape keeps shifting with the impact of the corona virus on our community, the Fellowship is here for you. By staying connected, we will navigate our way through these times. Imagine that everything we’ve done, individually and collectively, has been preparing us for this moment in time. Over the past few years, our congregation has learned to adapt to lots of change, to be flexible and to gather remotely. We have caring networks for one another, and a strong web of relationships to build upon.   

What a joy it was to see all those folks who were able to join us via Zoom on Sunday! And for those of you who were unable to join us, our apologies. Rest assured, we are researching both how to increase our capacity and train folks who are new to these technologies. It was pretty darn good for a first service online.   

I continue to be appreciative of the many ways you continue to be so generous with your financial resources. Your monetary donations last Sunday kept pace with in-person services, and we received a donation to the minister’s discretionary fund, which supports people in need within our congregation. Please remember that we are still in our pledge season, and we understand that you must make the best decisions you can for yourself and for what you can share with the Fellowship. Your generosity shows up in so many ways, and inspires me deeply.

I’d like to share some new information now: 

Each week, I’ll open my Zoom Room for anyone who wants to hang out. (Zoom office hours!)
Here’s my office hours schedule for the next two weeks:
Wednesday, March 18, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Thursday, March 19, from 12 noon to 2:00 p.m. 
Tuesday, March 24, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. 
Wednesday, March 25, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Grab a cuppa tea, or a snack, and join me! Drop in and out any time.

Our Caring Council is meeting this week to strengthen our networks, paying particular attention to individuals living alone, and to those with physical and mental health issues. If you would like to be a part of our growing caring network, email the Neighborhood Connector Coordinators, Sharon Hardin and Sheri Price. May’s Path to Membership is cancelled. Stay tuned for when our next class will be offered. Everyone is welcome to attend all of our Fellowship offerings, no matter their membership status.  

Stay Connected to Other UUs:
The VUU — a weekly UU talk show
Church of the Larger Fellowship Worship Service

Stay tuned for details about this Sunday’s service. Hope you can find your bunny slippers!

See the end of this letter for recommended online resources for up-to-date information, and for a couple of highlights from my first letter. 

May we continue to bring love, reason, compassion and justice into the world, no matter how we gather, 

Rev. Lydia 

Recommended links for online sources for more information:
Tech Tip: Here’s how to use the links below, which are in blue and are underlined. Click on the blue link, then click on the link that will appear underneath the first one. If on a computer (and not your phone), the online resource will show up in a new window on your computer, and you can move back and forth between this letter and those resources by clicking on the tabs that show up at the top of your computer. For more tech support, email the office at officemanager@bvuuf.org. Please be patient while we respond to your requests.

For the most current information, there are numerous organizations helping to inform the public. The Boulder County website has some basic, and local, information. There, you can also find links to state, national and world health organizations that have a vast amount of information.   For those over 60 and those with underlying health conditions, extra precautions are needed. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention: Staying Healthy offers helpful guidance. There’s a lot of misinformation about how the virus spreads. Although it may be possible to get COVID-19 from touching a contaminated surface, person to person transmission is what has been documented so far. You’ll find more information about how it spreads at this link at the Center for Disease Control website.    Information is changing by the hour as more is learned about the characteristics of this virus.   These links are dynamic and change as new information becomes available.   

March 12, 2020

Beloveds,

With deep sadness, I write to say that our present public health emergency necessitates that we suspend all in-person gatherings connected to the Fellowship until further notice. And that means everything — Sunday services, and things like Auction events, covenant groups, and meetings.  

We are planning for regular Sunday services but we will not be together physically. Instead, we will start this Sunday with one service at 12:30 p.m. via live stream, led by me. (Staff and lay leaders who are participating in these services will be maintaining at least a six-foot distance from one another). Our service will include all of our usual elements – chalice-lighting, meditation, music, a pastoral prayer, and a reflection. So gather your family and join us at 12:30 p.m. this Sunday. Instructions for joining us will be shared as soon as they are available. School of the Spirit will also livestream on Sunday, either before or after the regular service. Please keep an eye out for more information. 

We need each other, perhaps now more than ever. And we are planning for all the ways we can stay connected through this difficult time. We have established a COVID-19 Response Team: 

  • Rev. Lydia Ferrante-Roseberry, Minister; 
  • Carol Pranschke, Office Manager; 
  • Jessica Laikeman, Director Lifespan Faith Formation; 
  • Marky Lloyd, Board President; 
  • Deborah Mensch, A/V; 
  • Nancy DiLaura, Vice President; and 
  • Karen Axe as our Information Curator. 

This group is meeting at least weekly and in regular contact to plan communications and responses to this rapidly changing public health emergency.  

We have developed a communication plan:

  • I will send a weekly email with updates on Wednesdays with the subject line: COVID-19 and the Congregation.  
  • Connections Weekly will have weekly updates.
  • Coronavirus updates will be shared during our Sunday livestream.
  • The home page on the website will be updated regularly.  

Staff will continue to work their regular hours, unless they are needed to take care of their own health or that of their families. We are working to create ways to gather as a community online, in groups large and small. Please watch for announcements about these options.

Our Caring Council is already planning ways to keep connected with vulnerable populations and isolated individuals. As always, I am available to anyone who would like pastoral care around this public health emergency or anything else. If you have concerns or ideas to help the Fellowship during this challenging time, please contact Carol Pranschke or Marky Lloyd

As we have said many times before, we are the congregation — no matter where and how we gather. We will continue to care for one another and stay connected through this time.

May you be well (and stay well),

Rev. Lydia

(720) 272-8284

Note: Please check out the links below. The first four lead to content that is suitable for printing. 

Stop the spread of germs   

Symptoms

Center for Disease Control: What you need to know

Center for Disease Control: What to do if you are sick

People at Higher Risk