April 22, 2020
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.
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 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.
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:
- Wed. April 22, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m
- Thurs. April 23 from 12:30 — 2 pm
- Tues April 28 from 2 — 3:30
- Thurs. April 30 7 — 8:30 pm
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. (firstname.lastname@example.org and phone number?) 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 (email@example.com), 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).