Dear UCM Members & Friends,
Thank you for all of your incredibly heart-warming support, care, and compassion during this time of uncertainty and change. This past month has been filled with despair and concern for many in our congregation, and certainly in our broader community and our world. It has been deeply challenging, yet encouraging, to watch and learn as we all try to learn new ways of connecting with each other virtually.
I’d like to share a number of the ways our UCM community has been coming together to support each other, so that if any of our Members and Friends who are reading this message would like to offer or receive these and other actions of love and support, you may be aware of what others are doing! Please, if you or someone you know are in need of additional support during this time, reach out. We are all here for each other, as our Student Minister Lisa Kynvi has shared, “The building is closed, but the church is open.”
Our Lay Pastoral Care Ministry Team, led by Mary Jane Ohlson (firstname.lastname@example.org) and a number of additional congregants, have volunteered to call each one of our Members and Friends who are listed in our current (new) 2019-20 UCM Church Directory. If you would like to receive a copy of our new Church Directory, and/or if you have contact information to update, please let Elaine know (email@example.com).
Our Caring Network, led by Erin Aguayo (firstname.lastname@example.org) has been using this Google Form – https://bit.ly/2XyIDvI – to connect people into Caring Clusters, groups of approximately 5-6 households including people from various demographics and abilities, which then self-organize to regularly check in with each other, and offer various types of support, including daily/weekly phone calls or video chats, grocery/pharmacy pick-ups and drop-offs, making/delivering food/meals, etc. If you haven’t yet been grouped into a Caring Cluster, please fill out the form!
Rev. Joan and our Student Minister, Lisa Kynvi, have been offering weekly times to gather with others, to check in on how we are all doing as we face this coronavirus pandemic. Check-in calls are on Mondays at 9:30 a.m., led by Lisa, and on Thursdays at 4:00 p.m., led by Rev. Joan. All are free to drop-in for either call (or both) on any given week. Meeting information is here:
Mondays at 9:30AM: https://zoom.us/j/6291627339 OR Dial +1 929 205 6099. Meeting ID: 629 162 7339
Thursdays at 4PM: https://zoom.us/j/596230667 OR Dial +1 646 558 8656 Meeting ID: 596 230 667
Rev. Joan has also been posting a daily phone message every Monday through Friday, with a brief reflection – a poem, a prayer, a song, or just a question to reflect on. If you would appreciate a brief and simple touchpoint for the day, she invites you to call 802-552-8544 to listen to her daily message.
Our UCM Care Fund is also available to provide financial support, even during this time of social distancing. We are incredibly grateful for the generous donations that have continued to be made to this fund in recent weeks — visit https://ucmvt.breezechms.com/give/online to Donate, indicating in the Comments field if you would like to designate your gift to the Care Fund. If you are experiencing financial difficulty and could benefit from some assistance from our church, please contact Rev. Joan (email@example.com) or 802-223-7861 x1.
If you would like to subscribe to receive our Weekly e-Newsletter and Special Announcements, please complete this form — https://ucmvt.org/get-involved/newsletter/ — and if you are new to our UCM Community and would like to receive a welcome call/email, or have any other questions we may be able to answer, please complete this form — https://ucmvt.breezechms.com/form/762667.
A few weeks ago, we held our first “New UU” class online, on the topic of “UU History & Theology,” led by Rev. Joan and Elaine on Zoom. This is one of two classes that we typically offer twice each Church Year, in the Spring and the Fall, for newcomers and visitors who would like to learn more about Unitarian Universalism, and our UCM community. If you were unable to join us for this class, but are interested in watching the recording, you’re welcome to view it here — https://bit.ly/2Vtotk0.
Since we had to postpone our second “New UU” class, on the topic of “All About UCM,” we would like to invite anyone who would like more information on this topic to contact Rev. Joan (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Elaine Ball (email@example.com) so that we can arrange a time to meet with you one-on-one (over the phone or Zoom) and/or to keep you informed about when the next classes will be held. These classes are the first steps we encourage new friends and visitors to attend if they are interested in learning more about becoming a voting Member of our congregation. Learn more about our Pathway to Membership here — https://ucmvt.org/im-new/path-to-membership/, and please let Elaine know if you have any additional questions about becoming a Member.
In love & gratitude,
Congregational Life Coordinator – Unitarian Church of Montpelier