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March 19, 2020
Latest News
Join Us for Online Worship This Sunday!
From Rev. Tricia Hart
Stewardship Campaign
Zoom Meetings
Caring for Each Other
JUMP to Remain Open
Postponed: NNED Spring Assembly

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Join Us for Online Worship This Sunday!
Please visit our website at  to join us for this Sunday's online worship. There will not be a service held at the Meeting House.

Sunday, March 22 at 10 a.m. 

One hundred years ago (and for a long time before that) people didn't think women could be ministers - even in our liberal Unitarian and Universalist traditions. Nevertheless, some of them persisted... Come hear stories of the radically different understandings of "church" some of these women brought to life, and be inspired by what we might learn from them today.

From Rev. Tricia Hart
It has been one week since we announced the closure of the Meeting House for worship and other meetings and events because of COVID-19. I can't say that we've yet arrived at any kind of "new normal," or even that our feet are firmly on the ground. (Frankly, it's a little hard to keep track of what day it is or be able to imagine farther out than tomorrow.) But the staff and I are figuring out how to get work done without being together, meetings are beginning to happen through Zoom, and we're learning a lot - with help from many of you. Many, many thanks to all of you who've sent supportive emails, or posted helpful things on the Facebook page, made your pledges for next year by mail or online, or just sent hopeful thoughts our way. Please know that we're thinking about and sending love to all of you!

A few updates:
  • Online worship services will continue this Sunday and every week until we are all able to be in the sanctuary together again. There's even a chance that they won't stop then, since so many people (here, and elsewhere) are telling us that they would love to have this other way to worship on a regular basis. More on this as the weeks go by....
  • We are figuring out how to gather your Joys & Sorrows, and to share them in some way on Sundays. But in the meantime, please don't hesitate to let me know if you're worried about someone, or if you know somebody who might need a hand. If you're thinking and wondering about somebody in the congregation, give them a call or send a note. Now is the time!
  • FUUSB staff are all working, but mostly from home. All of us are in our offices occasionally, and most days there is at least one person in the building for part of the day. The best way to reach any of us is by email. If you don't know someone's email address, look us up on Realm... and if you haven't yet responded to your Realm invitation, now would be a great time to do that!
It meant a great deal that so many of you watched last Sunday's livestream - according to Facebook, there were nearly 1000 views of that brief service! There's little doubt that First UU is still a source of comfort and connection to many, many people - even when we cannot gather at the Meeting House. "Come" to the service again this Sunday, or whenever you can, since the recording will stay on the website for at least a week.   

Take very good care of yourselves, and of each other!


Rev. Tricia
Stewardship Campaign Continues!
The 2020-21 Stewardship Campaign "Making a Difference" is off to a great start, despite the interruption of activities at the UU Meeting House due to coronavirus. Over 27% of anticipated pledges have been received thus far! Pledge materials were mailed out last week to all households who had not yet pledged by March 8 . As you know, all of the cottage parties were canceled. We are hopeful these parties can happen at a later date, so UUs can socialize again when conditions allow. We've asked all of the hosts to check in with their invitees - please respond if you hear from them. And let us know if you need help or connection at this time! 
Despite COVID-19 the Stewardship Campaign is still on. If you have already pledged - THANK YOU!! Pledges may be made by pledge card, mailed to FUUSB. Since the office is now closed, dropping them off is not an option at this time. You can also pledge via the website at . Or you can make your pledge directly through your Realm Account where you can specify payment by check, credit card or bank withdrawal for the specified period. (Contact Christina Fulton at if you need any help with this.) We plan to give a weekly update on the progress of the campaign every Friday, so watch your email!
If you haven't already, please take a look at the pledge brochure and materials where you will hear from local organizations about how FUUSB makes a difference to their missions. Also included is the "UUA Giving Guide" to help you decipher the range of pledges that someone at your income level might consider as well as information on the number of pledges FUUSB received last year at each level (on the back of the pledge card). 
Please keep in mind that every single pledge makes a difference to our congregation's well-being - no matter the amount! Some of us are now worried about our own economic well-being in the coming months, and all of our financial commitments may have to change. Of course that's okay! We appreciate your letting us know. Some of us may be able to give somewhat more than we'd planned, which can help make up the difference.
Wrapping up her sermon on March 8 , Rev. Tricia reminded us of a wonderful piece of wisdom from the Dalai Lama: "If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito." Our love and care for one another and this beloved congregation is what matters most, and what keeps us going. Thank you, for all you do!

Zoom Meetings
elderly-laptop-couple.jpg Christina Fulton, Director of Operations & Finance

In this time of social distancing we are all looking for connection. The staff, the Board, the Stewardship Team, and even a Theme Circle have all been holding their meetings via Zoom. Zoom is way to hold meetings online, so that anyone with an internet connection can join in. And if someone doesn't have an internet connection and would still like to participate, there is a phone number they can call to participate over the phone line.

Zoom is available free of charge to anyone. Just type into your browser to set it up. The Society has two more advanced Zoom accounts that allow for large and longer meetings. If you would like to set up a Zoom meeting using the Society's account, just email with the Name of the Meeting, Date, Start Time and End Time. Then Christina will send you an invitation that you can mail to your group.

So give it a try and help your groups stay connected!

Caring for Each Other During the Coronavirus
Martha Molpus
We realize that members and friends have a multitude of thoughts and emotions around the Coronavirus and what we are hearing and experiencing. We are being asked to practice social isolation, that is, avoiding large groups of people. We are suspending many in-person visits for the time being. What we can do is to reach out by phone or email to congregants, friends, neighbors and check in on them. Maybe someone who lives close to you needs something at the store and you are headed there anyway. Just talking on the phone might alleviate a sense of being alone.
Many of us attend FUUSB for the community it provides. The unknowns of this virus make for a scary time. Who do you know who would love to get your message or hear your voice? Let's all find ways to share the warmth of our community in these uncertain times. We can do this!
If you or someone you know needs extra support, please reach out to our care team leaders, Lynn Douglas,, Care Network, Linda Graves, and Martha Molpus,, Pastoral Care Associates.  The Care Network always welcomes new members and you may wish to consider joining that team to help us grow and strengthen our ability to care for one another.  
Joint Urban Ministry Project (JUMP) to Remain Open
The Joint Urban Ministry Project (JUMP) will remain open with limited hours and mainstream prepackaged services.
Hours of Operation: Tuesday-Friday, 10:00 a.m. to Noon. Assistance will be offered on a first-come/first-served basis to the first 12 eligible individuals or households. No appointments. However, people displaying cold and flu symptoms will be asked to seek medical attention before receiving services.
JUMP mainstream assistance include:  transportation assistance support-gas & bus passes, grocery gift cards, diapers and much needed personal care and cleaning supplies.
JUMP will continue to offer coffee, but no snacks, and JUMP will practice social distancing for clients wanting to remain a time at the drop-in center.  
In compliance with the Vermont Department of Health, JUMP will actively increase sanitation measures and safety procedures for combating the spread of the virus so that we can continue to provide access to basic essential goods.
Wanda Hines, Director: "Even though the number of cancelled programs continues to grow, JUMP is anticipating increased activity due to the impact of the virus on local non-profit direct service systems. For these reasons, with thoughtful consideration, JUMP has elected to remain open with streamlined pre-packaged services."
In addition, JUMP is bracing for a decline in contributions, in-kind donations and a shortage of volunteers.  As such, JUMP is asking for your continued support to help them serve our most under-served and ostracized neighbors in Vermont during this alarming unknowable amount of time.
To learn more and support JUMP, visit:  or email:

Postponed: NNED Spring Assembly and Annual Meeting
We know that there have been a lot of questions about our plans for the NNED Spring Assembly and Annual Meeting. Given that President Trump has declared a national emergency due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and that the government is recommending against gatherings of more than 10 people for at least the next eight weeks, the Board of Directors has determined that it would be ill-advised, imprudent and irresponsible to go ahead with the Spring Assembly and Annual Meeting scheduled for April 24-25, 2020.  We are rescheduling the meeting and Assembly for September 25-26, 2020.  The current officers, board members and Nominating Committee shall continue in place until that meeting.

Our Annual Meeting will be dealing with important issues, and it is best to schedule it at a time when it is safe for people to attend. Hopefully by September the current situation and the uncertainty surrounding it will have eased a bit. More information will follow.

Thank you all for your understanding and for pulling together in this difficult time. If you have any questions for the Board, feel free to reply to this email.

In faith, 
Your NNED Board of Directors