The Union Church in Waban               
Saturday, March 20, 2020 
Keeping Healthy and Keeping Connected  
Being church as we navigate the challenges of COVID-19 
Pastoral Care and Connection
It has been another tumultuous week of difficult news and uncertainty.  We are all finding new ways of being in our homes, workplaces and communities.  In the midst of these stormy times, l et us also remember that we are not alone.  God is with us; and our UCW community is finding new ways of coming together to share mutual support:  
  • Pastors Amy and Stacy and ministerial intern Jade are here for us and are ready to support us in whatever way they can.  Please do not hesitate to reach out.  This week Stacy also started a daily 3pm Tea Time with Stacy, and Amy started a weekly Kids Connect & Storytime on Thursdays at 11am.  
  • Phone Tree and Deacons - In addition, our deacons are ever mindful of the needs of our congregation and are ready to respond as needed.  This week we have started a phone tree, pairing members of our congregation together for regular check-ins and to provide assistance with groceries and any other needs that arise.  
  • Pen-Pals and Buddies - Our kids are eager to connect across generations too!  Many have stepped up this week to offer to be pen-pal buddies with others in the congregation, sending art and connecting in other ways. Whether you are 2yrs old or 92yrs old, please let Pastor Amy know if you are willing to be a buddy! 
  • Social Media - If you are a Facebook user, please continue to check-in on Facebook and join our new Facebook group  - UCW Connecting Across Generations Facebook Group
  • UCW Small-Group Ministries and Meetings on Zoom - Our small groups continue to gather, including our Bible studies, book group, Well-Spring women's group and so many more.  For a full listing of all the groups gathering each week, and their Zoom links and information, please VISIT THIS PAGE (CLICK HERE).
  • Tea Time with Stacy - Stacy invites anyone who would like to drop by via Zoom at 3:00.  Bring a poem you are enjoying or a reflection you have and let's spend a bit of time together.  Go Here or visit the online meeting information tab on our homepage of the website.   

Worship & Sunday School 
Worship is a vital part of who we are as church. Pausing each week to center ourselves in the greater story of God with us gives us strength, courage and perspective to once again go out into our week to engage with what will come. For the coming weeks we will not be gathering together in our sanctuary or in our classrooms but we will be worshiping together.  

So for the coming weeks, we invite you to:
1. Watch a prerecorded worship service that will be posted to the website at 10:00 on Sunday morning.  This service will be more abridged than our usual Sunday morning service but will include Prayer, Scripture, a Sermon and a time for Prayer as well as some lovely meditative music. 
2.  For those that are looking for more interaction we invite you to join a zoom gathering where we will watch this service together and where we will have time to interact with each other in prayer and some congregational singing.   To join via zoom go here or follow the link on homepage of the website.   
3. create your own worshipful space in your home by engaging in some of the practices that being suggested through our "Lenten Devotional Practice for all Ages" that is linked below as well as other other suggestions available through the Sunday Worship   link on the homepage of our website ( ).

Small Group Ministries & Meetings

We are a very active and dynamic faith community. Our life together is not just on Sunday morning but throughout the week as well.  For the next two weeks, we are recommending that all small group ministries engage via our online platform, Zoom.  If you are a small group leader, please be in touch with Pastor Stacy so that we can create an online space for your gathering.   We do not want to cease from gathering but seek to gather in this new, online way. 

To see the Calendar of all the Zoom Gatherings 
and information about how to connect,
please click  HERE.

About Zoom Gatherings
Zoom gatherings are fairly easy to navigate but do take some familiarity.  One of the nice features about Zoom gatherings is that they can be accessed from any kind of phone, even landlines. To get the most out of the Zoom experience we recommend using a computer with a camera and microphone (most have them built in these days) or a smartphone. However, if you have any difficulty with either of those methods simply call the number in the invitation. Smartphones can use the OneTouch Dialing feature and do not need the Meeting ID. Traditional phones will require punching in the Meeting ID after dialing the number.

When you first use zoom, you will be asked to download the zoom software onto your computer.  While this process is automatic, you may wish to do it in advance of your first gathering simply by clicking on the link to the gathering.

Zoom also has many video tutorials that can be found here.
This Sunday
Sunday Morning Bible Study is Going Virtual! 
This Sunday, March 22nd at 8:00 a.m.  Bible study will be coming to you right in the comfort of your home.  No need to hurry over to Church, just settle in on your couch with a cup of coffee and join us on Zoom.  We are reading through and reflecting together on the Gospel of Mark.; 
Meeting ID: 884 108 118# or call in at +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)

No Choir Rehearsal (Sundays or Mondays)
The music that the choir offers so generously during worship will be missed as we move to virtual worship this Sunday and beyond.  As such we ask that choir members stay home again this Sunday.  Daon and Kayla are considering ways of connecting the choir online, as well, so please stay tuned!  

10:00 a.m. - Sunday Worship will be available via a prerecorded service and via Zoom!  
Being together is the very heart of who we are. In order to continue to nourish our life together while honoring the need to protect the health and well being of our members and community we will meet this week to share worship at 10:00 on the online platform Zoom. Again, we ask that you do not physically join us but instead invite you to join us online. To do so, you can go   HERE at 10:00 Sunday morning or go to the home page of our website where you will find a click through to the worship page.  11 a.m. - Stick around after the zoom worship for Virtual Reception

Also at 10:00 on Sunday morning we will be posting a prerecorded abridged worship service for those who would rather not or are not able to participate via Zoom.   Just go to the homepage of the website and click through to the Sunday worship page. 

11:30 a.m. - Sunday School for Kids & Youth on Zoom!
We're going to try something new this Sunday!  After worship and the virtual reception on Zoom, Pastor Amy will ask any kids and adults who would like to join her via the Zoom connection above for a brief time of Sunday School.  We'll share a short check-in, prayer time, story, reflection and then introduce an activity you can do at home as a family.  We hope you'll join us!    

7:30 p.m. - Parents Group 
If there were ever a time to gather to share wisdom, compassion, support and good humor in the joys and challenges of parenting, it would be now!  Bring a cup of tea, or your glass of wine, and connect with others!  We'll gather on Zoom 
at this link -;   Meeting ID: 823 618 299 (or if you prefer to join only by audio, you can call  +1 646 558 8656)
Upcoming Sunday Worship
Sunday, March 29: Worship Continues Online 
On this last Sunday before Palm Sunday, Ministerial Intern Jade will  be our preacher and will be exploring   Mark 13:1-8, 24-37 and the Biblical call to Hope.

Tea Time with Stacy (Zoom)
Next Tuesday, March 24, 2020 @ 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm 
(and Every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at 3 p.m.)

Grab a cup of tea and let's chat about that latest poem you read, a reflection that you may have or anything else that is on your mind.  This is a drop in group for us to say "Hi!"
To join via Zoom go  HERE
Meeting ID: 746 243 368
or call  +1 646 558 8656
CYFChildren, Youth and Families
Growing in Faith and Community 
Kids, Connections and COVID-19

These weeks at home with the world's uncertainty, with new routines, trying to keep up with school work, figuring out how to stay connected with friends and share space at home ... it's a lot to process! Our kids, like all of us, are experiencing so many emotions. We are here to support you and your kids in these weeks. Below are a few new ways we hope to stay connected:

Sunday School - Zoom, Zoom, Zoom!
As mentioned above, we're going to try a new way of gathering for Sunday School this Sunday over Zoom! We hope your kids will join us at 11:30am via the Zoom connection for worship. After our virtual reception, Pastor Amy will stay on and share 20-minutes or so with the kids. We'll pray, sing a song, share and reflect on the Bible story, and then introduce an activity the kids can do at home! To see our Sunday School lesson from last week CLICK HERE.

Thursday Mornings at 11am - Zoom Kids Connect and Storytime!
Pastor Amy will gather with kids and families each week to share a story and check-in. CLICK ON THIS LINK TO CONNECT This week we read "Adam & Eve's First Sunset; God's New Day" by Rabbi Sandy Eisenberg Sasso. You can see Amy reading it by CLICKING HERE!

Youth Groups - Middle School Overnight is ON! (online :)  
The Youth Ministry Team gathered this week to plan for ways to connect our Middle Schoolers and High Schoolers.  Our Middle School overnight was planned for this coming Friday, March 27th.  We won't be staying overnight, but will have a fun online hang-out with games and more on Friday evening from 6:30-8:30p.m.! Please stay tuned for details. 
  • Exploring Our Faith and High School Seniors & Juniors - Pastor Amy will be in touch this coming week with plans and ways for us to connect!  

Also, please know that Pastor Amy is available for calls, texts or video-chats. We'll be working on other ways to get together in virtual small groups as well. Amy's email is [email protected] and cell is 617-938-8112.
Lenten Devotional - At-Home Spiritual Practices for All Ages 
Lenten Devotional from Illustrated Ministry 

As we seek ways to stay connected, and deepen  our spiritual practices at home, please explore this Lenten devotional as a resource.  It is great for all ages, with scripture passages, reflections, questions, activities and coloring pages.  

Mission-Minded: Community Needs during COVID-19 
Serving our Community During COVID-19 

Serving our Community During COVID-19 -  Pastors Stacy and Amy are staying closely connected to news and needs of the UCW and wider communities, and look forward to sharing ways our church can be of service during these challenging times.  If you know of needs or ways we can help, please let us know.  Many in our amazing mission-minded community are standing ready to help! Two concrete ways to connect and help with community needs that we know of are: 

A new Facebook group called  Newton Neighbors Helping Newton Neighbors 
 where community members can post, respond and organize around needs in Newton.  Their effort includ es  THIS FORM , where you can  offer or ask for assistance .

There is also a specific call from the  Newton Food Pantry  for assistance, as they respond to needs (especially with children who generally receive food at school).  Please  CLICK HERE FOR A LIST  of their most needed items.  In addition, they are calling for brown paper bags and cleaning supplies.  You can drop them at the Newton Food Pantry or bring them to the church and we'll make sure they get there!
Staying Informed during COVID-19 

All of us in the Union Church community are undoubtedly concerned about the health risks posed by the coronavirus. We urge everyone to review and follow the recommendations of the Center for Disease Control found on the CDC website and to advise one of the pastors if you or a member of your family is symptomatic or has recently traveled to a country with an outbreak. 
And please let us know if there is anything our pastors or church staff can do to help.

Adult Education, Spiritual Formation and Fell owship:
For all upcoming programs please be in touch with   Pastor Stacy as we discern whether upcoming programs will be offered in person or virtually. 
March Book Group:   "Hope in the Dark" by  Rebecca Solnit
Tuesday, March 31st from 7:00 p.m.- 8:30 p.m. 
If you are interested in participating in this discussion please rsvp to Stacy

Our March read is "Hope in the Dark: untold histories, wild possibilities by Rebecca Solnit.
"No writer has better understood the mix of fear and possibility, peril and exuberance that's marked this new millennium." Bill McKibben
"An elegant reminder that activist victories are easily forgotten, and that they often come in extremely unexpected, roundabout ways."
-The New Yorker 

Zoned Out: Part 2 
Who Gets to Live in Suburban Boston?
Sunday,  March 29 t h , at 11:30 a.m. 

We thank you for our first conversation last month on our severe housing shortages and the terrible history of exclusion. And we invite you to join us again on Sunday  March 29th , for another opportunity to learn about housing equity and justice.

The Advocates for Racial Justice group of Union Church look forward to your participation in an interactive dialogue on what we can know and what we can do, as we seek to achieve a more equitable and inclusive community..
Everyone and all ages are welcome, no preparation necessary-but these are easy-to-digest pieces create a helpful frame for the conversation we envision:

The Character of the Neighborhood -Rev. Howard Haywood, Newton TAB (op-ed), 1/21/15, during the Austin Street fight
"Special: Richard Rothstein, The Color of Law Mission YIMBY event"-Rothstein here gives a particularly clear and vivid version of the argument in his book (The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America). You can skip to 5:10, where his lecture begins. (Infill podcast, approx. 45 min)
" You have a better chance of achieving 'the American dream' in Canada than in America"-Ezra Klein interviews Raj Chetty, Aug. 2019 (both in written and podcast form,

.......and  links to additional resources can be found on our church website  HERE:
                                      Our Covenant
We, the members of The Union Church in Waban, true to our founding principle of being an inclusive church, covenant together to nourish and to sustain in our common life and practice a fully welcoming and affirming church for all persons. Welcoming all persons who seek to join with us in a commitment to love God and our neighbors, affirming the inclusive love of Jesus, we are open to all, without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, nationality, ability or economic circumstance. We invite all to full participation in our worship, membership, leadership and life of this church.

For a complete listing, and details of all upcoming events,  please 
visit our website, 
Note : Material for inclusion in the Friday e-Blast newsletter should be e-mailed to the office at [email protected] , by 9:00 a.m. on the previous Wednesday morning.  
From The Wider Community