WEEKLY UPDATE | July 5-11, 2020
Summer Sundays on YouTube
July 5-26, 2020 | 10am
The Rev. Myozen Joan Amaral
Our worship services for this summer are shorter, simpler, creative and contemplative. The Rev. Myozen Joan Amaral is our July leader, taking us through gentle reflections and meditation practice.

The Rev. Myozen Joan Amaral moved to the Boston area in 2012 from San Francisco Zen Center to establish the Marblehead Zen Center, which became Zen Center North Shore in 2014 when the center relocated to Beverly. Joan is a dharma heir in the Soto Zen lineage of Shunryu Suzuki. She is ordained as a Buddhist priest and dharma teacher. Trained as a modern dancer/choreographer, she is interested in how movement supports the practice of stillness, and how justice work naturally flows from a meditative mind.

The service link will be posted on our Facebook page and go "live" at 10am each Sunday. The Zoom link for the Fellowship Hour can be found below. Hope to see you there.
 
You can sign into the church Facebook page  here , where the YouTube video will be posted. You can also use this link to create a Facebook account. Or you can connect to the church YouTube page  here .
 
Our offertory donation link can be found on the church website here .
A Message from Rev. Vicki
Dear Church,
 
I will be taking some time off to regroup, rest, get off of Zoom and social media, mourn and get my bearings in this remarkable moment we are living through. We have all scrambled to respond to the crisis of COVID-19. We have learned new skills, come to terms as best we can with myriad losses, disruptions, fears and a barrage of crucial information on how to survive the pandemic.
 
I am proud of you, of this community. I am incredibly proud. I see you abiding in grace with each other. I see you pushing yourselves to reach out and to reach in. I see you responding with encouragement and kindness to me, the staff and each other, and being grateful for the continued ministry of the church through online offerings. I experience you as forgiving me for not operating with my usual energy level, understanding how debilitating grief is, and telling me that you care.
 
This means more than I can say.
 
I see you continuing to care about the issues of justice in our world and engaging in anti-racist learning and action in the streets and in on-line community.
 
I am proud of you and honored to be associated with you.
 
While I am taking a break from meetings and worship, I want you to know that I am available to you for emotional and spiritual support. It is important that Claire Wilson get a break from her responsibilities as Pastoral Care Ministry Team Chair, and important that the members of that team also take a breather.
 
I think of deep sea divers who sometimes have to share one oxygen tank, passing the demand valve between themselves in a system called "buddy breathing." Let's practice buddy breathing so everyone gets the air they need.

I may be in touch occasionally through Facebook videos or posts, but for the most part I will be off between July 7-August 7. Before that date, I will be finalizing our new website, working with the Social Justice Ministry Team leaders to schedule Anti-Racism Initiative book conversations ("So You Want To Talk About Race" by Ijeoma Olua and "How To Be An Anti-Racist" by Ibram X. Kendi), meeting with faith development leaders and staff to plan family and children ministry activities, meeting with the Rev. Elizabeth Ide of First Parish Salem to discuss occasional shared online worship services, and continuing to facilitate ECCO's "Dismantling Racism" workshop.
 
I hope that wherever you are, you are well and careful, practicing good "Maskitarian" safety. Oh, and a word about masks: I am unhappy with the filters for the silicone masks I ordered and am trying to get in touch with customer service to exchange them for the company's new design. They, too, are learning. If I dropped off those masks to you, I will deliver the new filters when they come in. Fingers crossed it won't take months.
 
So much love to all of you,
Rev. Vicki
Our Church Family
Hand Lighting Chalice
Our healing thoughts and prayers are with Tom Sheehan following surgery.
 
Traveling blessings go with Scott Nowka , who is heading to the Midwest for a family visit. We wish his mother healing thoughts.
 
Healing prayers are with Maggie Barmack , who suffered fractured bones after a bicycle accident.
 
It was a joy to see a group of UUCGL members at the recent "Dismantling Racism" workshop sponsored by ECCO. The final session is Tuesday, July 7. We will be offering a version of this workshop to the congregation later, so please stay tuned.
Best Wishes to Mark LaPointe

Our Director of Community Life and Learning, Mark LaPointe, will be leaving us on July 15 at the end of his interim period. He expresses his gratitude to the church, the staff, and Rev. Vicki for a time of rich learning and inspiring work, and wishes us well as we continue to live out our mission, "especially as our faith is called on to be more present than ever before."
 
We bid Mark farewell with fond regards and gratitude for his kind and encouraging ministry with us over the past two years. Our blessings go with him in this next chapter of his life.
UUCGL Holiday Schedule
"Office" Closed Monday, July 6th
No Zoom Connections
 
Because July 4th is a Saturday this year, the staff will observe the holiday on Monday, July 6th.
Social Justice Ministry Team Zoom Meeting
Monday, July 6 at 7pm
The Social Justice Ministry Team invites you to a scheduled SJMT Zoom meeting Monday, July 6 at 7pm. All are welcome to join us!
 
Join Zoom Meeting:
 
Meeting ID: 828 9044 5584
Password: 668921
 
OR:
 
One tap mobile:
+13017158592,,82890445584# US (Germantown)
+13126266799,,82890445584# US (Chicago)
 
Dial by your location:
Meeting ID: 828 9044 5584
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kcEeySfvUU
Congregation-Wide
Anti-Racism Learning and Action Initiative
Dear Congregation,
 
Virtually every American has now witnessed the death of a Black man as he struggled to breathe while a white police officer clamped a knee on his neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds; the man, George Floyd, cried out that he couldn't breath and called for his mother. It is an image we cannot dismiss from our mind's eye--nor should we try. Rather, we need to keep that frightful image foremost in our minds as we decide how we, as individuals, as a church, and as a society, will respond to the systemic racism of this country.
 
Many say this could be a "transformational moment" in America, in which we acknowledge the current and pervasive . . . . (continue reading for important dates, to register, and pledge to engage here ).
 
In faith, toward action,
The Social Justice Ministry Team
Rev. Dr. Victoria Weinstein
Black Lives Matter Lawn Signs
Get a yard sign to show your support for Black Lives Matter! Several church members are facilitating the purchase and delivery of yard signs. If you are interested in a sign that says Black Lives Matter or Love Your Neighbor, please contact Michael Celona at michaelcelona@yahoo.com


Signs are $12/each and come with free contact-less delivery by a delightful fellow church member! If cost is an issue, several members have offered to cover the cost. Don't let cost be the reason you don't get a sign!
UUCGL Reopening Task Force News
A Reopening Task Force has been formed to provide guidelines for the safe reopening of UUCGL. Members are Eileen Cummings, Doreen Hodgkin, Stephanie Goodman, Mary Gatlin, Elizabeth Muller and Rev. Vicki. A new event request form is now available outlining steps that groups will need to take to meet on church property. You can download the form at https://tinyurl.com/UUCGL-Event-Request . The task force will meet on the first and third Thursdays of each month to review request forms. Request forms should be submitted by the Monday prior to a meeting for consideration. Please note that for the time being, all events must meet the following criteria: hosted by a UUCGL group (ministry team, board committee, etc.); outdoors without any access to the church building or equipment; no more than 10 pre-registered attendees at any one time; any children in attendance must remain with members of their immediate household, no childcare will be provided. Please contact Mary Gatlin at mary.c.gatlin@gmail.com for an event request form or any questions that you would like to ask the Reopening Task Force.
Church Building Closed thru Summer
As you know, the church building will remain closed through the upcoming summer. Please do not go to the church building, stay home, stay safe!

We intend to use this time to develop a re-opening plan. This plan will be developed by a small church task force. Similar to Governor Baker's approach, we will be guided by information produced by trusted science and health agencies, as well as the experiences of other churches. The health and wellbeing of our members, staff, friends, and visitors is paramount. Once we have a plan and a sense of when our building will re-open (and what that might look like), we will share it with you. Meanwhile, church services and activities will continue online. Thank you for your understanding and be well. I hope to "see" you soon!
Our Many Ways to Connect
We continue to explore ways to enrich our lives as a spiritual community during this physical-distancing time. Here you will find ways we are connecting via Zoom.

We hope that this will be easy for you to do and offer some simple instructions in light of Zoom’s new sign-in procedures:

  1. If you already have the Zoom software, just click on the link provided for each gathering. In most cases, it will take you directly to the gathering.
  2. If you do not yet have Zoom installed, click on the link and you will be prompted to download and run it—a very fast process—after which you should be taken to the gathering. (To save time, you might want to download and install it before the gathering by going to https://zoom.us/download. How the software is installed is dependent on the device or browser you are using.)
  3. If you have the Zoom software installed and it is asking for the meeting ID number and password, enter those specific numbers underneath the link below and you will be taken to the meeting.


Zoom Helpful Hints . . .

If you are hosting a Zoom gathering , it is helpful to have an assistant who can monitor the waiting room or handle any technical needs, while you, the host, can attend to the gathering.

Hosts and attendees: when the gathering is over, follow the prompts, click leave meeting and be sure to close out of Zoom , if you don't, people can still see or hear you! Not closing out can make for some funny stories, but really, there’s only so much we want to know about you! Seriously though, be careful when you Zoom!

And now, enjoy each other's company in one or all of our Zoom gatherings. We miss you!
cupcake_coffee_cafe.jpg
Virtual Fellowship Hour
Sundays | 11am

 
On Sundays after the virtual service, you all are invited to an online Zoom Fellowship Hour, beginning at 11 a.m. Grab a mug of coffee or tea and your favorite snack, join the meeting, and visit with friends online.
 
We hope that this will be easy for you to do and offer some simple instructions below under Our Many Ways to Connect .
 
We would love to see as many smiling faces as possible to hear how you all are doing in these unusual times. We miss you!
 
Join Virtual Fellowship Hour on Zoom:
 
Or you can join by phone:
1-646-558-8656

If needed, enter the following when prompted:
Meeting ID: 658 052 013
Password: 079017

See you Sunday!
Mindfulness-Based Meditation Practice Group via Zoom
Mornings 7:30-7:50am with Anne Principe
While we are apart, we can breath together . . .

All are welcome to be a part of a small group ministry to practice mindfulness meditation. Now more than ever, our connections with each other are vital to our sense of calm and hope.
 
Each morning’s meditation will offer
  • introduction of core concept
  • silent meditation of 5-10 minutes while seated comfortably in your own space
 
Click here for sign up, more information, and to find out what you’ll need in preparation for the practice.
ECCO Covid-19 Response
ECCO, Our Social Justice Ministry Team, and You
This is a time of crisis and it gives us all a real opportunity to live our faith. SJMT supports our partner's initiative ECCO Covid-19 Response . There are real opportunities for you to help and to be involved, including:
 
* Employ Shine Together Co-op for grocery shopping and "take out" meal prep-all delivered to your door, using "no contact" standards (payment logistics currently being worked out, but identifying interested customers is very helpful!);
 
* Donate to support those at risk of homelessness or hunger - 100% of funds go directly to those in need;
 
* Volunteer to help Shine Together in "no contact" delivery;
 
* Receive or Provide Emotional Support.
 
For details and contact information, see our Live Our Faith section below.
 
Thank you and stay well.
 -The Social Justice Ministry Team
UUCGL Privacy Reminder
Sharing and Privacy
Our church is a caring community, and that is evident especially during these highly unusual isolating times as we keep in virtual touch with one another. This is a reminder that we need to respect each other’s privacy, especially in personal or medical issues, in all our church communications. We may not share any medical information in any church communication vehicle without the permission of the individual. That includes listservs, the Weekly Update, all church social media, etc. Continue to reach out and keep connected to our parish family, but please do not share personal, especially medical, information through church communications unless invited to do so. Thank you.
How to Support Your Church
Pledge Payments

Below are ways to make a pledge payment to the church. If you are finishing up your 2019-20 pledge, please mark in the memo line that it is for FY 2019-20.
 
There are three easy options of paying:

1.     Send your check to the church (101 Forest Avenue, Swampscott, MA 01907).
2.     Set up a bill-pay system with your bank and have the check sent to the above address.
3.     Donate online. To donate online, please go to our website ( uucgl.org ) and click “Donate” in the upper right-hand corner. After you fill in the information page, click “Submit.” You will then be offered options to pay through your PayPal account, if you have one, or through your credit card.
 
Thank you for your support!
A Reminder from the Board of Trustees
to Our Church Family
We hope you are managing this evolving pandemic in the best way possible. Staff continue to work from home and can be reached at the email addresses listed below.
 
The church has a number of ways to help you. The Board, its committees, and church staff are still working on behalf of the congregation - that means YOU! Please feel free to reach out to us with any questions or if we can help. Details about some of our resources can be found in our UUCGL Resources section below.
 
Thank you and be well!
 
Contact Information:
 
The Rev. Dr. Victoria Weinstein

Eileen Cummings, UUCGL President
 
Elizabeth Muller, Business Administrator
 
Angie Kern, Administrative Assistant
 
Kenneth Griffith, Director of Music
 
Chris Hansen, Grants Coordinator
 
Claire Wilson, Pastoral Care Coordinator
7 81-595-8836 ext. 16
UUCGL Resources
Reminder from your Grants Committee
and the Grants Coordinator
We would like to remind all our parishioners that we are here for you should you need help with rent or utility bills during this difficult time. We can provide aid through our Spinney Mudge Emergency Funds. We also provide scholarships to college students. Please call Chris Hansen, our Grants Coordinator at 781-595-8836, ext. 23 and leave a message with your name and telephone number and she will get back to you or email her
 
Thank you,
The Grants Committee
Pastoral Care Ministry Team
The good news is that, presently, no one in our congregation, of the calls our Pastoral Team has been making, is symptomatic of the coronavirus. We count our blessings. Each of us is challenged not only by a barrage of information but also by creatively adapting to new ways of "life, as
usual." Feeling lonely? Need groceries? Got coping ideas to share? Is there a change in your contact info (since September)? Call 781-595-8836 ext 16.
 
Claire Wilson, Pastoral Care Coordinator
Sermons Online
We are exploring many ways to enrich our lives as a spiritual community during this physical-distancing time. One such way is to be able to listen to past sermons and we now have added many recent ones given during Rev. Vicki’s sabbatical period. Click here for the link on our website that takes you to both our YouTube channel for recent sermons, and Rev. Vicki’s sermons.
Live Our Faith
No One Stands Alone
The COVID-19 crisis is painful for everyone, but is hurting the most vulnerable among us the hardest - immigrants and people of color who so often pay the highest price in our unjust economy. To respond to the crisis, the Essex County Community Organization ( ECCO ), a North Shore organization with which the UUCGL has long partnered, is inviting our community to support one another, especially those most directly impacted, while also sowing seeds for a different future. There are three ways to make a difference:
 
First , you can donate and help raise funds for ECCO's No One Stands Alone COVID-19 Solidarity Fund , which will provide direct funds to ECCO families at severe risk of hunger and homelessness. Your contributions will go directly to ECCO families like that of Dolores, who has been sick with COVID-19 and has no way to pay the bills for herself and her two small children.
 
Second , you can support ECCO's immigrant worker-owned Co-op, " Shine Together", which has launched Shine Together Delivers to provide grocery shopping, and delivery services and the preparation of prepared meals during this time of crisis. You can act in solidarity by:
 
*Becoming a Solidarity Consumer that orders delicious prepared foods and/or groceries brought to your doorstep through no-contact delivery. Or, you can purchase gift certificates for future Shine Together cleaning services, to be redeemed once the COVID-19 crisis is over.
 
*Becoming a Solidarity Volunteer with Shine Together Delivers by shopping for groceries and/or offering no-contact delivery of Shine Together food and/or groceries.
 
Third , we invite you to offer and receive emotional solidarity to others in the ECCO community. You are invited to participate in this effort and/or to volunteer to help set up systems of emotional support.
 
We here at the UUCGL will be participating in all of these activities and will be reaching out to our church community, through calls and emails, in the coming days to ask if you are in need of food delivery services, or if you are willing to become involved in the Covid 19 Response in other ways; we will be providing you with the specifics on how you can donate and/or volunteer.
 
This is a time of crisis and it gives us all a real opportunity to live our faith.
 
To learn more about all of these opportunities, go to
and/or contact any of the following church members:
Martha Curry - macfinian@comcast.net
Scott Nowka - 781-244-5335; snowka@gmail.com
Debbie Boggs - 781-258-1353; daboggs@gmail.com .

Thank you and stay well.
-Martha, Scott and Debbie and the Social Justice Ministry Team
Contact Information Reminder
Does the Office Know Your Current
Contact Information?
Please keep your name, address, phone number, and e-mail current in the church office. E-mail Elizabeth Muller with your correct information.
Not sure what information we have on file for you?

Call Elizabeth at:
781-595-8836, ext. 10
Recurring Gatherings
Visit Us
Sunday Zoom Schedule
Worship & Children's Ministry: 10am
Fellowship Hour: 11am

(781) 595-8836
Like us on Facebook, or view sermons on YouTube!