Sunday, May 24, 2020
will be delivered via email at 6:00 am
Rev. Frieda Gillespie, Interim Minister
Sam Chandler, Music Director
Funny you should ask! The board has made the decision to postpone the Annual Meeting until the fall. Although the Covid-19 pandemic is the primary reason for the postponement, there are other factors we considered including:
• Rev. Hillary will be with us and can be a full participant in the meeting!
• The entire board is returning, so there is no need to vote on a slate!
• We will have additional time to analyze the impact of Covid-19 on our finances and to make adjustments to the proposed FY21 budget as the months unfold. Meanwhile, we’ll continue to operate under the current budget.
It’s still too early to tell what the Annual Meeting in the fall will look like or exactly when it will occur, but if you had June 7, 2020 highlighted on your calendar as the date of the meeting, it’s time to cross that off. Plan instead to join our virtual coffee hour (happening EVERY Sunday at noon) to catch up with others!
Another THANK YOU to everyone who supported the Congregant Relief Fund - the brainchild of our Senior Youth Group, who selflessly donated funds raised for their now-cancelled mission trip. They established the fund to help support congregants financially impacted by circumstances related to Covid-19. Many generous donors participated in the matching drive, bringing $3000 to church operations and $1500 to the relief fund itself.

Who do you know? Do you know someone in the congregation who may be in need but reluctant to ask for help? (Maybe that person is you.) Either way, please reach out to either Rev. Frieda Gillespie or Joanna Landsman. There’s no paperwork or form to fill out – just an email or phone call, to call attention to the need. All requests will be treated with the utmost confidentiality and will be co-approved by the Minister and Board President.
Join the fun! Send in your selfie by May 31 to Mariana via email: catalpa.girl@gmail.com.
These photos and more will be posted on the bulletin board in the Gathering Room at church. The collage will also be shared in CHANNELS. Help welcome Rev. Hillary by contributing toward this collection of informal photos! Show us what you're up to!
Wednesdays, May 27, June 3, and June 10 at 10:30 am
Thursdays, May 28, June 4, and June 11 at 4:30 pm
Now that we have learned how to do online Worship, Coffee Hour, Candidating Week, AND even voting to call Rev. Hilary - what's next? Have you been wondering about this? We are offering Zoom Conversation Circles to talk about how we can be together as a church community in this time of Covid -19. All are invited to participate. We really want to hear your thoughts and concerns. The circles will be facilitated by Rev. Frieda. We look forward to sharing ideas with each of you. To participate, please contact Nancy Read at nafread@gmail.com to get the Zoom details.
Time and tide wait for no UU, as we know. We’ve done a great job taking care of our beautiful old church (restored steeple, renovated chancel, replaced Gathering Room floors, etc!) and now it’s time for another project. Perfect timing? Actually it is. While we are not ’there’-there, we can get some really badly needed renovations done on the Wing. (The Wing is the 1994 addition.) The side facing Main Street and the end on the driveway below the Parsonage are in terrible condition. A lot of the paint is peeling, and some of the wood is rotting. 

We’ve been keeping an eye on this, and now that we’ve finished a SUPER search for a SUPER minister, we need to do these repairs before things get worse and cost more. We have estimates in hand of $6100 for carpentry and $6500 for painting, for a total of $12,600. That includes a contingency. We’ll replace rotten wood wherever appropriate with Boral, an ash-composite that lasts much longer. 

Here’s where WE all come in. We have some ‘leadership’ contributions but why stop there? Would you like to put some of your good loving energy towards this project so it can be all done by September, and — whether we’re meeting on line or in small groups there — have First Universalist looking wonderful for Reverend Hillary? So much to be grateful for. Let’s get our beloved church home shining bright.

To make a gift of ANY size from $5 to $500 (more? thanks!) please send a check to First Universalist Church and write WING in the note line. Or send via our PayPal link and use the drop down menu to indicate it is the "Wing Project." The Wing says thank you, and hopes you are all safe and well and taken care of, too. 

FMI: Pete Titcomb ( petertitcomb@aol.com) or Sarah Witte ( sarahcoffinwitte@gmail.com).
This year, the Unitarian Universalist Association's General Assembly, the largest gathering of UUs each year for worship, learning, connecting, business, and more, is going to be held virtually. This year's theme is Rooted, Inspired, & Ready.

The good news about this online format:
  • GA is more affordable! Registration is $150 to attend all (or part) of the five days online, June 24 - June 28, 2020.
  • There will be free, live streamed content. If registering doesn't make sense for you, you can still attend the General Sessions (business meetings), the Service of the Living Tradition, the Synergy Bridging Service, and the Sunday Worship Service.

Want to know more?
Our virtual coffee hour happens every Sunday at 12 pm via Zoom. Join in for the discussion, the opportunity to see friendly faces, and some connection! Details to access arrive in your inbox at 8:00 am on Sunday mornings.
Yoga teacher Marni Prince is hosting live video yoga classes. Classes are on Saturdays at 10 am, now through Saturday, May 30, and on Wednesdays at 7 pm. Anyone interested can email Marni to get on the mailing list for when she'll be holding classes and video details: marniprince@gmail.com. Marni is not charging anything for the classes as of now, but is accepting optional donations. Might as well do some yoga if we can't leave the house!
Both junior and senior youth groups are now meeting online. You can download the Zoom app in advance to your smart phone, tablet, or laptop. You will need to create a free account with Zoom. Details about how to connect will be arriving in a separate email. Not getting the email but your youth would like to participate or have other questions about youth programs? Contact Gwen Matthews at gwenatfirstu@gmail.com .

Virtual Junior Youth Group is on for 11 - 11:45 am on Sunday, May 24.

Virtual Senior Youth Group is on for 4:30 - 5:15 pm on Sunday, May 24.
Since we last met as a group in January, we’ve been gathering information and ideas from the UUA, MUUSAN (Maine Unitarian Universalist State Advocacy Network) and the League of Women Voters. The intervening pandemic has also made clear that November will not only likely be the most important election of our lifetimes but the most logistically challenging one as well. (And that goes for the upcoming July 14 primary as well!)

We will gather by Zoom on Tuesday, June 2 from 5:30-6:30 pm to choose among several projects calling for varying levels of time or commitment over these next several months and to organize for action. Please join us to Take a Shift For Justice!

If you are interested in Taking a Shift for Justice, please email Sue Ellen Bordwell at sebordwell@gmail.com to get the link to participate in the Zoom call.
Our next first Tuesday to volunteer at Preble Street is June 2, 3 - 6 pm. At this time, Preble Street still really needs your support in putting together to-go meals for their clients who they serve daily. Help to feed some of Maine's most vulnerable people who continue to rely on Preble Street for food and other resources. Contact Ruth White ( rwhite7@maine.rr.com) with any questions or if you would like to sign up. Thank you!

Please note a few changes:
  1. There is now a limit of three volunteers per shift in order to ensure social distancing.
  2. Volunteers are asked to bring their own mask or face covering.
  3. The time for dinner shifts has altered slightly. It is now 3 - 6 pm (instead of 3:30 - 6:30 pm).
  4. You can view all of Preble Street's response information about COVID-19 on their website.
Those who attended the 3D showing of the film “This is Palestine” in January may recall meeting new friends from Maine Voices For Palestinian Rights, who added so much to our post-film discussion. You may be pleased to know that Peace Action Maine has just given its annual Peace Maker Award to the organization for their "tireless work ... as peacemakers advocating for an end to the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories and recognizing political rights, human rights and dignity for all Palestinian people.”
Today, Friday May 22nd, at 6:00 pm on Zoom
All are invited to join us for FOOD for the body and MUSIC for the soul, a live online concert to support Preble Street and 317 Main Community Music Center.

The concert, which will air live via Zoom Friday, May 22nd at 6pm EST, will feature performances by 317 Main Teaching artists with guest appearances by Preble Street Executive Director Mark Swann and 317 Main Executive Director John Williams. Event organizer Steve Yellen (a friend of both organizations) will kick off the evening with 317 Main's Director of Music Education, Chris Moore, serving as emcee.

Both of these community-based non profits are working hard to meet the increased need brought about by the CoVid-19 crisis. Preble Street has seen a dramatic increase in the demand or free meals and housing. In April alone, they saw an 86% increase in meal served. 317 Main believes music is for everyone, and has stepped up its efforts to keep the community connected through free online music programming including open mics, ukulele jams, and drum circles, as well as continuing to run tuition free programming with many community partners including Listen Up, Casco Bay High School, Wayfinder Schools and East End Community School.

You can visit the Eventbrite page or Facebook event for more information.
The Church Office is Closed, But Minister and Staff Are Still Working!
Rev. Frieda, Gwen, Sam, and Andrea all continue to work from home to support the church community. You can reach them via email, call and leave a voicemail at the church office (messages are checked on Monday & Thursday), or call Rev. Frieda on her cell phone: 508-207-7566.
Pastoral Emergencies
If you have a pastoral emergency, you can contact Rev. Frieda Gillespie on her cell phone at 508-207-7566. Saturdays are typically her day off, but she will answer calls for pastoral emergencies.
Submit Your Announcement
To have your announcement included in this newsletter please email the information to Gwen Matthews at gwenatfirstu@gmail.com by Wednesday at 12 pm.
  First Universalist Church of Yarmouth | 207-846-4148 | office@uuyarmouth.org | www.uuyarmouth.org