WEEKLY UPDATE | May 24-30, 2020
Church Building Closed Thru Summer
Please be aware that the church building will remain closed through the upcoming summer. 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!

Michael Celona, President
Sunday Worship on Facebook/YouTube
May 24, 2020 | 10am
"The Spirit of Endurance and Sacrifice"
The Rev. Dr. Victoria Weinstein
There are so many helpful commitments from wartime that can instruct and strengthen us for these days. Join us for "The Spirit of Endurance and Sacrifice." Special guest reader, UU Air Force Chaplain, the Rev. Greg DuBow joins us from Ramstein Air Force Base in Rheinland-Pfalz, Germany. 

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 .

You can click  here  for a copy of the May 24 Online Order of Service. Our offertory donation link can be found in the Order of Service, but you may also connect to our donation page  here .
Meditation Labyrinths from Rev. Vicki
Dear Congregation,
 
This past Sunday we reflected on the interior journey of the labyrinth, a path that serves as one metaphor for the spiritual life. We offer these printable labyrinths again for you to print out and follow with your finger or with a pen, crayon or pencil for a relaxing meditation. [Click here for labyrinths for printing.]
 
Love, Rev. Vicki
Virtual Fellowship Hour
Sundays | 11am
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Sunday Fellowship Hour Online!
 
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!
Our Church Vegetable Garden
Thanks to The Food Project for donating plants and compost for our garden. They delivered prudent purple and sweet cherry tomatoes, sweet peppers, collard greens, lavender, basil and snapdragon flowers this month. The Food Project has supported more than 1,300 community garden beds through their Build-a-Garden initiative. And special thanks to Trinidad Martinez and Mary Gatlin for prepping and planting our garden plot. Let the GSMT know if you would like to participate in the weekly watering calendar. And, of course, everyone is welcome to share the bounty in the fall.
 
We need volunteers to help water the church's raised bed garden this summer! Sign up here . The time commitment is about 15-30 minutes per watering session, 2-3 times per week unless it's been a rainy week. There will be supplies available for sanitizing common touch points, and this is a great social-distancing volunteer activity. Mary Gatlin will email all volunteers with more details. Thank you!
 
Interested in getting your own garden started? Check out The Food Project's Gardening Guide for Socially Distant Times here .
Coronavirus Safety
Masks and Coronavirus Safety
Rev. Vicki ordered 30 lined silicone masks for the most vulnerable members of our church who are still having to go out for groceries or other necessities. If you are immuno-compromised, please let us know. We want you to have as good a mask as we can find.
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
Our Many Ways to Connect
We are exploring many 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!
Next Weekly Zoom Connections June 1
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Our Weekly Zoom Connections mailing sent out each Monday will take a holiday break next week to observe Memorial Day. Celebrate the holiday safely everyone!

Stay safe, stay healthy!
Soul Strength Gathering
Soul Strength has concluded its first six week session.
Stay tuned for its return later in the summer season.

Rev. Vicki
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.
UUCGL 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
Have You Turned In Your Pledge Card?
The building may be temporarily closed, but pledge season is always open. Thank you to those who have already returned their pledge cards. So far, we have received 63 pledges for a total of over $68,000. That’s fantastic under the circumstances! But we still need your support.
 
Here are two ways you can pledge your financial support for our next church year:

·   You may mail in your card to the church (we are still receiving and processing mail); or

·   Pledge by e-mailing mypledge@uucgl.org .

Your pledge counts! Thank you.
 
 
We Need Your Financial Contributions
 
Even though we are no longer able to meet in person on Sunday mornings, the work of the church continues, and so do our expenses. Please help us continue our good work during these trying times. While we can't pass the plate in person on Sunday mornings, you can still donate.
 
Please send your check to the Church (101 Forest Avenue, Swampscott, MA 01907) or donate online.
 
To donate online, please go to our website ( uucgl.org ) and click “Donate” in the upper right-hand corner. We are also appealing for offerings to the Minister’s Discretionary Fund (MDF in the Notes field) to support unemployed parishioners and members of the community.

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 to use your credit card.

Thank you for your support!
A Reminder from the Board of Trustees
Our Church Community
Hi everyone,
 
We hope you are managing this evolving crisis in the best way possible. As you know, the church building is still closed. Staff are working from home and can be reached at the email addresses listed below. Please do not go to the church
building. Stay home, stay safe!
 
The church has a number of ways to help you. Please see the more detailed information below.
 
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.
 
Thank you and be well!
 
Michael Celona, Eileen Cummings, Rebecca Greene,
Jeff Gunther, Suzanne Forgione, Sarah Cecil, Ruth Griffin,
Mark Vander Linden, Scott Nowka
 

Contact Information:
 
The Rev. Dr. Victoria Weinstein

Michael Celona, UUCGL President
978 835 7724
 
Elizabeth Muller, Business Administrator
 
Angie Kern, Administrative Assistant
 
Mark LaPointe, Director of Community Life & Learning
 
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
Reminders
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!