Through spiritual connection in community, we
Listen deeply to others and ourselves,
Open to wonder and transformation,
Serve together with love and humility

Dear Ones, 

As news and concerns related to the spread and impact of COVID-19 has unfolded over the past few weeks and especially days, you have all been very much on my mind. Indeed, you are never very far from my mind, my heart. Holding in mind, both the most vulnerable people within our congregation and our social responsibility to slow the transmission rate in our wider community, we are moving to ALL virtual worship beginning this Sunday, March 15 . Saturday’s Soul Assembly has been postponed. We expect to meet online for several weeks and will reassess as we move forward. 

  • We will meet at 10:00 AM online, as well as by phone for those who do not have internet access. Children’s worship will be at 9:30 AM. We are not holding worship in person for the next several weeks.
 
  • You can access the livestream of our worship on your computer, tablet, or smartphone here.

  • If you don’t have access to the Internet, you can call 646-876-9923 for audio of our worship.

  • If you are uncertain about accessing the video but would like to learn more, details for phone “office hours” to help you connect will be in our newsletter tomorrow. 

While we are not closing the building at this time and will remain in conversation with the nursery school and our renters, we encourage any and all groups to meet online and by phone and can connect you to resources to help you do that. We are also developing other ways to connect in community, including Religious Education, and will be in touch as those offerings take shape. 

Care of our community is our first priority right now. If you are ill, have been hospitalized, have decided or are ordered to self-quarantine and need food or other supplies, or are simply worried about how you will respond to these needs, please reach out to Rev. Bob and our pastoral care team at caring@rochesterunitarian.org or 585-270-0851. 

We are forming smaller circles of care to ensure that we are checking in on each other. If you are interested in serving as a “Caring Steward” in the coming weeks by calling or texting fellow congregants, please reach out to Rev. Bob.  

The last time our church wrestled with a pandemic, it was 1918. For one week, our church turned part of our property into a temporary hospital, one of several in the city, for those infected with the Spanish Flu. Thirty people were cared for by dozens of church members whose lives have tilted out of their regular routines in quite a dramatic fashion. This church has done brave, beautiful things before, and I am so proud to be among you now. 
With thanks to our resident historian, Bill Fugate, who found this story and photograph!

In the future, when we tell the story of this year to those who will follow us, we hope that this will seem like a big fuss for nothing. That perhaps a few people were ill but our healthcare system and community took good care of them, and we all gave thanks for resilience and care and a chance to spend a little more time at home. Whatever the next few weeks look like, we face them together. 

With love and in faith,
Rev. Shari
Emergency Pastoral Care for members: 585-271-9070 x104.