Sunday, June 21, 2020
will be delivered via email at 6:00 am
Rev. Frieda Gillespie, Interim Minister
Sam Chandler, Music Director
How will we stay connected this summer? How will we find spiritual nourishment? Plans are still developing, but expect opportunities for finding meaningful connections and ways to feed your spirit, your curiosity, and to engage with the mystery of the universe.
During Virtual Coffee Hour, Sun., June 21 at 12:00 pm
Please join us at Coffee Hour this Sunday June 21st at Noon to thank Rev. Frieda for her guidance throughout her 2-year interim ministry with us. Her time at First Universalist is nearly at an end - come say thank you and wish her well! B.Y.O.C. (Bring your own cake!)
Greetings Friends,
It is hard to believe that it was over a month ago that you voted to call me as your minister. I hope you’re all still as excited about it as I am! These days are wild and important – what a time to begin a new ministry together.
I was enthused to hear the news that some of you have begun a book group dedicated to reading Ibram X. Kendi’s How to Be an Anti-Racist. I look forward to hearing what you gather from your readings and how you’re embodying what you’ve read in your day-to-day words, thoughts, and actions. Lately I’ve been turning to Ta-Nehisi Coates’ work, as well moving slowly and steadily through Jill Lepore’s These Truths. Kendi’s book is sitting on my coffee table and I plan to dive in soon. There is much I want to learn, un-learn, and re-learn right now.
I can’t wait to be together and share how we are processing these times, honoring the inherent worth and dignity of all, but upholding the needed truth that Black lives matter. Is there anything more UU than recognizing that certain ways of operating need to be upended and committing ourselves to seek new meaning in the world?
And, on the note of learning and being together – will I see you at GA? Given the low rates and the easy access this spring, it’s a great opportunity to learn more about ways we can connect and build meaningful community together remotely, dig into anti-racism work, discover new approaches to worship and lifespan RE, and just hear what’s on the mind of fellow UUs from all over the continent. It would be wonderful to see some of you there! (Here’s the link to register - and here’s a link to the vast program of workshops!) 
Oh, First U, there is much on all of our minds right now - and you are all very much on my mind. I loved scrolling through the photos of you all with your furry friends this past Sunday, and I look forward to seeing you all again soon.
Stay strong, stay kind, eat strawberries,
Rev. Hillary
PS – A photo with my fuzzy friends of late - my mammoth sunflowers, who were just little seedlings when I met you all in May! From daffodils to suns – all will be well!
As part of First Universalist's commitment to being an anti-racist organization, we have hung a Black Lives Matter banner at the church. This banner was raised in conversation with our tenants at 95 Main and the Yarmouth police department, both who were supportive of this public declaration on the side of love.

We have also updated the welcome page of our website to confirm our commitment to ending racism wherever we find it, including in ourselves.
In a time of great challenge and heartbreak in our world, what does our faith ask of us?
We know there is work to be done.
How can we build the better beloved community?
Let’s go to GA! Thurs June 25 - Sunday June 28 .
The Unitarian Universalist Association’s Annual General Assembly (GA!) is always the last weekend in June, and while it’s usually a challenge to leave work-family-home, get there, stay there, etc., this year with the pandemic GA is all VIRTUAL and the price is incredibly reasonable: $150 for everything Thursday-through-Sunday.

The fee covers all courses, workshops, the Saturday night WARE LECTURE , and all worship services. For every topic that UUs care about, there’s a course, there’s a workshop or conversation: conflict resolution, leadership, stewardship, social justice, indigenous people, environmental action, music, worship, lifespan RE, and more.

The Board of First U encourages everyone to attend! We will be sending specific course suggestions to folks who have been or are serving in all of the topics. (If the cost is a stretch, please let us know – Faith in Action can help with that. Write to Joanna at jslandsman@gmail.com or Marge at mjtbean@aol.com .) 
Here is a little sample of three courses with relevance to our work and our community:
·         Having Anti-Racist Conversations - How can we connect, listen, and build up anti-racist power?
·         Collaborative Planning of Highly Interactive Family Worship - What are the building blocks of this format? How can ministers and religious educators collaborate effectively on family worship?
·         Individual Salvation/Collective Liberation - Who matters and who belongs? Embrace a faithful, fearless vision of collective liberation and systemic change.

Please CLICK HERE for a PDF of 50 other courses that we think you might like to attend. The full program will be found here. As virtual registrants you will be able to watch and ask questions in live sessions, and registration will also give you access to recordings of all the courses and lectures.

Major Events
·          Ware Lecture – Naomi Klein , author of “On Fire: The Burning Case for the Green New Deal” (Saturday evening)
·          Sunday Morning Worship  (registration not required) - the largest annual gathering of UUs joining in worship and song. 
Yes, there is sorrow and worry all over, but in our Peace Garden, especially up at the sidewalk sign, there are signs of hope, peace, and love. Feel free to bring a rock (painted or not) and leave it to brighten and enlighten the day of passers-by. Thanks! (from the Wednesday morning Conversation Circle with Rev. Frieda)
This is our final Sunday for virtual youth groups for the church year, but please stay tuned for a few opportunities for connection during July and August. Junior youth group will meet at 11 am this Sunday, June 21, and senior youth group will meet at 4:30 pm this Sunday, June 21. Details for connection will arrive separately.
Coming soon to your house: RE-inspire your week packages for children and youth! Packages will most likely arrive mid to late June to those with addresses listed in the directory. If you aren't, but your family would like a box, please email Gwen Matthews at gwenatfirstu@gmail.com with your address.
Ten church members who had read and discussed Ibram X. Kendi’s “How To Be An Ani-Racist,” facilitated by Andrew Tonks, met and formally became a subcommittee of the Faith and Action Committee. We have reviewed and accepted our mission: to work to dismantle racism in ourselves and our institutions.
The ten of us who participated in reading Kendi’s book obtained copies of the book, read 5 chapters a week and met for three 1 ½ hour discussion sessions once a week through Zoom. This same schedule would be followed in future book discussions.
Those of us who discussed Kendi’s book with Andrew see the experience as being helpful to create a common language to identify racist thought, policy and action and to work toward justice and equity in human relations.
If you are interested in joining an online book discussion group with members of our church to further understand racism, a group which reads and discusses “How To Be An Anti-Racist,” please contact Andrew Tonks at   andrewftonks@yahoo.com.  He will be in touch and with interested parties will decide on a convenient time to meet. (A note about the book: Kendi’s book appears to be out of print at the moment and Andrew has just ordered copies from the UUA Book Store.  If you have purchased the book already the church can reimburse you for the copy of the book.)
Please look for updates from the Anti-Racist Working group as we ramp up our educational and socially responsible activities.
You can vote safely by absentee ballot:
Here is the link to request the ballot online: LINK. Ballots will be mailed out mid-June. Give yourself ample time to mail it back to your town clerk.

Encourage your friends to vote with information about absentee ballots:
The congregation’s Friends2Friends campaign is offering links, tips, and sample messages for encouraging others outside the congregation to vote safely too. We have already reached out to hundreds of friends and neighbors and can reach many more with your help. To participate email Pam Dyer at jdyer2@maine.rr.com.
Our next first Tuesday to volunteer at Preble Street is July 7, 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.
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