The Union Church in Waban               
Saturday, March 14, 2020 
Keeping Healthy and Keeping Connected  - 
being church as we navigate the challenges of COVID-19          
Pastoral Care and Connection
What a week it has been!   Between unexpected school closures, empty shelves in the grocery store and increasing fear and worry all around us, let us acknowledge what a stressful time this is.  Let us also remember that we are not alone.  We have each other and pastors Amy and Stacy and ministerial intern Jade are here for us and are ready to support us in whatever way they can.  In addition, our deacons are ever mindful of the needs of our congregation and are ready to respond as needed. Please do not hesitate to reach out to Amy , Stacy or Jade or to the Deacons through Stacy.  All of them will be  happy and ready to hear from us and ready help us find what we need to move through this challenging time.  

In addition, there are so many incredibly beautiful ways that people are coming together to care for one another.  To learn about how to be involved in the care of our  wider community during this time please see the "Mission Minded: Community Needs during COVID-19" section  listed below and also available through the link on the homepage of our website.

Worship is a vital part of who we are as church. Pausing each week for an hour to center ourselves in the greater story of God with us gives us strength, courage and perspective to once again go out into our week to engage with what will come. For the next two weeks we will not be gathering together in our sanctuary but we will be worshiping together. 

After these two weeks, leadership will assess the situation and let us know how we will proceed in the weeks to come.  

So for the next two weeks, we invite you to:
1. join in our live streamed worship at 10:00.  Instructions for doing so are below. 
2. create your own worshipful space in your home by engaging in some of the practices that being suggested through our "Lenten Devotional Practice for all Ages" that is linked below as well as other other suggestions available through the Sunday Worship   link on the homepage of our website ( ).

Small Group Ministries 
We are a very active and dynamic faith community. Our life together is not just on Sunday morning but throughout the week as well.  For the next two weeks, we are recommending that all small group ministries engage via our online platform, Zoom.  If you are a small group leader, please be in touch with Pastor Stacy so that we can create an online space for your gathering.   We do not want to cease from gathering but seek to gather in this new, online way. 

About Zoom Gatherings
Zoom gatherings are fairly easy to navigate but do take some familiarity.  One of the nice features about Zoom gatherings is that they can be accessed from any kind of phone, even landlines. To get the most out of the Zoom experience we recommend using a computer with a camera and microphone (most have them built in these days) or a smartphone. However, if you have any difficulty with either of those methods simply call the number in the invitation. Smartphones can use the OneTouch Dialing feature and do not need the Meeting ID. Traditional phones will require punching in the Meeting ID after dialing the number.

When you first use zoom, you will be asked to download the zoom software onto your computer.  While this process is automatic, you may wish to do it in advance of your first gathering simply by clicking on the link to the gathering.

Zoom also has many video tutorials that can be found  here.
This Sunday
Sunday Morning Bible Study is Going Virtual! 
S tarting next Sunday, March 22nd at 8:00 a.m.  Bible study will be coming to you right in the comfort of your home.  No need to hurry over to Church, just settle in on your couch with a cup of coffee and join us.  We will be using our new online meeting platform called Zoom.  The platform is easy to use and accessible by cellphone or computer. Next Friday's eblast will include a link to our virtual Bible Study.  Pastor Stacy will also be happy to email the link to you, just let her know that you'd like to participate.  We are reading through and reflecting together on the Gospel of Mark. 

No Choir Rehearsal this morning or on Monday the 16th
The music that the choir offers so generously during worship will be missed as we move to virtual worship this Sunday and on the 22nd.  As such we ask that choir members stay home this Sunday and next Sunday.  We look forward to receiving the ministry of your soaring voices when we are gathered in person once again. 

10:00 a.m. - Live Streaming of our Sunday Worship
Being together is the very heart of who we are. In order to continue to nourish our life together while honoring the need to protect the health and well being of our members and community we will be live streaming worship at 10:00 on Sunday morning for the next two weeks after which leadership will assess how best to continue. Again, we ask that you do not physically join us but instead invite you to join us online. To do so, you can go HERE at 10:00 tomorrow morning or go to the home page of our website where you will find a click through to the live stream page. 

POSTPONED - Boston City Singers 
The wonderful Boston City Singers, including our own Luke and Elisabeth van Reijendam, were scheduled to perform in our sanctuary this Sunday afternoon.  They hope to reschedule their concert for later this spring or summer.  While we wait to hear them again in person, you can LISTEN HERE (CLICK) to their concert from last year.  

Upcoming Sunday Worship
Sunday, March 22 Live Streaming of our Sunday Worship Continues
Pastor Stacy will be our preacher and will be exploring Mark 12: 28-44, specifically focusing in on Jesus commandment that we are to love God with our whole selves and love our neighbor as our selves. A gain, we ask that you do not physically join us but instead invite you to join us online. 

Sunday, March 29 
On this last Sunday before Palm Sunday, Ministerial Intern Jade will  be our preacher and will be exploring   Mark 13:1-8, 24-37 and the Biblical call to Hope.

Coronavirus Update

All of us in the Union Church community are undoubtedly concerned about the health risks posed by the coronavirus. We urge everyone to review and follow the recommendations of the Center for Disease Control found on the CDC website and to advise one of the pastors if you or a member of your family is symptomatic or has recently traveled to a country with an outbreak. 
And please let us know if there is anything our pastors or church staff can do to help.

Staying Connected Across Generations While At Home
New Ways of Staying Connected 

While we may not see one another in person for a while, we are powerfully connected by the Spirit, and do not need to feel alone.  We are walking this path together, arm-in-arm with one another and always with God.  

If there is any sunny side to this street (as that old song says), it may be that we get to explore new ways of being community; staying connected and praying for one another; helping each other and our community; and deepening the spiritual practices in our families and homes.  For us to be community in this new way, and make sure none of our members becomes isolated or disconnected, we'll need everyone's help trying out these new ways of being church! 

We'll be doing this in many ways, with our live-stream, new web-pages and blog, phone calls, check-ins and more. For those of you who are on Facebook, we have also created a new UCW Facebook group, where we can share resources, updates, prayers, and other ways to support one another. If you are a Facebook user, we hope you'll join by clicking this link:

CYFChildren, Youth and Families
Growing in Faith and Community 
Kids, Connections and COVID-19

T hese can feel like anxious and uncertain times for any of us, and perhaps especially for our children. Schools closing, changes to their routines, and not getting to see their friends can make it even harder!

On the website and Facebook pages, we'll be posting ideas, activities and ways we can support one another. I'll also be creating Sunday-School-At-Home plans with easy readings and activities you can try. The Illustrated Ministry Lenten Devotional (see description below) is a great place to start!

In addition, I wanted to share two articles I've found helpful about how to talk with our children and young people about the coronavirus and all that is going on.
Also, please know that Pastor Amy is available for calls, texts or video-chats. We'll be working on other ways to get together in virtual small groups as well. Amy's email is and cell is 617-938-8112.
Lenten Devotional - At-Home Spiritual Practices for All Ages 
Lenten Devotional from Illustrated Ministry 

As we seek ways to stay connected, and deepen  our spiritual practices at home, please explore this Lenten devotional as a resource.  It is great for all ages, with scripture passages, reflections, questions, activities and coloring pages.  

Mission-Minded: Community Needs during COVID-19 
Serving our Community During COVID-19 

Serving our Community During COVID-19 -  Pastors Stacy and Amy are staying closely connected to news and needs of the UCW and wider communities, and look forward to sharing ways our church can be of service during these challenging times.  If you know of needs or ways we can help, please let us know.  Many in our amazing mission-minded community are standing ready to help! Two concrete ways to connect and help with community needs that we know of are: 

A new Facebook group called  Newton Neighbors Helping Newton Neighbors 
 where community members can post, respond and organize around needs in Newton.  Their effort includ es  THIS FORM , where you can  offer or ask for assistance .

There is also a specific call from the  Newton Food Pantry  for assistance, as they respond to needs (especially with children who generally receive food at school).  Please  CLICK HERE FOR A LIST  of their most needed items. You can drop them at the Newton Food Pantry or bring them to the church and we'll make sure they get there!
Adult Education, Spiritual Formation and Fell owship -
for all upcoming programs please be in touch with   Pastor Stacy as we discern whether upcoming programs will be offered in person or virtually. 
March Book Group:   "Hope in the Dark" by  Rebecca Solnit
Tuesday, March 31st from 7:00 p.m.- 8:30 p.m. 
If you are interested in participating in this discussion please rsvp to Stacy

Our March read is "Hope in the Dark: untold histories, wild possibilities by Rebecca Solnit.
"No writer has better understood the mix of fear and possibility, peril and exuberance that's marked this new millennium." Bill McKibben
"An elegant reminder that activist victories are easily forgotten, and that they often come in extremely unexpected, roundabout ways."
-The New Yorker 

Zoned Out: Part 2 
Who Gets to Live in Suburban Boston?
Sunday,  March 29 t h , at 11:30 a.m. 

We thank you for our first conversation last month on our severe housing shortages and the terrible history of exclusion. And we invite you to join us again on Sunday  March 29th , for another opportunity to learn about housing equity and justice.

The Advocates for Racial Justice group of Union Church look forward to your participation in an interactive dialogue on what we can know and what we can do, as we seek to achieve a more equitable and inclusive community..
Everyone and all ages are welcome, no preparation necessary-but these are easy-to-digest pieces create a helpful frame for the conversation we envision:

The Character of the Neighborhood -Rev. Howard Haywood, Newton TAB (op-ed), 1/21/15, during the Austin Street fight
"Special: Richard Rothstein, The Color of Law Mission YIMBY event"-Rothstein here gives a particularly clear and vivid version of the argument in his book (The Color of Law: A Forgotten History of How Our Government Segregated America). You can skip to 5:10, where his lecture begins. (Infill podcast, approx. 45 min)
" You have a better chance of achieving 'the American dream' in Canada than in America"-Ezra Klein interviews Raj Chetty, Aug. 2019 (both in written and podcast form,

.......and  links to additional resources can be found on our church website  HERE:
                                      Our Covenant
We, the members of The Union Church in Waban, true to our founding principle of being an inclusive church, covenant together to nourish and to sustain in our common life and practice a fully welcoming and affirming church for all persons. Welcoming all persons who seek to join with us in a commitment to love God and our neighbors, affirming the inclusive love of Jesus, we are open to all, without regard to race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, nationality, ability or economic circumstance. We invite all to full participation in our worship, membership, leadership and life of this church.

For a complete listing, and details of all upcoming events,  please 
visit our website, 
Note : Material for inclusion in the Friday e-Blast newsletter should be e-mailed to the office at , by 9:00 a.m. on the previous Wednesday morning.  
From The Wider Community