We are a Congregation creating a better world by nurturing the heart and expanding the mind.
We provide a safe, caring community where all can freely explore diverse religious thought.
We work for justice and equality with the power of compassion and compassionate power.
If you would like to receive our monthly newsletter
This Sunday, December 13, 2020 at 10:30 AM
(Begin signing in at 10:00 to visit!)
Sign in to the Zoom Service:
enter Meeting ID 879 9782 0177
into your browser window
Our Service this coming Sunday is led be Music Director Renée Russell and has been coordinated by Mary Van Valin.
"Highlighting the work of Seth Bernard and Holly Bird's non-profit Title Track and local group E3 with special music from a few groups."
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Grand Traverse
Rev. Cathy Harrington, Interim Minister
The Order of Service may be accessed HERE
CLICK ON THE LINK BELOW to join the Service:
The Meeting ID is 879 9782 0177
The December Soul Matters theme is
MINISTERIAL SEARCH TEAM REPORT
We experience this holiday season, despite its many challenges, with joy and hope. Joy for all that has been accomplished with your help; and hope for all that lies ahead on our exciting journey to a new era that includes welcoming a settled minister into the UUCGT wide embrace.
This week we dug deeper into the details of carrying out the search virtually, drawing on advice from the UUA and creating our own adaptations.
In anticipation of having access to the records of ministers in search after the first of the year, we discussed the process of winnowing the list to those most suited to our congregation. We committed to forming interview questions that reflect the priorities of our congregation as expressed to us in the congregational survey, cottage conversations and focus groups.
Next week we will meet with our transitions coach who has approved and posted our documents, moving us one more tantalizing step ahead. We look forward to benefiting from her knowledge and experience.
As always, we love to hear your thoughts!
Mary, Geoff, Charles, Dusty, Jim, Chris, Jan
A reminder from the Ministerial Search Team: For anyone wanting more detail than a Summary, contact Guy at the office to request the Link to a pdf of the Congregational Survey Complete Report. This report includes Word Clouds and Chart data from all 46 Survey Questions.
- from Renée Russell -
I'm excited to continue to share more wonderful music recorded by our own UU musicians in this week's service as we delve into the way music and goodwill can light up the darkness.We'll hear special music selections from Amanda Mangiardi; the UU Ukers; and Nan Worthington and Betsy & Chris Hammerberg as well as a special video by the Virtual Ensemble. And we'll be joined by Seth Bernard, an exemplary songwriter, artist, and activist who has used his musical career to bring light to local and state issues of social justice and how it ties to youth engagement and environmental protection.
Please enjoy the special music shared in last week's service (by clicking the highlighted words below):
- from Claire Crandell -
Our theme for December is STILLNESS. What a wonderful theme for the winter months when (especially once we get a blanket of snow) everything is usually pretty quiet. Winter can be a time of beauty, peace and stillness. We focused on how we might step away from different kinds of "busyness" to be still.
First we showed the stuffed animals we had brought and each told a little story about the animal. One of the youth had even made her own stuffed animal. Then we reviewed our new way of centering "Tapping", which is like acupuncture only without needles:) It is a way of calming our minds and "recording" positive things into our system. We chose an affirmation and then tapped on the six points. If you are interested, read last week's "Flash."
We tried to listen to a really sweet song by Nina Simone called "I wish I knew how it meant to be free" which is about sharing love. But, unfortunately the sound wasn't loud enough. Next we talked about the amazing quality of snowflakes or snow crystals and how not ONE of them is alike. We looked at a book called The Hidden Messages of Water which is research by a Japanese man who took pictures of snowflakes with a microscope. One of the youth said he had a telescope which could take pictures. He showed it to us and we asked him to try and take pictures of snowflakes when we do get snow. We also talked about how each of us is like a snowflake and beautiful in our own way. We shared how beautiful snow is when it sails gently down to the earth and then shared what it might mean to each of us to "walk gently on the earth".
Last we shared a few things from our "Gratitude Journal" with one another. Then we asked everyone present what they would like us all to think about for the next week. One sweet young girl said, "Peace."
Next week our theme is "listen for the voices of angels."
UUCGT Calendar - Stay Up to Date!
And remember that 2020 will be over soon;
the finish line is in sight...
Today is the first day of Hanukkah!
חַג חֲנוּכָּה שַׂמֵחַ
(or Chanukkah sameach!)
Sunday Services, meetings and classes are hosted on Zoom until further notice. Note that as of September 30 2020 Zoom requires a passcode and/or an enabled "Waiting Room" for ALL newly scheduled meetings.
To request a Zoom meeting setup and link for your group or committee meeting, please e-mail Guy
or call his cell, 231-735-0180
As you have already figured out entirely on your own, this week's Flash is another epic one. Therefore:
The entire UUCGT.ORG calendar is HERE.
Please avail yourself of it to look at next week's committee/team meetings, other groups, etc. Below I'll post only a few important and or exceptional items.
Thursday, December 10
Friday, December 11
8:00 PM (sign in beginning at 7:30 to visit!)
Sunday, December 13
10:30 AM (sign in beginning at 10:00)
Zoom link for Sunday Service
Wednesday, December 16
Hello, everyone! As of this week I'm back working in the office. You can call me here at 231-947-3117 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org I'd be grateful if you forget my cell phone number (unless it's a Sunday morning - or other - emergency), especially outside of office hours.
Many, many projects in the works within the congregation as we move into holidays and the New Year - campaigns to share cards and other ways to brighten each others' spirits as we move more deeply into a holiday season and a New Year with celebrations compromised almost entirely by the pandemic. And yet: for the pandemic and for many other things, there is hope. Let's help each other remember that, and share it.
As always, if you'd like anything announced here in the Flash, try to have it to me by mid-day Wednesday, and if possible be concise. Chairing a committee meeting, for example? We'll share the meeting info (date & time, Zoom link, etc.) but ask you to share agenda and topics and descriptions amongst yourselves.
Happy December, all!
We would like to thank our congregation for a very successful week of service at Safe Harbor. Our UUCGT community provided hot dinners, snacks, coffee and volunteer staff to our homeless community members. This would have not been possible without your generous food and money donations along with volunteer time. How gratifying to know that we helped those in such need of food and shelter.
UUCGT will also be at Safe Harbor on Christmas Day. Currently we still have a need for 1 Evening Host, 5:30 - 10:00 p.m. Please go to the website below to sign-up.
Thank you again,
Rich Faller, Betsy Wacker & Katie Grier
UUCGT Safe Harbor Volunteer Coordinators
'TIS, UNFORTUNATELY, ALSO THE SEASON FOR...
...Unscrupulous types who'll try to take advantage of anyone into whom they can sink their digital talons. Be on the alert for phone calls or e-mails purporting to be from someone you know when they ask for money (especially gift cards, which seems to be the scam du saison; another favorite is to message you via Facebook or other IM program pretending to be a friend stuck in another country, having lost a passport and all their traveler's checks, etc.) or other gifts or favors. Beware, too, of messages on your computer claiming to be from the IRS, Microsoft or Comcast or any other tech firm, or even a church, especially if they ask for financial info or a password. Never answer with a password, your bank account info (routing number, account number). When in doubt, hang up or delete!
ON A MUCH HAPPIER NOTE:
WINTER SOLSTICE SERVICE DECEMBER 16!
The UU Association of Benzie County is inviting us to join together in a celebration of the Winter Solstice. This special Service will take place next Wednesday, December 16 (also Beethoven's 250th birthday, but you already knew that) online.
Further details as part of Sunday's "Reminder" flash and/or Tuesday's Minister's Message. To get us started, here's the Zoom link:
OPPORTUNITIES TO WORK FOR SOCIAL JUSTICE
There will be a Social Justice Action Meeting this Sunday, at 1:00 PM via Zoom. - here is the link. ALL ARE WELCOME!
There are many aspects to renewing our "Welcoming Congregation" status. Some of the activities ask for congregational participation. Here is an opportunity that would count. Please join if you can and let me know so I can keep track and submit it on our application. More coming in the Beacon!
There's a chance tomorrow to phone bank with Georgia Equality for LGBTIQ+ folks to inform them about (nonpartisan) early-voting opportunities for the upcoming runoff elections. This activity would count as a "Welcoming Renewal" activity if you are pursing that this year.
MICHIGAN UU SOCIAL JUSTICE NETWORK:
On 12/9/20, the U.S. House passed a "Continuing Resolution" to keep the government open another week so Congress can negotiate the 2021 federal budget AND COVID relief.
Urge Michigan Senators to champion a COVID-19 relief package that: extends emergency unemployment benefits; protects families from evictions, includes paid family leave but does NOT protect corporations from liability during the pandemic.
PLEASE CONTACT OUR SENATORS:
Senator Debbie Stabenow: 1-202-224-4822
Senator Gary Peters: 1-202-224-6221
From Chris Lautz...
Remember that Chris Lautz is offering Zoom HELP!
Given up trying to attend Friday Vespers or Sunday Services because of that blasted ZOOM program, your computer or both? We have UU members who would be willing to come to your home and help you get set up, so you can attend and participate with our UU community.
WEDNESDAY DINNER MEETINGS
The Wednesday dinner group has tried to stay connected these past months, socially distanced picnicking in the UU parking lot when we could, on ZOOM when it was rainy. We are going to weekly ZOOM now, 5:30 every Wednesday. If you would like to join us, contact Mike and Sandra McDonald
for the ZOOM invite. You may bring your glass of wine.
Life is why we tell the story
Pain is why we tell the story
Love is why we tell the story
Grief is why we tell the story
Hope is why we tell the story
Faith is why we tell the story
You are why we tell the story
So I hope that you will tell a tale tomorrow
It will help your heart remember and relive
It will help you feel the anger and the sorrow
- And forgive
For out of what we live
And we believe
Our lives become
The stories that we weave
This is why we tell the story
- Lynn Ahrens, from the libretto for
Once On This Island
The UUCGT building is closed until further notice;
however Guy is still working (remotely) Tuesday-Friday, 9am-3pm.
with any questions or concerns.
Stay up to date on the UUCGT website