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, November 22nd, 2020 at 9:30 AM
(Note early start time!)
...through shared memories, story and song:
Thanksgiving Week 2020*
*See the bottom of this section for a link to contribute to our "For Those in Need" fund,
which is very short at this time! Response to our "Turkeys for All" drive was terrific;
please help others in our area have warm, safe holidays.
Dear Ones -
We are attempting to recreate the pre-Thanksgiving-dinner conversation time with extended breakout rooms before the service! You are invited to sign on at any time beginning at 9:30 and a list of fun conversation starters is attached. Breakout rooms will periodically be reconfigured for a "mingling" effect!
Among other topics and challenges, here are some questions that might be fun and interesting "conversation starters":
What is your funniest/best/worst Thanksgiving memory?
If you were to eat only 3 Thanksgiving foods for the rest of the year, what would they be?
If you could thank one person, living or dead, for his or her influence on your life, whom would you thank?
Have you started a new hobby during the current pandemic?
What's the most useless talent you have?
What was your biggest screw up in the kitchen?
If you could take an all-expenses-paid trip anywhere in the world, where would you go?
If you could know the absolute and total truth to the answer of one question, what would you ask?
If you were given a one-minute ad slot during the Super Bowl (and you weren't allowed to sell it), what would you fill it with?
If you were transported 400 years into the past with no clothes or anything else, how would you prove that you were from the future?
See you in church!
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Grand Traverse
Rev. Cathy Harrington, Interim Minister
Sunday morning's Order of Service
may be read and/or downloaded
Click on the link below to join the Service:
The Meeting ID is 879 9782 0177
*THANK YOU for responding with such generosity (and such speed!) to our request for more donations to the "Turkeys for All" Thanksgiving drive. We have exceeded that goal and additional funds will go to Safe Harbor.
That said: WE ARE EXTREMELY LOW IN CONTRIBUTIONS TO
FOR THOSE IN NEED.
Would you please consider a gift, even a small one, in support of this fund? As stay-at-home orders return and coronavirus infections nearly double everywhere, need will be greater than ever.
We're trying to make it easy for you! You can click here; that'll take you to the uccgt.org giving page. Click on "GIVE NOW" and select "For Those in Need" from the "Select Fund" drop-down menu. Or - even easier! - go straight to the VANCO giving page and click "Select Fund" without going through our homepage.
A happy Thanksgiving to all!
Ministerial Search Team Report
Have you seen it yet? Check out the newly enhanced website at UUCGT.org featuring "Our Video Story". It's just a click away from the menu at the top of the front page. You may see yourself in a supporting role, and you will surely see many of your loved ones.
The video story is full of nostalgic moments and shows who we are, what we value, and a glimpse of how we go forward during the pandemic. If that's not enough, wait until you see the breathtaking "TC Highlights", also just a click away from the main page.
MST members worked long and hard, in collaboration with staff members, to create this stunning presentation of UUCGT for the congregation, the general public, and for ministers in search.
In other entertainment news, the eagerly anticipated survey and cottage conversations summaries will be released next week! Look for them in your email inbox.
Your team: Mary, Geoff, Charles, Dusty, Jim, Chris, Jan
- from Renée Russell -
As we embrace the season of gratitude, I am deeply thankful for the hard work and perseverance of our congregation's musicians. I marvel at their courage, ingenuity, and willingness to go outside the box and make music for our congregation in new and often challenging ways. I humbly ask that if you join me in that gratitude, please reach out and say thank you to them in your own way. It can be a struggle to remember that on the other side of that daunting camera recording your performances are all the beautiful faces of our congregation. I sincerely appreciate, and pass on, all the happy feedback that helps all the musicians to remember, there is a "real" audience out there.
- from Claire Crandell -
On Sunday, November 15 we continued the November theme of Healing.
After greeting one another and finding out how our weeks went, we began with our short meditation to focus and calm our minds. We reminded ourselves that meditation was sort of like "rebooting" as you might do with our computers.
Our lesson for the day was to LISTEN BEFORE you try to HELP and HEAL OTHERS. UU Faith does ask us to serve others and one way we can do that is to try to help others. Sometimes when we try to help someone we think we KNOW exactly what they need, but we can be wrong! We talked about the Golden Rule, to do unto others as you would have them do to you and then talked about a Platinum Rule that says Do unto others as THEY would want done to THEM! This is sometimes hard to do, especially when we really want to help someone. We shared a couple of personal examples of trying to help someone (when they didn't want it and when we got it wrong.)
Then a poem by Thich Nhat Hanh was read:
"Waking up this morning, I smile,
Twenty four brand new hours are before me.
I vow to live fully in each moment
and to look at all beings with eyes of compassion."
We decided that this basically said we will look with eyes of compassion on others and also think before we act and ask first: "How can I help you?"
After talking about how we each might look at something in a different way (like a helping situation) than someone else does, we looked at some FUN and ambiguous pictures. We had to say the first thing we saw and we DID frequently see something different!
Next we tried to draw a "something" that could be seen as two different things. All of us laughed as we drew and especially at WHAT we drew when we shared our drawings. We closed with showing our sweet pets who were nearby. Then we said our thanks to each one, what a blessing it was to be together, and that we look forward to seeing everyone next Sunday!!
UUCGT Calendar - Stay Up to Date!
It's Thanksgiving week, so many regular meetings aren't happening. Please check with your Committee chair or your group host.
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.
Today has reminded me that I've been far too forgiving about FLASH submissions. The DEADLINE is Wednesday at noon for the next day's FLASH, please, if you want your meeting or event included - especially if you are requesting a Zoom set-up! I'm going to be a bear about this in the future. There will be an early-week FLASH coming - you guessed it - early next week; I won't be answering the phone at all and will be checking e-mails infrequently when at all from mid-Nov 25 through Nov 30.
The UUCGT.ORG calendar is HERE. I do not know which regular events are occurring and which are not, other than I've been told the Ministerial Search Team will be meeting at the usual time on Monday. Please check with your chair or host!
Below are the Zoom links for the Services Friday night and Sunday morning:
Friday, November 20
Zoom rehearsal for Sunday Service
Sunday, November 22
Zoom link for Sunday Service
Guy here: As per new stay-at-home directives, I'll be working remotely beginning Friday, Nov 20 until further notice. The building will not be available or unlocked except for the front vestibule where you can still leave a donation and pick up a new mask - our holiday looks are now available! - or leave food on the SAFE HARBOR table.
Apparently I had a typo when I sent out my cell no. the other day: please call 231-735-0180 if you need to reach me, especially if it's urgent. I will call in to collect voicemails from the office line but probably not frequently.
If you need entrance into the building for any reason, please call me and I can arrange to be here to let you in, or I can provide a key code with which to unlock the inner vestibule doors.
I will be unavailable mid-Wednesday Nov 26 through Monday Nov 30.
Thank you all, and happy Thanksgiving!
George Alexander Ball 1931-2020
Guy here, again: Thanks to all of you for being patient as I continue to climb my learning curve. From now meeting hosts will receive what may be a different username/e-mail from "firstname.lastname@example.org" along with a designated password.
Please help me out!
If you're chairing or hosting any meeting in the next month, please send me an e-mail
- to confirm
that a Zoom meeting has been created and that I've sent you the correct info. Please do this even if you're "sure
" I've already set this up. Our extensive list of committees and their semi-regular meetings still confuses me at times.
With that said, Chris Lautz is again offering ZOOM HELP! Please, take her up on it! Especially if you're a chair and/or host. I'll give you and me some confidence and peace of mind. (Because if you call me three minutes before your meeting is about to start, I may well be doing something that can't easily be interrupted. That was the case multiple times this week as I tried to help Glennda pass to me the last of the bookkeeping tasks.)
Here's what Chris is offering:
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.
A few of us gathered to discuss the book, The Bluest
by Toni Morrison. We feel the desire to continue reading novels written by Black authors, so we have chosen Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward as our next book. If you are interested in joining us for the discussion of this book, let me know at email@example.com.
In faith and love,
SOCIAL JUSTICE ACTION ITEMS!
As of today, Thursday Nov 19, President Trump has invited members of Michigan's state legislature to Washington in an effort to alter the clear results of the November 3 election. If this alarms, please look at this document from wethepeoplemi.org and consider taking action as outlined in the letter.
Keep reading here
Michigan lawmakers have only 10 voting days left in 2020 to pass critical legislation that would further dismantle racism in our state's criminal legal system and eliminate jail sentences that fuel mass incarceration.
Together we call on our legislators to prioritize Smart Justice bills that will put an end to locking up people for minor traffic violations, give judges sentencing discretion, provide alternatives to jail for people with mental health issues, and reduce jail stays for misdemeanors.
The clock is ticking...
Every child deserves to grow up safe and have opportunities to thrive - but hundreds of millions of children are at risk of never reaching their development potential. When children, especially those under the age of 5, experience extreme poverty and devastating conditions like malnutrition, they risk missing early childhood development milestones and suffering long-term consequences.
UNICEF knows the value of early childhood development and is doing whatever it takes...
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.
"Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow."
Most of the UUCGT building is closed until further notice;
however the office will generally be staffed* Tuesday-Friday.
with any questions or concerns.
*With thanks to Alison Ernst for suggesting
the gender-neutral language here!
Stay up to date on the UUCGT website