The UUCW Message
September 15, 2020
Please click HERE to scroll to our Faith in Action News - Get Out The Vote!
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This Week At UUCW!
This Week At UUCW!

Photo of the Week

Food pantry volunteers, from left, Jenny Delgizzi and Vickie Cox-Lanyon pack bags with back-to-school supplies on August 13, 2020. (photo by Betty Jenewin)

Please click the Photo to see more Photos of the Week (6 this week!) on our website!
Health & Safety News from UUCW

Good people.  As we continue into the beginning of fall, I want to take a moment to update you on Fall planning.  The Health & Safety Team met last month to discuss the our continuing plans related to COVID-19. 

It has been our hope that this Fall would see a return, in part, to in-person services within the guidelines established by the Commonwealth and continuing to live-stream services for those who wish too attend virtually.  However, given the current state of the pandemic, as well as monitoring plans for local school districts, the team has recommended strongly that we not return in-person in September. 

This was a difficult conversation. Most of us, including me, look forward to gathering together in-person for worship.  However, the Health & Safety Team believes that the current state of the pandemic, including the Governor's call to restrict the size of gatherings, the fact that the current guidelines prohibit pre and post-service gatherings for fellowship, and the fewer number of people we can accommodate in our sanctuary at this time, is not enough of an advantage for in-person gathering for worship, even in part. 

The Team feels, and I concur, that dividing the congregation between in-person and virtual attendees, at this moment, may ultimately diminish the experience most have enjoyed this Spring and Summer. That said, we envision more opportunities this Fall for parts of the service to be conducted from the sanctuary either live or prerecorded.  And the Videography and Tech Teams look forward to trying out the new platform that Bart Hill is constructing in the sanctuary for such purposes.  In addition we will be inviting more people to participate in our services through offering chalice-lightings, readings, solos, etc.

Religious Exploration will continue virtually as well.  The building will be open for small group gatherings. We will continue to offer opportunities to gather virtually regularly throughout the week, and are planning special events, virtual dinners, trivia nights and more.

In the next few weeks construction on our new parking lot will also commence.  We look forward to the creative opportunities to revitalize our property including new landscaping, a new sign (at some point this year) and perhaps a name and address change to boot!  There will be much more discussion about this in the coming months so stay tuned!

In September we will celebrate 250 years of Universalism in America.  We had planned a rescheduling of the 2020 Wolfson Lecture for October, however the Wolfson Lecture Committee has decided to cancel this year's lecture and invite Mandisa Thomas, founder of Black Non-Believers to be the 2021 Lecturer next April. This decision does not diminish the opportunity for another grand celebration! That is, we will honor the 50th Anniversary of Rev. David Miller's Installation as Minister of this congregation on the 1st Sunday in October.  And in June 2021 we will celebrate the 180th Anniversary of the founding of UUCW as The First Universalist Church of Worcester.

These are creative opportunities during this challenging time.  There is, obviously, much more to come.  So stay tuned and stay in touch!  If you want to reach out to me about any of this, please do not hesitate.  I can be reached at minister@uucworcester.org, or by calling 508-963-5959. 

Blessings,

Rev. Aaron Payson & the Health & Safety Team

Tuesdays and Thursdays @ 8:30 PM via ZOOM
Another important way that we can draw closer to each other is increase opportunities to "see" each other even if it is over video, and to have a chance to share how we are and any needs that present themselves, as well as have good conversation and fun.

Join Rev. Aaron Payson online every Tuesday and Thursday @ 8:30 pm! 

TO PARTICIPATE IN THE CHATS REMOTELY go to https://zoom.us/j/94275074784. Meeting ID: 942 7507 4784. To join by phone dial+1 646 876 9923 and follow the instructions. 


As the church adapts to the challenges of maintaining social distancing during this time of pandemic, many of the opportunities to meet via video conference are being planned using the church's ZOOM accounts. For those who have had difficulty using the ZOOM software, our own Vickie Cox-Lanyon has put together a wonderful short guide to using ZOOM. To view and download the guide, CLICK HERE!

ZOOM Update: Zoom released a required update recently to both mobile and desktop platforms so if you are having trouble connecting to Zoom meetings, you need to update your software. Please CLICK HERE for instructions on how to do that.
illustrated-sun-boats.jpg

Regular Office Hours Resume: 
Office hours are Mon, Tues, Wed, from 9 am - 3 pm, Thurs 9 am - 2 pm. Office hours are subject to change based on COVID response necessities..
Gmail Users - Please note that if you stop receiving the Message, Nugget, and Weekend Reminder, check your Promotions tab in Gmail. Often, you will find that church emails (and other emails from Constant Contact) are in there! Please click 
HERE for information on how to get the church emails to stay in your inbox. Please share this information with your fellow congregants if they mention they aren't getting the Message!

Please click the article title for more Office News!

Jennifer Landry, Office Administrator


UUCW has a new Facebook Group "Daily Moments" which was inspired by Rev. Aaron Payson's daily posting of reflections, meditations and prayers this spring.  This group will continue to host daily inspiration and invites all those interested to join the group and share their own inspiration.  To join the group CLICK HERE.  For more information please contact minister@uucworcester.org
Join Us For "Touchstones"

UUCW has a new Facebook Group "Touchstones" which features daily inspiration exploring the monthly and annual Touchstones Ministry theme.  For 2020-2021 our Touchstones Theme is "Deepening Connections".  To join the group and begin sharing CLICK HERE

Tuesdays and Thursdays @ 8:30 PM via ZOOM
Another important way that we can draw closer to each other is increase opportunities to "see" each other even if it is over video, and to have a chance to share how we are and any needs that present themselves, as well as have good conversation and fun.
 
Join Rev. Aaron Payson online every Tuesday and Thursday @ 8:30 pm! 
 
TO PARTICIPATE IN THE CHATS REMOTELY go to https://zoom.us/j/94275074784. Meeting ID: 942 7507 4784. To join by phone dial+1 646 876 9923 and follow the instructions. 


Aaron has been posting a daily Moment of Meditation to the church's social media and his own networks.  We have collected these on the church website, please click the article title to go see the September Moments! 

August Moments of Meditation are available HERE.
June Moments of Meditation are available HERE.
May Moments of Meditation are available HERE
April Moments of Meditation are available HERE
March Moments of Meditation are available HERE.
News from UUCW
Upcoming Events at UUCW
(Click the titles or images for more information)

We were delighted to receive word of the arrival of baby Desmond, son of Eve Stutsman in late August.  Congratulations and welcome Desmond!


We were heartbroken to learn of the death of Michael Hannon (neighbor and friend of Janet Cutman) who was murdered on September 4.  Design With Nature was founded in the mid 1980's by Mike. He was an Environmentalist/Biologist intent on helping to save the planet. He was a self-described Defender of Nature. Janet writes of her friend, "Brenda and Mike bought my neighbor's home on Brooks Pond last May, a year ago. They could not have been happier and neither could the few of us in their immediate area when we realized what wonderful people we got as new neighbors. They LOVE this lake and knew it well. They loved that we do not have gas motors or jet skiis. They love the remoteness and peace here. They loved the home they bought - very small but well-built in the early 1990's. They put in gardens, power-washed (needed!), stripped and painted and put on a new roof. Mike had just completed swapping out porch bars with the new wire concept - which allows one to sit on the deck and see the lake clearly. He added a huge wooden dock addition so they could sit out over the water. He got a load of wood and split it so they could heat by wood.

He was always smiling and often just there to help, like the other day, I left three boats tied to the dock, thinking I had guests coming the next day. But that did not happen, and hard rain was predicted, so I had to pull all three boats up. He saw me doing this and just appeared so he could make the job go so much easier."


Lance McKee, now of blessed memory, is shown in this September 28, 2008 photo with his Coming of Age mentee, Jake.  (photo by Betty Jenewin)
It is with great sadness that the Office has learned of the death of 
Lance McKee.  Lance and Kathleen (Kathy) McKee were long-time members of UUCW who moved a few years ago to Portland, Oregon, to be closer to their daughters and families. Both the McKees were active in a variety of UUCW groups over the years.  Most recently Lance was part of the Green Team which helped the congregation envision ways of reducing our carbon foot-print.  A Memorial Service is being planned for Lance, online, on September 20 at 4 pm ET.  To register for the service visit www.tinyurl.com/y4l8qkq7.  
Lance's family has also set up a memorial website.   



UUCW Trivia Night!
Friday, September 25 @ 7 PM via ZOOM
Single Players $5.00 / Teams (2 or more players) $10.00

Join us for a fun-filled evening of TRIVIA!  We'll gather virtually via ZOOM and Kahoot for an evening of trivia for the whole family and friend!  Use your computer (and if desired tablet or smart-phone) for fun, fast-paced rounds of questions from easy to hard!  The top three winners (teams) will receive prizes for their efforts.  This platform was beta-tested by a small group of members and friends to great accolades, bragging rights, good-natured ribbing, and a lot of laughter!  To register for this month's trivia game CLICK HERE!  (Single players $5.00 / Teams (2 or more players) $10.00). An email will be sent the week prior to the game with instructions on how to connect online.  Prizes will be awarded for 1st Place and Runner-Up!!

Recommended Technology:  Laptop or tablet, and smart-phone.  We will be using Zoom and Kahoot for this event.  Instructions will be emailed prior to and discussed at the event.  
 

Recommended Attire:  Team uniforms, silly hats, banners, face paint,  etc. 



The UUCW Website Team is thrilled to roll out our new website. It was developed using a new WordPress theme built by the UUA's Outreach Group. The new look, along with enhanced mobile support, were key features we were seeking. We would love to hear your feedback, both positive and/or critical.  Please contact us at webteam@uucworcester.org.

The Website Team is seeking new members.  There are many different roles available - from monitoring the site for broken links and needed updates, to making edits in WordPress, to managing the backend, technical side of the site. You don't need to be a tech whiz, just someone who is willing to learn. 

We are also seeking members for our new Social Media Team, a group that will oversee the church's presence on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, working closely with other teams involved in marketing, membership, and outreach efforts.
To learn more, please contact us at webteam@uucworcester.org
Faith In ActionFaithInAction

The Side with Love Taskforce has been organizing multiple opportunities for UUCW to put our faith into action. 

Get Out the Vote: Interested in joining others to create change by mobilizing voters? Join the "Get out the Vote" working group to learn how others are dedicating time and resources to this effort. Email Ruth Silver or Beth Posner-Waldron at gotv@uucworcester.org for more information and visit https://www.uuthevote.org/ for upcoming actions with other UUs.


We need all hands on deck to get out the vote!  The November election is crucial.

Please forward this link to family and friends-and please join us to get out the vote. Questions?  Contact us at  GOtV@uucworcester.org.  

UUCW #GetOutTheVote Team - Texting with When We All Vote
 "I began texting voters with When We All Vote, because I believe all Americans deserve a voice in our government.  Unfortunately, many of our citizens of color, young, and poor voters have been disenfranchised.  Texting is a way for me to reach out to voters and to encourage them as well as provide information on how and where to vote.  Texting is simple and can be done from my phone, and I can reach many voters who feel more comfortable with this mode of communication... Click HERE to read more...

(Worcester's Black Lives Matter mural)

UUCW Anti-Racism Team - Racism in Policing & Schools

The Side with Love Anti Racism Working group invites you to take action to address racism and heed the calls from local, black individuals and organizations to address racism in policing and schools.
 
We are supporting and drawing attention to Defund Worcester PD and Racism Free WPS.
 
For some, hearing "defund the police" is uncomfortable or feels incongruent to the need to still have police. Wading through this discomfort and fear is part of the journey to exame how racism and anti-black violence is perpetuated by our police system. Change is necessary, as is the respect for the worth and dignity of all connected in policing - both police and those harmed by police. 
 
Want to talk more about the movement to "defund the police"? 
Ready to take quick action online? Visit the Defund Worcester PD website and consider supporting three petitions asking for:
  • the Worcester Police Department to comply with state law to release their records of 'excessive force complaints'.
  • a change in chairperson of the Worcester City Council public safety committee, and
  • to support Worcester Public School students in their concerns about racism and other oppressions in the schools.


Questions? Email Evan Wilson and Mara Pentlarge at antiracism@uucworcester.org


Sunday News - Worship Services and Religious Education for 
September 20, 2020SundayNews


Let's start this Religious Exploration school year with a spirit of connection and light that unites our UUCW community!  Your family is invited to join in a shared clay experience to make your own home ceramic chalice.  Come to the church on Sunday September 20th at 1pm for the Blessing of the Clay, when you pick up your very own clay kit.  

Then join us on Zoom on September 27th at 9:00 am to learn a little bit about the process of working with clay, and get creative at home!  Bring your completed chalice back to the church on Oct 3-4  and Jessie will fire your creation so you will have a ceramic chalice to cherish at home and connect you to your friends at UUCW. We will all then enjoy a UUCW Family outdoor lighting ceremony, where you pick up your completed project - stay tuned for the October date and time!We hope this experience can build multiple connections and allow us all to be comforted by the wonderful light that is within each of us in this amazing community.Many thanks and kudos to our own Trowbridge Family- Jessie, Brett,  Alma and Flora- for their idea and vision!

 Touchstones For September 15 - 21
2019-2020 Touchstone Ministry Theme 
"Building Beloved Community"  

September Theme - Worth & Dignity


September 15: "Your dignity can be mocked, abused, compromised, toyed with, lowered and even badmouthed, but it can never be taken from you." ~ Shannon L. Alder
 
September 16: "Without dignity, identity is erased." ~ Laura Hillenbrand
 
September 17: "If you are trying to transform a brutalized society into one where people can live in dignity and hope, you begin with the empowering of the most powerless. You build from the ground up." ~ Adrienne Rich
 
September 18: "Have you ever tried to get to your feet with a sprained dignity?" ~ Madeleine L'Engle
 
September 19: "No race can prosper till it learns that there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem." ~ Booker T. Washington
 
September 20: "Nothing is so essential as dignity.... Time will reveal who has it and who has it not." ~ Elizabeth Gilbert
 
September 21: "Dignity is as essential to human life as water, food, and oxygen. The stubborn retention of it, even in the face of extreme physical hardship, can hold a man's soul in his body long past the point at which the body should have surrendered it." ~ Laura Hillenbrand


Rev. Aaron Payson
 
Ongoing Meetings

Monday Meditation is now meeting via ZOOM! 

This is a drop in group and open to all with an emphasis on utilizing mindfulness meditation to enhance our connection to ourselves and others.  We practice for 30 minutes and discuss the practice and often read and discuss a book related to mindfulness and meditation.  We support each other in utilizing the practice in our daily lives to enhance our happiness and well being. During this time of COVID-19, we will be meeting via Zoom.

For the Zoom link, more information or if you have questions please email Wendy O'Leary at woleary25 at gmail dot com.

Lunch with the Minister will be suspended until further notice.  Read the Message for future dates when our lunches will resume.  Take care during these trying times.  I'm available by phone anytime for conversation (774-239-3729). - Nancy Hancock

 
Community News
(click article titles to see articles on our website)

 

Sharing my classes for free: Relaxation, healing and meditation through Yoga, Qi-Gong, Tai-Chi and ...


"Believing in a community that unites all people"
Unitarian Universalist Church of Worcester 
90 Holden Street, Worcester MA 01606
Phone: 508-853-1942 | Fax: 508-853-2065 | Emergencies: 508-853-1942 ext. 6
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