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
For the Service, the Zoom link is here.
The Service is at 10:30 AM but you can begin
signing in at 10:00 AM to visit!
"The Gifts of the Crows"
Sunday's Service - "The Gifts of the Crows" - has been coordinated by Margaret Wozniak and will be led by Rev. Cathy Harrington; there will be a testimonial from Geoff Norman-Anderson.
Our relationship with crows is revealed in art, language, legends, and myths tracing their influence to our earliest human ancestors, thousands of years. "Gifts of the crow are physical, metaphorical, and far-reaching." ~ John Marzluff, author of The Gifts of the Crow.
Again, the Zoom link for SUNDAY SERVICE is
You can view and/or download the Order of Service here.
You'll find song lyrics there, too, and these will be posted
and included in your Sunday Morning "Reminder" Flash.
Vespers for Peace
Join us on Friday evenings for a calming time of
music, contemplation, poetry, and inspiration.
This Friday, February 19, 2021 at 8:00 PM
Begin signing in at 7:30 to visit
There is a NEW ZOOM LINK for the Vespers Service:
MINISTERIAL SEARCH TEAM REPORT
So much to do, so little time. That's the good news! We are still working hard but we see the light at the end of the tunnel. Our candidates look promising, and we look forward to sharing the results of our work with you soon. Stay hopeful with us and watch this space. We are definitely Over the Hump.
Mary, Geoff, Charles, Dusty, Jim, Chris, Jan
from Betsy Hammerberg
Religious Education for Children and Youth has continued with its steady routine of Sunday morning Zoom gatherings for young children with Claire and bi-monthly Sunday afternoon Zoom gatherings for youth with Alison and Claire. The younger children explored Black History Month and Valentine's Day through the lens of Beloved Community, while the youth learned about ways to interrupt and respond to racism.
I found myself dreaming a lot this month, about what I would like to see our RE program look like when we return to our beloved building. One thing I've been thinking about is creating an outdoor classroom space near the RE wing so that our children and youth can spend as much time outside as possible on Sunday mornings. I dream of an outdoor classroom with places for our children and youth to gather for discussions; work together on projects; and find moments of solitude; all while appreciating the beautiful nature we have on our UUCGT grounds. If you have experience creating outdoor learning spaces or want to be part of this process, I would love to hear from you!
from Alison Ernst
Adult RE has been active, including a Monday night creative writing group, Thursday evening "Reading and Writing Whiteness (RAWW)", a new Soul Matters group, and assisting Rev. Cathy with a "Starting Points" series.
To be scheduled in terms of start date: a Wednesday evening "Reading and Writing Whiteness (RAWW)" and a discussion group for folks who've already participated in RAWW, using Ibram Kendi's "How to be an Anti-Racist"(date and time TBD). Let Alison know if you are interested in either: email@example.com.
Also please let Alison know if you are interested in a Soul Matters group (as the current one is full) or a daytime creative writing group. Or if you have an idea for another kind of small group gathering.
A FEW NOTES
from Renée Russell
I've always felt a deep connection with crows, so I am happy that we are dedicating a service to their gifts. I have always found them comforting and inspiring though I understand that many find them unsettling and unattractive. Their forms shadowy and bulky, their song loud, sharp, and demanding. they are who they are. What does it mean to accept yourself in such a way?
During this time of isolation throughout the pandemic, I have had to face my own voice and physical form in a camera on an almost daily basis. While I may enjoy performing, I am not someone who enjoys spending much time looking in the mirror or listening to recordings of myself. So it has been a humbling, challenging, and ultimately, rewarding journey to find my way not only towards acceptance but celebration. I am who I am, my voice is what it is.
I have been taught to consider crows a guide in transformation. As my name, Renée, means "rebirth", this speaks to me. When you hear their call, what does it bring forth in you? Not every bird can be a nightingale or a robin. We have the voices we were meant to have, each one beautiful and important in its own way.
The 2021 - 2022 Pledge Drive was initiated on Valentine's Day with a reminder that we are preparing for many New Beginnings at UUCGT, that includes calling a new settled Minister. Several individuals have related during Sunday Services how they show their LOVE for UUCGT (through their Time, Talent and Financial Resources) and all it offers them.
We are now in the third week of this drive and 49* pledging units have returned their pledges for a total of $118,194. This is an excellent start achieving 39.4% of our goal of $300,000 from 40.8% of our expected pledging units. The exciting part is that 53% of you have increased your pledges over last year.
This data also shows that 59% of you still have not returned your pledge forms and we still need $181,806 to reach our goal. Our Pledge Drive will conclude with Celebration Sunday on March 21st. We hope that all of you will return your pledge forms prior to that date. If you have misplaced your pledge form, an electronic version is in the March Beacon you just received. If you need a hard copy, call Guy at the office and he will be able to provide one.
As you fill out your pledge, please consider all the value that you receive from UUCGT: whether it is beautiful music; fantastic Vocal Ensemble renditions that Renee masterfully compiles; Adult RE classes such as Soul Matters, How to be an Anti-Racist, creative writing workshops - UU ORIGINAL VOICES; Friday night Vespers; Youth RE activities; Wednesday night suppers; inspiring Sunday services; support from Congregational Care when you most need it; Men's group discussions; Tuesday Lunches; Safe Harbor activities; Social Justice discussions and actions; discussions after services (whether its in breakout Zoom groups or in our social room for coffee and snacks when we can return to in-person activities) and many more opportunities that are sponsored or held at UUCGT (see our monthly calendar). What is the real value of these activities to you? What would you have to pay for these activities if they were not available and supported by UUCGT? Please share as generously as you can!
If you have any questions please contact one of us on the Stewardship Team.
John Hoffmann, Alison Kadlec, Karl Keinath, Jon Luoma,
Mary Anne Rivers, and Rick Walter
*As of Wednesday morning March 3, these numbers are up!
64 Pledges have been received
totaling just over $135,200.00.
Still $164,800 to go to reach our goal.
You can access the entire calendar online
And here's another set of the Zoom links you might need in the coming week, starting with today...
1:30 PM Peacemakers Needleworkers. Zoom link here.
2:00 PM Congregational Care Team. Zoom link here.
5:00 PM Stewardship Team - Zoom link here.
7:00 PM VE rehearsal with Renée. Zoom here!
1:00 PM Rehearsal for Sunday Service. Zoom and passcode avail from
Sunday Service Committee Chair.
8:00 PM Friday evening Vespers Service. NEW Zoom link is
2:30 PM Ministerial Search Team - link and passcode avail to Committee
10:30 AM Community Lunch at the Friends Church, 5th St. and Oak
1:30 PM Sunday Services Comm./Coords. Link & passcode avail to
members of the Committees 3:30 PM
Finance Committee Meeting, Zoom link here
12:00 PM And don't forget...
Rev. Cathy's virtual office hours are Wednesdays, 12:00 - 1:30 PM.
UUCGT Bulletin Board
POSTPONED: The "How to be an Anti-Racist" book group will be postponed until mid to late March. Start date TBD. You can still sign up for it now, and I'll keep you posted.
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.
SOCIAL JUSTICE ACTION!
Susan Stephenson, Executive Director of Interfaith Power & Light, writes to UU Congregations all over the country:
The pandemic has shown more clearly than ever before how our communities are deeply interconnected. Over the past year the virus has taken the lives of over 500,000 people in our country; we mourn with the millions of Americans who are grieving their loss. Many more are still caring for sick loved ones and waiting for meaningful relief. Tell your Senators to support the Covid relief bill!
Unfortunately, our nation faces multiple crises outside of the pandemic, including the worsening climate crisis and rampant racial injustice. Our families and communities desperately need bold action to address these crises and deliver on long-overdue relief to the people who need it most.
Last weekend, the House passed a historic relief package to ensure that families and communities across our country get the vaccines they need to survive, support to put food on the table, and the resources to heal from the pandemic.
As the pandemic has raged on, we've gotten more and more data showing that Covid is deadliest in the communities with the most pollution. Historically marginalized communities are more likely to have pre-existing conditions exacerbated by pollution, like asthma and heart disease. Lower-income communities that are predominantly Black, Indigenous, and people of color have borne an unfair burden of pollution for decades; this is a moral issue and people of faith and conscience must speak up.
That's why we are grateful that the House relief package includes funding for environmental justice monitoring and grants to respond to the pandemic equitably, reducing pollution and saving lives both now and in the future.
It also helps working families keep the lights on and afford their water bills, and provides support to help public transit make it through this crisis. Many essential workers rely on public transit to get to their jobs, and a robust public transit system is a key piece of solving the climate crisis.
This package is only the first step in our road to recovery. We must start rebuilding our economy and public health infrastructure to be stronger, more equitable, and more sustainable. But step one must be Covid relief for our communities, our neighbors, our families, and frontline workers, now. Thank you for speaking out on an equitable relief package today!
And you can add your name here
to the petition
asking the Senate
to raise the national minimum wage!
We hope you enjoyed hearing about Northwest Michigan Community Action Agency and Meals on Wheels when Lisa and Kerry spoke to us on Sunday. Last month $500 was donated to Meals on Wheels from our Community Needs funds, along with $500 each to Food Rescue and Women's Resource Center. This quarter we concentrated our funds on agencies that have been especially affected by the pandemic, meeting needs for food and social support.
We will meet again to distribute quarterly funds in early May - if you have a request or know of an agency that we should consider for support, please contact any of the members of the Community Needs Team - David Hassing, Candace Lee, Joan Sheard, Shari Cope, Chris Walter, and Sandra McDonald, Chr. Thank you for the support you have given our community. Please continue to give to For Those in Need in our virtual "collection baskets".
End Note: Crows inciting other crows to join together?
That's a case of