UUCGT Flash  
   October 15, 2020    

Third Week of October
Brief Announcement: Looking Ahead...
Search Team News
Financial Report
Music & Religious Education
UUCGT Calendar
Bulletin Board
End Note - "Narrative is radical!"


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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.


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Margaret Wosniak continues preparing for the All Souls Service of Sunday, November 1. This week she writes:
Congregants who wish to submit a photo(s) of a deceased loved one(s) for a Power Point presentation in our November 1 All Souls Day service should send the following to Mary Van Valin at mgvv77@yahoo.com along with the photo:

Name of loved one, your name, your relationship.

Congregants who wish to send the name(s) of a loved one(s) to be included in a spoken litany should send that same information to Margaret at wozniak64@yahoo.com.

Please make your submissions as soon as possible and no later than October 25.

This Sunday, October 18, 2020 at 10:30 AM
     Deconstructing Whiteness     

Our Service on Sunday October 8th is coordinated by Alison Ernst and will be led by
Rev. Cathy Harrington, with participation from members of their writing workshops. The Service is titled Deconstructing Whiteness: a Journey of Healing and Hope. Rev. Cathy writes:

Dear Ones,

Alison and I have just completed co-facilitating a 6-week workshop called Reading & Writing Whiteness for two groups and will be offering another 6-week session starting soon. We will hear from some participants about their experience and insights.

The Rev. Dr. Cathy Harrington
Interim MInister
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Grand Traverse

Before that, though: Friday, October 16, 2020 at 8:00 PM
Friday vesper group gathering: Oct 16, 2020 8:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88245869617. Note: There will not be a separate Vespers Order of Service sent tomorrow!
Sunday morning's Order of Service
will be published in the
Sunday Morning "Reminder" Flash!
Click on the link below to join the Sunday Service 10:30 AM Oct 18th...
The Meeting ID is 817 7744 8560

Sunday Services are automatically recorded and posted to our Zoom account.  Click here to view the Service of Sunday October 11 if you missed it and/or would like to re-view! A password is required, that code is nH.r8cYA


This is your chance to listen carefully.
Your whole life might depend on what you hear.
- Joyce Sutphen
In her Minister's Message on Tuesday Rev. Cathy shared this lovely poem from a new volume by Barbara Kingsolver, and I think it well worth sharing again:
How to Knit a Sweater (a Realist's Prayer) 
by Barbara Kingsolver
            O Lord
           (whether male, female,
            animate, all-knowing,
            unreasonable or just
            whether or not),
            we are practical people
            who hedge our bets,
            As I hold my loved ones
            and wild adversities,
            I also hold a skein 
            of good wool,
            needles that click like
            rosary beads working
            through Hail Marys
            of knit and purl.
            By involving fiber
            in my invocation
            of divinity,
            I feel assured
                   of a fairly positive outcome.




Deep Listening was the theme of the UUCGT Sunday Service this week, and we heard it!  Your ministerial search team members consider listening to you as a top priority.  You give us the information we need to make the best match between minister and UUCGT congregation.  We aspire to weave the threads of your thoughts and feelings into the fabric of our mission.

Accomplishments of our Oct. 12 meeting include:

MST covenant moved one step closer to being finalized.  Careful deliberation is necessary, as it will be our guide to decision making and an important component of our Document Packet.

We reviewed photos for the UUCGT website home page which are being collected and arranged for visual enhancement.

We discussed the intensive, ongoing work of analyzing and formatting Congregational Survey results.  A short summary is expected to be available within a couple of weeks.

Cottage Conversations & Focus Groups are being scheduled and will take place in the next few weeks.  We are eager for these opportunities to hear you!

The first duty of love is to listen.

Your Team: Mary, Geoff, Charles, Dusty, Jim, Chris, Jan



Mike McDonald shares the following...

Financial Summary
As of September 30, 2020 (25% of fiscal year)

                                                            Current Year (2020-2021)      Prior Year (2019-2020)
Budgeted Income Received YTD       $ 52,544*       19.4%              $ 91,049*         34.6%

Budgeted Expenses Paid YTD            $ 63,088        22.8%             $ 57,412          18.0%

"For Those in Need" YTD                   $    1,475                                $   2,620

*Income for 2020-2021 is less than 2019-2020 due to an accounting change that recognized prepaid pledges for 2020-2021 in the 2019-2020 fiscal year.  Approximately $32,000 in excess income for 2019-2020 is on the balance sheet in our operating account and can be used to offset future losses, should they occur.

Budgeted income includes the total of all pledged and unpledged donations and miscellaneous income including building rent, etc.  "For Those in Need" collections are in addition to Budgeted Income Received and are disbursed quarterly to worthy causes, including Congregational Care, Tuesday Community Lunch and other Community needs outside our congregation.   The percentage reflects the portion of the total amount of income or expense budgeted for the fiscal year.  

Please note that we have had a significant fall off of current year pledge payments, operating fund donations, rental income and "for those in need" contributions during March through September due primarily to the Coronavirus pandemic.  We need your help.  If you can, send your pledge payments and contributions to the office or contribute on-line at uucgt.org. 

If you want more detailed information, you can look at our website, click on Our Governance, then on Board Packet.  Or just go right to Board Packet here!  Questions can be directed to your Finance Committee which includes Dusty Culton, Karl Keinath, Mike McDonald, Jim Walworth and Price Watts.


MUSIC: "A Few Notes" 

- from Music Director Renée Herman Russell - 

This week we continue delving into the important skill of deep listening but in particular, listening to the voices and lived experiences of those who have been marginalized. Folks will be sharing stories from the writing workshop about "deconstructing whiteness" and what it means to truly witness and actively interrupt racism. As I have been discussing for several months now, I have learned so much by listening to music by those different from me. This week I'd like to highlight a few songs that move me and continue to challenge me and open my eyes. Some of them may make you uncomfortable but I encourage you to lean into your discomfort so you can open to the messages that are there to be heard:

And also, please enjoy the UUCGT Virtual Ensemble's  GO NOW IN PEACE.
New members are always welcome!

*These striking images are from the Akala video linked to above!


                           RELIGIOUS EDUCATION    

- from RE Teacher Claire Crandell -    

"A circle of friends is a blessed thing."
Sunday and Every Day, My Little Blue Book of Unitarian Universalism
We learned four different ASL signs: Happy, angry, see, and you. We talked about the animation of the face ASL interpreters need to show in addition to the sign. Amanda mimed two of the  signs, happy and angry, and the facial expressions for us. Our topic today was "Listening from the Heart" and "What do BIPOC, Anti-racism and Non-racist mean?

First we did a very brief meditation to quiet our mind and notice if our breathing changed or slowed down afterwards. We again said that one of the greatest gifts we can give to another is our attention. We explained that BIPOC stands for: Black, Indigenous, People of Color. And, although none of us like to label people, there is an effort currently to look at, think about, and make changes of how we all may treat people who may be in one of these BIPOC "categories" of humans. Children shared about students of color in their class or activities. When asked, they said they did not nor did others treat anyone differently. We talked about a funny way we could introduce ourselves as: "Hello, I come from planet Earth, North American continent, United States of America, state of Michigan, county of Grand Traverse, city of Traverse City, I am human." We could say to one another "Welcome human!" 

Youth shared what they had done this past week. One person when asked if he wore a face mask when playing football shared and showed us the face shield on his football helmet. Amanda shared that all high school student football players were given face shields.

We were going to watch a story/video/read about "differences and friendships." Unfortunately, and with great apologies, I was unable to access the video. Our time together quickly went by and with more apologies and waves we said we would look at the video next week OR for those who want to see this funny, eclectic and touching video here is the link:  https://youtu.be/6E67n1vZZjQ

[Ed's note: this video is adorable. Highly recommend it to children OF ALL AGES!]

UUCGT CalendarStay Up to Date!

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 call or e-mail Guy at the office

Requests should be made by 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!

Today, Thursday, October 15
1:30 PM
   Creative Writing with Alison Ernst
   Interested in a future session? E-mail Alison at awa2write@gmail.com
2:00 PM
   Congregational Care Committee
   Zoom meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82376250273
7:00 PM   
   Zoom link is hereA password is required:
   The meeting ID is 824 6134 0486 and the Passcode is 728769 

Friday, October 16
10:00 AM
   Facilities Team.
1:00 PM
   Zoom rehearsal for Sunday Service
8:00 PM
   Friday Evening Vespers Service
   Zoom link here: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88245869617
Sunday, October 18
10:30 AM
  Sunday Service - Deconstructing Whiteness -
   Zoom https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81777448560
   You can sign in beginning at 10:00 AM to visit!
11:45 AM
   Social Justice Action Team

Monday, October 19
10:00 AM
   Stretch & Strengthen
2:30 PM (note new time!)
   Ministerial SearchTeam
   Zoom link is here; mtg ID: 839 8133 9396. Passcode is required and available to
   Search Team members.
7:00 PM
   Creative Writing; e-mail Alison Ernst at awa2write@gmail.com
Tuesday, October 20
10:30 AM
   Volunteer Comm. Lunch, Friends Church. For info contact Mary Kiner.
1:30 PM
   Sunday Services Committee: Zoom https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84320051489 
2:30 PM
   Sunday Service Coordinators (continuing from above)
3:00 PM 
   Leadership Development Committee
   Zoom meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86474335516
7:00 PM
   Reading & Writing Whiteness with Rev. Cathy

Wednesday, October 21
11:15 AM
   Stretch & Strengthen Class
11:30 AM - 1:30 PM
   Virtual Office Hours w/Rev. Cathy, https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84030698778
4:00 PM
   Transition Team - Zoom link https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81791834559
5:30 PM
   Wednesday "Bring-Your-Own" Picnic Supper -
   All are welcome! Contact Mike and Sandra McDonald.

Thursday, October 22
~ 12:00 PM...
   You should be receiving next week's Flash...

* * * * * * * * *

UUCGT Bulletin Board
more at uucgt.org


RE Director Betsy Hammerberg invites you to:
Another Letter Writing Party

There's still a chance to join a Vote Forward letter-writing party:               
Friday, October 16, 10:30am 

Please join me for a virtual letter writing party through Vote Forward. The goal of the campaign is to send handwritten letters to people, encouraging them to vote. Vote Forward supplies a template and you provide envelopes, stamps, paper, and your time. It's easy and fun! RSVP to Betsy (dre@uucgt.org) and I will send you all of the information and a Zoom link.

And Emmy Lou Cholak reminds us to:
Please remember the Unitarian Universalist Theme of #Vote LOVE #Defeat HATE as you consider all your choices.  Emmy Lou points our attention to these (nonpartisan) ballot initiatives:
Proposal 20-1
This proposal would amend the state constitution so that money from oil and gas revenues could be used at a higher percentage for property maintenance rather than for land purchase. Available land for preservation only comes available once, usually never to be repeated. If we are unable to purchase and preserve & salvage good land for wildlife, excellent views, unusual habitat, etc., when it is available, the likelihood it would be developed for commercial use is inevitable. Voting no would maintain the percentages as they are, preserving the monies available when needed to purchase the land for public rather than commercial use.
Proposal 20- 2
This proposal seeks a constitutional amendment requiring anyone claiming to need access to your electronic data and communications to obtain a search warrant as is currently needed to search your house or other physical property. Consider voting to require warrants for digital or virtual property as well.
County Proposal re: Roads, Streets, Bridges, etc. 
Please note that this proposal which seems only to request funding for common-sense infrastructure would likely support a Boardman River bridge and/or bypass both of which have repeatedly been voted down by the public. 

End Note:

     "Make up a story. Narrative is radical, creating us at the very moment it is being created. 
     "We will not blame you if your reach exceeds your grasp; if love so ignites your words they go down in flames and nothing is left but their scald. Or if, with the reticence of a surgeon's hands, your words suture only the places where blood might flow. We know you can never do it properly - once and for all. Passion is never enough; neither is skill. But try. For our sake and yours forget your name in the street; tell us what the world has been to you in the dark places and the light. 
     "Don't tell us what to believe, what to fear. Show us belief's wide skirt and the stitch that unravels fear's caul."

  - Toni Morrison, 1931 - 2019, novelist, essayist, children's author,
professor,  in her


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!

Contact Rev. Cathy at revharrington@mac.com
Stay up to date on the UUCGT website