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Hello, friends, and happy Thursday - oops, I mean FRIDAY!
Apparently the note I wrote above Rev. Cathy's "Tuesday Minister's Message" was ambiguous, and many of you wrote to wish Rev. Cathy quick healing. She is perfectly fine! It was Guy who was experiencing symptoms of the coronavirus, and he is already doing much better, although he's been told to isolate at home a few more days. Rev. Cathy is well, I'm catching up, and both of us thank you for all the wishes of health and well-being.
PPS: This Flash - especially the Bulletin Board - is JAM-PACKED! If you usually just "skim" please set aside a few minutes to see if some or most of these items actually apply to you, to all of us, especially as Election Day approaches and we all continue to learn how to navigate in a continuing pandemic.
Margaret Wosniak continues preparing for the All Souls Service of Sunday, November 1. This week she writes:
LAST REMINDER FOR ALL SOULS' DAY SERVICE
To contribute a reflection honoring a deceased loved one, or send a video reflection, or simply send the names of loved ones for a Litany of Names, send them to email@example.com. If you send a reflection, state whether you will read it or wish someone else to read it.
Photos of deceased loved one should be sent to Mary Van Valin at firstname.lastname@example.org for a remembrance Power Point presentation.
In all instances, include name of loved one, your name, your relationship.
Please make your submissions as soon as possible and no later than October 25.
Thank you for helping to build this service!
This Sunday, October 25, 2020 at 10:30 AM
The Spirituality of Imperfection
Dear Ones -
This Sunday we will explore the Spirituality of Imperfection. First, we'll look at some words, like "spiritual" that can make some uncomfortable using some wisdom from the late William R. Murry, the former president of Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago. Murry was a prominent Humanist in our movement. I will reference his book, Becoming More Fully Human that emphasizes what humanism is rather than what it denies. Then we will explore cultures where imperfection is recognized as a part of what it means to be "fully human."
"See" you in church!
The Rev. Dr. Cathy Harrington
Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Grand Traverse
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 25th...
The Meeting ID is 817 7744 8560
Go here to watch and listen to Renée's lovely Meditation on Breathing from last Sunday's message.
And our beloved Max Old Bear shares the following:
by Max Old Bear
Shades of green
MINISTERIAL SEARCH TEAM REPORT
"There is no power greater than a community discovering what it cares about."
- Meg Wheatley
Congregational Survey results are providing valuable information about what our UUCGT Community cares about. According to UUA search resources,"More often than not, the survey shows that a congregation has more diversity than many individuals think-not only about what they want from the next minister, but about who the congregation is. Ideally, a survey is a start of a conversation about what is possible now."
The conversations have begun. Some of you have already participated in a focus group conversation, discussing, for example, what a minister can do to advance the work of your group. More focus group conversations are being scheduled, and cottage conversations for all who attend Sunday Services are coming to breakout rooms in November. Some questions to ponder: Three years from now, looking back, how would you describe a successful ministry? What do you see as the most important role of a minister for our congregation? What are your goals in our congregation and how can a minister help you achieve those goals?
We are excited to hear from all of you as we look for the light that unites us all!
Your Team: Mary, Geoff, Charles, Dusty, Jim, Chris, Jan
And: from Mary Van Valin
You are cordially invited to our Cottage for Conversation
Following Sunday Services Nov.1and Nov. 8 in cozy Breakout Rooms
Topics of conversation:
- Three years from now, looking back, how would you describe a successful ministry?
- What do you see as the most important role of a minister for our congregation?
- What are your goals in our congregation and how can a minister help you achieve those goals?
BYO Beverage of Choice
- from Music Director Renée Herman Russell -
This week we explore the concept of perfection and the beauty of imperfection. As someone who likes to create, I constantly struggle with the voice of my inner critic telling me all the things I could be doing better. This is particularly true with the new use of video recordings in our services. I quickly had to get into the habit of accepting "good enough" over my perceived version of perfection or I would never have music ready for each Sunday. It can be so easy to only focus on mistakes or seeming weaknesses. Our virtual ensemble members are to be commended in their courage to overcome that inner critic, to face a camera and a microphone and sing without the support of the other ensemble voices they are accustomed to supporting them. Everyone sends me their videos with trepidation. But, something magical happens, doesn't it? Each individual voice, perfectly imperfect, blends into perfect harmony. It is always so and it helps me to remember that the real magic of imperfection is found in the beauty of the finished creation.
UUCGT Calendar - Stay 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.
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!
Friday, October 23
Zoom rehearsal for Sunday Service
Sunday, October 25
You can sign in beginning at 10:00 AM to visit!
Monday, October 26
Stretch & Strengthen
2:30 PM (note new time!)
Zoom link is here; mtg ID: 839 8133 9396. Passcode is required and available to
Search Team members.
Tuesday, October 27
Small Group Facilitators. Zoom link is here
Volunteer Comm. Lunch, Friends Church. For info contact Mary Kiner.
Sunday Service Coordinators via Zoom here.
Wednesday, October 28
Stretch & Strengthen Class
11:30 AM - 1:30 PM
BYO Dinner together, NOW VIRTUAL! See the announcement above.
Thursday, October 22
~ 12:00 PM...
You should be receiving next week's Flash (yes, on time!).
UUCGT Bulletin Board
A LOVELY, GENEROUS OFFER of
TECHNOLOGY HELP (!)
from CHRIS LAUTZ:
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. ��
POST-ELECTION VIGIL & GATHERING
The Unitarian Universalist Association and the Side With Love nonprofit are hosting a virtual gathering. "No matter the results of the election," says the UUA Facebook page for the event, "we know we will want to gather in community. Please save the date and time" - Thursday, November 5, 8:00 PM Eastern - "and join the UUA, UU the Vote, Side with Love, and UUA President Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray for this event."
KATIE GRIER SHARES THIS GREAT NEWS:
We are so happy to report that Safe Harbor is opening for business and we need your help and support to make this happen. More information will be coming in the next few days, but this is what we want to share with you at this time.
*Our week for service at Safe Harbor is November 28th - December 5th and Christmas
*No midnight shifts this year.
*Numerous mindful safety protocols have been put in place.
*Very limited contacts with guests.
*Mandatory masks for team members and guests.
This year will look a bit different, due to the pandemic, but health and safety will be a top priority. Please stay tuned for more information to be coming soon.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact your UUCGT Safe Harbor committee members:
CHRIS & RICK WALTER SHARE THE FOLLOWING:
To complement UUCGT's focus on white supremacy and institutionalized racial bias during key book discussion groups and writing sessions in adult RE, we highly recommend learning more. Go to www.titletrackmichigan.org
to learn about the Understanding Racial Justice 5-week on-line class taught right here in Traverse City by local facilitators. The next session is Nov 9 - Dec 7, 5:30 - 7:30 pm and is sponsored by Indivisible Grand Traverse, which regularly met at UUCGT prior to the pandemic.
Register SOON, but by Nov 2. There is a sliding scale payment plan or scholarship availability. Some UUCGT members, friends, and visitors have already taken the class and highly recommend the experience. We can all be part of the solution. Questions? Contact Rick or Chris Walter
MARY ANNE RIVERS SHARES A PREVIEW OF
BOARD RETREAT NEWS TO COME:
Your Board of Trustees and Reverend Cathy joined Mark Bernstein from the UUA, who led us in a retreat last Friday and Saturday. It was a long time to be on Zoom, but the benefits far outweighed that challenge.
Tom Darnton, your vice-president, is writing a more detailed review of the retreat, which will be published in the next Beacon. We want to be your best Board possible, and we want you to know how important you all are to us. We learned so many things about each other, and many ways that we can help everyone have a part of our dear Congregation. A common vocabulary of love and growth, can change and support our UUCGT culture.
Thank you for all the good wishes for my husband, Gordon's, recovery. Your support helps so much,
- Mary Anne
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:
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.
FINALLY: AN IMPORTANT CHALLENGE FROM UUA PRESIDENT
REV. DR. SUSAN FREDERICK-GRAY:
Unitarian Universalist Association - October 2020
I hold you all in my heart in these unpredictable and volatile times. I know I am not alone in having moments of overwhelming grief for too many loved ones lost, and moments of acute fear and despair, mindful of all that is at stake in this coming election.
Sometimes it may seem that we, as religious leaders, are asked to project an aura of "calm certainty and strength." But rather than appearing "strong," what I believe our communities most need is our authenticity and honesty.
One thing we must be honest about is the reality that our democracy is under attack and has been for a long time.
Almost daily, there are efforts, whether by policy or inflammatory rhetoric, to systematically undermine faith in our elections. Shameful examples of voter suppression and the trampling of rights are happening all across the country.
History teaches us that, in the United States democracy has never been available to everyone. Its expansion and protection have always come through struggle, organizing, and protest. This time is no different.
The first, and most important thing we can do to make sure our voices are heard is to
in massive numbers.
We launched UU The Vote with a goal of reaching one million potential voters. By late September, we had already reached 1.3 million. This week is the National Week of Action for UU The Vote
and there is still time to help us reach two million voters by election day.
And we must also prepare for how we will continue to work for justice, democracy, and the protection of our loved ones and our communities after November 3rd. So much is uncertain, and rhetoric that encourages white supremacists to threaten public officials, watch polling locations, and that questions election results is dangerous.
Theological values of human dignity and interdependence
are why we know everyone needs a voice
in the matters that affect their lives.
If the results of the election are challenged, if the integrity of the election is compromised, or if there is a refusal to respect the results, we must be prepared to join in collective, moral, faithful action to defend our democracy. Now is the time to prepare to act if need be.
Will we show up in the streets, set up or contribute to a bail or legal assistance fund? Will you open your congregation building to protesters needing sanctuary from state repression, for a medic station, organize fundraisers or tap into discretionary funds to make sure frontline organizers have the money they need to move the work? It's more important than ever that we have bold spiritual imagination and audacious leaders and communities that show a new way forward.
As Unitarian Universalists, it is important to remember that our commitment to democracy is not just political or moral, it is fundamentally theological. It grows from our affirmation of the inherent worth and dignity of every person and the Universalist understanding that we are all part of one creation, interconnected. These theological values of human dignity and interdependence are why we know everyone needs a voice in the matters that affect their lives.
Whenever I feel discouraged by the rhetoric of division, scarcity, and cruelty, I draw strength from our faith and from all of you. From the borderlands of Arizona, to the cities of Louisville, Rochester, Kenosha, Portland, and so many more-Unitarian Universalists are demonstrating that we have the courage, the heart, and the faith to meet this moment, together.
Yours in faith and gratitude,
"What if we were transparent about our own failures, not as some kind of performative vulnerability, but as an invitation to collectively de-stigmatize the messy process of lifelong learning?"
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