UUCGT Flash  
August 27, 2020    
On this August Morning...
Sunday:"Widening Our Embrace," Other Service Info, and a Tribute to Max Old Bear's Brother
Ministerial Search Team Report
Safe Harbor Update
Music & Religious Education - Songs, Mazes, & Tiny Tree Houses
UUCGT Calendar: It's About to be September!
Bulletin Board: An Important Survey "Heads-Up!", a Fabulous "Hamilton" Parody, and More
End Notes: Leonard Bernstein on Productivity


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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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Sunday, August 30, 2020
Misty Sheehan serves as our Service Coordinator; the Service will be led by Rev. Cathy The theme is

"Widening Our Embrace"

Rev. Cathy shares some thoughts on what inspired her in this week's...
Minister's Musings
Dear Ones,

I am exhausted and my broken heart aches, how about you? There is such pain and so much happening in our world that doesn't make sense. We can feel helpless and succumb to hopelessness when we are bombarded with difficult and painful events in our country. We must ask ourselves, "What are we being called to do? What can we do, and where do we begin?" The UUA Commission on Appraisal spent three years working on their report Widening the Circle of Concern that was published in June 2020, and it offers both hope and challenge. I hope you will join us this Sunday to explore a way forward and a way inward. Our faith traditions as Unitarians and Universalists require us to address equity, inclusion, and diversity issues. What does that look like? I will share more of the Commission on Appraisal's insights and guidance.

In spite of it all, I am hopeful and optimistic about the future of our faith and our country. We will answer this challenge and do what it takes to transform and heal our nation. Be gentle with yourselves during these difficult times and remember to connect with loved ones and this beloved community. I think it was Gandhi who said that it's up to us to make the changes we hope to see in the world, indeed to be the change we hope for. As our UUA President Susan Frederick Gray said, "This is no time for a casual faith."

In faith and love,

Rev. Cathy also calls our attention to what will be the upcoming Soul Matters themes...


You can read Sunday's Order of Service here.

Click here for the link to join the Service via Zoom; the passcode is 167208.  Or enter the following URL address into your web browser...


Meeting ID: 817 7744 8560
Passcode: 167208

You'll receive a reminder on Sunday morning!

Our Sunday Services are automatically recorded and posted to our Zoom account. From now on we'll be posting a link to the most recent service in case you missed it and/or would like to re-view!  Click here to view the Service of Sunday August 23! A password is required, that code is VhS^tM4G  

(Storage capacity limits us to keeping only the most recent two or three Services online at a time, so only the current month's Services will be available at a time.)

And please spare a moment to offer thoughts or words of love and care to Max Old Bear, whose brother the Rev. Dr. Douglas Holden passed away on Saturday, August 22. He had preached in the Methodist church up until he died at 83 yrs. Old. He was Academic Dean at Mary McLeod Bethune and other black colleges in the south.  He graduated from the University of Michigan and  Duke University Divinity School, and earned a Ph.D. in Philosophy from St. Andrew's College in Scotland.

Ministerial Search Team Report
from Jan Zerbel

"Beyond Categorial Thinking" - The workshop with Rev. Keith Kron was well attended and received with appreciation and enthusiasm last weekend. For detailed information, please see the upcoming September Beacon!

Surveys* - Test surveys have been completed by volunteers for assessment and editing. The survey in its final form will go out to the entire UUCGT distribution list the week of Sept. 8. Analysis of results to be done Sept. 26 - Oct. 7.

Cottage Conversations - After survey analysis, Cottage Conversations will be held in Breakout Rooms after Sunday Services in October. Some topics for discussion will be drawn from survey results and the BCT workshop. Attempts will be made to get input from those who are not attending Zoom services.

UUCGT Website - Updates and improvements are underway. Charles Brackett has created a collage of photos in a slide show that adds interest & excitement to the website and tells our story with pictures and music! More work is being done on the website, with several people involved in the process.

UUA - The Team is eagerly anticipating meeting with our experienced and competent UUA Transitions Coach next week!


Search during a pandemic! - words of encouragement: All candidating weeks in 2020 were virtual. All had successful calls!


Your Team:
Charles BrackettDusty CultonJim LinsellGeoff Norman-AndersonMary Van ValinChris Walter, Jan Zerbel 

*Speaking of surveys: 


UUCGT Safe Harbor Update

For the past six years we have led UUCGT's volunteer efforts at the Safe Harbor seasonal homeless shelter. It is time for us to step back from this leadership role. We have recruited Rich Faller, Katie Grier and Betsy Wacker to lead the efforts in our place. We will be assisting Rich, Katie and Betsy this year and continuing to volunteer in the future. Rich, Katie and Betsy have signed up UUCGT to provide volunteers for the week of November 28 through December 5.

Meanwhile, the Safe Harbor organization is working with the Health Department and our Board doctor to put changes in place that will allow us to operate the shelter as safely as possible for both guests and volunteers. Included in the plans are requirements for all guests and volunteers to wear masks, nightly temperature checks, thorough professional cleaning of the shelter and other changes that will allow us to minimize the number of volunteers needed. Rich, Katie and Betsy will be sharing more details with you before we begin sign ups this fall. 

Please support Rich, Katie and Betsy in this endeavor as you have supported us the past six years.

With gratitude for your support,
                  - Mike and Sandra McDonald



MUSIC: "A Few Notes..."

- from Music Director Renée Herman Russell -

The service this week explores how our faith traditions as Unitarian Universalists require us to address equity, inclusion, and diversity issues. Interestingly, I had a hard time finding songs in our hymnal that focused on "inclusion". That seemed something to note and something to think about, especially during these times when we are looking to "draw the circle wide" to those who are different from ourselves. I continue to challenge myself to listen to music outside of my comfort zone. When I helped organize a small high school Glee club I let the students choose the music, knowing it would be a challenge for me to meet them where they were also knowing that whatever music spoke to them was what they could sing from the heart. What new music have you been exploring outside your comfort zone? I challenge you to share suggestions with me.
MUSIC VIDEOS from last week's service "Beyond Categorical Thinking": 
(click on the highlighted words)
Hymn: We Are - click here
All God's Creatures Got a Place in the Choir by Mary Anne Rivers - click here


- An Update from Adult RE Director Alison Ernst -

Creative Writing Classes Fall 2020
Greetings all:
By now you've likely heard about the online creative writing workshops available to UU members since last spring. Here's what some of you fellow congregants have to say about their experience:
"I have enjoyed participating in Alison's writing workshops.  I do not consider myself a writer, but I have received a lot of positive reinforcement from Alison and the other participants.  This has encouraged me to keep writing stories about my life that my children and grandchildren may enjoy someday."
"Writing with Alison has given me the opportunity to improve my ability to express myself in writing without fear of failure or embarrassment.  Listening to the work of other writers, including Alison, is an enjoyable and valuable part of the process."
"Writing with Alison and the Amherst Writers and Artists Method has been a real growth opportunity for me.  We write, using wonderfully free and diverse prompts, then listen deeply to each other read.  I come away from each class knowing a bit more about myself and about each of the others in the class.  Alison establishes a very safe and encouraging tone for writing and exploring the inner self in the process!"
If you've wanted to try your hand at writing, but been hesitant, now is a great time to give it a go. 
  • Creative writing is an art form available to everyone. This workshop provides a safe and supportive space for both new and seasoned writers to practice their art and generate new work. A writer is someone who writes, and every writer has a unique voice.
  • This is an online creative writing workshop using the Amherst Writers and Artists (AWA) method based on Pat Schneider's book Writing Alone & With Others (Oxford University Press 2003).
  • Meets once a week via Zoom. 
There are two options this fall.
Monday nights, 7 - 8 p.m., starting September 14
Tuesday afternoons, 1:30 - 2:30 p.m., starting September 10
Interested? Contact Alison at awa2write@gmail.com.
Space is limited, so act now.

- from RE Teacher Claire Crandell -

"A circle of friends is a blessed thing."
Sunday and Every Day, My Little Blue Book of Unitarian Universalism
A small UU group gathered on Sunday, August 23, to share what they had done this past summer week. One of the youth had celebrated a fun birthday with friends. He had also created a wonderful video of a maze from last week's UU Kit challenge. We talked about mazes and where we can find them in the fall.

Here's a little video of the maze in action!
Here's a little video of the maze in action!

We looked at a YouTube video on the Fibonacci Spiral ("Great Demo on Fibonacci Sequence Spirals in Nature"). We followed this with looking at slides of really cool paintings created using the Fibonacci spiral.

[Here's a link to that video.  It is nothing short of mind-blowing:

From the "Finish the Picture" challenge someone had drawn a doughnut with sprinkles- yum! And then, thanks to the tech assistance of two computer-savvy youth, we looked at slides of "32 Amazing Tree-houses You Can Actually Rent" from around the world. It was difficult to decide "would you rather live in a tree house or on the water?" One said, "I'd rather live in a tree house next to the water." Oh, these clever youths - one of them created a tree house . . . for an insect!

Our time together sort of flew by and after a quick review of next week's challenges we waved bye for the week.

Families:  If your child has not received the RE Summer Creative/Fun Kit please let Betsy or Claire know.  We will deliver it to you!  

UUCGT Calendar - Stay Up to Date

Sunday Services, meetings and classes are hosted on Zoom until further notice. Need help with Zoom? Click on Zoom links below.

To request a Zoom meeting setup and link for your group or committee meeting, please call or e-mail Guy at the office

Requests must 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, August 27
7:00 PM
   VE Zoom Rehearsal with Renée   
   Zoom meeting here, Passcode 728769

Sunday, August 30
10:30 AM
   Sunday Service
   You can sign in beginning at 10:00 AM to visit!

Monday, August 31
10:00 AM
   Stretch & Strengthen
   Via Zoom: 
1:00 PM
   Ukelele rehearsal with Renée
   Zoom info: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83676388015
3:00 PM
   Ministerial Search Team
Tuesday, September (!) 1     
10:30 AM   Volunteer Comm. Lunch, Friends Church
   For info contact Mary Kiner
2:30 PM
   Sunday Service Coordinators
   Zoom meeting: here.

Wednesday, September 2
11:00 AM
   Stretch & Strengthen Class
   Via Zoom: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/8632807276
3:00 PM
   Staff Resources Committee   
5:30 PM
   Wednesday "Bring-Your-Own" Picnic Supper - 
   All are welcome! Contact Mike and Sandra McDonald.

Thursday, September 3
2:00 PM
   Congregational Care Team
7:00 PM
   VE Rehearsal with Renée 
   Meeting ID: 824 6134 0486    Passcode: 728769

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New to Zoom?

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UUCGT Bulletin Board
Visit our website at www.uucgt.org

From Guy in the office: Many thanks to those of you who completed and returned the sample SURVEY created and sent out by Chris Walter and Jim Linsell.  Chris, Jim, and I met yesterday morning via Zoom to discuss the next steps to getting a revised and completed survey out to all...
  • We would be very grateful for some help deciding between two methods of distribution and collection for our upcoming survey.  One is via Google, as with the previous sample.  The other utilizes the same Constant Contact software with which we create and send the Flash.  To that end we're going to send a second SAMPLE/TRIAL survey to a few folks.  We don't want to ask too much of those who may already be overwhelmed as they contribute their time and energy to Search Teams and other committees, but if you'd be willing to spend 10-20 minutes completing a sample survey, again or for the first time, please call Guy in the office (231-947-3117) or e-mail him at office@uucgt.org  If you're willing to volunteer, there'll be a fairly quick turnaround time requested!
  • Be on the lookout for the completed and official survey in the second week of September, probably on or near September 8th.  This is another chance for ALL to PARTICIPATE in the search for our new Settled Minister.  
  • Most of you will receive your survey and return it via e-mail. Please be assured that both of our options safeguard your privacy and neither your e-address or any other personal information will be shared with anyone!
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Video Recordings of the current month's Sunday Services are available online. From now on we'll be posting a link to the most recent service in case you missed it and/or would like to re-view!  Again, here's the link for Sunday August 23rd! A password is required, that code is VhS^tM4G

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This week's Michigan UUA Social Justice "TAKE ACTION" page offers opportunities to sign up for paid or volunteer work on important GOTV ("Get Out The Vote") or Reproductive Justice projects.
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Another request from Guy in the office: I sent e-mails to all folks I believe to be committee chairs, plus a few others, but I've only heard back from a couple of you. We need updated lists of committee members and officers, please.  Send your list to office@uucgt.org I've heard from only a few so far!

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If any of you are fans of Lin-Manuel Miranda's ingenius Broadway juggeraut Hamilton, you'll know of Jonathan Groff's Tony-nominated turn as a fey and fay King George III.  The very clever and talented Rev. Lonnie Lacy, a priest at St. Anne's Episcopal Church in Tifton, Georgia, created a fabulous parody of His Majesty's "You'll Be Back," reminding us with self-deprecating showmanship and humor that we will, indeed, return before too long to gathering in person to celebrate as a community.

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We still have 
Well-made, 100% cotton. $20 apiece.
This money supports local BLM efforts!
Please contact or come by the office. 

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Reminder: Book Club in August: White Fragility
Please contact Rev. Cathy

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For the first time since April a Grand Traverse County resident has died from Covid-19.  From August 20-23 the County Health Department confirmed an additional 21 cases; all are primary residents!  And the vast majority of these cases are in patients under the age of 60, in fact 15 are in people ranging in age from infancy to mid-40s, and 4 are in kids younger than 19.  

Four of the above cases are linked to travel into or out of the area, 9 to large social gatherings, 14 to known close contact with other positive cases.  Continue to stay informed, be safe, save lives, be kind.  For many this time is causing mental health difficulties as well as possible physical illness.

(The NY Times is offering their coverage of the pandemic for free, without needing a subscription or running into a paywall.  This is true of The Washington Post, The Atlantic, and many other major media outlets as well.)


End Note:  

  "To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan and not quite enough time." 

Leonard Bernstein, born 102 years ago this week.

Most of the UUCGT building is closed until further notice;
however the office will be manned Tuesday-Friday
for most of the next few weeks.
with any questions or concerns.

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