UUCGT  Flash 
April 9, 2020
Vol. 14, Issue 633
 
In This Issue
Minister's Musings
Sunday Service
RE Children & Youth
Board President's Message
Online Giving
UUCGT Calendar
New RE Class Offerings
Social Justice
Bulletin Board
Small Group Experience
End Note
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Congregational
Mission
Statement

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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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Minister's Musings...

Dear Ones,
 
I hope you will join us on Sunday for our Easter Service. The message I'll share is from an experience that I had over a decade ago when I was invited to participate in a Good Friday Tres Horas Service, a three-hour service to reflect on the last words of Jesus during his final hours. When the local Christian Minister's Association heard that I had been invited to speak, all hell broke loose; letters to the editor denouncing the "heretic" speaking on the holiest day of the Christian calendar flooded the news for two weeks. Needless to say, I felt a tremendous pressure to write a homily that could speak to the Christian community while maintain the integrity of my Unitarian Universalist faith.

The Lutheran pastor who was hosting the service and invited me to speak, was there to support me as I prepared to leave the safety of the vestry to face the congregation that had gathered to hear what this heretic had to say on Good Friday. Rev. Jim whispered in my ear these words of encouragement: 
"If someone shoots you, I'll pull your body behind the altar, 
and  we will rename the church St. Catherine's." 
Jim's humor buoyed me, and I delivered my homily with confidence and courage. Most of my critics had walked out of the church in protest, but the Methodists and the Lutherans stayed as well as some from the big Baptist Church. Later that year, the Lutherans and the Unitarian Universalists did a pulpit swap and had a joint coffee hour. I will always be grateful to my Lutheran colleague who didn't back down in the heat of the opposition, and who remained a loyal colleague for the rest of ministry in Ludington.
 
Rev. Jim had assigned to me the fifth word, "I thirst," (from the Gospel of John) that scholars say is his only "human expression of physical suffering. A Methodist friend of mine told me that I was given the easiest expression to preach on. I can't say, because it is the only time I was ever invited to participate in a Tres Horas service.

"See" you in church!
 
L, Cathy
231-301-3177

The seven last words (expressions) of Christ:

- First word: "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." 
- Second word: "Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise." 
- Third word : Jesus said to his mother: 'Woman, this is your son.' 
Then he said to  the disciple: 'This is your mother.' 
- Fourth word : "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" 
- Fifth word : "I thirst."
- Sixth word : When Jesus had received the wine, he said, "It is finished;" and he  bowed his head and handed over the spirit.
- Seventh word : "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit."

Easter Sunday Service - Join us on Zoom
April 12 - 10:30 AM - "Thrist" 
Rev. Cathy Harrington, Amanda Mangiardi, R e née Russell, B etsy Hammerberg, coordinators

Start signing in at 10:00 AM. For security purposes you will first enter a 'waiting room' and then be 'greeted' into the service.

Join Zoom Meeting:  https://zoom.us/j/313911553
Meeting ID:313 911 553
Phone: 1 646 876 9923 

Check UUCGT website for information and links on how to connect with Zoom:  www.uucgt.org
Religious Education - Children  & Youth 

Sunday Morning RE via Zoom - 9:45 AM

It was great to connect again last Sunday. It has been fun to see the things  that everyone "brings" to RE. Last week we saw things that the kids had created while at home, and they really enjoyed sharing their creations
with each other. 
We also learned about  Passover and made  finger puppets representing the ten plagues.
 
This coming Sunday we will talk about spring, rebirth, and Easter. Please bring something that represents a spring tradition in your family, whether related to a holiday or the season.  
          
See you soon! 
Betsy 
 
Note:  A Zoom meeting link for Sunday Morning RE will be sent to families in a separate email. If you have a child who would like to attend the RE gathering and you did not receive the link, please contact Betsy at dre@uucgt.org .
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UUCGT Board President's Message

I am sure many of us at UUCGT are experiencing a range of emotions. Concerns about our families, our fellow Congregants and ourselves are in the forefront for many of us. Three months ago, most of us could not have imagined how our lives would change so quickly.

I want to commend our Minister and Staff for their quick response to this crisis. The past three Sundays many of us have joined in on-line worship, the quality of which has been phenomenal given that we just started down this path a month ago. Beyond that, most of our Committees have adapted to meeting on-line and continue the essential activities to keep our Congregation functioning.

Your Board has quickly adapted as well and are now meeting on-line bi-weekly to address the many issues that have arisen due to the pandemic. One of those issues is proper care and support for our Staff. Much of our Staff is continuing to work close to their normal hours. In some cases, they are working more than their normal hours. A few, our Nursery Staff for example, are unable to work. Your Board has unanimously supported continuing to pay our Staff during the crisis, whether they are able to work or not. We strongly believe that this is the right and just action to take.

This brings me to a potentially sensitive, but necessary, request. On behalf of the Board, our Staff and the Congregation as a whole, I need to ask each of you, to the extent possible, to continue your financial support to UUCGT. We are not physically present to put our checks in the basket on Sunday morning. However, we can keep up our pledges and gifts by mailing our checks to the Congregation office or giving on-line through our website https://www.uucgt.org/connection/donate/. If you can, make an additional donation designated to "For those in need" as we are continuing our efforts to support those in need in our Community as well.

Further, we are continuing to work on financial planning for our 2020-2021 fiscal year that begins on July 1.  As of last week, we had only heard from 70% of our pledging units regarding their commitment for 2020-2021. If you have not yet submitted your pledge for the coming year, please do so. We recognize that for some of you this is a time of financial uncertainty, but, as always, pledges may be adjusted as financial situations change.

Although we cannot know exactly when, this crisis will pass and most of us will be the better for the experience. For one, we have already learned that we can meet effectively without everyone being physically in the same space. As we mutually support each other, even at a physical distance, we have become even more aware that UUCGT is not a physical building, it is a loving and caring group of people.

Mike McDonald
President, Board of Trustees

UUCGT Online Giving
Check out an informative video and links  here
 
Thank you for your generous contributions of support
Questions? Email Glennda Corning at  bookie@uucgt.org
UUCGT Calendar -  Stay Up to Date!
 
Sunday Services, meetings and classes are  hosted on Zoom  until further notice.  Need help with Zoom? See Zoom links below.

If you would like a personal visit with Rev. Cathy via Zoom, please contact her via text or email:  231-301-3177;  revharrington@mac.com

Friday, April 10 - 8:00 PM  ** Come early for social time @ 7:30 PM
Vespers - A quiet time to connect with others, relax, breathe
Join Zoom Meeting:  https://zoom.us/j/239515438
Meeting ID: 239 515 438
 
Sunday, April 12 - 9 :45 AM
Religious Education for Children 
Contact Betsy Hammerberg, dre@uucgt.org for Zoom link

Sunday, April 12 - 1 0:30 AM   ** Sign in after 10:00 AM
Easter Service - "Thrist"
Join Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/313911553
Meeting ID:313 911 553
Phone: 1 646 876 9923 

Monday & Wednesday - April 13 & 15 - 10:00 AM
Stretch & Strengthen Class - Stay Fit at Home!
Join Zoom Meeting:  https://zoom.us/j/161005737
Meeting ID: 161 005 737

Tuesday, April 7 - Community Lunch
Contact Mary Kiner

Wednesday, April 15 - 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
Zoom Drop-in Office Hours with Rev. Cathy
Join Zoom Meeting:   https://zoom.us/j/614475981
Meeting ID: 614 475 981

Wednesday, April 15 - 5:30 PM -  Wednesday Happy Hour on Zoom!
The Wednesday Supper group is continuing to meet for Happy Hour at 5:30 PM every Wednesday via Zoom! If you would like to join us, please contact  Mike and Sandra McDonald  for the weekly Zoom invite.
All are welcome!  Bring your beverage of choice and share in fellowship!

Thursday, April 16 - 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
Zoom Drop-in Office Hours with Rev. Cathy
Join Zoom Meeting:  https://zoom.us/j/743215398
Meeting ID: 743 215 398

Thursday, April 16 - 2:00 PM
Small Group Experience with Rev. Cathy and Mary Van Valin
Zoom link will be provided on Tuesday, April 14

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To schedule meetings & events, contact  office@uucgt
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We are a beloved community...
reaching out to one another, staying connected, standing steady.


RE Classes for Adults & Families via Zoom

Mandala Art Adventure - All Ages
Tuesdays 3:00 - 4:00 PM
Meets 4/21, 4/28, 5/5

Mandala patterns are evident from our cells to the universe. A brief power-point of photos will begin each session, depicting patterns from nature, designs from various cultures, and the universe. Participants will then design and create their own mandalas. Materials will be whatever you have at home - they can be as simple as a piece of paper and a pen or as involved as paint and multimedia! 

   

Black and White Me - All Ages
Thursdays 3:00-4:00 PM
Meets 4/23, 4/30
 
Learn 4 easy movements of T'ai C'hi, which is sometimes called a sacred dance. After practicing the movements we will draw or paint, using only black and white, what we experience or understand about this dance of spiritual energy.

Classes facilitated by RE teacher Claire Crandall
To sign up for Mandala Art Adventures or  Black and White Me
email Claire at clairestella5@gmail.com

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Family Stories: A Writing Workshop for Adults
Thursdays 1:30 - 2:30 PM
Meets 4/16, 4/23/4/30 (with option to continue)
 
This workshop will guide you through a process of identifying family stories to document, then creating, revising, and polishing drafts. 
 
Facilitated by RE teacher Alison Ernst, an Amherst Writers & Artists Affiliate certified to lead workshops in the  AWA method as described in Writing Alone & With Others by Pat Schneider, Oxford University Press.
 
All levels welcome, because..."A writer is someone who writes."
 
To sign up contact Alison at  awa2write@gmail.com.
Please provide your:
- full name
- phone #
- email address
 
New information on COVID-19 surfaces daily.
As we learn more, things may change.
Watch for updates and recommendations here.

Governor Whitmer demanded and we demand... Turn on the water for all
* * * * * * *
Northern Michigan GoFundMe to support Munson healthcare staff
* * * * * * *
How to mindfully put your groceries away
* * * * * * *
Call or send an email to MI Attorney General Dana Nessel ( 517-335-7622
or  miag@michigan.gov) - Ask that the Governor's Task Force assign someone to organize removal of healthy, non-violent individuals from prisons. Also, contact your representatives to address this issue whenever possible and pressure penal institutions to protect those in their care. 
This will save lives.

Social Justice Action
Emmy Lou Cholak,  sjatcmi@gmail.com

UUCGT Bulletin Board


Soul Matters Monthly Packets are available by request
Contact  office@uucgt.org for your copy!
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Try a Small Group Experience
Thursday - April 16

The small groups that we hoped to launch last month have been over-shadowed by this crazy pandemic. We realized that in this time of intense isolation, the small group concept might be a perfect way for us to connect at a deeper level. Rev. Cathy and Mary Van Valin will offer some "practice" small group opportunities, and we welcome your participation.

The person who leads the "Soul Matters" small group project, Rev. Scott Tayler, says what he hopes the small groups accomplish is "healing disconnection." A few of us have been trying his model, and find it a really good way to dig into ourselves and heal the sense of isolation. It's all about deep listening, allowing each person to "hear, discover and listen to their own voice", quoting Parker Palmer.

For our first few sessions, we will just come together and use some of Rev. Tayler's materials to dig into life during a pandemic. Eventually, the groups will receive a monthly packet to use during the month, and then at the small group meeting, we will hear each other on that monthly topic. But for now, we will just do some practice sessions, and see if there is interest in forming ongoing small groups.
All are welcome!
Our first session will be Thursday, April 16 at 2:00 PM
You can just show up! 
Zoom links will be in Tuesday's Ministry Message
If you have questions, call Cathy at 231-301-3177  or Mary at 342-1605
End Note...

We cannot know the future,  but we can be sure
that it is being shaped in this very moment. 
Perhaps we need to work backward,
imagining the future we dream of
so that we can take the steps right now
that will lead in that direction.
~ UU Daily Compass

   
UUCGT office will be closed until further notice
Please email office@uucgt.org with any questions/concerns

Contact Rev. Cathy at revharrington@mac.com
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