WSUU Mid-Week Connection 
April 8, 2020 

Welcome, beloveds! 
It remains an honor and a quiet joy to accompany you in through this season of uncertainty.  Please remember to breathe in and breathe out.  As my sister and I used to remind each other during our grad school days, "if you forget this, nothing else matters."  The impacts of this moment vary widely for us as a community, and yet, we are all impacted. 
So much is possible right now.  Grandparents, uncles, and aunties are offering virtual babysitting while exhausted parents take naps or go to work online, people are sharing ipads and laptops with folx who would not otherwise have access to digital connection, we continue to support food banks and shelters so that those closest to the margins do not get pushed over the edge.
In this moment we are called not only to offer care to each other, but to also, as my teaching minister charged me upon my ordination, to "notice, ask, and receive."  Notice what you need.  Ask for it.  Be willing to receive it.  Just as most plants thrive best with steady water along the way, rather than droughts and floods, so to do our human beings.  May you know that you are worthy of consistent rest and restoration.  There is time for giving and for grieving.
May you remember to offer yourself the same level of compassion you offer to so many in your community of care.  As we all do the best we can where we are, may we remember that we are enough.  I share with you this healing mantra by Beautiful Chorus, first shared with the WSUU community when the Rev. Denise Graves visited us in December 2019, I am enough.

Dear ones, I carry you in my heart.
With love and care,
Rev. Deanna Vandiver
Bridge Minister

  This mid-week connection is filled with invitations to participate in spiritual practices and creative resilience including:
  • an invitation from the Rev. Erin Walter in Austin, TX

  • a meditation practice shared with us by the Rev. Tandi Rogers 

  • a love note and song from the Rev. Denise Graves in New Orleans, LA
  • poems, including one read to us by the author, the Rev. Theresa I. Soto
  • and a link to the latest edition of Quest from the Church of the Larger Fellowship, focusing on the theme of Renewal
An invitation in this moment to:

Mindful Meditation Practice

This mindful meditation practice has been shared with lay leaders and ministers by the Rev. Tandi Rogers and we are sharing it here with you, a meditation called "You Are Courage" by Hannah Leatherbury (15:35)
You are invited find a place to settle into stillness for this practice.

Rev Denise Graves

A love note and a song from the Rev. Denise Graves, Public Healer and Theologian, who visited WSUU as a guest minister in December 2020:


Poems of Resilience

Because even in a global pandemic, human hearts still celebrate National Poetry Month, still reach for words to name the unnamable, find poems to hold the breadth and depth of our lives...
We begin with everything is still on fire, a poem created and read to you by the Rev. Theresa I. Soto:

from their collection, Spilling the Light: Meditations on Hope and Resilience ( Spilling the Light is available at inSpirit: The UU Book and Gift Shop)

and close with a poem for you to read, silently or aloud, as you choose:

It Is I Who Must Begin
by Vaclav Havel

It is I who must begin.
Once I begin, once I try --
here and now,
right where I am,
not excusing myself
by saying things
would be easier elsewhere,
without grand speeches and
ostentatious gestures,
but all the more persistently
-- to live in harmony
with the "voice of Being," as I
understand it within myself
-- as soon as I begin that,
I suddenly discover,
to my surprise, that
I am neither the only one,
nor the first,
nor the most important one
to have set out
upon that road.
Whether all is really lost
or not depends entirely on
whether or not I am lost.

from Teaching With Fire,  
(ed. by S.M. Intrator and M. Scribner)
More Resilience Resources:

The latest edition of Quest - Renewal - from the Church of the Larger Fellowship Unitarian Universalist (CLF).

Westside's Congregational Care Clusters have been organized geographically to offer each other maximum support during this time of physical distancing.  You are invited to connect with your cluster and make sure you share your needs and resources with each other.  We are all in this together.

And please reach out to our Bridge Minister to be connected with our Pastoral Care Team by e-mailing Rev. Deanna at  - we are with you, dear ones!

Feeding your spirit, expanding your mind, working for justice
Westside UU Congregation |  |206.935.0418 |