Weekly Update - March 26, 2020
Sunday Service: March 29th at 10:30 am
led by Rev. Laurel Gray

To join us online, click zoom.us/j/293107677
To call in, dial 301-715-8592, meeting ID 508-366-2635
As UUCSW is currently not holding in-person gatherings, this service will be held online via Zoom. All are welcome!

In lieu of Coffee Hour, you are invited to log in early on Sunday (beginning at 10:00 am) to greet and chat with one another before service. Also, if you are new to Zoom and would like a few extra minutes to learn your way around before the service starts, this is your chance! Volunteers will be online and available to help you get acclimated.

At the conclusion of service, anyone who would like to stay for an additional 15 minutes will be invited to take part in a new small group ministry experiment! Attendees will be divided randomly into small "breakout" groups and Rev. Laurel will provide a discussion question to prompt us to engage with one another on a more personal level.

Do you have questions about joining our livestream services? Are you having technical or access issues? Email us at office@uucsw.org .
A Message from the Board
The Board of Trustees has met every week in March, using Zoom, made necessary by coronavirus concerns. Who knew the term 'social distancing' a month ago? Following on actions by the state of Massachusetts and the town of Westborough, the board voted to shut down all in-person church activities until April 15th, Sunday services, committee meetings, the auction, everything. Rev. Laurel also committed to figuring out how to make our Sunday services go live over the internet. Our first online service took place this past Sunday, March 22nd. There were over forty connections and about 60 people involved. If you did not connect last Sunday, be sure to connect this Sunday.

We do not know how long this situation will last, but we do know that the changes to our everyday lives will be hard on all of us, sometimes in unexpected ways. Think about reaching out to your friends, neighbors and other members of the congregation by phone, video, text or email and catch up on how they are doing. We will all do better if we all support each other. - UUCSW Board of Trustees
"UUCSW Reflections" Podcast
Even as we hold livestream worship services, we will continue to regularly update our podcast with Rev. Laurel's sermons and her monthly reflections. To access our podcast homepage, go to: bit.ly/UUpod.
New Facebook Group!
To create a space for conversation when we cannot meet in person, we have established a new, private Facebook group for UUCSW Members and Friends. To join, go to: facebook.com/groups/UUCSW.

If you do not choose to join the group, or do not have a Facebook account, you can still view our public Facebook page which will continue to be updated as usual with news, events, and announcements.
UUCSW's groups are now meeting by Zoom!
UU Knits (every Monday at 6:30 pm): zoom.us/j/588727151

Covenant Group (every other Saturday from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm - the next meeting is April 4th): zoom.us/j/614310384

Book Group (2nd Friday at 7:00 pm): zoom.us/j/605989233

NEW! Community Hour - a chance to check in and chat informally with Rev. Laurel and one another during the week, offered on both Tuesday evenings and Thursday mornings. All are invited to drop in!
UU Advocacy Day has gone virtual: 10:00 to 11:30 am on April 14th, 2020!
The priorities are the same, but we will meet via Zoom so NO commuting into Boston! And UU Mass Action will help you connect with your MA state legislators to advocate for priority issues. Our UUA President, the Rev Susan Frederick-Grey, will be the keynote speaker and awards will be given to long time activists from around the state. Then we'll focus on the UU Mass Action priorities.  Register here (it's free). In this time of the coronavirus pandemic, we need to:

  • Fight for the immediate release of as many people as possible from prison, jail and detention.
  • Ensure that immigrant families, especially those who are undocumented, have access to healthcare and are not afraid to ask for help.
  • Fight for economic responses that meet the needs of those who are most vulnerable and ensure no one is left out.
  • The climate crisis is still there - yes, the immediate needs of the people need to be addressed but we can't forget that a just transition to 100% clean, renewable energy remains crucial. The longer we ignore the climate crisis, the greater the risk that the current situation we face will become the new normal.
Money Matters - online giving/payments
While we are all in "stay at home" mode, you may be wondering what is the best way to make contributions to UUCSW for your annual pledge, Share the Plate, or the Minister's Discretionary Fund. Perhaps you signed up for some online auction items and aren't sure how to pay? You have two options:

1. Write a check, with the intended fund (pledge, auction, etc.) in the memo line and mail to: UUCSW, Box 544, Westborough, MA 01581

2. Pay through Realm. Login in to your Realm account on your device, Select "giving" from the menu on the left (PC), or bottom (smart phone) of your screen. Select "+ give" and fill in the amount, use the pull down menu under "fund" to select where the money should go. When you select "continue" you will be taken to a screen to enter your bank or credit card information. Please note that the fee for bank transfers is 1% and credit cards is 3%. There is a check box to select if you would like to cover the cost of the fees. Please note that all payments are handled through Vanco, an online service that has been serving churches for many years. None of your banking information is stored by UUCSW.

Questions? Please contact Lisa Shumway at treasurer@uucsw.org.
Minister's Discretionary Fund
If you are in need of immediate financial assistance to provide housing, food, or other essentials for yourself or your family, you may reach out to Rev. Laurel for assistance from the Minister's Discretionary Fund. Email her at laurel.gray@uucsw.org and she will arrange a time to privately discuss your needs. All requests will remain confidential.
Social Justice Action
Each week UUCSW publishes a Social Justice Action "Green Sheet" which contains information about Social Justice happenings and opportunities at UUCSW and in the broader community.