Weekly Update - March 4th, 2021
Sunday Service: "The Free Pulpit"
led by Rev. Laurel Gray
March 7th at 10:30 am
This Sunday marks a year since we’ve gathered in our physical sanctuary for services because of the ongoing pandemic. Just as we have learned that a congregation is a community, not a place, the “free pulpit” that we UUs so value is not something physical. So what is it? Where did it come from? How does freedom operate within a covenantal community? What commitment are we making to ourselves and our community when we step into that free pulpit?

To join online, go to zoom.us/j/89214621289
To join by phone, call 301-715-8592, meeting ID 89214621289
Annual Pledge Campaign Update
We have now raised $97,066 for the Annual Pledge Campaign, with $23,000 left to go to reach our goal. We have 42 pledges in and at least 15 outstanding. We have also raised $13,200 toward the Steeple Fund, and $2,775 to offset decreased pledging due to the pandemic. Thanks to everyone who has pledged so far! If you haven't pledged yet, here's how:

  1. Return a completed Pledge Card by mail to: UUCSW, PO Box 544, Westborough MA 01581 OR
  2. Pledge online at onrealm.org (detailed instructions are available hereOR
  3. Contact Lisa Shumway, Treasurer at treasurer@uucsw.org
UU Mass Action Regional Kick Off March 8th
Are you interested in social justice, connecting with other congregations, and building power so we can make an impact on the issues we care about? Join us at 7:00 pm on March 8th for the kick off meeting of the North Metrowest Regional UU Action Team! We will come together to build relationships, share resources and information about action opportunities, and build power together so we can deepen our shared vision for a more just world. RSVP here or email Tali at tsmookler@uumassaction.org with any questions.
Book Group March 12th
For March, we are reading The Space Between Us by Thrity Umriga. Please join us. The group is open to all. You are welcome to attend.

Book Group will be online. If you are planning to attend for the first time, please email Judith at Judithteacake@gmail.com.
Community Conversation about Social Justice: Sunday, March 21st from 12:00-1:30 pm
As our congregation reimagines how we might effectively work for justice together, we want to hear from you. This will be a time of dreaming big and imagining together what we are capable of. So bring your hopes and ideas, and come share them with us! The workshop will be facilitated by UUA Congregational Consultant Erica Baron. Join the conversation at uua.zoom.us/j/96506940771.
SMOC Food Drive for March
Please consider participating in a food drive to benefit the South Middlesex Opportunity Council (SMOC). At this time they are in need of: juice boxes/pouches; fresh fruit; 16 oz. packages of bologna, pre-packaged; and chewy/soft granola bars. There will be a collection for these items on March 25th between 4:30 and 5:45 pm at the Ruggles Street door of UUCSW. Please reach out to Libba Moore at libbamoore13@gmail.com ahead of time if there's a better time for you. Thank you for your help with this. - the Social Justice Committee
Help UUCSW Help People in Need
SMOC has also identified the need for clothing, especially for men. Donated items can include: new socks and underwear, and gently used sweatshirts, sweatpants, T-shirts, and jeans. Bring your donations to UUCSW on March 25th between 4:30 and 5:45 pm. If this timing does not work for you, reach out to Nancy Siegal at nsiegal185@msn.com or Pauline Sciarappa at psciarappa@gmail.com for other options. These drives will happen monthly at least through the spring. Thank you in advance!
Pandemic Cookbook - We Want Your Recipes!
As part of our Spring Auction Fundraiser, we are producing a church cookbook. Look back over this past year and choose the "pandemic recipes" that turned out great! What are the new foods you have tried that turned out to be a new favorite? What are the recipes you invented to use the last of what you have in the pantry? What about those recipes that were so comforting they happened every week? Pick your favorite to include in our church-wide-distributed cookbook.

More information, including submission directions, will be announced next week. In the meantime, direct cookbook questions to Erin Gold, kentuckybluerose@gmail.com.
Online Game Night - Save the Date!
The Membership Team is planning an Online Game Night for April 10th at 7:00 pm. We look forward to seeing you there!

Mark your calendar and join us on Zoom at zoom.us/j/82346789598
#SmallActsBigPrinciples
It's officially March, which feels complicated this year - I woke up Monday morning with both a feeling of "spring is coming!" and the soul-heaviness of "we've spent a whole year in quarantine."

I often forget about our sixth principle, overshadowed so often by the seventh (interdependence) and the fifth (democracy). It calls us to "affirm the goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all." In the midst of this pandemic, the sixth principle feels like a call to do all we can to stop the spread of Covid.

One of my friends' moms lives in Texas and she posted on Facebook today that she's still going to wear a mask in public even though it isn't mandated and even though she's been vaccinated. And I think she's right, because even as an individual's risk goes down with vaccination, we still need mask wearing to continue as a protection for those who haven't been vaccinated yet.

I'm getting my first dose on Saturday and my small act this week is deciding that I'm going to keep wearing a mask until our country actually reaches herd immunity. Because I'm committed to keeping social distancing and masking normal until we've reached a point of safety for everyone.

What's your small act this week? - Rev. Laurel
Spiritual Resources for the Month of March
This month we explore what it means to be a People of Commitment.

Visit our website uucsw.org
Listen to our podcast bit.ly/UUpod
Invite a friend uucsw.org/invite-a-friend
Request a meeting calendly.com/revlaurelgray