Seeking the Spirit, Building Community, Changing the World
Sunday, July 12, 2020
10:15 am LIVE STREAM ONLY
Yes, Virginia, Black Lives Really Do Matter
Reverend Bill Breeden, Minister Emeritus
As we have discovered, dismantling White supremacy is not easy. It is painful, it is not done overnight, and we UUs don't always get things right, but we stand for equality and justice for all, and we will not be silent in the face of fascism and racism.
Please Join Us Via Livestream Only
Please join us via livestream for our service each Sunday via our
website livestream page
. Archived videos are available about 3 hours after the airing of each livestream on our website, in case you miss the livestream while it's live.
Our Building is Closed,
but Our Hearts are Still Open.
To help disrupt the spread of the coronavirus and COVID-19 in our community, our Board of Directors has voted to close the building for the time being.
Everyone please stay safe, stay well, and stay home as much as possible.
Our Board will review the situation concerning our building closure and the progress of the pandemic at their Board meeting each month, and will keep us updated on their decisions.
Join Us for Engaging Conversation!
Every Sunday after the worship service until 12:15 pm, use this link to connect with other members of our UU community in Virtual Coffee Hour,
Coffee Hour Link
to join us for engaging conversation!
Read the Friday Update for the complete list of Coffee Hour breakout room topics.
If you would like to request a conversation topic and be a small group conversation host, email connect(at)uubloomington.org before Saturday.
-Ann LeDuc, Connections Coordinator
Back to School?
Parent Conversations July 11 and July 16
Join our Director of Religious Education, Adrienne Summerlot, for an opportunity to connect with other parents who are sorting through information and discerning if and how their children may be returning to school this fall. Offering two dates and times to meet parents' schedules! Saturday, July 11th at 10:00 am and Thursday, July 16th
at 7:00 pm.
about specific concerns so she can best support you in finding information and also provide you with the Zoom Link.
Social Justice Alert from Rev. Bill
We have been informed that the Trump administration has decided to restart the killing machine in the death house at the Federal Prison in Terre Haute, Indiana. They have moved four men to the death house, and plan executions in July and August. We will try to keep you informed, and we will be there if indeed the executions take place. At present, the execution scheduled for next Monday, July 13, has been stayed by a federal judge.
It is a good time to write to your Representatives and Senators and demand an end to state-sponsored murder. It seems that cruelty has become the byword for American democracy. Legalized murder does nothing to protect our citizens, and indeed studies have shown again and again that violence breeds violence, with murder rates rising after executions. Be well, and stand for justice, not for revenge.
Finally, I attended the Black Lives Matter rally and march at the courthouse last evening, July 6. It was a wonderful rally, and I was happy to see UUs in attendance including my fellow ministers at UUCB. It was peaceful, yet it was a powerful call to action by young people who are the driving force that will revitalize democracy in America and lead the way to a more just society for all. Unfortunately, there was a hit-and-run incident with a person driving their car into some protesters at the end. Please read all of Rev. Macklin's column in this Prologue, below, for an inclusive perspective on the issue confronting our community.
Reverend Bill Breeden
Message from MAM
For those of you who may not have access to Facebook, the following message was shared by Vauhxx Rush Booker, a Black man from Bloomington, the evening of July 5th. As you will see, the last line of his message states, "Yes, you may share, I'd appreciate it. I'm likely going to log off for the day in an attempt to maintain my peace and wellbeing." A rally, led by Black leaders of our community, was held Monday evening in downtown Bloomington. I will add a few more words at the end of this account by Vauhxx of this abhorrent event with threats of a lynching.
From Vauhxx Rush Booker Facebook July 5th 5:50pm
I don't want to recount this, but I was almost the victim of an attempted lynching. I don't want this to have happened to me or anyone. It hurts my soul, and my pride, but there are multiple witnesses and it can't be hidden or avoided.
On July 4th evening others and me were victims of what I would describe as a hate crime. I was attacked by five white men (with confederate flags) who literally threatened to lynch me in front of numerous witnesses. (For my family and friends, I'm okay. I was diagnosed with a minor concussion, some abrasions, bruising, and some ripped out hair patches. I'm sorry you're learning this way, but I don't have the energy to keep retelling this.
The backstory is some individuals, my friends, and me had all planned on gathering to view the lunar eclipse at lake Monroe, rather than celebrating Independence Day. We were simply looking forward to a night of enjoying nature's awesome beauty.
On our way into the park we (a friend and I) encountered a large white male (seemingly drunk) wearing an oversized hat with a confederate flag print on it. We were polite and continued on even though the encounter felt awkward. We noticed he began following us in an ATV, and we stopped as he drove up behind us and then stated we were on private property. We relayed to him that we believed the organizers had received permission from the property owners to cross, but apologized and went on to our beautiful site just off the water without any further incident. When we arrived we told the event organizer of the encounter and it was relayed that the individual wasn't the actual property owner and the organizer apologized.
Even still, we advised our folks still in route to use the public beach way to avoid any possible conflict arising. We later found out that these individuals had blocked off the public beach way with a boat and their ATVs claiming that it was also their land. When folks tried to crossed they yelled, "white power" at them. Honestly, we thought it might just be the one drunken individual with the confederate hat we had encountered earlier who might be instigating the conflict. We decided to just walk back and attempt to simply have a conversation with some of the more sober seeming group members and see if we could smooth things over a bit. We were calm and polite, but looking back now, it's apparent that these individuals began targeting our group the moment they saw myself, a Black man and were looking to provoke a conflict.
The individuals were calm for a moment then quickly became aggressive, and we started to simply leave. Rather than go back on the public beach they angrily indicated for us to use the trail, so we complied, and (friend and I) started walking away from them back to our site. A short moment later they began following us yelling. Two of them jumped me from behind and knocked me to the ground. I tussled with the two and another one joined in, then two more. The five were able to easily overwhelm me and got me to the ground and dragged me pinning my body against a tree as they began pounding on my head and ripped off some of my hair, with several of them still on top of my body holding me down. They held me pinned and continued beating me for several minutes seemingly become more and more enraged as they kept trying to seriously injure me and failing. At one point during the attack one of the men jumped on my neck. I could feel both his feet and his full bodyweight land hard against my neck.
At this point the commotion and the sounds one of the men's young teenage daughter screaming for her father and the others to let me go started attracting more people, (most whom I didn't know) who started attempting to intervene. The attackers told the growing group, "we're going to break his arms" (while literally attempting to bend my arms behind me) and then stated to the members of their party several times to, "get a noose", amongst some other choice slurs. With me still pinned underneath them they kept telling onlookers to leave the, "boy" and that everyone else (all white) could go. Folks then started filming the confrontation, and shouting that they wouldn't leave me to be killed.
I lack the ability to adequately express my thoughts regarding this moment. How many Black people had the same surreal and terrifying experience of strangers talking about their own murders in front of them, who then didn't live to see another day.
They (white allies) got the attackers off me and these drunken individuals continued to follow us. We attempted to explain that we were already on public park land and quite a ways away from any land they could claim, yet they continued to yell slurs and strike bystanders filming, all while beer cans were still in their hands. Others were finally able to stop the attackers from pursuing our group.
We called 911 who transferred us to DNR. When DNR eventually arrived they didn't contact us to ensure that no one was injured, instead they went directly to speak with the other individuals (attackers) first. When they finally came to the beach near our campsite where we were all waiting, multiple individuals who didn't know each other shared videos and relayed that the individuals had yelled "white power" and a litany of other derogatory remarks, and threatened my life multiple times, and also assaulted an approximately 60 year old man who stopped to film the encounter. Yet DNR refused to arrest any of these individuals, even with multiple the witnesses several who filmed the event and collaborated our accounts. Instead the officers stated they contacted the Prosecutor's office who relayed there was no immediate need to arrest anyone, and that the officers would simply file a report. To reiterate, this attack occurred on public land and was recorded by numerous individuals who made statements against the attackers for assaulting them and me. I'm gravely concerned that if any other people of color who were to cross their path they could be killed.
I'm not sure I know what to do next. I consider myself a leader (I'm on Human Rights Commission and do so many other roles) and don't know what to do. Leaders are supposed to know what to do. But, I'm not going to cry. I refused to die with these white men atop me while I struggled for every breath. I still refuse to be a hashtag or some racist's victim. I do know that we as a community can stand against racism if we choose.
Bloomington we've had three public incidents involving overtly racists individuals who were then backed by the police within a month. Are we going to wait for a Black person to be lying dead in the gutter before we act? When is enough actually enough?
My enduring gratitude to those who stopped merely being bystanders and acted to aid me, who told the police what they'd seen and heard, and who shared my outrage at DNR's and our Prosecutor's office inaction.
If you'd like to help do something, please ask that the Monroe County Prosecutor Erika Oliphant swiftly act to bring these individuals to justice.
Yes, you may share, I'd appreciate it. I'm likely going to log off for the day in an attempt to maintain my peace and wellbeing.
If you'd like to follow and support my activism please follow my public figure page.
For press inquiries please contact:
Concluding Remarks from Mary Ann
For those of you who were not able to access the video which was sent out before the rally on Monday regarding the July 4th attack at Lake Monroe, here, in part, are my remarks:
As a liberal faith community, we stand in solidarity with Vauhxx, a friend to many in our congregation, with Black Lives Matter in Bloomington, Enough is Enough, and with all in the struggle for social justice. As a result of our shock and outrage, and at the request of black leaders of our community, we call for the City of Bloomington and Monroe County to take all legal recourse in regard to this disgraceful act and we ask that those law enforcement officials who responded be also held accountable. I also urge Mayor Hamilton, the Bloomington Common Council, local leaders and Chief Diekhoff to work with community activists to build together a new model of inclusive security that rejects militarized policing and embraces the rights and dignity of Black lives.
Note: At the end of the rally and march on Monday, July 6th, which many of us attended, two protestors were injured when a person ran into them with her car. It was a hit and run incident. As people of faith, may we act and pray for justice.
And may we each find our way forward to becoming anti-racist in the White supremacy culture of our country, our community, our congregation and our lives.
Reverend Mary Ann Macklin
From Our Minister Emerita
For Mercy has a human heart,
Pity a human face,
And Love, the human form divine,
And Peace the human dress.
Poet William Blake wrote that the creative spirit is the Holy Spirit.
How does one respond creatively to a Pandemic?
I keep in touch with several of our senior members who are responding creatively to the unexpected, unplanned, un-imaginable restrictions of life in a pandemic. They are listening to music, reading, working in their gardens, exercising, taking care of pets, and keeping in touch with neighbors and family. One senior visits her family (who live elsewhere) on Zoom every Sunday.
I have a list of UU volunteers for errands, groceries, and technical support.
Only one request has been received: for a mask! UU mask-maker Ruth Aydt quickly supplied and delivered the mask (and one for me, too!
). Many seniors are listening and appreciating the creative livestream Sunday services. A special thanks to our wonderful ministers, musicians, guests and staff who bring us inspiring Sunday services and more--til we all meet again.
In faith, hope and gratitude.
Rev. Barbara Carlson
Our 25% of Sunday Plate Recipient Has Changed
Dear Members and Friends -
I am sad to report that on July 1, 2020, we received a letter from Pete Lenzen and Rosemary Hart, co
chairs of the Bloomington Refugee Support Network, Inc., Executive Committee, informing us that their
volunteer, organization is in the middle of a leadership change" and that they would need to "step aside as the current recipient" of our Share the Plate program.
Their letter expressed both deep appreciation for being selected as a recipient of the "Share the Plate" program (25% of Sunday Plate), and for the work our church does to help "those less fortunate" and the "many wonderful contributions" we make to our community.
In consultation with Reverend Macklin and Reverend Leite, I am pleased to announce that our "Share the Plate" recipient for 2020-21 will be Monroe County United Ministries. They were a close second place finisher and received a substantial number of votes at the congregational meeting on June 7.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, we wish to thank both the Bloomington Refugee Support Network and Women Writing for (a) Change and encourage them to reapply at a future time.
And, thanks to all of our members who participated in this year's virtual Congregational Meeting.
Most appreciatively yours,
Stuart D. Yoak
(for the UU Board of Directors)
The Exploring Unitarian Universalism (UU) class will be offered online on July 12 and 19, 2-4 pm. Use this link to register for the class before July 10. This class is a great opportunity to learn about the UU Principles, our ministers, the history of this church, all the ways to get involved here, and what it means to be a member of our congregation. Plan to attend both dates, since different material will be covered in each session. We request completion of this class before you become a member. Everyone ages 14 to 100+ is welcome!
Exploring Unitarian Universalism Online July 12 and 19!
Questions? Email Ann LeDuc at connect(at)uubloomington.org
Shambhala Meditation Mondays at 12 noon
Open Mind Zen Online
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Open Mind Zen Indiana is currently holding all meetings online. For information on how to participate, please contact them at through their
For more info:visit
UU Humanist Forum and Freethinkers Meeting Online
Each Sunday at 12:45 p.m., our UU Humanists and Freethinkers meet together online on Zoom for
open and non-structured discussion of issues of social, political, and theological/religious concern.
to see topics we have discussed. Email
if you would like to join the discussion.
Welcome Cindy Brandes into Membership!
On June 4, Cindy Brandes joined our membership. Please give her a warm welcome to membership when you see her. Below is her bio to help you get to know her better.
---Ann LeDuc, Connections Coordinator
moved to Bloomington from the Chicago area in 1989. She became a friend of the church, after joining in on a family choir Sunday. After singing that Sunday, Sue asked her to join the UU choir, that was about 19 years ago, she's been hooked ever since. Cindy loves to sing, loves crafting, and enjoys creativity of all kinds.
Connections Coordinator Open Office Hour
via Zoom on Fridays
Upcoming UU Singles Events
We are a group of single adults within the UU Bloomington community who meet occasionally for conversation and fun as a group. Please join us! The following events will take place over Zoom:
- Tuesday evening, July 7 (tonight):
* 7 p.m. Conversation with Prompts
- Friday evening, July 10:
* 6 p.m. Happy Hour
* 7 p.m. Game Night
If you are not already on the UU singles e-mail list, please contact mariedeer1961(at)gmail.com or 812-391-0900.
Join Us for a Socially Distanced Hike on July 11 or July 17!
Changing the World
JULY Food & Hygiene Drive
From our Homelessness and Hunger Task Forces
Through July 30, we will be collecting food, hygiene items, and clothing for Shalom, and food for our Pantry at College Square. Our building is closed, but we have placed collection bins outside the building, under the northside porch near the Portico Entrance. Simply drive up and drop off - we are collecting donations from these bins daily.
Thank you for all the donations in June!
Volunteering at Local Shelters
Click here to learn more
about volunteer opportunities and coronavirus health precautions at Shalom Community Center and Wheeler Mission.
Helping at Middle Way House
to see the ways you can volunteer at Middle Way House, Bloomington's emergency shelter for survivors of domestic violence.
--Alan Backler and Marlin Howard, Homelessness Task Force
Thank You So Much!
We recently received thank you notes from organizations we have been helping:
"Thank you so much for thinking of us! --Holly Wadkoetter & The Nest at New Hope"
"Dear freinds @ UU: Thank you so very much for your May 2020 drive for Backpack Buddies. This is a vital program that supports so many local families with children. Thank you for your efforts to support the work! Sincerely, Vickie Pierce at Community Kitchen."
UU History for You
A 20th Century Approach to Theology
Paul Tillich was born in 1886 in Starzgeddel, Germany, and died in Chicago, Illinois, in 1965. His father was a Lutheran pastor and young Tillich followed his father's path. He got his PhD at the University of Breslau and studied theology at the University of Halle-Wittenberg.
Tillich's views on theology were controversial. He argued that religion was corrupted by capitalism and its self-interest and needed an infusion of socialism to address the spiritual and daily lives of those who sought religion as a guide. He was fired when the Nazis came to power, and at age 47 he learned English and took a job at Union Theological Seminary in New York. He also taught at Harvard and at the University of Chicago.
He applied existential philosophy to theology and argued that God was beyond being an essence or existence. He claimed that "being" was the basis for religion because it was expressed through the self, freedom, causality, space, and substance. He designated that involvement as "ultimate concern." His popular book,
The Courage to Be, expresses this existential approach to religion. Among UUs it relates to our commitment to social action and justice as part of our ultimate concern. His critics interpreted him as a pantheist (like Spinoza) or as an atheist who abandoned a personal God.
---Elof Carlson, UUCB Historian
Mail Forwarding and Gifts to the Congregation
from Financial Institutions and
Charitable Gift Funds
Because our building is currently closed, there may be difficulties with our receiving gifts you may have requested from certain financial institutions like Fidelity or Vanguard or charitable gift funds. This is because they do not permit the U.S. Postal Service to forward such gifts. We are having the church mail forwarded, so this could be creating a problem in some cases. If you have encountered this, please contact admin(at)uubloomington.org or Monica at office(at)uubloomington.org for assistance. (We are receiving pledge checks generated by your bank as usual, if you happen to make your contributions that way!)
Carol Marks, Church Administrator
Grocery Cards Now Available By Mail --
& Sign Up Your Kroger Plus Card to Benefit UUCB
Did you know that we have grocery gift cards for Bloomingfoods and Fresh Thyme available for sale by mail? Just send us a check made payable to "UU Church" with which store and amount you would like to purchase on the memo line, and we will mail you the cards. We buy the cards at a discount and sell them as a fundraiser to support our operating budget.
Click here to see which denominations of cards are currently available.
You can also
click here to register your Kroger Plus card
with their Community Rewards Program and send a percentage of your purchases to the UU Church - our organization ID is EW763.
During the last quarter (January - March 2020) we received $411.80 from Kroger, with 135 UU households participating.
Reverend Mary Ann Macklin, our Senior Minister
can be reached at macklin (at) uubloomington.org or 812-322-0205.
Reverend Emily Manvel Leite,
our Minister of Religious Education & Congregational Life,
will be away until July 26.
Reverend Barbara Carlson, our Minister Emerita, can be reached at barbaracarlson5 (at) gmail.com or 812-822-0243
Reverend Bill Breeden, our Minister Emeritus, can be reached at breeden1949 (at) gmail.com or 812-360-1779.
, Church Administrator, admin (at) uubloomington.org
Carol will be away July 11-26.
Ann LeDuc, Connections Coordinator, connect (at) uubloomington.org
Monica Overman and Mandy Skinner, Office Assistants, office (at) uubloomington.org
Ned Joyner and Andy Beargie, Multimedia Managers, media (at) uubloomington.org
Adrienne Summerlot, Director of Religious Education, dre (at) uubloomington.org
Stephanie Kimball, Religious Ed Assistant, rea (at) uubloomington.org
Susan Swaney, Music Director, music (at) uubloomington.org
Our Covenant of Right Relations
In June 2017, our members affirmed a Covenant of Right Relations.
Deadlines for Publications
Order of service and Friday UU Update:
Thursday, 9 am, to office(at)uubloomington.org
Date of publication, 10 am, to admin(at)uubloomington.org
Office hours: M-F, 10 am-4 pm (office closed at church, but staff working from home during these hrs)
Church Administrator Carol Marks can be reached via text or voicemail during office hours at 812-287-9615. Email: admin (at) uubloomington.org
Facebook: Many church events are also posted on our
Prologue Publication Schedule:
The deadline for articles is 10 am on the date of publication, which is
the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month.
issues: July 21, Aug 4, Aug 18, Sept 1, Sept 15
For Entertainment Value Only:
Carol Marks's favorite food Youtuber is
. Occasionally wacky videos, but always wholesome. Quite a lot of sweetened condensed milk is involved.
Livestreaming Our Sunday Service, 10:15 am
Have a problem viewing or hearing the service?
Links to Archived Services to View Online
- Or, scroll down on our main Livestream Page
for full archives of both services and other events (memorials, concerts, etc).
Membership: 527 certified members; 552 current members.
Sunday, June 21 10:15 Livestream & Facebook Live 414
Sunday, June 28 10:00 Facebook Live 262 (UUA's Sunday service at General Assembly)
Sunday, July 5 10:15 Livestream & Facebook Live 212
June 7 and June 14: $771
To make a contribution for the Non-Pledge Offering (Sunday Plate), or to make a payment towards your pledge or the Minister's Discretionary Fund, click on this link to get to our PayPal page: http://bit.ly/UUCBdonate
Total to be donated (25%) to Volunteers in Medicine (HealthNet): $192.75
Grocery Card Sales:
(Bloomingfoods or Fresh Thyme) -- 0
Total income to UUCB: $0
We have grocery cards available by mail. Please see related article in this issue, above.
Masthead photo from the interwebs, with permission.
|Unitarian Universalist Church
2120 N. Fee Lane Bloomington, IN 47408