Seeking the Spirit, Building Community, Changing the World
Sunday, May 24, 2020
10:15 am LIVE STREAM ONLY
When the Novelty Fades:
Facing Our Mortality and the Novel Cornonavirus
Reverend Mary Ann Macklin
Reverend Emily Manvel Leite
Guest Musician: Carrie Newcomer
For us humans, the novelty of the novel coronavirus has begun to fade. But the virus itself remains novel, dangerous and, at times, deadly. What does it mean to live in a time when death is no longer hidden away? How do we interact with our mortality and grief while somewhat isolated? As individuals? As a community? Join us for this worship service as we ease into one of religion's greatest questions. What does it mean to live, knowing we will die? Our End of Life Task Force will offer our Social Justice Moment.
Sunday, May 31, 2020
10:15 am LIVE STREAM ONLY
Reverend Bill Breeden
Viruses, Victims, and
or Forever Hold Our Peace
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 its live.
Our Building is Closed Through at least the end of July,
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 through the month of July 2020.
All in-person events and meetings have been cancelled.
Everyone please stay safe, stay well, and stay home.
Join us for Virtual Coffee Hour!
Every Sunday after the worship service until 12:15 pm, click on this link to join us for engaging conversation!
This Sunday, a special breakout room for Parents and Families will be offered by Amy Beck. Every Sunday, small group conversation breakout rooms are available for the choir, worship service discussion, and general discussion. Read the Friday Update for the complete list of Coffee Hour breakout room topics each week.
before Sunday, if you would like to request a new conversation topic and be a small group conversation host.
--Ann LeDuc, Connections Coordinator
Annual Congregational Meeting
Sunday, June 7, 2020 at 4:00 p.m.
This meeting is being announced in accordance with our Bylaws.
The Board of Directors will develop special rules for all members and friends of UUCB to attend and participate in the June 7, 2020, Congregational Meeting.
All members are encouraged to attend this online meeting. We will send instructions for how to join the meeting soon.
Included on the agenda at this meeting will be voting on Bylaws changes, election of Board, Special Purposes Fund, and Leadership Cultivation Committee members, selection of a local helping organization to receive our 25% of Sunday Plate fund for 2020-21, approval of our budget for 2020-21, as well as a number of reports and updates.
25% of Sunday Plate Fund Nominees: See articles below, under "Changing the World" for info on the three agencies nominated: Bloomington Refugee Support Network,
Monroe County United Ministries, and Women Writing for (a) Change.
Budget Information for 2020-21 will be provided on the day of the meeting.
In March, as we began to awaken to the possible implications of Covid-19, there was a poem, perhaps call it a prayer, from my colleague Reverend Lynn Ungar that became popular...for awhile. But poems, like prayers, need to be revisited. I invite you all to revisit this poem on a regular basis. Tonight, Monday, May 23rd, I read it aloud here in our darkened living room. Due to the passage of time since the onset of the pandemic, my perspective had changed, and it was like hearing it for the first time. So, go ahead, find a quiet space and read this prayer poem aloud. Listen to the words. Breathe. Listen to your voice. Breathe. Listen to your breath. Breathe.
Pandemic by Lynn Ungar
What if you thought of it
As the Jews consider the Sabbath---
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buy and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
To whom you commit your life.
And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another's hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.
Promise this world your love----
For better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.
Thank you, Lynn.
And thanks to all of you who continue to join and support us on Sunday morning and throughout the week. A super big thank you to our Auction Committee and all auction participants for an amazing turn-out which resulted in great joy and inspiration for the work and vision of this congregation Seeking the Spirit. Building Community. Changing the World. Also gratitude to those of you who have joined me on the "writing a letter of gratitude journey" which ends May 22nd. Let me know if you want to join the Zoom Surprise party for gratitude letter writers which will take place in June.
Peace and Love,
Reverend Mary Ann Macklin
For Entertainment Purposes Only
Our four big chickens have decided that the younger, smaller chickens, Seven and Bellana, are not mature enough to enter The MacPhelps Coop Station yet. What? So I created a Plan A to foil their decision. I would enlist the purr-fected mediation skills of our cat, Dar Dar Banks, to bring the two camps together. Dar Dar seemed a wee bit anxious before the mediation meeting so I enlisted (gotta like that word) the help of Farmer Phelps, aka Deb
Phelps, to harvest a little catnip to help calm Dar Dar's nerves. Alas, it calmed her down all right--as in way too much--and the mediation meeting had to be canceled. Plan B is to wait until Seven and Bellana grow larger and can embrace their fully maturated chicken selves.
Of course, they look like teenage velociraptors, which could also be part of the problem.
As I said on Sunday, this month exploring Embodiment is timely for many of us, as we cope with the course of the pandemic. It feels important to be engaging physically, not just virtually, with the world. (While maintaining good practices--masks, distancing, hand washing, etc.--of course!) It is good to spend time outdoors, enjoying gardening, baking bread, woodworking, or sewing.
It is time, too, to allow in the tangible gifts the world offers to you. Ask for and accept the help you need. Absorb the beauty of nature and of one another's art, gardening, or cooking. Bask in moments of human connection however they happen. And rest. And breathe, as we continue traveling this road together.
Holding you in love,
Reverend Emily Manvel Leite
Minister of Religious Education
Reflections from Rev. Bill
"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times." Thus wrote Dickens to open the Tale of Two Cities with what is considered by many to be the best opening line of a novel ever written, perhaps because it expresses the universal truth of the concurrency of bestness and worstness in every time. It seems that every generation considers itself to be living in that concurrency, and surely ours is no exception.
I am honored to be a part of this congregation that claims not to be perfect, but to be pursuing the values reflected in our mission statement of "Seeking the Spirit, Building Community and Changing the World."
Those values are expressed by hands and feet in the service of justice, with no guarantees of eternal rewards or starry crowns. Every issue of the Prologue provides evidence of that service. Our social justice task forces continue to be our voice throughout our city, our state, our nation and the world. At prisons, homeless shelters, demonstration for peace, actions on behalf of a healthy planet, and in acts of simple kindness to one another, we are being the beloved community. Thanks to all of you that make it so.
Remember the collection bins at the portico entrance of the church where you can donate items for those in need.
The last sentence of Dickens's magnum opus reads, 'It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done, it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known."
Make it so.
Reverend Bill Breeden
Religious Education Updates and Resources
Each Sunday we will offer a story and a couple of simple activities, accessible to a large age range.
Adrienne Summerlot, Director of Religious Education
We Want to Hear From You!
Please take a moment to complete our survey about religious education and your family. We are re-imagining summer religious education and need your feedback! Survey closes on May 25th!
Families with Children in Preschool- 7th grade
Youth in 8th-12th grade and their families
Be Prepared for Zoom Meetings after May 30!
After May 30, Zoom will require all users to download a completely new Zoom version in order to participate in Zoom meetings. Download the new application now, so you don't have to wait through the download and installation process before entering your meetings after May 30.
Go to this link
and download the updated version today!
If you have questions about using Zoom, please contact me at connect(at)
--Ann LeDuc, Connections Coordinator
Welcome to Our Newest Members!
On Sunday, May 17, we welcomed seven people into membership.
Please give them your warmest welcome whenever possible. Our new members are: Susan Goldberg, Eric Heim, Judy Klein, Nancy Newton, Joanne Passet, Justin Schwemmer, and Gaia White. Above is a picture from our virtual membership ceremony.
-- Ann LeDuc, Connections Coordinator
Looking for ways to stay connected?
Here are several opportunities to connect with our congregation throughout the week:
Mondays at noon, join Sarah Flint for Shambhala Meditation on Facebook
Weekly Call from a Friend
If you would like a friend from our congregation to email or call you each week, just let me know.
Connections Coordinator Open Zoom Office Hours
Starting Friday May 22, you will be able to drop in every Friday, 1:00-2:00 pm, via Zoom, and ask church-related questions of the Connections Coordinator, Ann LeDuc. The plan is for Ann to have open office hours every Friday afternoon, 1-2 pm. Newcomers and current congregation members are all welcome to drop in. Additional ways to contact Ann are via email at connect(at)
or phone at (812) 720-3688. Use this link to drop in and talk to Ann on Fridays,
SAVE THE DATE: June 6
A UU Parking Lot Car Parade
We are planning a parking lot car parade for Saturday, June 6 at 11:00 a.m. so we can say "Hi!" from a safe distance, without a computer. Details will be forthcoming, but be thinking about how you want to decorate your car. Do you want to wear a costume? Carry a sign? And save the date; June 6 at 11:00 a.m.
-- Ruellen Fessenbecker and the Car Parade Committee
Upcoming UU Singles Events
After a couple of quiet weeks, the singles are going to have a few different kinds of (Zoom) get-togethers in the next few weeks.
- Conversation with prompts: Thursday evening, May 28, 7 to 9 pm
- Happy Hour and Dance Party: Friday evening, May 29, 7 to 9 pm
- Game Night: Friday evening, June 5, 7 to 9 pm
As you may know, we are a group of singles within the UU Bloomington community who meet occasionally for conversation and fun as a group. If you are not already on the UU singles e-mail list, please
mariedeer1961 (at) gmail.com
or text or call 812-391-0900 to get put on that list for Zoom links, conversation prompt info, and other details. Please be in touch no later than 2 hours before a given event starts to get the info for that event.
There's Room for You
in One of Our Chalice Circles
In a time when some in our church community may feel isolated, membership in a small group where one can experience the sharing of life stories in a deeper way might be welcome. Therefore the Chalice Circle Executive Committee has opened spaces in seven Circles to church members and friends in June and July. All are welcome to join a Circle via Zoom, including persons new to the small group ministry of deep listening. For a brief introduction to the Chalice Circle program, see the church website:
If you have questions, contact Linda Pickle, Chalice Circle co-chair (linda.pickle (at) wku.edu)
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.
During the last quarter (January - March 2020) we received $411.80 from Kroger, with 135 UU households participating.
Three Nominees Selected
for our 25% of Sunday Plate Fund for 2020-21
The Social Justice Funds Committee, chaired by Denise Ogren, reports that the following three agencies have been nominated to receive our 25% of Sunday Plate Fund for the coming year, beginning July 1.
Bloomington Refugee Support Network
Monroe County United Ministries
Women Writing for (a) Change
See articles below for details on their fine work. The members in attendance at the online congregational meeting on Sunday, June 7 at 4:00 p.m. will vote to choose one of the three to be our recipient for 2020-21.
Bloomington Refugee Support Network
We are nominating Bloomington Refugee Support Network as one of three organizations vying for our 25% of the Sunday Plate offering for the coming year, because of the positive impact they continue to have in the lives of refugees and immigrants. They are a volunteer 501C3 network of individuals and organizations. Their cadre of 100 volunteers provides services and raises money through donations, small grants and fundraisers. A March 2020 Pew Research Center study indicated that 49% of Hispanics surveyed said they or someone in their household had taken a pay cut or lost a job because of the COVID-19 outbreak. BRSN has felt that impact via increased requests for help. Share the Plate funds would be used for application fees for asylum, green cards, citizenship, employment authorization and visas. With UUCB voting to become a Sanctuary Church in 2017 and the formation of the RISE SJTF, we have already shown a commitment to the work of BRSN by providing space to cohost last year's World Refugee Day, collecting coats and money for Christmas gifts for families, and using funds to support additional identified needs, most recently paying a month's rent for a local immigrant family. Providing funds for BRSN would be a perfect way for us to support our marginalized neighbors. For more info,
Monroe County United Ministries
Monroe County United Ministries (MCUM) serves Monroe County's low-income population through its Compass Early Learning Center and Self-Sufficiency Center. Funding from the Sunday Plate Non-pledge Funds will subsidize the average gap between the cost of care and what low-income parents on Compass' fee scale can afford to pay. Compass is a licensed, high-quality, full-time childcare center in Monroe County that targets low-income families by offering a sliding fee scale for parents who are ineligible for or are waiting to receive Child Care Development Fund (CCDF) or On My Way Pre-K vouchers. These programs reimburse childcare for most of the cost of care for eligible children. Typically, more than 90% of Compass' enrollees qualify for CCDF, but the application process can take up to one year. Most of the families applying for the CCDF program cannot afford high-quality care (which costs between $230 to $285 per child per week) while their applications process. These families are placed on Compass' sliding fee scale, whereby their weekly costs are determined by family size and income, which ensures families pay no more than 10% of their household income for childcare. The average cost to parents on MCUM's fee scale is $65 per week. For more info,
Women Writing For (a) Change
Women Writing For (a) Change uses the power of writing as a transformational tool to build
a sense of internal agency and trust with oneself and others through safe and carefully created circles.
Our programs connect people to deeper parts of themselves
to one another, supporting participants as they find deeper clarity in their lives, work, families and relationships, which
then guide their contributions to the larger community.
We have adapted our practices to a virtual format, helping people form new threads of connection in a time when isolation has become a secondary threat to the well-being of so many.
For 16 years, we
have provided safe spaces to explore writing as a rehabilitative and community building tool, with voices often unheard and under-served. We will continue to do so, on Zoom and in other creative ways, and eventually, back in our New Wings facility downtown. We rely on grant money and donations. Special Plate funds would support our infrastructure, including our staff and our rent obligation to Middle Way House. Like UUCB,
believe that creative and conscious communities, where every voice is honored, nurtured and celebrated, hold the key to positive transformation in our world. Thank you. For more info, click here.
From the UU Homelessness Task Force and Hunger Task Force
NEW AGENCIES & NEW LISTS
May 2020 Food and Necessities Drives
Through May 31, we will be collecting hygiene items for Wheeler Missions, food items for Backpack Buddies (Community Kitchen) and food and clothing for Shalom. Our wish lists have changed; so, please click here to see the lists of needed items. Our building is closed, but we have placed collection bins outside the building, under the north side porch near the Portico Entrance. Simply drive up and drop off--we are collecting donations from these bins daily.
Many, many thanks!
Notably for Newcomers
by Paul Lane*
(blast from the past: May 2005)
Unitarians and Universalists have always been heretics. We are heretics because we want to choose our faith, not because we want to be rebellious. Two thousand years ago, liberals were persecuted for seeking the freedom to make religious choices, but such freedom has become central to both Unitarianism and Universalism.
As early as the 1830s, both groups were studying and promulgating texts from world religions other than Christianity. By the beginning of the twentieth century, humanists within both traditions advocated that people could be religious without believing in God. Our faith teaches us that everyone is free to choose, that no one person, no one religion, can embrace all truths. Our history has carried us from liberal Christian views to a rich pluralism.
At a Unitarian Universalist worship service or meeting, one is likely to find people whose positions on faith may be derived from a variety of religious beliefs: Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, naturist, theist, atheist, or agnostic. Those who attend our services might tell you that they are religious humanists, liberal Christians, or world religionists. All these people, and others who label their beliefs differently, are faithful Unitarian Universalists committed to the practice of free religion. We worship, sing, play, study, teach, and work for social justice together as congregations, all the while remaining strong in our individual convictions.
---Paul Lane for the Membership Committee
*(For several years in the "aughts," the late Paul Lane, a member of our congregation, wrote a column for newcomers to our congregation that often touched on notes of Unitarian Universalist historical interest. --Ed.)
"Writing as a Spiritual Practice"
with Rev. Barbara Child
A Drop-in Group on Zoom
Tuesdays 1:00-2:00, through June 30
Guess what! It has turned out that facilitating the "Writing as a Spiritual Practice" drop-in group on Tuesdays is such a fulfilling practice for me that I want to continue beyond May. I invite you to come along on this journey of personal exploration through writing in community. You are welcome to attend any or all sessions through June 30. Click here for a full description of how the group works. If you have not participated yet,
register by clicking here
to get the Zoom link and instructions.
Shambhala Meditation Mondays at 12 noon
Open Mind Zen Online Mondays at 7:00 pm
We are in touch with Frank Seisho Diaz and an online version of Open Mind Zen will be available soon.
Gentle Hatha Yoga Tuesdays at 5:30 pm Online
Kate Mulligan is continuing to lead her yoga classes via Zoom on Tuesdays 5:30-7:00 p.m. For security reasons, please contact her directly for the Zoom link.
Traditional Taiji Not Meeting Tuesdays
For the time being, "Wu (Hao)" style Taiji will not be meeting on Tuesdays. For more info:
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.
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,
can be reached at mre (at) uubloomington.org or 812-333-9822.
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.
The offices are closed, but we are working from home
We will be regularly checking email during business hours, as we work from home for the time being.
Carol Marks, Church Administrator, admin (at) uubloomington.org
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 email@example.com
Date of publication, 10 am, to firstname.lastname@example.org
: M-F, 10 am-4 pm (office closed, but staff working from home during these hrs)
Many church events are also posted on our
The deadline for articles is 10 am on the date of publication, which is
the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month.
Jun 2, Jun 16, July 7, July 21, Aug 4, Aug 18
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, May 10 10:15 Livestream & Facebook Live 300
Sunday, May 17 10:15 Livestream & Facebook Live 240
May 10: $635 May 17: $265
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): $225
Grocery Card Sales:
(Bloomingfoods or Fresh Thyme) week of May 10-May 17 $300
Total income to UUCB: $15.00
During the last quarter (January thru March 2020) we received $411.80 from Kroger, with 138 UU households participating with their Kroger Plus accounts.
Masthead photo by Linda Mjolsnes.
|Unitarian Universalist Church