Seeking the Spirit, Building Community, Changing the World
A Message from Reverend Mary Ann Macklin
Board members recently sent emails to members and friends who have not yet pledged for 2020-21. If you received such an email and haven't yet responded, we encourage you to do so soon: here's that handy dandy link for pledging.
Financial uncertainty is part of our landscape in this age of pandemic. When folks pledge, including me, we assume they will fulfill their pledge to the best of their abilities, all things considered. Please let us know.
Peace, Mary Ann
Sunday, May 10, 2020
10:15 am LIVE STREAM ONLY
Mothering Beyond Boundless
Dr. Maureen Walker
Can we imagine celebrating Mother's Day without greeting cards and flowers? Most of us dare not. However, the sentimental rituals obscure some fundamental truths. If we were to get beyond the ritualized sentimentality, we might be able deconstruct "motherhood" as a fixed status, one with artificial boundaries that exclude and divide, and leave many children behind. Instead, we might more easily affirm the truths of mothering: mothering as love that we do; mothering as action liberated from all of our binary constructions of gender, race, class. Instead of bowing to the ritual of "once-a-year hearts and flowers", we more courageously respond to the everyday call to live our lives as co-creators of compassionate possibilities.
From Reverend MAM: We are so excited to have Dr. Maureen Walker as our guest in our virtual pulpit this Sunday. Dr. Walker, author of
When Getting Along is Not Enough, is a licensed psychologist, speaker, educator, and writer who focuses on helping people bridge cultural differences such as race, religion, gender and other markers of social status. She does this by teaching and inspiring people to transform the barriers that prevent them from truly connecting with each other and living a fully authentic life. Maureen encourages people to transform fear into courage and to create the fullest expressions of who they are and can be in the world. She has graced our pulpit with her presence several times in the past few years.
Sunday, May 17, 2020
10:15 am LIVE STREAM ONLY
Multigenerational Flower Communion Service
Reverend Emily Manvel Leite
Reverend Mary Ann Macklin
All ages are encouraged to join us for this interactive celebration of our congregational community.
Please send a photo of yourself with a flower (real, a drawing, a flowered garment, etc...) by May 15 to be included in the service. Please email to mre(at)uubloomington.org. Our time together will have story, ritual, reflection, and wonderful music, including an offering from our virtual UU Children's Choir, directed by Jill Courtney. We hope you will be a part of it via LiveStream.
Special Flower Paper for Flower Communion
**We are providing special flower paper for use in this service. This paper can be picked up from the church (it will be taped on the portico door) beginning on May 10 at noon. If you are unable to go by the church to pick up a flower paper, please email your address to Reverend Emily at mre(at)
ASAP and she will send you a paper in the mail.**
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 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!
Email Ann LeDuc before Sunday, if you would like to request a new breakout conversation room topic and be the conversation host for that room.
Read the Friday Update for the list of this Sunday's breakout conversation rooms.
Please continue to send photos of you and yours for our slideshow at the end of the worship services. It is good, on so many levels, for us to see each other's faces and places of home and worship. Or better yet, send a power pose. If someone else does, I will. (smileyface) Please send to: Ned at
AND Reverend Emily at
Here are a few words from an anonymous therapist when she closed her doors due to Coronavirus. I shared, in part, during our Centering on Sunday
Hello sweet one. I see how much you care about the world, about your communities, about all of us surviving plagues and capitalism and a world on fire.
That clench in your throat, the knot in your gut, the tightness in your breath - this is how our bodies try to hold the world's anguish. We compose the wrongness into our bodies, a beautiful and devastating lament.
Just because your body can hold all the tragedy, the panic, the tension, that it is holding right now, that doesn't mean that you must go on holding it, all, forever. The loving grandmother in you knows this to be true. Set it down.
In my four-part reflection on Sunday, I spoke about the horrendous racial disparities being revealed and inequalities increased as Covid19 continues to unfold in the United States. The following article, entitled
Also, during last Sunday's worship service, I spoke about and quoted an excerpt from an essay by writer, producer, and activist, Julio Vincent Gambuto,
Prepare for the Ultimate Gaslighting
. Please read this article with these caveats, Gambuto does use profanity to make his points; he also briefly addresses racial injustice in our country in an overly simplistic manner; basically, he asserts that we are too busy to care. This observation is symptomatic of a much larger problem, of course, the white supremacist culture that permeates our institutional structures and consciousness. With that named,
I invite you into this piece
and the second one below.
A Terrible Price: The Deadly Racial Disparities of Covid-19 in America by Linda Villarosa
spells out the timeline of the incompetent White House response and its deadly repercussions.
Peace, Mary Ann
Reverend Mary Ann Macklin
P.S. For Entertainment Purposes Only
Chicken life has been manageably quiet this past week. Our two new chicks, Belanna and Seven, were introduced to the larger hens for a short while with no incidents. Belanna and Seven are in that awkward "look like a baby dinosaur" teenage phase of chicken life. In other bird news, one of our bluebirds performed an outstanding Smackdown of a house wren who was emptying its nest in the bluebird box. All winged ones survived the week.
P.P.S. If you get a chance to see the 2020 documentary "A Secret Love" by Director Chris Bolan, I strongly recommend it. Even the trailer made me tear up.
Minister's Discretionary Fund
A Minister's Discretionary Fund is an account that the minister can use to provide confidential assistance to individuals facing emergency financial need.
In our congregation it is used almost exclusively for congregation members who find themselves in urgent financial need; however, it is a one-time transaction. For instance, we can help someone with their rent for that month, but we cannot be an ongoing source for rent assistance for that person. We engage our Caring Committee and Health Concerns Team to help those folks find resources which help create a more sustainable situation.
Lord only knows what will be happening over this next year with Covid19. In addition, in the past we have used discretionary funds for individuals who might not be able to attend a church function, like a retreat, due to cost of registration. All of this, of course, is kept very confidential.
Funds are created by donations from members and are limited at present. Today, we were reminded to make an announcement about this fund when a member indicated their intent to donate the amount of their federal stimulus check to the Minister's Discretionary Fund.
--Reverend Macklin (MAM)
I awakened this morning with the song Loosen, Loosen by Aly Halpert singing in my heart, and it is still with me several hours later. I am so grateful that Adrienne Summerlot brought it to my attention and that my home congregation, Foothills Unitarian Church in Fort Collins, Colorado, and its senior minister Gretchen Haley and lead music person Christopher Watkins Lamb, who created a video of the song, agreed to share it so we could use it in worship on Sunday, May 3.
If, having heard the song, you are moved to support the songwriter, as I am, you can hear her singing and offer money here:
This song speaks the truth of my body--that often I feel literally weighted down by all that is happening in the world. I am finding it important and good to be reminded to let go. Sometimes that means laughing at a good movie. Sometimes it means going on a walk and not thinking of anything except the sweet scent of lilacs in the air. Sometimes it means collapsing in a heap and crying out of my broken heart. Let go, let go, let go. My muscles and bones thank me when I do. I invite you to join me. And to reach out if you find yourself in need of support: 812-333-9822.
Speaking of support, May is a time when we support one another in several ways:
*we join together for our
Goods and Services auction
, which is happening online this year-you have until May 10th to get in your final bids for wonderful items
celebrate our graduates together. Please contact me if you or your family member are graduating this spring. We'll celebrate our graduates from colleges and universities this Sunday, May 10, and our high school graduates next Sunday, May 17. We'd really like to include you in our celebration!
*we remember the support that we provide to one another as a congregation in our
service. This year, we will be creating that bridge of support virtually on May 17, so it is especially important to have images of as many of you as possible--everyone, please send a photo of yourself with a flower of any kind (real, a drawing, origami, etc...)--it will be deeply comforting to be surrounded by images of one another.
Holding all of you in love in these days: let go, let go, let go.
Reverend Emily Manvel Leite
Minister of Religious Education
Our thoughts and hearts are with Dee Morris, whose husband Buddy died this past Friday at Hospice House. Cards are welcome.
Congratulations to Susan and Doug Gulick, who recently welcomed a new grandson. From Susan: "
Doug and I are still stranded in Italy, but it is a blessing in spite of the coronavirus. We were here for the birth of our new grandson, Michelangelo, on March 14."
Religious Education Updates and Resources
Each Sunday we will offer a story and a couple of simple activities, accessible to a large age range.
UU Postal Pals Program begins this month--
Sign Up by May 10!
Open to all ages, we are hoping to connect people in our congregation via the U.S. mail. If you remember fondly or have longed for a pen pal experience, sign up today! Simply complete this google form:
or email Stephanie Kimball
for more information. Deadline to request a postal pal is Sunday, May 10th!
-- Your Religious Education Team
(Adrienne, Stephanie, and Emily)
Welcome to a New UU Board Member
Many thanks to Sharon Wiseman for her service on our Board; she recently needed to step down from her At-Large Board position. Our congregational president Stuart Yoak is happy to announce that Drew Schrader has agreed to complete Sharon's
term, and will also stand for a new Board term at our congregational meeting on June 7. Drew and his wife Margie (and daughter Zadie) have been active members of our congregation since 2002.
Zoom Update: New Zoom and Zoom Fatigue
The two hot topics in Zooming are the release of a new version of Zoom and Zoom fatigue.
The newest version of Zoom, Zoom 5.0, includes new and improved security features. Information and links to download the new version are available here:
After May 30, Zoom will require you to download and install Zoom 5.0 before you can participate in a Zoom meeting.
Zoom fatigue or exhaustion describes the way people feel when they use Zoom multiple times a day to carry out their work. If you have been experiencing exhaustion after Zooming, you may find this article helpful.
Our super helpful Office Assistants, Mandy and Monica, continue to schedule Zoom meetings in place of our in-person church meetings. If you need a church meeting scheduled, request your Zoom meeting five days in advance by emailing office(at)
If you have questions about using Zoom, please contact me at connect(at)
--Ann LeDuc, Connections Coordinator
Religious Education for Adults
Join us this Sunday, May 10
to learn about UU History
Ever wonder how the Unitarian Universalist church evolved? Where this way of doing church came from, and who were the founders of the Unitarian and Universalist churches? Please join us for this romp through 500 years of UU history on Sunday, May 10, from 2:00pm - 4:00pm, via Zoom.
Stuart Yoak will lead us on our journey.
To register for the class, email connect(at)uubloomington.org before Friday May 8.
"Writing as a Spiritual Practice"
with Rev. Barbara Child
A Drop-in Group on Zoom
Tuesdays 1:00-2:00, through May 26
I invite you to join me on a journey of personal exploration through writing in community.
for a full description of how the group will work. If you would like to participate,
register by clicking here
to get the Zoom link and instructions.
This is a drop-in group and you can attend one or two or all sessions.
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 12:30 p.m., our UU Humanists and Freethinkers meet online on Zoom for
open and non-structured discussion of issues of social, political, and theological/religious concern.
to see upcoming topics. Email
if you would like to join the discussion.
The Online Auction is Up and Running!
There is Something for Everyone!
There is something for everyone at the online UU Goods and Services Auction. Bid today!
We have items to make your time at home a little more enjoyable, as well as experiences to look forward to once we can be together again. Just click on this link to enter the online auction:
The auction ends at 4:00 PM this Sunday, May 10.
Thank you for supporting our church through the auction!
--The Auction Committee
Debbie Fish, Drew Schrader, Rich Slabach, Barb Backler, and Ann LeDuc, Staff Liaison
UU Singles Game Night on Zoom Friday, May 8
We are singles within the UU Bloomington community who meet occasionally for conversation and fun as a group. We've had one virtual game night that was surprisingly successful, and will be meeting again for a game night on Friday, May 8, 2020, at 7:00 p.m. If you are not already on the UU singles e-mail list, please contact
or text or call 812-391-0900 to get put on that list for details on the game night and other gatherings.
Task Force and Committee Chairs:
Annual Reports Due May 15
Please send your annual report for 2019-20 to us by May 15 so we have time to compile them into our Annual Report to the Congregation, which will be made available to everyone electronically by the June 7 congregational meeting. If you are chair of a social justice task force, please send your report to Jackie Hall,
, so she can format all the task force reports together and then send the whole shebang to the office for inclusion. All other leaders, please send your 50-100 word report to
by May 15.
--Carol Marks, Ch.Admin.
When Getting Along is not Enough:
A Book Conversation
facilitated by Amy Makice
Virtual Meetings: 12:30-2pm on
Sundays May 17, 24, 31, June 7
Attendance at all four sessions is expected.
If you bought Maureen Walker's book when she last came to preach at UUCB, this is your opportunity to join in a four week facilitated exploration of this important work. Sign up here to reserve your spot:
If all the spaces are filled, email Reverend Emily mre(at)
to get onto the waiting list.
Are you ready to become a member?
Membership is your declaration of your affinity with this church and the larger Unitarian Universalist faith community.
The next membership ceremony is scheduled for Sunday, May 17, at 3:00 pm via Zoom. If you are new to Unitarian Universalism, we ask that you complete the Exploring Unitarian Universalism class before becoming a member. Let the Connections Coordinator know if you would like to attend the membership ceremony and become a member of the UU Church of Bloomington. Email Ann at connect(at)
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.
Do you have an Email Buddy?
During the current circumstances, we cannot send our Prologues out on paper to the couple of dozen folks in our church who do not have easy access to the internet. If you know someone in our congregation who's in this situation, consider being an email buddy for them, and call them on the phone to update them on what's going on. Thanks for helping Build Community!
UUA General Assembly Online Only June 24-28
The UUA Board of Directors voted to make UUA General Assembly (GA) 100% virtual in June instead of holding the meetings in Providence, Rhode Island. The decision alleviates the anxiety and concern shared by many about how GA might proceed given the impact of COVID-19. It also gives the Association time to plan a more robust and rewarding virtual experience. Learn more at
Interested in being a Member Delegate to
UUA Virtual General Assembly?
If you are interested in being a member delegate from our congregation to the online General Assembly this June, please be in touch with Iris Kiesling, irisfkiesling(at)gmail.com
HealthNet Bloomington Health Center:
We welcome you to our clinic.
There's a new healthcare provider in town: HealthNet Bloomington Health Center, formerly Volunteers in Medicine (VIM). Unlike VIM, HealthNet accepts most commercial insurances, Medicaid, Healthy IN Plan, and Medicare. There are no restrictions on who can come to the HealthNet Bloomington clinic--any geographic area, any income. The clinic is open and accepting new patients. Click here for details and a map.
Clinic personnel are taking every precaution to minimize potential exposure risk to COVID-19, so individuals can feel confident and safe coming to the clinic. Established patients can have telemedicine and video visits. New patients must have one face-to-face appointment at the clinic before they can access remote appointments. However, the clinic has a separate entrance for non-symptomatic patients. (See link for more patient safety information)
HealthNet Bloomington is open from 8am-5pm Monday-Thursday and 8:00am-noon on Fridays. Given the many school and daycare closures, we have temporarily suspended evening hours.
We are confident that we have a safe environment in which to serve both established and new patients. To schedule an appointment, please call 812-333-4001. HealthNet Bloomington Health Center: Your health. Our passion. We welcome you to our clinic. For more information, please contact Nancy Richman,
HealthNet Bloomington Health Center is the recipient this year of 25% of our Sunday non-pledge offerings. We recently sent them a check for $1700, our donation for the third quarter of the current fiscal year. -Ed.
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 see the lists below. 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!
Canned or pouch chicken or tuna
Meal helpers (Chicken/Hamburger/Tuna)
Instant oatmeal & boxes of cereal
Dried fruits (raisins, craisins, cherries, etc.)
Mac & Cheese and other easy to prepare foods
(instant potatoes, rice & pasta meals)
Small pop top cans of vegetables
Toothbrushes & Toothpaste
Shampoo & Conditioner
Deodorant, Razors, & Shaving Cream
Feminine Hygiene Products
Diapers, Baby Wipes (alcohol free),
Formula & Baby Food
Towels & Wash Cloths
Toilet Paper & Paper Towels
(pain relief, cold & flu, allergy, heartburn)
Cereal, big boxes
Canned food, institutional size
Coffee, not instant
Clothes, especially socks
Helping with the Grounds This Spring
Need to spend some (socially-distanced) time outdoors? Our grounds could use people or family units to work in designated areas this spring and summer. Visit the
Green Grounds page
(which is at
under Social Justice, Green Sanctuary Task Force, Green Grounds) to see the areas we have defined.
If you are able to help, please contact Molly O'Donnell at
or 812-345-7399 to select an area, set up a time (e.g. one-time or a range of time) when you could maintain that area and to schedule your work in this social-distancing period so no one is exposing anyone else.
And please use only your own tools during this period.
Keep in mind that if you are planning to do grounds work at church, our building is closed and the restrooms are not available. Please do not enter the building, for your safety and the health and well-being of our ministers and staff. Thanks!
Our Faith in Action in the Community
IU Health Virtual Visits Available
IU Health has created a way for you to visit with a doctor online if you are ill, to help disrupt the community spread of the coronavirus by limiting the number of people who need to visit a doctor's office or the emergency room. Click here for more info.
UU History for You
(Flashback from 2015!)
physician, patriot, founding father
Benjamin Rush (1746-1813) was a Founding Father and signer of the Declaration of Independence. He got his BA at Princeton and went to Edinburgh for his MD. He returned with an enthusiasm for the Enlightenment and joined Washington's army as surgeon-general.
He was more successful with his public health measures than his medical knowledge, which was antiquated (based on copious blood-letting). He drained ditches and stagnant pools to prevent infectious epidemics of typhus, typhoid, and cholera. He believed the mentally ill would benefit by being unchained and given productive labor tasks in the mental hospital. He opposed slavery and he helped black leaders establish the African Methodist Episcopal Church.
His own views were of a shifting nature--Episcopalian, Universalist, Christian Unitarian, and opposed to Calvinism. Rush believed in universal salvation. He encouraged Jefferson to prepare The Jefferson Bible. He was the founder of Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and he was a professor of medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He had a temper and sharp tongue which got him into difficulties throughout his career. He begged Washington's biographers not to publish his criticisms of Washington's leadership during the start of the Revolutionary War, because he realized later how great a leader Washington was. Rush expected more than could be provided in his care of the wounded during trying times.
--Elof Axel Carlson, UUCB Historian
(This piece was originally published on the first Tuesday of May 2015 (Thanks, Elof!) At first, I went back to May 2016, but it was John Calvin, and I just couldn't deal with that guy today! (insert rueful smiley face) ;-} --c.marks, Ed.)
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Date of publication, 10 am, to email@example.com
: 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.
May 19, Jun 2, Jun 16, July 7, July 21
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; 545 current members.
Sunday, April 26 10:15 Livestream & Facebook Live 247
Sunday, May 3 10:15 Livestream & Facebook Live 309
April 26: $370 May 3: $730
Total to be donated (25%) to Volunteers in Medicine (HealthNet): $275
Grocery Card Sales:
(Bloomingfoods or Fresh Thyme) week of April 27-May 3 $1,000
Total income to UUCB: $50.00
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 from the interwebs.
|Unitarian Universalist Church