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Tuesday, March 2, 2021
Unitarian Universalist Church of Bloomington, Indiana
  Congregation founded 1949 | LGBTQ Welcoming Congregation since 1995 | Green Sanctuary since 2007
Tuesday, March 16, 2021
Seeking the Spirit | Building Community | Changing the World
Join us for online services
Livestreamed on Sunday mornings at 10:15 am
Sunday, March 21, 2021
10:15 am Livestream
Spring Equinox Celebration: Hope as Seasons Change
Rev. Emily Manvel Leite
Rev. Dave Clements
Our Children's Choir, directed by Jill Courtney

Here Comes the Sun! All ages are invited to join us to mark the turning of the seasons and the change that is happening all around even as pandemic days drag on. In preparation for this multi-sensory service, please gather: a dry leaf, a seed (from outside or from a fruit or vegetable), a candle or candles, paper and pen, and, if possible, the telephone number of someone else who is livestreaming the service.

As a part of this service, we'll be sharing photos of change and photos of hope. Please send along your own photo of how you have changed over the past year--the six inches more hair, or slightly more balding, your children a whole year older, or you with a new artwork or garden plot. Or send along your photos of hope--you with something that lifts your heart. Photos can be sent to mre or media (at) uubloomington.org. We really hope to have photos of newcomers as well as long time members, so we hope everyone will send them along! 
Photos are due by Friday, March 19, at 4PM. 

Sunday, March 28, 2021
10:15 am Livestream
Let the Sunshine In
Rev. Dave Clements
Rev. Bill Breeden

Ministers Rev. Bill Breeden and Rev. Dave Clements promise to deliver a service that is lively with Messages from Reverend Mary Ann, Dancing by Robin and a Musical Introduction by Sylvia. We will be kicking off our stewardship drive, and the theme is “Sunshine.” Please tune in for an inspiring and fun time. 
Early Bird Coffee Hour
Bring your coffee and join us at 9:15 am to relax with friends before the service. Click on this link to register for the early bird coffee hour and receive the Zoom link.  
Connect with our UU Community during Virtual Coffee Hour!
Everyone is welcome to join us after the worship service, until 12:30 pm, for engaging conversation in Virtual Coffee Hour. 
Our Building is Closed, but Our Hearts are Still Open.
To do our part to disrupt the spread of coronavirus and COVID-19 in our community, our building is likely to be closed through May 2021. Our Board of Directors will review this decision at each monthly board meeting.
The Importance of Outcomes - Rev. Dave Clements
 
An old saying goes “If you don’t know where you are going, any path will get you there.” This is a unique time in our history as a congregation, as together over these next few months, we begin to re-examine the questions of:

·       Who are We?
·       What are we being called to do at this time as a people and as a
congregation?
·       Who is our neighbor?

We will eventually be meeting back in the building together, and many of the questions of what will that look like and what things will stay the same and what will be different will be addressed. One thing that I have heard from many of you is that you have come to understand that as a congregation we are more than a building. Over this past year, many of you have come to realize just how much this community means to you. As we begin this process of coming back together, I am asking each of you to begin to look at what programs, processes and ways of doing and being do you want to keep and what ones need to be let go of or changed? Our church congregation is a large system. The thing about systems is that when a system does not know what to do, it does what it knows. Part of our process over these next few months will begin to answer the questions of Who are we, What are we being called to do, and Who is our neighbor?
 
As your Interim Minister, I am here for you to help you as a congregation to begin to describe the outcomes of what you would like to be in one to three years. As we develop and define outcomes, they will provide clarity around strategies, goals with staff, needed resources, and structures of accountability, and will make it possible to define and hear the various voices in this congregation.
I invite each of you on this journey as we work together to honor our covenants to each other and to come back together as a congregation.

Rev. Dave
Reverend Dave Clements
Interim Minister Consultant

Emily's Post

Dear Friends,

In this month exploring commitment, I have been reflecting upon the many ways this congregation has been committed to caring for one another throughout the pandemic. The phone calls, cards, emails, meals, rides, distanced walks, zoom gatherings and MUSIC we have offered to one another have been abundant. We have sustained one another.

Today, I am asking you to stretch out your hands in friendship yet again by sending along a recent photo of yourself--it has been way TOO LONG since we have seen one another's faces, and we have not yet even met some of you who have recently become a part of our community! So send a photo (to mre and/or media (at) uubloomington.org). More details are in the Equinox service description above. 

Together, we are committed to our shared vision of Seeking the Spirit, Building Community, and Changing the World. It will be good to be building community together through sharing our photos once again.

Sending love and resilience your way,

Emily 

Reverend Emily Manvel Leite
Minister of Congregational Life and Religious Education

P.S. There are many more opportunities for building connections throughout this Prologue--read on to learn about lip-synching, cookie making, our Passover Seder, and so much more that is coming up soon.

Religious Education
Our Director of Religious Education, Adrienne Summerlot, is away for the month of March, but programs for children, youth and parents continue! If you have any questions about our religious education program this month, please contact Stephanie Kimball, our RE Assistant, at rea(at)uubloomington.org.  All ages can check out our website for more information on exploring our UU Principles or bookmark our calendar for read alouds, meditations, and more!

And our Youth Group (7th-12th grade) will meet this Sunday, March 21, at 7pm over Zoom to dye eggs together. Sign up here to join the fun!(https://www.signupgenius.com/go/70a0c48aca92aaafa7-youth)
Working Group Planning for
Eventual UUCB Re-Opening
 
As COVID-19 vaccines become more widely available, we have begun to receive inquiries about when the church building will eventually reopen. At the same time, we know that many members of the congregation remain concerned about COVID-19 infections. The Board, along with the ministers, has formed a Working Group to begin a discussion of re-opening plans for the church. The members of the group are Reverend Mary Ann Macklin, Reverend Dave Clements, Abby Gitlitz, Ann LeDuc, Jane McLeod, and Melinda Swenson.
 
The Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, provides guidelines for member congregations to follow when considering re-opening. Here is a link to those guidelines https://www.uua.org/safe/pandemics/gathering-guidance. Our working group will be using these and other local and national guidelines as we plan. Click here to read more.

We welcome any input that you might have. Please send appreciations, ideas, questions, and concerns to Jane McLeod at jmcleod (at) indiana.edu or Abby Gitlitz at agitlitz (at) hotmail.com
 
Building Community
UU Passover Seder
Sunday, March 28, 6-7:30PM via Zoom
We will share the familiar UU Seder ritual and the story of Passover together over Zoom this year, and everyone is welcome to join in! This celebration is accessible for anyone over 5 years old. We will provide a copy of the Haggadah and some of the ritual foods for anyone who is local, and will help those far away gather up all that is needed. If you would like to join in our virtual Passover, please email Reverend Emily to receive the Zoom link and materials: mre(at)uubloomington.org. Happy spring, everyone!

Calling Cookie-Makers of All Ages!
Want to bring a little sunshine to our community? This year's pledge drive will have a Sunshine theme, and we are seeking cookie bakers young and old to join in making sun-shaped cookies for a special drive-through event coming up on April 18th. We provide the cookie cutter, a community of fellow bakers to share tips, and much gratitude. If you would like to provide the cookie dough and your own creativity, let Reverend Emily know: mre(at)uubloomington.org.
We welcome new babies and newly adopted children!
Are you expecting a new baby or adopted child in your family, or do you know a UU who is? If so, please let us know! We want to welcome all new children to our UU family. Just email Ann at connect (at) uubloomington.org and let her know about the new baby or adopted child. 


Baby Dedication on Easter Sunday
Please Contact Us to Participate!
Once or twice each year, we celebrate babies in a dedication ceremony during the Sunday service. The next one is on Sunday,
April 4, and will take place via video during our livestreamed service. We haven't held a baby dedication since 2019, so it's time! Please let us know if you would like to participate with your baby or toddler.
Contact Rev. Emily Manvel Leite by March 28,
mre (at) uubloomington.org.


Babies, Blankets, Booties and Baskets!
We are putting together baskets filled with gifts to welcome new babies into our UUCB family. Along with other presents, we would like to include your hand knit/crocheted blankets, booties, and hats. For this new UUCB initiative we are also in need of any large, clean, attractive baskets you might have on hand. As of this moment, we know of five new little ones waiting to be born, and it is only March! 
Please note that as we are UUCB, we are shying away from straight pink or blue color themes. For more information or to schedule a pickup, please contact Celeste McGregor, celestemcgregor2(at)gmail.com, 812-219-5640 or Ellie Moss, eleanormoss(at)gmail.com, 812-369-9711. We thank you in advance for your help and support! -- Celeste and Ellie
New Zoom Functionality --
Update Your Zoom!
Zoom has added the ability for users to choose and enter the breakout room of their choice in some meetings, such as our Virtual Coffee Hour. In order for this functionality to work you must have your Zoom application up-to-date. Please follow these instructions to ensure your application is up-to-date, and to learn how to enter a breakout room using the new Zoom functionality. -- Ann LeDuc, Connections Coordinator
Lean in Toward the Light
Join in the Dancing and Lip Syncing Extravaganza!!!
We need your help to make a video of our UU Community lip-syncing and dancing to Carrie Newcomer’s uplifting song “Lean in Toward the Light.” Not so sure about your skills?... We also need videos of people showing examples of how they “shift the balance toward the light,” as Carrie sings in the song. The best part is, you can record the video yourself wherever you are and submit it electronically. Please accept this invitation to connect and create something beautiful with your UUCB friends. We are certain to have fun doing it! For more details about how to contribute to this project, please email Nicole at motz.nicole (at) gmail.com.  
The Annual UUCB Goods and Services Auction
Starts on April 25!
Spring is just around the corner and so is the Annual UUCB Goods and Services Auction. The auction will be virtual again this year, with an online catalog and bidding. Bidding will start at noon on April 25 and end at 6pm on May 2. We are hoping that your creative juices will start flowing for what could be offered with masks, socially distanced, and outside. Use this link to donate a service, dinner, or item!   Auction Planning Committee: Deb Fish, Drew Schrader, Sarah Kopper, and Ann LeDuc
Enjoy time outside and want to help the church?
Do you enjoy getting outside? If you can pull a few weeds at the church from time to time, we have volunteer opportunities for you! Email Ann at connect (at) uubloomington.org to learn about helping with the church grounds.





Visit with the Connections Coordinator via Zoom
Fridays, 3:30 - 4:30 pm
Join the Connections Coordinator, Ann LeDuc, on Zoom Friday afternoons. Ask your questions, or just visit. Newcomers and current congregation members are all welcome to drop-in. Additional ways to contact Ann are via email at connect (at) uubloomington.org or phone at (812) 720-3688.
Progress is Being Made
For some time now, we have been working on changing databases, as our current one is not serving our purposes as efficiently as we'd like. It's quite a process, as a good database holds all the data we have about our members and friends. We will keep you posted on when the new database is ready to launch. There are several nice features with it, including 1) an easy portal for members and friends to be able to set up their own online pledge payments, and 2) online access to the church directory so you can easily reach other members by email or phone. We plan to have the stewardship portion of the new database up and running by the beginning of our Stewardship Campaign for 2021-22, at the end of this month.

As usual, I'm available for administrative questions at 812-287-9615 or admin (at) uubloomington.org, Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Remember, if you are mailing in your pledge check, the best address to use is UU Church, PO Box 1158, Nashville, Indiana 47448-1158.

--Carol Marks, Church Administrator
Changing the World
New! UU Online Book Club --
Join us on April 5 at 6:30 pm via Zoom
On Monday, April 5, we will continue our discussion of Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Isabel Wilkerson. If you are interested in joining us, please sign up here for the Zoom link: UU Book Club Registration  -- Ann LeDuc, Connections Coordinator
25% Sunday Plate Fund:
Nomination Process for 2021-2022
Application deadline April 15

The process for nominating our next local non-profit agency to receive 25% of Sunday non-pledge plate collections is approaching. An application form with guidelines will become available on March 1, 2021 for those who would like to nominate an agency to receive the funds from July 2021 – June 2022. The application deadline will be April 15th, after which the Social Justice Funds Committee (SJFC) will choose three nominee finalists for the congregation to vote on at the spring congregational meeting on June 6th.

Our contributions to the current recipient, Monroe County United Ministries Compass Early Learning Center, is $3814 in the first two fiscal quarters (with 2 more quarters to go!). The total donated to Volunteers in Medicine, last year’s recipient, was $8323! What local non-profit agency would you like to see be our next recipient?

Those who submit applications must be able to meet the following obligations: (1) contact the agency you support to gather the information necessary to complete the application. If among the three finalists chosen you will need to (2) provide a 200 word written information on the agency to be published in the May Prologue; (3) arrange for written materials to be sent electronically to the church in May to be used online, and (4) arrange for a two minute video of your presentation so that we can play it during the livestreamed service on June 6.

Contact Denise Ogren, SJFC Chair, at uucbsjfunds (at) uubloomington.org for an application.

The Social Justice Funds Committee: Denise Ogren, Anna Beauchamp, Steve Mascari, Jay Sissom, Sarah Kopper. Advisors: Jackie Hall and Bill Breeden.
Giving Back to Our Community
Thank You from
Spencer Pride
The financial gift that the UU Church is providing assures us of coverage for budget gaps and, maybe even more importantly, boosts our spirits. You have helped to meet pressing needs over the past few years as we work to rehab the commUnity center and expand our services. Our dedicated volunteers have been putting in a lot of time and effort recently so that when we can reopen fully, we will be able to serve the community better. Thank you for being such generous partners in our efforts!
-- Leslie Nieves, Fundraising Coordinator




(Our ministers recently delivered a check for over $7,000.00 to Spencer Pride, which was part of our promise of extra funds for community service from our Balloon Payment campaign. See photo below. --Editor)
Celebrating Earth Day
"Getting to Net-Zero" Presentation April 27
In celebration of Earth Day, Earth Care Bloomington is pleased to sponsor “Getting to Net-Zero,” a presentation via Zoom by Rev. Dr. Patricia Tull, on Tuesday April 27th, 2021 at 7:30 PM. Rev. Tull uses her own home as an example.
For a link to the Zoom meeting, please email Molly O'Donnell [mollysod (at) gmailcom] by April 25th. Here's a link to the flyer.
Shalom Community Center Welcomes Donations of Tents and Sleeping Bags
Until the end of March, Shalom Community Center guests would really appreciate the donation of tents, sleeping bags, coats, hats, blankets, socks, and gloves, as well as macaroni, coffee, and hygiene supplies. Donations may be left in the bins, under the portico at the church. Donations are collected every day. -- Alan Backler, for the Homelessness Task Force
COVID-19 Vaccination News -
Vaccines for Age 45 and Older!

Vaccinations available for those age 45 and older!
Seeking the Spirit
Socially distanced hiking on a recent sunny day, featuring a bunch of UUs!
UU Humanist Forum Meets
Sunday, March 21, 12:45 pm
Every other Sunday at 12:45 p.m., our UU Humanists meet together online on Zoom for discussion. Email Ann Watzel or Harold Ogren if you would like to join the discussion
UU Freethinkers Meet Sunday, March 28, 12:45 pm
The UU Freethinkers bi-weekly meeting creates the opportunity for participants to raise questions and engage in open and non-structured discussion of issues of social, political, and theological/religious concern. Every other Sunday via Zoom at 12:45 p.m. To join, contact Harold Ogren.
Shambhala Meditation Online on Mondays
Every Monday at noon online, or anytime it's easy, since there are saved sessions, you can join Sarah Flint in this 2500-year-old practice of cultivating peace and inner wisdom. Contact Sarah Flint to join the group in real time. On Facebook at UU Bloomington Meditation.
Open Mind Zen Online 
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, Open Mind Zen with Frank Seisho Diaz is currently holding all meetings online. If you'd like to participate, visit openmindzenbloomington.org and reach out via their contact page for more information.
Community Connections
Our Faith in Action in the Community
League of Women Voters and Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce
Sponsor Legislative Update Apr 10, 9:30 to 11 am
Tune in via Zoom to Legislative Update coming up on April 10. All updates will be recorded by Community Access Television Services through the Monroe County Public Library, and videos will be available on the CATS website. Every state legislator who represents any part of Monroe County has been invited to report on their work and priorities for the current session of the Indiana General Assembly and to take questions from attendees. Click here to register for the Zoom meetings. Free and open to the public.
Some Details:
Email SCAM Alert
Our ministers, staff, and board members or other members will never send you email asking you for any money besides your pledge payment! And never in the form of gift cards.

How to Recognize an Email Phishing Scam:
Is the email impersonating Rev. Macklin or another of our ministers? Are they asking you to purchase gift cards? Wait! Don't do it! We will never send you emails like that. To double check, look at the email address of the sender. Is it from an address at uubloomington.org? If not, that's the second good reason to delete it!


Office Hours, Calendar, Deadlines

Office hours: M-F, 10 am-4 pm (office closed at church, but staff working from home)
The Church Office can be reached via text or voicemail during office hours at 812-287-9615. Email: admin (at) uubloomington.org or office (at) uubloomington.org

Calendar: For our full calendar of events, visit uubloomington.org/calendar.

The Prologue is published on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of each month. Next issue is Mar 16. Deadline is 10 am on date of publication, admin (at) uubloomington.org

Mailing Address
During the COVID emergency:
UU Church, PO Box 1158, Nashville, Indiana 47448-1158.

(Items sent to 2120 N. Fee take 3-4 weeks on average to be forwarded by the Postal Service! So please use the PO Box!)
Membership and Attendance

Membership: 574 certified members;
575 current members.
Attendance 
Sunday, February 28, 10:15 am - 341 attended virtually
Sunday, March 7, 10:15 am - 368 attended virtually
Non-Pledge Offering
February 28:  $415    March 7:  $455
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: bit.ly/UUCBdonate
  Total to be donated (25%) to Monroe County United Ministries (MCUM) Compass Early Learning Center and Self-Sufficiency Center: $217.50
Grocery Card Sales: (Bloomingfoods or Fresh Thyme) -- $400;   Total income to UUCB: $20
 
Free Money from Kroger!
Fresh Thyme and Bloomingfoods
Grocery Cards Available by Mail  
  
  • Did you know that Kroger sends us over $1,600 each year? This is made possible by those of you who participate in Kroger's Community Rewards program. Register your Kroger Plus card online at this link. We received $451.75 from Kroger for the months October through December from this program.
  • We are also still selling grocery cards for Bloomingfoods and Fresh Thyme. Click here to see what kind of cards and how many are available. Send your check to the church (UU Church, P. O. Box 1158, Nashville, Indiana 47448-1158) with a note to let us know the type and value of card(s) you want, and we will mail them to you. You do not need to send a SASE.  
Masthead photo by someone I forgot to make a note of! Sorry! --cm