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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 2, 2021
Seeking the Spirit | Building Community | Changing the World
Join us for online services
Livestreamed on Sunday mornings at 10:15 am
Sunday, March 7, 2021
10:15 am Livestream
The Choices That Create Your Life –
The Role of Commitment and Promises
Rev. Dave Clements
Rev. Emily Manvel Leite
How do we choose what we will commit to, and how do we execute those commitments? In each of our lives we usually make four major commitments: those to family or partner, faith or philosophy, community, and a vocation. How do promises and a desire to follow our highest ideal work together in creating our lives and our commitments? The service will explore the connection between promises and commitment and choices and how they help us to create our lives.
Sunday, March 14, 2021
10:15 am Livestream
Rev. Barbara Child
Amy Wolf, Linda Pickle, Joan Caulton, Mary Hambly,
and Debbie Fish
Rev. Dave Clements
Rev. Emily Manvel Leite
Reverend Barbara Child will share reflections from her drop-in writing group "Writing as a Spiritual Practice." Participants in the group will also share their work during the service.
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.
Finished! aka Celebration Time, C’mon!
aka Up Up and Away in Our Beautiful Balloon...
Up, Up, and Away! The check to pay off the mortgage on our church building was delivered to Old National Bank on Monday, March 1 at 10:00 am. 

Our fundraiser total to pay off the Balloon Payment and Mortgage topped out at $53,191.11. In terms of our social justice outreach, this means that Spencer Pride (who serves to make Indiana a more welcoming place for ALL people, emphasizing GLBTQ+ folks) will receive a check for $7,164.35. And New Leaf New Life (who seeks to support individuals during incarceration and in their transition back into our community) will also receive a check for $7,164.35. In addition, a deposit of $11,328.71 will go into our congregation’s Operational Reserve, a welcome addition during pandemic times to further the vision of this congregation. Seeking the Spirit. Building Community. Changing the World. 
MAM's Musings

Moral Injury 

During Sunday’s worship service, Reverend David Pyle and I spoke about moral injury. As I mentioned, the February 25th New York Times documents how nurses are experiencing moral injury during this Pandemic. Here is the short but powerful work about a group of nurses in Arizona: Death, Through a Nurse’s Eyes.

Up Up and Away 

I will be away from ministry and many-things-electronic during the month of March. Please call Reverend Dave or Reverend Emily if you have a pastoral emergency. (Contact info at the end of this newsletter)

People. People. People: The Lean in Toward the Light Project

I am seriously excited about the Pledge Drive which will kick-off on March 28th! It’s going to be a fun theme: People. People. People. I hope we will name our next pet People so I can say "People. People. People!" Anyway, and more to the point, here is a cool opportunity to get your groove on and Lean in Toward the Light for one of several awesome Pledge Drive activities which will take place soon. We have received permission from singer songwriter Carrie Newcomer to dance and lip-sync to her song positiva "Lean in Toward the Light." Congregation member Nicole Motz and spouse Ben will help create the end product, a montage video of all of our efforts. Please send in your videos by March 21st!

From Nicole to All UUCB Members and Friends: Even in a pandemic, we can still make a video compilation of members and friends of our congregation lip-syncing and dancing to Carrie Newcomer’s uplifting song “Lean in Toward the Light.” If this sounds like fun to you, please keep reading! Don’t worry if you’re not so sure about your lip-syncing or dancing 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. I’m almost certain you will have fun in the process. For more details and instructions about how to contribute to this project, please email Nicole at motz.nicole (at) gmail.com.  
 
So now you and I have a project for March -- participating in this dancing and lip-syncing extravaganza while being in gratitude. 

Peace Out. Love In. Lean in.
MAM
Rev. Mary Ann Macklin
Breaking News about
a Celebration in 2022 -- The check to pay off our mortgage ($27,533.70), was delivered to Old National Bank across from Monroe County Library at 10am, March 1st, 2021.

We will have a big ole celebration on the Sunday following the first year anniversary of this congregational milestone (what Guy Loftman heard on Sunday as smilestone). So, on March 6, 2022, plan to celebrate with balloons, perhaps music of The Fifth Dimension, and much more. Of note, on some Sundays, people hear livestreaming as life’s dreaming. May the smiles and dreams continue, which began with our congregational ancestors. And-- way to go people!

 -- A Minister Wrote This ☺ (Rev. MAM)
Balloons at ONB 3-1-21
A group of Happy UUs brightened the morning for the staff at Old National Bank on March 1!

Our Commitments
 
One of the most appreciated qualities we can cultivate in life is a pattern of keeping our commitments. Keeping commitments, like keeping promises, has practical and ethical implications throughout our life. None of us are spared this duty, and all of us will be judged for how well we fulfill it.
 
Keeping our commitments expresses respect. As we do so over time, this ethic becomes a sincere and abiding aspect of our personality and presence. We become the person others believe in, someone they can count on.
 
It’s hard to imagine keeping commitments to others if we can’t keep commitments to ourselves. In fact, many say it is loyalty to ourselves that ultimately gives us the strength, and self-confidence needed to follow through on the promises we make to those around us.
 
So, let’s use this month to be more intentional about the promises we make to ourselves! First, identify three commitments you’ve already made to yourself. As Stephen Covey has said, “Anything less than a conscious commitment to the important is an unconscious commitment to the unimportant.”
 
Next, identify two new commitments you want to make to yourself. Then write all five of your commitments on a 3 x 5 card and place it on your bathroom mirror, bedside your table or desk for the remainder of this month. Treat this as both an act of awareness and an act of accountability.  May this month be a month of making and keep commitments. 

Rev. Dave
Reverend Dave Clements
Interim Minister Consultant

Emily's Post

Dear Ones,

As you know, I had February off this year. So for me, this past month was a time of slowing WAY down: a time to set aside work and spend time just being. The snow was a huge presence in February--it offered a clear, beautiful emptiness for rest, and, through the weeks, it surprised me with another gift as well. As the snow fell, at first only an inch or so, I noticed tracks on our deck outside--clear imprints of little feet in the snow, and when I looked them up, I found that a skunk had been passing by.

Another morning when the snow was deep, we saw footprints passing around the side of our house and wondered who might have come through--a meter reader? A neighbor wanting to take a shortcut to the street behind our house? But when we went out and looked more closely, we saw two little prints and two long prints in each large "footprint". The tracks had been made by the body of a rabbit as it bounded through that deep snow.

Each day I went out I saw the tracks of birds, rabbits, skunks or deer right outside. Sometimes I saw creatures, too--a possum hurrying down the side of the yard, a skunk traipsing home, and so many rabbits--especially at dawn. Eventually, the rabbits made a long rabbit path through the yard, so we could see just how they headed home. 

It was a great gift to slow down enough to watch and to recognize that all this LIFE is happening abundantly around me all the time, though I rarely see it. It has made me feel insignificant in a good way: connected up to our universe as just one tiny piece of the teeming life that runs through our world.

I am so grateful to have had the time to see.

With love,
Emily
Reverend Emily Manvel Leite
Minister of Congregational Life and Religious Education

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 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, recently 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.
 
Our parent organization, 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.
 
This group will meet over the next several months to discuss questions such as:
·       What metrics will we use to make decisions about re-opening?
·       How do we safely make the transition back to being present in the building? When we open the building back up, what does that process look like? Who will be present in the building, at what times, and for what purposes?
·       What are the implications of our plans for the ministers, staff, and vulnerable members of the congregation?
·       How will we maintain our online, zoom, and live-stream presence for members and the community?
 
One thing we have learned during the pandemic is that our church community is not defined by the church building. We are defined by our vibrant and concerned congregation. As we begin to consider re-opening plans, we remain mindful of our mission to be a beacon in the community.
 
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
Our Folks. . .

Flutist Alain Barker was recently featured in Bloom Magazine, highlighting his role as the Founding Director of the Office of Entrepreneurship and Career Development at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University.

Denise and Harold Ogren are seeking a housesitter from March 24 through August to stay in their home right across the road from the UU Church and take care of their collection of plants. Please contact Denise at dogrenbloomington (at) gmail.com or 812-325-6125.
About Planned Giving
by David Keppel
Our church has an active Planned Giving Program. The Legacy Circle was created to recognize and thank donors who have included the church in their estate plans. Learn more here: Planned Giving brochure

Every breath you take contains an atom from Caesar’s dying breath when he exclaimed: “Et tu, Brute!” I wonder who will be sharing my last atoms two millennia hence and how they will feel about this generation’s heedlessness. If these successors even exist, we will have done a better job than I sometimes fear.

But the real comfort is to think about all the breaths I don’t take – and the pennies those non-breaths share with the UU Church of Bloomington. I plan to live to one hundred, but not to two thousand. What social justice projects will our Church be doing in the 22nd Century? Supposing even that our generation abolishes nuclear weapons and curbs climate change, goals for peace and justice will remain, as will our community’s determination to tackle them.

Just beware the Ides of March meanwhile.

--David Keppel
Are you new here?
If you are new to our congregation, a very warm welcome to you! 
This Sunday, March 7, at 2:00 pm you are invited to join in a brief online introduction to Unitarian Universalism and this congregation. Just click on this link at 2 PM on Sunday. If you are new to using Zoom, please read these instructions before the meeting. Additionally, here is our online connection form if you are ready to get involved. If you have questions, you are always welcome to email me at connect (at) uubloomington.org or call me at (812) 720-3688. Welcome!   -- Ann LeDuc, Connections Coordinator
UU Singles Meet Tonight, Tuesday, March 2, 6 pm
We are a group of single adults within the UU Bloomington community who meet occasionally for various kinds of events. We'd love to have you join us!
Join us on Zoom Tuesday evening, March 2:
  • 6 to 6:30 pm - Hellos, intros, check-ins
  • 6:30 to 7 pm - a conversation about pianos with Liz Rochow (including a presentation about her piano-tuning and rebuilding work)
  • 7 to 7:30 pm - Follow-up conversation 
If you are not already on the UU singles e-mail list (where the Zoom link is published), email Marie Deer or call her at 812-391-0900.
UUA MidAmerica Region Offers
Virtual Spring Leadership Training Starting March 6 
Online leadership classes will be offered this Spring to members of MidAmerica Region congregations. These classes will be held on Saturday mornings March 6, March 27, April 17, and May 8, from 10:00 am – 1:30 pm. Click here for more info and registration. The cost will be $150, or half off ($75) for Black, Indigenous, People of Color, Trans, Non-Binary, and Young Adults. Scholarships may be available by contacting Dan Wiseman, Leadership Cultivation Committee Chair at connect1947(at)att.net. Participants are required to provide a note of recommendation from either a minister or president of our Board. Questions? Contact Dan Wiseman, or Ann LeDuc at connect(at)uubloomington.org.
Exploring Unitarian Universalism Online!
March 14 and 21, 3:00 to 5:00 pm
Click here to register. These small group gatherings are 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 the church. Plan to attend both dates, since different material will be discussed in each session. We request completion of these sessions before becoming a member of the church. Everyone ages 14 to 100+ is welcome! Questions? Email Ann LeDuc at connect at uubloomington.org, or call Ann at (812)720-3688.
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
Now on 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.
Wow! Thanks a bunch!
Our wise and wonderful Board and Ministers provided me with an extra month of rest and study leave in February, and it was a wonderful break. I learned how to make corn tortillas and sourdough, and read some excellent books. I found that I like getting the news on theroot.com and Indian Country Today. I went for lots of walks and took a creative writing class and a workshop about positive psychology. I also figured out how to make a video of myself (actually 17 videos) reading poems. Lots of exercise from all that snow shoveling! It's possible that I am even starting to resemble this photo of me, at left, from 2015! Haha! (photo credit: John Woodcock)
So filled with gratitude! I'm baaaaack!
--Carol Marks, your Church Administrator (since 1992)
Changing the World
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.
Help Keep Beacon Winter Shelter Open
Concerned Bloomington community quickly came together to create the Beacon Winter Shelter. Now it's up to us to keep it open. Click here for information about how you can helpPlease note: If you are writing a check, make it payable to "Beacon, Inc." and mail it to the address provided in the link above. Or donate via Beacon's PayPal page. This is not a fundraiser for our Homeless task force, but an encouragement for people to support the shelter directly.
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

  • Anyone in Indiana age 55 or older can now sign up for the Covid-19 Vaccination. Click here to register or call Area 10 Agency on Aging at (812) 876-3383.
  • Indiana Department of Health info site: coronavirus.in.gov/vaccine
  • Standby Waitlist for Unused Vaccinations: Click here for information about joining a standby wait list for possible unused doses of vaccine at the end of a vaccination clinic day.
Seeking the Spirit
UU Humanist Forum Meets Sunday, March 7, 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 14, 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
Order Compost Bins and Rain Barrels this Spring!
This year the City of Bloomington (Bloomington Utilities and Dept. of Economic and Sustainable Development) is partnering with the Monroe County Solid Waste Management District to offer compost bins and rain barrels at discounted prices. The order deadline is April 5Find more info and order online at gogreendistrictorders.com. -- Green Sanctuary Task Force
Women Writing for (a) Change offers new class for English Learners
The focus of the new class "Writing Our Way Home" led by Darci Hawxhurst is on connection, finding and uplifting voice, and establishing supportive community. For those seeking to practice English in a safe, non-judgmental space to have the freedom to talk about issues that hit close to the heart. Begins March 4. For more info, email contact (at) womenwritingbloomington.org or call 812-269-6801.
League of Women Voters and Greater Bloomington Chamber of Commerce
Sponsor Legislative Updates in Mar and Apr, 9:30 to 11 am
Tune in via Zoom to Legislative Updates coming up on March 6 and 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.

League of Women Voters Action Alert -- Redistricting Meeting March 10
The Indiana Citizens Redistricting Commission (ICRC) is hosting virtual meetings to receive public testimony from Hoosiers on how to redraw electoral maps for state and U.S. Congressional districts. We invite you to register to attend this important meeting for U.S. Congressional District 9 coming up on March 10 from 7-9 pm: Click here to register and receive the Zoom link.  

Support Groups offered online through the Endwright Center
Lunch with Leon: Bereavement Group, Every 2nd Friday from 12-1 pm. This group is for those who have suffered a loss. Your loss can be a loved one, a relative, a pet or loss of mobility or lifestyle. Together we will share our stories in a confidential, safe manner and help each other heal in body, mind and spirit. To join use Meeting ID 815 9157 4917 or use link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81591574917?pwd=cENQYnlOOUtsZlEzVHRueEdLZ0xhUT09 with password 123.

Lunch with Leon: Coping with COVID and Its Aftermath, Every 3rd Friday from 12-1 pm. Our lives have changed with the COVID-19 virus. We are unable to meet in person, unable to hug those we love, and unable to travel except in our hearts. In spite of these challenges we will endure. Please join as we speak about facing these obstacles and strengthening our lives and legacy. To join use Meeting ID 815 9157 4917 or use link: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81591574917?pwd=cENQYnlOOUtsZlEzVHRueEdLZ0xhUT09 with password 123.

Leon Olenick is a Board Certified Chaplain who has been engaged in hospice and hospital Chaplaincy for thirty years. Leon is an ordained Rabbi and his knowledge and experience reaches out to all religions and extends to all cultures. Questions about programs through the Endwright Center? Email Na’Kia Jones at njones(at)area10agency.org.
A complete calendar and additional information can be found here: https://area10agency.org/endwright
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;
574 current members.
Attendance 
Sunday, February 14, 10:15 am - 468 attended virtually
Sunday, February 21, 10:15 am - 386 attended virtually
Non-Pledge Offering
February 14:  $295    February 21:  $1,424
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: $429.75
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 Rev. Bill Breeden.