Updates & Opportunities – A Letter from Rev. Norm

My Friends – I want to start by thanking everyone who joined us for worship online this Sunday. It was a pleasure to see your faces, hear your voices, and be in community. I offer a social thanks to Jessica, Katie, and Rick for being such great collaborators in this new endeavor.

I’ve got some important news to share, and some great opportunities that will keep us connected during the weeks ahead. First…

During its meeting on Sunday the Board voted to close the Davies building entirely, with the exception of staff and essential personnel who receive formal approval from the Board.

This is an important step that allows Linda and me access to our offices, resources, and equipment without endangering our health or potentially spreading the virus. All rentals and other onsite events are canceled until further notice.

Again, I want to thank the Board for their swift and responsible action during this time. I’m also hugely grateful to the Committee on Ministry and the Pastoral Care Team for their creative problem-solving and support. Thanks to their efforts we’ve got some great opportunities to come together in new and meaningful ways. Here’s what we’ve got coming down the pike:

Online Worship Every Sunday
Worship will continue each Sunday morning at 10:30am. We’ll have some fun improving our online experience while holding fast to our most beloved rituals. Watch your E-Minder for details about sermon topics, opportunities for children to participate, and other updates. You can use the same ZOOM link every Sunday. Simply click HERE or copy this text into your browser: https://zoom.us/j/323601877?pwd=TWZ0aVpqd0pQcFhqMGpJVXEyTWdNUT09

Personal ZOOM Support
Adrienne York-Minor has generously offered one-on-one technical support to anyone who would like assistance using ZOOM technology. She can help you get online, set up a profile picture, participate in conversations, and generally make the experience more comfortable. Email her at yorkminor@gmail.com to set up a phone conversation. (Thank you so much, Adrienne!)

Wednesday Evenings with Rev. Norm
Each Wednesday at 7pm I’ll host a ZOOM-based gathering that is open to all. This will be an agenda-free get-together when we can check-in with each other, share our frustrations – and maybe share some laughs! Feel free to join us when you’re able, and bring along that cup of tea, glass of wine, or bottle of beer. Simply click HERE or paste this link into your browser: https://zoom.us/j/704293241

Making Connections!
The Pastoral Care Team has created a Buddy System to keep people connected. Reach out to one of the team members listed below and let them know you’d like to participate. They’ll match you with another interested person so you can set up regular phone calls and offer each other support. You can also ask one of the team to reach out to you directly. Don’t hesitate to drop a line to Sally Jones at 301-861-6374, sallyjones8928@gmail.com, Ginny Bridges at 240-601-0583, VNB4321@verizon.net, or Debby Mathis at 301-339-4912, debbymathis@yahoo.com.

Dedicated Facebook Group for Davies Conversations
Thanks to Joyce Dowling we now have a private Facebook group where Davies members can share their thoughts and connect with fellow congregants. The Davies UU Conversations forum is a great way to counter the effects of “social distancing.” Just click HERE or paste this link into your browser: https://www.facebook.com/groups/519606315410476/. Check out the instructions and introduce yourself in the comment area. (Thanks, Joyce!)

The Work of the Community Continues!
While onsite events have been cancelled, the life of the community continues without interruption. The Pre-Service Book Group had their first online gathering on Sunday. The Immigrant Justice Team and 8th Principle Task Force have been using ZOOM technology all year, to support participation from our far-flung community. Check with your lay leaders for updates on meetings and to receive ZOOM links. And check your E-Minder every Thursday afternoon!

As I said during my sermon on Sunday, we can’t pretend that these aren’t tough times, and we can’t pretend that they’re not going to get tougher. I feel so lucky – so blessed – to be collaborating in this work with such an amazing, creative, flexible community of loving folks. I am proud to be your minister.

All good things, Rev. Norman Allen