Courage & Community during COVID!
As we nurture connection during this time of caution,
we share messages from our leaders, online conferencing instructions and a quick-reference Zoom resource.
To participate in UUFP's online (Zoom) activities, please reference the Google Calendar or Events Calendar.
Virtual Access to Church Activities – Zoom
During the current public health crisis we will be using technology to help us be together in community for our Sunday Services, groups and meetings. For the time being we will primarily be using the application called Zoom.
You can follow the steps below to access Zoom. Below the steps is a link to a helpful video that will also guide you through the process.
You can use Zoom on your phone, tablet or computer. In our publications and on our calendar you will see hyperlinks to let you join these virtual events.
- When you click on the link it will open Zoom in your browser.
- You will be asked to download the application in order for it to function. Please agree to this.
- After it has downloaded you will see a pop-up window asking if you would like to join zoom.us. Please say yes again.
- The next window that opens is where you can view the service or join a group or meeting. You can join with both video and/or audio (guided/adjusted, where needed, by the techno team for optimum experience), and you will be able to carry on as if we were sitting together in a room.
To set up Zoom access for your groups and meetings, and/or if you need further assistance, please contact our office: email@example.com.
Here is a video about joining a meeting by Zoom: https://youtu.be/vFhAEoCF7jg
May 15, 2020
A Letter from Our Minister
As we prepare to enter week ten of virtual church in response to the coronavirus pandemic, I continue to be awed by your willingness to embrace this brave new world by trying out different ways of being together and staying connected as a congregation. Sunday services, the Forum, Fellowship Circles and other on-line gatherings are going strong as we learn about the technology, one another and ourselves during this challenging time. Tomorrow morning, I am excited to hear our former District Executive, Annette Marquis, preach on how "Life Calls Us On", exploring the ways in which we can face the future together, and I lift up the work of our Planning Committee as they continue to build on the congregation's efforts that led up to the "Stay or Go" vote on March 8th. (You can connect to the service, which begins at 11am tomorrow, by clicking here, and you can read the recent update from Planning by clicking here.) More broadly, I am delighted by all the ways in which you are reaching out to one another, from setting up virtual spaces for our children and youth to see one another to forming a birthday caravan for one of our beloved elders.
As we look to the future, we are guided by the best information available from health experts, trusted public leaders and our own Unitarian Universalist Association. A few days ago, the UUA sent out updated guidance regarding church activities, recommending in particular that we continue virtual services and other programming for the time being and plan to continue as such into the next church year. Under congregational polity, of course, we have the right to determine our own path forward, given our priorities as a congregation, the concerns of our members and our understandable desire to see one another again in person. As much as I miss, for instance, being able to sing in company with other people (and not just see their mouths moving on Zoom!) I must acknowledge the extremely high transmissability of the virus when a group of people sings together: if you haven't already read it, I strongly recommend Dr. Erin Bromage's "The Risks - Know Them - Avoid Them".
As the letter from UUA President, the Rev. Dr. Susan Frederick-Gray, put it: "Take a moment to breathe. I know this is significant." 2020 has turned into a year that none of us ever imagined or wanted, but while we may not know what the coming weeks and months may bring, I know that our Fellowship is strong and will get through this. We will weather the storm of this pandemic, just as we not only made it through the 1979 fire and the 2015 flood, but came through them more sure of who we are and more clear about what we are called to do. So breathe, and keep breathing. We are all in this together, and together I know we will be well.
You can expect to hear more about the UUFP's plans for moving forward in the coming weeks, and I encourage you to speak to the "Board member on-call" for any given Sunday to share your own concerns. Don't forget that the Annual Membership Meeting will take place (on Zoom) following services on May 31st, and starting June 7th we'll hold our re-scheduled "Next Steps Fortnight" with consultant Mark Ewart.
Finally, I have been thinking about how to hold Flower Communion this year. This beloved ceremony, held in the Spring or around the time of creator Norbert Čapek's birthday in early June, invites us all to bring flowers to that Sunday's service. We collect them into a single, colorful bouquet that represents our united diversity as a congregation; we bless the flowers; and then each of us takes home with us a flower that somebody else brought, representing how all of us bring beauty joy into one another's lives. This is not something we can do in a virtual service, unfortunately, so look for more details to come about how we're going to share in this year's on-line Flower Communion. (Hint: if you grow or buy some flowers, take a picture of them; if you come across a picture of flowers on line, download it!)
As always, I'm grateful for all that you are doing to bring the Beloved Community into being, both within our (virtual) walls and in the wider world. I am proud to be part of the UUFP!
Yours, in faith,
All that this Fellowship is and all that this congregation has are what we bring to it: our time, our talents and our treasure. We thank you for your continued support of the Fellowship and our Share-the-Basket partners during this challenging time!