Opportunities for Justice Seekers

Zoom Friday Action Hour. Every Friday at 11 AM join UUs from across the state to advocate for justice from home. So far 3 of us from UUCA have attended…I think we can do better! All you have to do is show up and they’ll have a list of easy, impactful actions ready to go. Along the way, you’ll be accompanied by good justice music, fellowship, and support if you need it. Join us and meet fellow UUs committed to justice work. Contact Rev. Claudia for the link.

Other opportunities for AT-HOME Activism & Advocacy: Stay up-to-date with ways you can continue to be active for Democracy while staying home and staying safe… visit bit.ly/UUtheVote

A Learning Opportunity…

As the 2020 election draws near, the UU Living Legacy Project is offering a monthly online series focused on voting rights. Sessions will be explore what we can learn from the Voting Rights Movement of the 1950s and 60s to apply to challenges we face today in these unprecedented times. Sessions will be the last Tuesday of every month starting May 26 until Election Day 2020! All programs begin at 7:30 pm Eastern; each program is 60 minutes followed by informal discussion time.
Moderators:  Dr. Janice Marie Johnson, and the Rev. Carlton E. Smith
Registration required.http://www.uulivinglegacy.org/votingrights.html

Anti-Racism and Immigrant Justice Action Group

Dedicated to dismantling racism in ourselves, our community, and our country through education, supporting local and national efforts toward racial and immigrant equity and justice, and working toward systemic change in racist and xenophobic structures  (formerly ReCommitting to Black Lives Matter Action Group).

Zoom gatherings the second Thursday of the month at 2:30pm. We welcome everyone to join us!   Contact Eleanor Lane.

Summer Vespers Begins June 3, 6:30 PM

Mindfulness for All Ages
Our first Summer Vespers will be hosted by the Martin family: Anna, Langdon, Eliza, and Lucille. We will be thinking about mindfulness. How do you stay grounded and present in these challenging times? Look for the ZOOM link in the Worship eNews, Monday, June 1. Vespers will continue into the summer. Please contact Rev. Claudia if you would like to facilitate a future Vespers. 

Photo: Melissa Askew, Unsplash.com

Are We All Zoomed Out Yet?

Minister Claudia

Last night thirty UUCA members gathered via Zoom for an Animal Blessing Vespers. We met pets, remembered past pets, introduced stuffed pet avatars and even took time to consider animals endangered by human greed and carelessness. We listened to music, with Les, our music director, playing piano. Vespers leader MaryAnn Somervill shared poetry and inspiring words. We lit chalices and shared joys and sorrow via “chat.” I found it to be a meaningful way to connect when analog gatherings pose a risk of contagion.

Our UUCA family continues to thrive in virtual gatherings of covenant groups and other spiritual deepening groups. Whether lay-led or minister-led, we are all seeking ways to ground ourselves spiritually in these unprecedented times and to stay connected to each other. I hope we are providing substance that meets, however incompletely, some part of your need to feel connected to our community. Daily, I wonder, worry, debate, and puzzle about how this can best be done by taking advantage of the opportunities inherent in communication technology while recognizing its deficiencies. A major concern is how we can best reach those who are not comfortable with technology or do not have access or just plain don’t like video-conferencing. I certainly get tired of seeing myself on the screen! Phone calls and old-fashioned snail mail are an option.

I have heard people say that observing social distancing and wearing a mask express our care and respect for others. That care also includes deciding if and when to gather. It is complicated. Public institutions, businesses, churches, and other organizations are threatened by closures. Last Sunday, as I delivered roses to two of our bridging seniors wearing a mask and keeping adequate physical distance, I realized how much I miss seeing each of you in person. How much I miss our being together. More than anything, I miss giving and receiving your hugs. I wonder how long Zoom or other platforms are going to be our main vehicle for connection. I am trying to be mindful of how many video meetings I attend each day. There are many opportunities for connecting with family, friends, and other professionals. It can be overwhelming! How are you dealing with this sudden technology overload?

It is particularly challenging for families juggling work and parenting. Screen time for children has inevitably increased during this time. That is to be expected with school online and parents working from home (if they have that privilege). What to do? How can families realistically regulate online and offline experiences? While planning for our parent check-in group, I came across what pediatrician Dr. Jenny Radesky calls the “Three C’s Framework.” Parents can approach media use considering their child: who they are; content: what they are watching, and context: how you are interacting with them. My own children are young adults and I can’t imagine having to write this blog while also having to keep track of them while my partner is upstairs preparing breakfast, or he might be trying to get them to help out. What if I were on my own? Whatever permutation, it is complicated. Technology is part of our lives now, and this pandemic has deepened our dependency on it.

So, am I Zoomed out? Not quite yet. The computer has become an essential tool for many, including ministers. To compensate, I try to engage in more offline experiences. More walks, phone calls, letter-writing, and the occasional outdoor, properly distanced gathering with 2 or maybe 4 friends from deck chairs or driveways. What is helping you avoid Zoom-out?

Rev. Claudia Jiménez, Minister of Faith Development

Bee Vigiliant

Do not use products containing neonicotinaids (neonics). Some chemicals associated with the neonics’ family are Acetamiprid, Cothianidin and Imidacloprid and are known to be harmful to bees. Read labels on products in your home and local garden center. Avoid using neonics.