OK, first things first, if you haven’t watched the video of Revs. Cathy and Claudia, please stop reading and click on this link. Their energy and giggles will improve the quality of your day as it did mine and I think we can learn from their general approach–reframing disappointing news as an opportunity for growth. They explain the rationale behind the decision NOT to meet for in-person services at UUAsheville due to the delta variant of the coronavirus. As a scientist, I understand we made these decisions keeping in mind the recommendations of the CDC and the Unitarian Universalist Association regarding the variant.
Personally, I am disappointed by the news we will not meet in person for services in our beautiful sanctuary. I consider myself to be a rather rigid person who thrives when things go according to plan and schedule. My children ask me about “church” and the coronavirus (will there be a spiritual developmental lag?) and when we can go there. I have been fumbling for answers, but now I will fumble less because there will be creative opportunities for outdoor gatherings spearheaded by Rev. Cathy, Rev. Claudia and other members of our community.
But I can’t help noting that their approach of reframing the bad news as an opportunity is a characteristic of lucky and happy people. Social science researcher Richard Wiseman writes that people who consider themselves lucky often imagine how things could have been worse. I have very little trouble imagining services resuming at UUAsheville and coronavirus infections happening as a result. It would be devastating to have infections or deaths of members of our family, possibly young and old, because we rushed getting back together. When I think about it in this fashion, the decision to wait is much easier to stomach, but the work to keep the commnity together through this time will not be, and the congregation will need to shoulder some of the load. If something has resonated with you from a service, send a message to Cathy or Claudia. If you have ideas, please let us know! We want to hear from you.
Luck researcher Wiseman highlights other attributes of lucky people and describes them as resilient, optimistic, intuitive, and open to chance encounters – all qualities I strive for personally and qualities I am attracted to in organizations and people. Our congregation is filled with such people and participating in services and UUAsheville activities increases the likelihood of a positive chance encounter with such individuals. We are also very lucky to have two resilient and optimistic women leading us, so please join us virtually on Sundays and in-person for fun events. I hope to see you soon!
Adam Griffith, UUAsheville Board of Trustees