You Are Welcome Here
Covid-19 Worship Update
March 13th, 2020
Friends and Members of GMUUC,
These are anxious times we are living in and as the week has progressed it has become even clearer the importance of decisive actions and personal and collective responsibility.
With this in mind, and in an abundance of caution, the leadership of GMUUC has decided that beginning today, Friday March 13th, all in-person, church-sponsored events will be cancelled to protect against the spread of Covid-19. It is important to note that at this time, there have been no confirmed cases in our congregation or county at this time. However, given Gov. Kemp, the CDC, the WHO, and the UUA’s recommendation to engage in social-distancing we feel this is the best decision for the congregation at this time.
We have agreed to an initial time-frame of three weeks of closure, while reviewing the information on a daily basis to determine whether we can resume a regular schedule or if we need to extend our time apart. During this time, there will be no in-person meetings, events and no worship services. This includes the kickoff dinner scheduled for Saturday, March 14th, which will be rescheduled for a later date, TBD. Thank you to all of those who have worked so hard to prepare this event and we look forward to celebrating the launch of the Capital Campaign together soon.
Though this church will be closed, committee work will continue. However, it will be at the discretion of the committee chairs and members whether they will meet by phone, email, or virtually through Zoom. In a separate communication, committee chairs will receive information regarding how to utilize Zoom and set up meetings online.
We will miss one another’s company during this time, no doubt. Isolation can be difficult, especially when there is such an unsettled sense of what will come next. It is our hope that we will all take this opportunity to practice connection in different ways. Through cards, emails, video chatting, phone calls, or even a neighborly wave from our porches. When times are difficult we are reminded of our UU values, which tell us that we are all important, all deserving of compassion, and all connected. Acting with generosity and patience, helping one another, living out our values, these will be key to getting through this epidemic together.
So, “What does a closed church look like?” you may be asking.
Firstly, it will be important to continue to be “together” spiritually, even as we are separate physically. In an attempt to do this, we will begin streaming worship services with either live or pre-recorded videos. All friends and members will receive an email (and a post will be made on Facebook) with links so that you can participate from the comfort of your home. As it stands now, our service will include many of our traditional elements and you are invited to email with any joys or concerns you would like to be acknowledged during the service. While this will be quite a change for everyone, we hope this will also be a time of reimagining what Sunday services can be and we welcome your feedback.
Additionally, as a way to nourish our spirit during the week, we will be sending out an invitation to a vesper (or “evening”) service on Wednesday nights that will including a message, readings, a time for meditation, and possibly music as well. We hope you will join us for what we imagine will be a peaceful time of checking in and centering.
Lastly, the membership committee has compiled a list of friends and members arranged into counties, which will be distributed via email, county by county. It is our hope that you will reach out to those in your county at least once a week to see if there are any needs, to connect, and get to know one another better.
As we move forward, please do not hesitate to reach out if you have questions or concerns. We remain available to support you in any way we can. We appreciate your patience as we have made these difficult decisions with little advanced notice.
We look forward to seeing you all again very, very soon.
Yours in faith,
Rev. Charlotte Arsenault & Harry Hames, President
August Worship Theme: Creation
Creation is an ongoing process. Our world and the universe continue to unfold. We acknowledge that we are co-creators with Earth. Our seventh principle calls us to respect the interdependent web. Our sixth source invites us to see the circle of life as sacred and to value and nurture nature, given the imminent threat of climate change. Creation invokes compassion and requires our creativity.
August 2, 2020, 10:30 a.m.
"The Tao of Eyeore”
Rev. Marti Keller
Service Leader: Robin Kottman
Tech Team: Melinda Oliver, Robert Kahn & Lori Wilson
What a woebegone donkey from a favorite children's story might teach us about these times.
Rev.Marti Keller recently retired from fulltime service as a UU parish and social justice minister. Over 22 years, she served congregations in the South, beginning with GMUUC, and including Jackson, Mississippi, Atlanta, and Auburn, Alabama.
She has been a community minister to families without homes, and minister with the Unitarian Universalist Women's Federation where she tracked and did public witness on reproductive justice and other issues related to women and children.
Marti was this year's recipient of the UUWF Ministry to Women Award. She has been a board member and president of UUs for Jewish Awareness, and co-editor of Jewish Voices in Unitarian Universalism ( Skinner House Press). She has been a proponent for and consultant to congregational small group ministry programs. A published poet, her most recent book is " Red Wool Socks and Dark Chocolate" ( Matrika Press, 2020).
August 9, 2020, 10:30 a.m.
“Skeptics vs. Cynics”
Rev. Charlotte Arsenault
Service Leader: Jane Threlkeld
Tech Team: Robert Kahn, Robin Kottman & Stacia Wager
Religion and science have often had a tumultuous relationship, but the seeming resurgence of scientific cynicism has Unitarian Universalists, people whose religion views skepticism and the scientific method as venerated paths to wisdom, scratching our heads. What’s the difference between skepticism and cynicism and why are we seeing a resurgence in the later?
August 16, 2020, 10:30 a.m.
“Creation in a Time of Necessity”
Rev. Dr. Scott Dillard
Service Leader: Fran Watkins
Tech Team: Melinda Oliver, Robert Kahn & Lori Wilson
Difficult times that force us out of our routines and preferred way of doing things often lead us to create means of expression. Out of this creation we find new ways of being, of relating to one another, and of moving through our lives. "
The Reverend Dr. Scott Dillard is an Interfaith Minister who has preached throughout the southeast. He is the former Dean of The Mountain School for Congregational Leadership. He works at Georgia College and State University as a Professor of Rhetoric. He and his husband, Chris, live in Milledgeville, Ga.
August 23, 2020, 10:30 a.m.
“Creation: A Survey”
Rev. Charlotte Arsenault
Service Leader: Melinda Oliver
Tech Team: Robin Kottman, Robert Kahn & Stacia Wager
How did we get here? What is our purpose? Religious cosmology, or creation myths, which vary wildly from culture to culture and religion to religion, are some of humanity’s finest examples of storytelling. Let’s explore them through this multi-voiced service.
August 30, 2020, 10:30 a.m.
"God and Mammon”
Rev Barry Whittemore
Service Leader: Burger Vaughan
Tech Team: Melinda Oliver, Robin Kottman & Stacia Wager
Emerson rightfully said that everyone will worship something - ultimacy. Lots of people claim to worship God, but which one? What do you worship?
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