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
July Worship Theme: Harmony
Native American author Tony Hillerman writes, “The Navajo word hozro ... means a sort of blend of being in harmony with one’s environment, at peace with one’s circumstances, content with the day, devoid of anger, and free from anxieties.” Our task is to find our hozro, our way of living in harmony and in beauty. Harmony is a way of walking through life.
July 5, 2020, 10:30 a.m.
Dr. Esther Sumartojo
Service Leader: Lynda Doll
Place carries meaning, and sacred spaces carry spiritual meaning. Sacred or spiritual places can give us a profound sense of belonging in the present, and in our memories.
Dr. Esther Sumartojo is a member of the Emerson UU Congregation in Marietta, Georgia. She was head of the Emerson Worship Committee for several years and is a practicing Buddhist. She is a Social Psychologist, and a retiree from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
July 12, 2020, 10:30 a.m.
"General Assembly Closing Worship Service”
Rev. Charlotte Arsenault
Service Leader: Burger Vaughn
The closing worship service of the Unitarian Universalist Association’s annual General Assembly is always a special treat as thousands of UU’s from across the world join to hear the message. This year, Rev. Joan Javier-Duval leads us in a powerful service entitled, “Beyond the Water’s Edge.”
July 19, 2020, 10:30 a.m.
“The Optimist Creed"
Pastor/Lord and High Priest David-Michael Searcy
Service Leader: Fran Watkins
We will be inspired by the Beautiful and Divine writings of Christian D. Larson and apply them to our Spiritual Journey to bring harmony and uplift us too be better expressions of our true selves, Divine Beings, having a Human Experience.
Please, promise yourself to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind. To talk health, happiness, harmony, and prosperity to every person you meet. To make all your friends feel that there is the Divine Spark in them. To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true. This is us walking in tandem with the Divine! Blessed Be!
Pastor/ Lord & High Priest David-Michael Searcy was introduced to several religious beliefs as a youth, which sparked his desire to study religion and spirituality. His ministry is infused with his Pentecostal roots, Wicca, and Science of Mind, which he has studied and practiced for over 30 years. In 2010 he was ordained in the Ravenwood Tradition by RavenStone Church & Seminary in Dallas, GA. In 2018 he was set forth by the laying on of hands by the Presbytery of Spirit and Truth Sanctuary as an ordained Pastor.
July 26, 2020, 10:30 a.m.
Rev. Charlotte Arsenault
Service Leader: Melinda Oliver
In Greek mythology it is Atlas who carries the weight of the earth on his shoulders, but in times like this it is women, single parents, and people of color, whose bodies sag with the burdens of our world. How has the pandemic exacerbated this and what is the light at the end of the tunnel?
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