Weekly Update, March 15, 2020
Covid-19 Announcement: In-person Services, Meetings & Events Suspended Thru March
Your Board of Trustees and minister have been alert to the growing concern of the spread of Covid-19, the coronavirus. Our concern is for our congregation, of course, but also for our wider community and world.
After much consideration we believe it’s our civic duty to do what is in our power to reduce the spread of the virus. So we will temporarily suspend in-person worship services and all church-sponsored meetings and events. This will likely continue through the end of March. As always, we will be alert to any changes and will keep you posted. Any committees, teams or groups in the church that need to meet might consider online meetings using Zoom or other technology.
We will have a short worship experience on Facebook Live this Sunday at 10:30 am and we encourage you to worship with us there. This will remain on our Facebook page after that time, and we’ll upload it to YouTube, so you can access this at your convenience. Sarah Gray, our Religious Education Coordinator, is working with our religious education team to have some at-home materials available to families to help them through these days.
We’ll post any updates on church function on both our website (www.orlandoUU.org) and on our Facebook page.
As one minister at another of our churches said this week, sometimes being church means showing up together to worship, pray and sing, welcoming the stranger, or standing up publicly for what matters in the world. In this moment, it means taking a break from how we usually do things as an act of care for our community and neighbors. This is a way of showing love to people at risk of the virus. This is the compassionate thing to do in these days.
We will stay in touch. As always, we hold each other and our community in mindfulness, care and compassion. Even amid a virus temporarily changing the course of events locally and globally, we move forward in faith and courage.
Whether gathered together or spread out separately, We Are the Church.
– 1U Board of Trustees
– Rev. Samuel Schaal
Missed a Sunday?
Audio recordings for most Sunday sermons are online here. Just click and listen.
Multigenerational Space in Enrichment Center Courtyard: Lead Volunteer Wanted
Would you like to see the courtyard in the Enrichment Center transformed into a welcoming space for multigenerations? Are you the kind of person who likes hands-projects? And enjoys supervising volunteers to accomplish projects? We have a plan for the courtyard of the Enrichment Center which includes several features designed to encourage play and movement. This phase of the plan has been funded by a generous contribution from one of our families and we are eager to get started! When additional funding becomes available, the plan will expand to include a wide walkway and benches to encourage interaction. Now we need an individual to transform the plan into reality! Contact Mary Dipboye for more information (phone and email in Member Directory).
Pastoral Associates Listen, Care and Help
Do you need someone to talk to about what’s going on in your life? Someone who will listen and care but not dump advice you don’t need on you? Lay Pastoral Associates are trained listeners who will never tell you what to do…but they will listen, care, and help you sort out your feelings. Please contact PastoralAssociates@OrlandoUU.org for a trained UU listener from our beloved community. Absolutely confidential!
Needs for Joy MCC Food Pantry
For March, Joy MCC has asked for donations to help restock their food pantry. Please consider adding something from the list below to your grocery cart. Items can be dropped off in Gore Hall throughout the month.
Fruit cups (individual child sized)
Baby food (NOT formula, no glass please)
Grape or strawberry jelly (no glass please)
Questions? Contact Kathy Homblette at Welcometeam@orlandouu.org
Members of the Caring Circle offer kind, practical, tangible efforts to church members who may be experiencing significant joys, concerns, sorrows, or changes in their lives. We follow up on Joys and Concerns expressed in Sunday worship, as well as notices from the minister or other church members about short-term circumstances that may need attention. Caring Circle members may serve on occasion by providing one or more of the following: phone calls, greeting cards, rides to church events or medical appointments, and/or help with meals, pet care, etc. In March, contact Cindy Schleier at CaringCircle@OrlandoUU.org if you need help or to participate in this ministry of our community who care about and for each other.
Special Website Member Section
We’ve moved some information on the website into a password-protected member section. There you’ll find the member directory, detailed information on church governance (board, bylaws and approved annual budgets), building and grounds information including the campus safety plan, and volunteer information for religious education. Watch the section’s evolution as it grows to become a rich resource of information for members and leaders of the church. Your directory password works for the new member section. If you don’t have a password and need one, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Plan Ahead (Note: These events may be rescheduled or canceled)
April 5 — Wrestling with our Understanding of Race Book Study — 11:45 am, Gore Hall Room B
Focusing on Robin DiAngelo’s book: White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, the study & discussion group will take the place of our monthly Wrestling with our Understanding of Race meeting. We meet for a 90-minute session. Final session is Sunday, May 3. We will be using the UU White Fragility Study Guide for our sessions. Ten copies of the DiAngelo book are available for checkout from Ellen Tetlow.
April 10 — Black Cat Open Mic Night, 7:30 pm-12:00 am, Gore Hall
Are you a performer? Bard, troubadour, musician, singer, poet, actor, dancer, comedian, highly skilled fool? Enjoy being part of the audience? Join others at the monthly open mic night and enjoy wine, beer, pizza, snacks and a great show! Last month there was even an on stage marriage proposal! All are welcome! $2 donation. For more info email BlackCatCafe@OrlandoUU.org or go to https://tinyurl.com/blackcatapr2020.
April 12 — Movie Talk, 9:30 am, Community Room
Movie talk is a monthly discussion group that allows us to examine our principles through shared cultural events–in this case, movies. Join the movie discussion on The Way Back. Embracing our own inherent worth and dignity is a formidable challenge when alcoholism and addiction have lead us on a path to anguish and self-disgust. This movie talk is scheduled for Easter Sunday which connects to the film’s themes of redemption and rebirth. Note: Ben Affleck plays the lead role in this movie based on lessons learned from his own life. The Community Room is the classroom in the far right corner of the Enrichment Center.
April 20 — Monthly 1U Board of Trustees Meeting, 7:00-9:00 pm, Gore Hall Room A
1U members and friends are welcome to observe Board Meetings. To bring an item to the Board’s agenda, contact an Executive Committee member at least a week before the meeting. Executive Committee Members include the President, President-Elect, Treasurer, Secretary, Minister and immediate Past President.
Clean the World takes partially used soaps, shampoo and conditioner from hundreds of local hotels to recycle and use for those in need. We will be separating the donated products over a large table. Wear closed-toed, comfortable shoes and clothes you don’t mind getting a bit dirty. It’s great fun; we can do good while gabbing. Kids are welcome if they are 8 or older! PLEASE RSVP to email@example.com AND register by following this link (each individual group member must do this). Our group is called 1UMeetUp. CtW is located at 2544 E Landstreet Rd, Suite 600, Orlando FL 32824. Carpooling is strongly suggested. Come a little early to check-in and to walk through our soap museum: The Soap Story. Bring a refillable water-bottle. We will have water available, and ask that you bring your own water-bottles to limit the amount of waste we create.
May 10 — Blood Drive, 8:30 am-1:00 pm, Big Red Bus, 1U Parking Lot
Regional UU and Other Community Events and Activities
UUMFE Species Artwork Grant
UUMFE is excited to announce that a limited number of mini-grants up to $250 are available to help your congregation create its species artwork for this year’s Procession of the Species at the UUA General Assembly (GA) in Rhode Island! To apply for a mini-grant — and to sign up for GA in general — check out this link.
Let’s ‘UU the Vote’
The new UUA electoral organizing campaign website: “UU the Vote” (uua.org/UUtheVote, https://www.uua.org/liberty/electionreform) provides an Association-wide strategy to help UUs grow and sharpen their skills for faith-based electoral organizing from now until the 2020 election. The Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray, UUA President, says “Core UU values of interdependence, democracy, human worth and dignity, the richness of pluralism and diversity, and the inborn right of all people to self-determination and agency are on the line…We are offering a visible alternative to narratives and policies of domination, supremacy, scarcity, and exploitation that threaten and diminish our lives and future.” The introductory video may be viewed on the website.
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First Unitarian Church of Orlando
Transition Minister: Rev. Samuel Schaal
Affiliate Minister: Rev. Kierstin Homblette Allen