All Church Email- 4-10-20

Dear UUCL Community,

With this Friday edition of the “Special” All Church Email we are trying out a slightly new feature: in addition to updates about offerings from the staff and the Pandemic Task Force, at the end of this email we include a few announcements of upcoming activities, somewhat in the style of UUCL’s “regular” Thursday ACE, which we have temporarily suspended.

We continue to encourage everyone to stay connected: attend events offered by staff listed here; attend online and phone Soul Matters groups and meetings of the committee and teams in this congregation, and organize new events, which we are happy to advertise in this email. Also, reach out to others who may not yet participate in any group activities: invite a ‘buddy’ to the next call you attend. Be intentional to reach out to congregants who are not online: they can call in, connect by phone.

One final note from your staff and Board: please know that at least every other day we are picking up postal mail sent to the church address: in particular, correspondence related to stewardship is being regularly received and opened.
Our schedule of connections between Friday April 10 and Thursday April 16 includes:

Easter Sunday & Flower Ceremony: All-Ages Worship Online
Sunday Morning, April 12: 10-11AM. Gather at 9:45 to enjoy music and visuals.
Led by Rev. Barbara, Lenore Bajare-Dukes, and Eli Sauls.

The Flower Ceremony is an annual Unitarian Universalist ritual cherished by UUs across the world since 1923. Previously, we have asked you to find a flower to bring to church, and then on Sunday, we make a big bouquet. Each person comes forward to select a different flower to take home. Gathering our uniquely beautiful flowers all together symbolizes how we come together as one diverse community.

This year, we invite you to celebrate the Flower Ceremony from home:

• Between now and Sunday, you are invited to bring a sweet piece of spring into your home. If what you have access to is a wildflower in the yard, it is welcomed. If you’d like to draw a representative flower, it is welcomed. For those longing for nature while socially distancing, we have filmed a meditative walk in the flower-covered woods in Lancaster—just for you. Watch the video here, and bring a flower into your heart. CLICK HERE

• Before 5PM Saturday, send us a photo of your flower to include in a collage to display during Sunday’s online worship. Send your photo to this special email address by 5PM Saturday: lenoreuucl@gmail.com. You are invited to get creative!

• On Sunday morning, have paper and pencil ready to create a flower; during the ceremony, we will have a special prompt for reflection and writing on these flowers. You may wish to begin drawing, painting, doodling, pressing, or stamping your flower in advance. When we gather again in person, we will create a bouquet with these flowers wrought during this time.

At-home resources; Printable coloring page. Read more about the history of the Flower Ceremony: a story for all ages here.

Join by Zoom:
Click on this link: https://zoom.us/j/857097077?pwd=VFZLUmozK205UklQQWJhL3l0OE9KUT09
Join by phone: (312) 626 6799, enter Meeting ID: 857 097 077# password 71717.

Mid-Week Check-In: Wednesday April 15: 7 p.m. Online Gathering for Personal Check-In, via Zoom: led by Rev. Barbara. Click on this link: https://uuma.zoom.us/j/743827279
Or, call in by phone: +1 646 876 9923 US (New York), Meeting ID: 743 827 279

Come together Wednesday evening in community conversation to share personal joys and concerns, and to inform staff of any UUCL pastoral concerns. To ground conversation this week we will consider the new poem, “An Anarchist Quaker’s Prayer to Sooth Anxiety.” (The poem will be attached in next Tuesday’s All Church Email.) May we particularly encourage congregants who continue in their employment, either online or on site: we can support one another through check-in and sharing. There is no time limit on this call.

Every evening: 7 p.m.: We invite everyone to create a home chalice, and to light the chalice every evening, knowing that others from this congregation are doing the same. Please see the attachment for seven Chalice Lighting readings for the coming week, starting Sunday. CLICK HERE

Every Day:
• Reach out to at least one other person in this congregation.
• Go or look outside and notice nature. If you don’t have access to living flowers, draw or print pictures for Sunday’s Flower Ceremony.

May we continue to look for moments of gratitude, May we remember to take deep breaths, to laugh, and to send regular virtual hugs to all whom we love.

In faith
Rev Barbara, Lenore, Eli