Exploring Our Truths — Virtual Sunday Service, May 31, 2020

Gathering Music (begins at 9:50)

Welcome 

 Announcements 

Centering 

Prelude “Let it Be” (Lennon and McCartney) (Performed by Pat Eaton-Robb)

Chalice Lighting and Opening Words (Wendell Berry)

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Opening Song “Wake Now My Senses” (Thomas Mikelson, traditional Irish Melody) (Josh leads singing)

Wake, now, my senses, and hear the earth call;
feel the deep power of being in all;
keep, with the web of creation your vow,
giving, receiving as love shows us how.

Wake, now, compassion, give heed to the cry;
voices of suffering fill the wide sky;
take as your neighbor both stranger and friend,
praying and striving their hardship to end.

Wake, now, my conscience, with justice thy guide;
join with all people whose rights are denied;
take not for granted a privileged place;
God’s love embraces the whole human race.

Wake, now, my vision of ministry clear;
brighten my pathway with radiance here;
mingle my calling with all who will share;
work toward a planet transformed by our care.

Time with Gina  Be Who You Are (by Todd Parr)

Musical Meditation (Mary Bopp)

Joys and Concerns

Musical Meditation (Mary Bopp)

 Offering 

Our current community outreach offering is somewhat different than what we normally do. In the coming two weeks we are raising funds for specific workers who have been identified by area labor organizers. Specifically, we are raising funds for a group of workers who lost work at the rest stops on I-95 due to the pandemic. These are non-union workers who were in the middle of a campaign to form a union. Although these rest stops are owned by the state of CT, the workers don’t have the same protections and benefits as regular state employees. And without union membership, they have been treated horribly by their employers. A number of them contracted COVID-19 due to their employers not taking their safety seriously. A few of them have died, leaving their families in dire straits. Our goals is to spread the funds we raise among a group of families who have extreme need right now. More information here.

Offering Music  “Imagine” (by John Lennon) (performed by Teresa Kubiak on cello and Kathy Welch on piano; video collage by Jack Chan)

Homily  “Exploring our Truths” (Beth Hudson-Hankins and Sheila Foran)

Closing Song “Blessed Spirit of My Life” (Shelly Jackson Denham)

Blessed Spirit of my life, give me strength through stress and strife;
help me live with dignity; let me know serenity.
Fill me with a vision, clear my mind of fear and confusion.
When my thoughts flow restlessly, let peace find a home in me.

Spirit of great mystery, hear the still, small voice in me.
Help me live my wordless creed as I comfort those in need.
Fill me with compassion, be the source of my intuition.
Then, when life is done for me, let love be my legacy.

Extinguishing the Chalice

Closing Circle  

May faith in the spirit of life

And hope for the community of earth

And love of the light in each other

Be ours now, and for all the days the come.

 Coffee Hour / Chat

On Giving Honor — UUS:E Virtual Worship, May 24, 2020

Watch our May 24th virtual Sunday Service here. 

Bridging / Thoughts on Reopening — UUS:E Virtual Worship, May 17, 2020

Friends: You can watch the video of our May 17th service, including our bridging ceremony,  on the UUS:E Youtube channel.

The test to Rev. Josh Pawelek’s homily is here:

I want to share a few thoughts on what it means for us to get back to normal. By “us” I mean not only those of us in this service – but us as the wider communities of Manchester and Greater Hartford, us as the people of Connecticut, us as a nation.

Earlier we conducted our bridging ceremony. I want to offer congratulations again to John, Sarah, Nate and Mason. And I want to affirm that it’s a very strange and unnerving time to be bridging into young adulthood. The University of California announced this week that it would only be offering online learning for the coming academic year. I suspect each of you will be encountering similar decisions by the schools you are planning to attend this fall. There are many unknowns, and yet one thing we do know is that you will not be launching into young adulthood the way high school graduates always have. Please know that whatever happens, we are here for you. We are committed to supporting you, along with all the other UUS:E young adults who are experiencing disruption at this formative time in their lives.

What about the rest of us? What kind of future are we bridging into?

On Thursday the Unitarian Universalist Association’s Safe Congregation Team released guidance on how to safely return to in-person congregational gatherings. While that guidance is not definitive for us, we need to take it seriously. And the bottom line is sobering. They recommend not returning to regular in-person gatherings until May of 2021. In making this recommendation they are asking us to account for the most vulnerable people among us – not only in our congregation, but also in the wider community. That is, if our UUS:E community were to gather too soon and become instrumental in the spread of a new outbreak, it would not only negatively impact our people, which for me is unacceptable; it would negatively impact people in the wider community. That is also unacceptable. The UUA’s guidance is grounded first and foremost in “our abiding care and concern for the most vulnerable, inside and outside our congregations” and the “recognition that we are part of an interdependent web and, as such, our risk-taking and our protective actions affect far more than just ourselves.”[1]

We won’t be re-opening any time soon, which means we’re going to have to be innovative and creative in all the ways we offering programming, and especially in how we keep our congregational community connected. And when we finally do re-open, we will not be the same community. This social distancing time is going to change us. We are not bridging back to our old ‘normal.’ Something new awaits. We will discover this ‘something new’ as a congregation over the coming year.

The UUA’s guidance flies in the face of the widespread impulse to re-open the country. Connecticut begins re-opening on Wednesday. Other states have already begun re-opening, even states where the infection rate is still on the rise. Here’s my question: Are those in charge of re-opening taking the most vulnerable people into account? Are those in charge of re-opening acting out of an “abiding care and concern for the most vulnerable?” Do those pushing the hardest for re-opening recognize “that we are part of an interdependent web and, as such, our risk-taking and our protective actions affect far more than just ourselves?”

Ten days ago I was in a meeting with clergy from the Greater Hartford Interfaith Action Alliance. It was so striking to hear urban and suburban faith leaders compare notes on their experience of the pandemic. Case in point: the membership of our largely white, suburban congregation has had very little exposure to the coronavirus, and only a few positive tests. We have had no deaths. Yet my colleagues serving largely black, urban congregations report widespread infection and multiple deaths. One highly community-oriented pastor said he was getting at least a phone call a day to conduct a memorial service for someone who had died of Covid-19. Other pastors reported widespread food insecurity and economic hardship. The pandemic has exposed beyond a shadow of a doubt the many race-based economic, social and health disparities in our nation. The high infection and death rates among people of color aren’t a novelty. They are a clear-as-day symptom of the old normal. On the GHIAA call this pastor, speaking through quiet tears, said “we cannot go back to that.”

Friends: I don’t know what the future holds. None of us does. But as a society we cannot bridge back to the old normal. We cannot go back to being the wealthiest nation in the world without understanding that for that wealth to exist the way it does, tens of millions of low-wage workers, immigrants, undocumented people, Black and Latinx people must live with intolerable insecurity, just a breath away from economic ruin or personal health crisis or both.

We’ve been trying to help, raising money to address food insecurity, to support undocumented people facing ICE proceedings, to support domestic workers who’ve gotten sick, and now to support non-union rest stop workers who’ve lost their jobs. These efforts matter because they help vulnerable people survive the pandemic. But let’s be clear: they don’t change the old normal. Are we ready to be in the fight for a new society?

I hope we are. The old normal was a moral failing on the part of our nation. Now, with the coronavirus, it’s a moral catastrophe unfolding before our eyes. We cannot go back to where we were. In all your conversations about re-opening, and in every interaction you may have with officials who have a role to play in the re-opening, demand two things:

All re-opening decisions must be grounded in a demonstrable and “abiding care and concern for the most vulnerable.”

All re-opening decisions must start from a “recognition that we are part of an interdependent web and, as such, our risk-taking and our protective actions affect far more than just ourselves.”

If these values can be brought to bear in the re-opening phase, we will be on our way to a better future for everyone. In my view, fighting for this future now is a moral imperative. May we find our way into this fight.

Amen and blessed be.

 

“Bridging” — UUS:E Virtual Sunday Service, May 17, 2020

Gathering Music (Begins at 9:50)

Welcome and Announcements

(Special thanks to Dorothy Bognar is providing our piano music this morning!)

Prelude “Rhythmic Etudes #30” (by Allen Vizzutti) (Performed by bridging senior John Slogesky)

Chalice Lighting and Opening Words  “Cusp of a New Day” (Patrice K. Curtis) (Spoken by youth group member Casey Campellone)

Divine Universe,

here I stand on the cusp of a new day.

All may seem the same at first, a simple continuum of the day before.

I do not know what this day will bring for me.

Yet what I do know: I am one day older.

I am one day closer to that final breath.

May I carry within me then times of quiet

so that I may feel the pulse of my connection to all beings,

that I may hear the whisper of Earth in my bones.

May I use my hands, head, and heart in service

to heal hurt and to spread light.

 

Opening Hymn “Though I May Speak With Bravest Fire” (Trad. English Melody, words by Hal Hopson)

Though I may speak with bravest fire, and have the gift to all inspire,
and have not love, my words are vain as sounding brass and hopeless gain.

Though I may give all I possess, and striving so my love profess,
but not be given by love within, the profit soon turns strangely thin.

Come, Spirit, come, our hearts control, our spirits long to be made whole.
Let inward love guide every deed; by this we worship, and are freed.

Bridging  Ceremony

Congregational Response to our Bridgers

We bless you today.
May your mind be on fire with wonder and wisdom;
May your heart be aflame with love for this life;
May your hands be ignited with purpose;
And may your spirit be aglow with courage and compassion.
Wherever you may go, our steadfast love goes with you.

Whenever you return, you have a spiritual home here.

We bless you.
We love you.
May you be blessings to the world.

Song “Go Now in Peace” (Natalie Sleeth)

Go now in peace, go now in peace

May the love of God surround you

Everywhere, everywhere, you may go.

Joys and Concerns

Offering  

This morning we begin taking a community outreach offering that is a bit different for us. In the coming two weeks we are raising funds for specific workers who have been identified by the area labor organizers. Specifically, we are going to raise funds for a  group of workers who lost work at the rest stops on I-95 due to the coronavirus. These are non-union workers who were in the middle of a campaign to form a union. Without union membership, they have been treated horribly by their employers. A number of them contracted COVID-19 due to their employers not taking their safety seriously. A few of them have died, leaving their families in dire straights. Our goals is to  spread the funds we raise among these families. Further: if individual UUS:E members want to “adopt” a specific family, they have the option to do that. You can inform Rev. Josh  if you’re interested.

Offering Music  “More Than This” (Miles Mosely) (Performed by bridging senior Mason Pawelek)

Homily  “Back to Normal?” (Rev. Josh Pawelek)

Closing Song “There’s a River Flowin’ in My Soul” (Rose Sanders, aka Faya Ora Rose Touré)

There’s a river flowin’ in my soul

There’s a river flowin’ in my soul

And it’s tellin’ me, that I’m somebody

There’s a river flowin’ in my soul

 

There’s a river flowin’ in my heart…..

 

There’s a river flowin’ in my mind….

 

Extinguishing the Chalice

Closing Circle

May faith in the spirit of life

And hope for the community of earth

And love of the light in each other

Be ours now and in all the days to come.

 

Coffee Hour / Chat

Flower Communion, UUS:E Virtual Worship, May 10, 2020

Virtual Flower Communion at UUS:E, Sunday May 10, 2020.

Watch the recording of this service on YouTube here.

Watch the flower communion slide show created by Joe Madar here.

Watch Gina Campellone’s telling of “The Flower Ceremony, a Plain and Simple Beauty” (adapted from a story by Janeen K. Grohsmeyer in her book Lamp in Every Corner: Our UU Storybook) complete with beautiful drawings from the Gonzalez family here.

Flower Communion — UUS:E Virtual Sunday Service, May 10, 2020

Gathering Music (begins at 9:50)

Welcome and Announcements

Prelude “The Way Knows” (Lyndsey Scott) (Sung by the Manchester Sacred Women’s Singing Circle)

Chalice Lighting and Opening Words “Like the First Hint of Green” (Jennifer McGlothin) (Spoken by Elliot Garcia)

Opening Song “Meditation on Breathing” (Sara Dan Jones)

When I breathe in, I’ll breath in peace;

When I breathe out, I’ll breathe out love.

Story “The Flower Ceremony, a Plain and Simple Beauty” (adapted from a story by Janeen K. Grohsmeyer in her book Lamp in Every Corner: Our UU Storybook) (Told by Gina Campellone)

Musical Meditation (Mary Bopp)

Joys and Concerns

Musical Meditation

 Offering

The National Domestic Workers Alliance has established a fund to support domestic workers across the country. As part of this effort, the Brazilian Workers Center’s Connecticut Worker Center, based in Bridgeport, is managing the CT portion of the fund called the “Connecticut Relief Fund for Vulnerable Workers and Families.”  For the first two Sundays in May, we will be taking our community outreach offering for this fund. For homecare workers, nannies, and house cleaners—the vast majority of whom are immigrant women of color—the impact of the coronavirus is especially severe. Many domestic workers already lack access to health insurance, paid time off, and long-term job security. Due to their exclusion from federal and many state labor statutes, they lack safety net protections that most workers take for granted. In the midst of the pandemic many domestic workers have lost employment, and many others are working but lack access to proper protective gear. The money we donate to the Brazilian Workers Center fund provides direct and immediate financial support to domestic workers throughout Connecticut who have been impacted negatively either by the shut-down order or by exposure to the coronavirus or both. Thank you for your generosity. 

Offering Music  “Give Yourself to Love” (Kate Wolf) (Sung by Nancy and Joe Madar)

Homily

Flower Communion (created by Joe Madar)

Closing Song “This Little Light of Mine” (African American spiritual) (Led by Nancy Madar)

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine

This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine

Let it shine, let it shine, let shine.

Verse 2: I’ve got the light of love, I’m gonna let it shine…. 

Verse 3: I’ve got the light of courage, I’m gonna let it shine….

Verse 4: I’ve light of compassion, I’m gonna let it shine….

Verse 5: I’ve got the light of hope, I’m gonna let it shine….

Verse 6: Wherever I may go, I’m gonna let it shine….

 Final verse: This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine….

Extinguishing the Chalice

 Closing Circle

 May faith in the spirit of life

And hope for the community of earth

And love of the light in each other

Be ours now, and for all the days the come.

 Coffee Hour / Chat

Epidemics, Violence, & Healing: Women in Indigenous Communities — UUS:E Virtual Worship, Sunday May 3, 2020

Gathering Music (begins at 9:50 AM)

Welcome (Gina Campellone, UUS:E Director of Religious Education)

Announcements (Rev. Josh Pawelek)

Centering (Gina Campellone)

Prelude “Ampewi” (Lakota prayer song) (performed by Nora Alpers-León Mijares and Raul Mijares)

Chalice Lighting and Opening Words “Poem 31” from Lifting Hearts Off The Ground: Declaring Indigenous Rights in Poetry by Lyla June Johnston (Diné/Tsétséhéstáhese/ European lineages) (Spoken by Azucena Minaya Llantoy, co-chair of UUS:E’s Social Justice / Anti-Oppression Committee)

Opening Song  “We Give Thanks” (Wendy Luella Perkins)

Oh, we give thanks, for this precious day

For all gathered here, and those far away

For this time we share, with love and care

Oh we give thanks for the precious day.

Story  “Jingle Dancer” (by Cynthia Leitich Smith, illustrated by Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu) (Spoken by endawnis Spears)

Musical Meditation (Mary Bopp)

Joys and Concerns

Musical Meditation (Mary Bopp)

Offering

The National Domestic Workers Alliance has established a fund to support domestic workers across the country. As part of this effort, the Brazilian Workers Center’s Connecticut Worker Center, based in Bridgeport, is managing the CT portion of the fund called the Connecticut Relief Fund for Vulnerable Workers and Families.  For the first two Sundays in May, we will be taking our community outreach offering for this fund. For homecare workers, nannies, and house cleaners—the vast majority of whom are immigrant women of color—the threat from the coronavirus is especially severe. Many domestic workers already lack access to health insurance, paid time off, and long-term job security. Due to their exclusion from federal and many state labor statutes, they lack safety net protections that most workers take for granted. In the midst of the pandemic many domestic workers have lost employment, and many others are working but lack access to proper protective gear. The money we donate to the Brazilian Workers Center fund provides direct and immediate financial support to domestic workers throughout Connecticut who have been impacted negatively either by the shut-down order or by exposure to the coronavirus or both. Thank you for your generosity.

Offering Music “Prayer Song” (Lakota tradition) (performed by Nora Alpers-León Mijares and Raul Mijares)

Homily  “Epidemics, Violence, & Healing: Women in Indigenous Communities” (endawnis Spears)

Closing Hymn “Go Lifted Up” (Mortimer B. Barron)

Go lifted up, love bless your way,

Moon-light, star-light guide your journey

Into peace, and the brightness of day.

 Extinguishing the Chalice

Closing Circle

May faith in the spirit of life,

And hope for the community of earth.

And love of the light in each other,

Be ours now and in all the days to come.

Coffee Hour / Chat

Post-Service Discussion: endawnis Spears will remain in our Zoom room for further exploration of the themes raised in her homily.

In Search of Compassion in Challenging Times — UUS:E Virtual Worship — April 26, 2020

You can watch UUS:E virtual Sunday Service from April 26, 2020 on YouTube here.

Read the text to Penny Field’s homily on compassion:

In Search of Compassion in Challenging Times         

I want to begin by sharing a personal story: Paul and I began sheltering in place on March 12. I had a lot of fear of getting the virus and having complications so I didn’t want to need to grocery shop for several months. I did a big grocery shop on the 11th and the house was well stocked but very soon after I noticed that I was thinking about food all of the time. I noticed how worried I felt about how I would keep getting fresh greens without going to the store or what we do if we ran out of this or that. Or what if the food supplies dried up? I could not stop thinking about food. I intellectually knew that we had plenty and I didn’t need to worry but some part of me was thinking about it constantly. And then I would feel a huge wave of shame about the fact that I have so much privilege, I have plenty of food, I have an extra freezer filled with great things and I’m still feeling this anxiety. What’s wrong with me?

I’ve been thinking a lot about compassion in these days of the coronavirus. What exactly is compassion and how can we all experience more of it? Compassion is a bit of a tricky word. It’s one that we think we understand the meaning of but often, when asked to define it’s hard to articulate what we understand compassion to be. Usually, people use words like “sympathy” or “empathy” or talk about the feeling of wanting to help those less fortunate. But I think it’s more than that.

Sympathy, and even empathy, place the person feeling that as separate from those receiving it. Aww I feel sorry for you!  Let me help you with that! Of course, wanting to help is never a bad thing but true compassion is something different. Something more. Kristen Neff, one of the first researchers in the field of self-compassion, has developed a definition that I think does a very good job capturing the true meaning of the word. She defines compassion as the ability to hold suffering with loving kindness

This sounds simple but it’s harder than you might think. To hold suffering with kindness we first have to really notice and acknowledge the suffering. Opening up to the awareness of someone else’s pain can feel quite uncomfortable. It’s why so many people walk by the homeless, the mentally ill, the panhandlers, and completely ignore them or have a judgement like: I’m not giving them money, they’ll just buy drugs. To be mindful of the suffering is to really see the human being and to acknowledge their pain: That must be so hard! Something terrible must have happened to that person that they are in this situation now. Truly being mindful of suffering can be very challenging.

And for some of us, we may be able to be present with other people’s suffering and even able to offer help but can’t seem muster much compassion for ourselves and don’t even think to try. How many of us are harshly critical of our own pain and have trouble being kind to ourselves? We might confuse self-compassion with feeling sorry for ourselves or we have a loud inner critic that thinks we can somehow “should” ourselves into better behavior. There I was in my anxiety about if there would be enough food for me during this pandemic and what did I say to myself? I said, “What’s wrong with me?” instead of “Wow. This feels really scary and it’s hard to be this afraid.”

To hold suffering, others’ or your own, with kindness not only requires really noticing the pain but it also calls us to pay attention to how we all suffer and how your suffering is or easily could be mine. This is our opportunity to reach for connection inside of the suffering. The Latin root for the word compassion is PATI, which means to suffer, and the pre-fix COM means with. COMPATI literally means to suffer with. Compassion brings people together in the suffering.

This, too, can be really hard. It’s so human to want to be separate from others’ suffering. It feels safer to think: That could never happen to me or If so and so would just stop doing that they wouldn’t be in that trouble. It’s a survival instinct to protect me and mine from perceived danger and often, other people’s suffering is perceived as a danger so we don’t habitually look for how that trouble could so easily also be ours. But if we can notice suffering and look for how we know that pain too, or how it’s so human to suffer in that way, then we are reaching for the invisible string that ties us all together.  We are choosing love as our religion.

This truth that we are all connected, what UUs name as the interconnected web of life; that we all suffer in strikingly similar ways, has never been so apparent as now, during this global pandemic. We are suffering the shared trauma of a completely unknown future. So many of the feelings associated with this time are shared by everyone, even if the actual day to day realities are radically different.

If you are someone who has a home and is able to shelter in place that does not mean you don’t have fear about the future. If you are able to work from home, that does not mean you don’t have fear of financial insecurity. If you are sheltering with family or friends, that does not mean you are not lonely or missing connecting in person with people. If you are fortunate enough to have a well-stocked pantry, that does not mean you don’t suffer from food insecurity.

And if you have feelings of guilt about your privilege you are not alone. It’s human and so many of us share those feelings and we can begin to practice compassion for ourselves. Can we notice our fears, our grief, our anger and can we acknowledge how human those feelings are? Can we then hold those feelings with an attitude of kindness as opposed to guilt or self-criticism?

Because I have a regular compassion practice, eventually I was able to make space for and truly notice and sit with my anxiety about having enough food. When I did that, I realized that my fear was deeply connected to childhood and ancestral issues. My mother was a depression baby and she raised me with all kinds of deprivations around food. Everything I wanted to eat was either too expensive or too fattening. This had a huge impact on my relationship with food and so the ability to be generous with food and have access to a wide array of delicious things for myself and to share with others became a big part of my identity. Of course I would have fears around food access.

And as I sat with that, I remembered that my mother’s mother escaped the pogroms to travel alone to the US, and that her mother lived in poverty in a shtetl somewhere in Eastern Europe. I began to understand that as a Jew, there was likely true food insecurity back to times of my earliest ancestors. That recognition allowed me to release the shame about my own fears and opened the door to a deep feeling of connection to all of the people who are suffering from actual food insecurity during this time of the pandemic. From a place of true compassion for myself and others, I could make donations to several local food banks and participate in a local initiative to bring food to the homeless. I could hold the suffering with kindness and feel my common humanity.

Whatever you are experiencing during this time, I wish for you the ability to practice true compassion for yourself and others. Whatever you are feeling, whatever you are struggling with, it’s human and we all have those feelings. If we can be mindful, pay attention to pain, to fear, to grief, to boredom, and remember our common humanity, we can truly feel that invisible string that connects us all and with kindness we can, be gentle with ourselves and from that place, reach out to those in need as if they were our own loved ones. As the Brandy Carlile song says:

we can be each other’s wheels and road

for each other’s heavy load,

see us through thick and thin,

for love and loss until the end.

Amen and blessed be

 

 

In Search of Compassion in Challenging Times, UUS:E Virtual Sunday Service, April 26, 2020

Gathering Music (Begins at 9:50)

Welcome and Announcements

Prelude “Carried Me With You” (Brandi Carlile) (performed by Jenn Richard)

Chalice Lighting and Opening Words (Gina Campellone) (Spoken by Maverick Schlechtweg)

We light our chalice this morning

in celebration of community and connection.

In community we find the people

who sit with us when we are lonely,

hold our hands when we are sad,

care for us when we are sick,

laugh with us when we are silly,

and help us find our way home when we get lost.

In community we find the gift of connection,

each of our hearts connected by an invisible string,

so that no matter where we are,

we are never truly apart.

Opening Hymn “Circle ‘Round for Freedom”(Linda Hirschhorn)

Circle ‘round for freedom, circle ‘round for peace,
for all of us imprisoned, circle for release,
circle for the planet, circle for each soul,
for the children of our children, keep the circle whole.

(Repeat)

Time With Gina  The Invisible String (Written by Patrice Karst, Illustrated by Geoff Stevenson)

Musical Meditation

Joys and Concerns

Musical Meditation

Offering

Again this morning we are taking our community outreach offering for the CT Alliance to End Sexual Violence. UUS:E member and Alliance board member Lisa Sementilli says: April is sexual assault awareness month, and there is, unfortunately, no moratorium on sexual violence during a pandemic. All of the Alliance’s support centers are open, and their hotlines are operating 24/7 to provide counseling, advocacy and support to victims and survivors.  However, the Alliance and its member centers are incurring costs associated with the unprecedented need for technology to support survivors  by phone and video during the crisis.  As a board member, I am also very concerned about our state and nation’s uncertain financial future and what that might mean for services moving forward.  The vast majority of the Alliance and its member center’s financial support comes from state and federal grants.  UUSE’s support is critical because it not only helps to fill new gaps created by the pandemic, but provides us with unrestricted dollars that we can use with flexibility to support victims however they need support, and to build the capacity to face potential funding crises. Thank you.

Offering Music “Love is My Religion” (Ziggy Marley) (Performed by Jenn Richard)

Homily “In Search of Compassion in Challenging Times” (Penny Field)

Closing Hymn “Come Wash Your Hands With Me” (from a UU Humor website, adapted from Carolyn McDade, middle verse by Pat Eaton-Robb)

Come wash your hands with me

Come wash your hands with me

Come wash your hands with me,

So we can know peace of mind.

And I’ll bring you soap,

When soap is hard to find,

And I’ll wash my hands with you

So we can help humankind.

 

Come wear a mask with me

Come wear a mask with me

Come war a mask with me

So we can have peace of mind.

Just sew one out of cloth

Or a scarf will do just fine

Just cover both your nose and mouth

To avoid the end of time. 

 

Please stay away from me

please stay away from me

please stay away from me

So we can know peace of mind…

And I will stay at home, for the allotted time.

And I will be at church this week, if the service is held online.

 

Extinguishing the Chalice

Closing Circle

Coffee Hour / Chat

Moral Monday CT “Justice for Jay” Public Witness

In partnership with Moral Monday CT, UUS:E’s Rev. Josh Pawelek helped organize the online “Justice for Jay” public witness in support of the family of Jose “Jay” Soto who was shot and killed by Manchester police on April 2nd.

Articles about the public witness appeared in the Manchester Journal Inquirer and the Hartford Courant.

View a portion of the witness on YouTube at JusticeforJay.