UUFC President’s Letter: April 10

Fourth Week:  During the time of COVID-19, UUFC President Hal Midgette is writing a weekly letter to the Fellowship about how we’re coping with these special circumstances.

Greetings Fellow UUers, 

I hope this letter finds you social-distancing and locked down in a comfortable place. During these times, in our battle against an alien non-life form, it is really necessary. Unlike other disasters, such as a hurricane that we can see evolving on radar, this monster lurks invisibly in our everyday activities, and can only be known thru sickness, death and statistics. This is a dramatic change in our definition of a disaster. So how do we view our situation?  We may see ourselves as being imprisoned in a bubble because we can’t do the things we normally do or go were we want to go, without endangering ourselves or others.  We can either look at this as a form of imprisonment, passing time, waiting to be free, or, we can view it as a portal to do all the things that we haven’t had time to do, and now that we have this mandated abundance of time, we can learn new skills, read those books we’ve put aside, and meet, albeit electronically, old and new friends.  

 As for my learning curve as UUFC President, I’ve learned that when writing a letter to a congregation, I should be careful about the font I use.  For last week’s letter I chose a font that looked easy to read on my computer, but I heard from those who use their cell phones or iPads to read email that the font transformed into a frilly script which was hard to read. My apologies. I am learning.   Bill Harlan has learned a lot about Zoom and is using it to bring the Wednesday Night Discussion Group together and to continue the Friday Lunch Bunch.  Ron Ussery and I learned about making a YouTube and then posting it.  I’ve relearned why I should be more careful when pulling poison ivy from a fern bed.  Jason and Danielle Neale used their time to work with Cub Scouts, both with school work and out in our UU forest. Connie Ussery and Chris Nix are sewing facemasks for others. Some are cleaning out their garages. Not everyone is feeling okay with the isolation and some are feeling financial stress when their normal work is not possible. 

How can we help?  CALL, SKYPE, FACETIME….reach out. It cuts both ways, don’t wait to be contacted, make someone’s day and contact them. Our Congregational Care Committee (Joyce Hickson, Susan Stephenson, and Robbie Henson) are calling our members and friends to stay in touch. 

Business continues at the Fellowship. Brenda forwarded a notice from UUA about a webinar concerning the recently passed act to loan money through the Small Business Administration (SBA). Ron and I listened to an hour and a half webinar on how to get a loan to assist those affected by the mandatory shutdowns. Many UU churches are severely impacted by these effects, but thanks to John Hart’s efforts to pay off the mortgage, we are better positioned than others. However the UUA advises applying for the small loan to bridge an expected revenue stream gap. The Board acted quickly and electronically passed a motion to seek a loan under the new guideline. I met with everybody to get signatures from the Board officers. Never before have I had to place a clipboard on the hood of my car, then step back six feet for others to sign. The loan request was submitted.  It is likely that the loan will be forgiven.

On Sunday,  5 April,  Dr.Amanda Rees gave a terrific service entitled “Black Heritage Tourism in the 21st Century: Worth and Dignity in Public Spaces.” What was so lovely about this service was that it supported current tourism to African American historic sites linked to the fight for liberation and freedom. That is so much of what Unitarian Universalists have championed.Thank you Amanda for your presentation.  Also, Bill Harlan was the Service Leader and used Zoom to orchestrate the service. Great job to both. This service is posted to our Fellowship’s YouTube channel.  In the spirit of learning new things and opening our minds to new ideas during this time of confinement, Erika Bloodworth is leading a yoga class on Fridays 9-10:00. To find out more and register, go to her website:  www.radiantmbs.com, or you can send an email to eriikabloodworth@gmail.com or call her at (919) 724-7929. The class will be a Zoom class, and based on comments from those who have taken it, it is fantastic.

This coming Easter Sunday,  12 April, Rick Spradlin will present “The Cycle of Resurrection.” Spring is about renewal, the rebirth of life after Winter. Rick will talk about our lives being filled with ups and downs, successes and failures, deaths and new births. You will be able to access the service on Sunday at the Fellowship’s YouTube channel.

Eventually COVID-19 will be tamed by immunizations. Yay, science! Meanwhile, optimism, sheltering-in-place, learning new things, and keeping in touch with others will brighten our days in these dark times.

In fellowship,

Hal Midgette ​

The following is a YouTube of the National French Orchestra playing Bolero by Ravel using Zoom, making a mosaic of the orchestra.  Enjoy.