UUFC President’s Letter: April 16

Fifth 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 in these changing times:

It’s hard to believe we are not in our Fellowship or the Meditation Garden expressing our oneness with the world.  There is a lot of doom and gloom on the news, and I am reminded of when I presented a service entitled “The Sky is not Falling.” It detailed a lot of the terrible things that have gone on in history, and that even though we think things are the worst they’ve ever been, it isn’t even close. In Sunday’s Washington Post there was an article that reminded me of that presentation by detailing past epidemics that have swept the globe. (Here it is.) The Black Death, which ravaged the world from 1347 – 1352, stretched from Europe to Asia killing 70 – 200 million people. It disrupted society by destroying trade, villages and towns. Additionally, it changed economies because of people inheriting so much from the deceased. At the time, the cause was unknown but was attributed to all types of mystical sources and sometimes various ethnic groups who were attacked as the cause. The origin was fleas infected by the bacterium Yersinia pestis. These fleas lived on animals, mainly rats, who feasted on human garbage, which was abundant in cities of that time.

Thanks to 21st century science and technology, we know the cause of the current epidemic: the COVID-19 virus. While the number of deaths is much smaller than previous pandemics, the world’s response has been the largest ever seen. This is heartening. A small number of nations decided to let the virus run its course without extra measures to counter it. Most of the resulting deaths in those nations have been among people with underlying health problems and the elderly. On the other hand, the majority of the world decided to take action to mitigate the spread of the disease through social distancing and mandatory isolation. As a result, national economies, including our own, were sacrificed in order to save as many lives as possible. This is a cause for celebration. We value people more than money. What does this mean through our Unitarian Universalist lens of life? People are valued now more than at any other time in our history.   

In this Spring season, following Easter, let’s be optimistic that our economy will be resurrected and that the virus will be tamed by the medical experts who are working diligently around the world to achieve that goal. Let’s do our part by washing hands, wearing masks and keeping our distance.  

UU Happenings

  • This coming Sunday, April 19, Stefan Bloodworth, executive director of the Columbus Botanical Garden will present  “Biophilia – the Values of Nurturing a Bond with Nature.”  With Spring bursting all around us, this is a timely topic.  I can’t wait.  There’s more information here. Watch she pre-recorded service on our YouTube site:     
  • The roof’s leak isn’t leaking. I’m not going to say a miracle has happened, but perhaps the contractor Ron Ussery was dealing with fixed it without telling us. We’ll find out.
  • Our Paycheck Protection Program Act application was forwarded to Synovus for processing, and then more paperwork was sent back, which Ron filled out and sent back.  In the scheme of things, we are probably very low on the amount requested. If the loan is approved, I will have much more to say about this subject.
  • The cul-de-sac apparently is completed or the work is in hiatus during the main wave of the epidemic. While different from the plans, it still provides a large area for turning around. I will check with City Engineering to see if they intend to delineate area with a painted line. Regardless, the area is an improvement in providing turning space for the buses and trucks that were damaging our parking area.
  • Mediacom called to inform me that the installation work team was to be in the area within the next two weeks for installation.  While optimistic, I think the current situation could slow progress. 
  • A question arose about giving away the plate on the third Sunday. Susan Stephenson, Chairperson of the Social Action Committee said the Committee selected  Feeding the Valley, a well-known charity we have given to before. You can designate an amount on any check donation to the Fellowship or directly donate to Feeding the Valley online, and indicate that it is in honor of UUFC.  Watching the news, frequently they will focus on the long lines, up to a mile in one instance, of cars waiting to receive food from a food bank.  With the economy partially shuttered, and people not working, obtaining food is becoming more of a problem for many.  This is a very worthy cause.
  • Wednesday Night Zoom Group, thanks to Bill Harlan, is thriving and providing a great forum for discussion of a variety of topics.  It, along with Friday’s Zoom Lunch Bunch, provides a good way for the Tribe to interact, discussing topics, or passing on news.

In fellowship, I wish you safe passage through this challenging time.

Hal Midgette
President, UUFC