Responding Full-On: COVID-19 Update March 17

One heart to another

Love is the doctrine of this church, and it binds one heart to another even in times when we are separated. UUSM staff and volunteers are responding to the COVID-19 crisis full-on, to keep our congregation connected and to continue to lift up the voices of marginalized, highly vulnerable members of our wider community.

Rev. Jeremiah declared from the pulpit on Sunday, “I want you to know that the people of this community love and care about you and will support you through the days ahead…. We are being invited in this time to imagine new ways of creating beloved community together and of caring for each other and our world.”

While the future of this global pandemic is still unclear, it is likely that things are going to get much worse before they get better. We are proud to do our part to reduce the spread of this deadly illness and to support our community to do the same.

  • Technology has blessed us with the means to remain connected in our social isolation. Through the end of March, Sunday worship is being live-streamed on Facebook at 10:00 am. (You do not need to join Facebook to view the service live, or to view the recording on Facebook or YouTube.) More than 70 worshipers viewed the last service and shared the familiar camaraderie of being in the Sanctuary! If you missed it, or want to enjoy it again, it’s always available on the UU Santa Monica Facebook Page and on our YouTube channel. Scroll down to Uploads.
  • We invite you to join us on the public UU Santa Monica Facebook Page to hear updates on activities and calls to action. Those who are not on currently on Facebook but would like to connect, please contact pastoralcare@uusm.org or leave a message at the office at 310-829-5436.
  • We are creating online forums for community social life and Religious Exploration, and we are learning new teleconferencing techniques. Watch your email for the Thursday Announcements and monitor the UUSM Newsletter for book groups and other RE activities that are canceled or taking place online. Join the UU Santa Monica Facebook Group for more-intimate sharing of activities, personal updates, and current needs. (If you’re not receiving emails from UUSM regularly, check your spam folder or call the office at 310-829-5436.)
  • A Pastoral Response Team has identified seniors and other at-risk members in our community and will check in with them as the pandemic progresses. If you know of a UUSM member or friend that remains unconnected to church life, please contact pastoralcare@uusm.org or leave a message at the office.

Woman alone

  • Look for a call for Chalice Companions. You can partner with an isolated and vulnerable member of our community: connecting on the phone or by text and exploring resources with them.
  • We are exploring online community mediation groups to enhance resiliency in these difficult times.
  • Watch Facebook and email for calls to push our government toward empathy and compassion for marginalized members of our community. The UU Santa Monica Peace and Social Justice Team remains in touch with allies. They will keep us abreast of how to create justice and peace in a world in crisis, and here in our local communities. Like and follow the P&SJ Facebook Page to receive notifications.

We invite you to bring your own creativity as we explore new ways to co-create beloved community, share our ministry, and care for our world. And we ask for patience and loving kindness as we wrestle with new platforms and software—with all the attendant aggravations that come with them.Ians chalice

In our beloved community we have our sights set on support, resiliency, and learning. Our liberal religious values inspire us to respond to the suffering of the world with love, compassion, and mercy. They ask us to look out for each other and to prioritize those who are in harm’s way. They compel us to challenge inequity, racism, and injustice—even in the midst of a pandemic.

In this hour when humanity faces such a great challenge, know that this beloved community is here for you.

Thanks are due Rev. Jeremiah Kalendae for letting us borrow heavily from his March 15 homily.

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