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WEDNESDAY, MAY 20, 2020
 
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THIS SUNDAY’S VIRTUAL SERVICE
Sunday, May 24, Rev. Sue Browning, “Collecting Our Stories”
 
Over the last decade some of us have become genealogists, combing the Internet for records and stories of the past. In what ways might the experiences of our ancestors influence us today? On this Memorial Day weekend join Rev. Sue for this virtual service where we will consider the legacies of our ancestors. This service will include our annual ritual of remembrance to honor losses in our congregations this past year. 
 
To view this service (it will be uploaded by Sunday morning), click here to go to the UUCR’s Youtube channel. You may also to to the church’s webpage,  uuofchesterriver, and find the service by clicking on the tab at the bottom of the “Keeping In Touch”  column on the left side of the page. 
 
If you would like to have a Joy or Sorrow included in the service, please submit it in writing to Rev. Sue’s emailby 12 p.m. Friday and she will read them each as a part of the service.
 
We will also have written versions of the service available that we can email to you or mail to you by US postal service. 
 
 
From Your Board
 
Vote on UUCR’s 2020-2021
Proposed Budget
 
Due to the distancing requirements currently in effect, this year’s annual meeting is following a virtual format. We have already distributed by email on Monday, May 11, from the UUCR office or possibly from David Biehler’s email, two emails regarding the proposed budget report along with Jim’s video about the budget. If you didn’t get it Monday, check your Spam folder or look for a redistribution email today, Wednesday, May 13. The distribution included a survey form to vote and comment on the budget. It seems some may have completed the form but did not submit it.
 
Please note – for your vote to count you must fill out all boxes and click on the SUBMIT button. You must see the message “Your response has been recorded”. If there is another member in your household, you can then submit another response.
 
Photos, We Need PHOTOS!
Please peruse your photo stashes for snaps of UUCR events. We need them to include in our virtual services “Postludes.” Please send them to John Ramsey at email.
 
Join Us for Coffee Hour on Sunday!
Do you miss UU “Communion,” i.e., “coffee hour” after Sunday service? Why not take part in a session this coming Sunday? Maybe not a full hour, but join us for a time to see and talk to one another. It’s the next best thing to being there.
 
Join us by clicking on Coffee Hour Zoom Link at 11:00 am this Sunday.
 
Upcoming Summer Discussions
Social distancing will likely remain in effect and therefore togetherness will be via Zoom.
 
No previous Zoom experience or tools except for a stable computer internet are needed.
 
Please consider a subject appropriate for a UU discussion then call or email Vida Morley at Vida email.   
 
If you have a willingness to lead a discussion this summer but think you have no subject, contact Vida who will be most grateful and will compare options with you.
 
Thanks in advance, Vida
 
 
MAY BIRTHDAYS
 
Sabine Harvey, May 7
Lynn Dolinger, May 9
Tom Lippincott, May 10
Rachel Perry, May 14
Nancy Holland, May 18
Ray Gomez, May 25
Harry Hart, May 27
Betty Kerr, May 28
Sydney Brookes, May 29
John Ford, May 30
 
We want to help celebrate your birthday! If we didn’t include your May birthday, please contact Jan Whitney at UUCR email
 
 
 
 
 
UPCOMING VIRTUAL SERVICES
 
 
May 31, Lora Powell-Haney, MDiv, “On the Threshold of Summer”
 
 
Bites—
nourishing spirit-filled families one bite at a time
 
Family Reflection:
 
You don’t look like me, I don’t look like you.
  You don’t think like me, I don’t think like you.
  But when I look in your eyes, I see myself reflected back.
 
A Covid-19 Update and Virtual Services
 
Dear Members and Friends,
 
For the last two months we have found ourselves in a whirlwind of changing circumstances due to Covid-19. We have lived with a patchwork of stay-at-home orders and have a new understanding of social distancing practices. As congregations, we’ve found new ways to gather and have done our best to stay connected. There is much to absorb; undoubtedly we will come out of this experience changed in many ways.
 
It has been eight weeks since we updated you on our churches’ plans to stay safe during these unprecedented times. With Governor Hogan’s latest directive released Wednesday, it feels timely to share our current thoughts on how to best ‘do church’ for the next few months.
 
Our goal is simple: to stay safe. While the new state advisory offers some flexibility for religious groups to meet in-person with limitations, we do not see it would be prudent yet to re-open our physical spaces for Sunday worship. Our sanctuaries are small and appropriate distancing would be a challenge, singing and sharing food (both highlights!) are risky practices that we’d need to avoid, and many of our members (including our minister!) are over sixty or for other reasons are considered in high risk categories.
 
For now, UUCR and UUFE will not be holding in-person services. We will continue to offer ways to gather online on Sundays and will explore additional ways to connect virtually during the week. As we learn more, and consider guidance from authorities and the Unitarian Universalist Association, we will revisit these plans.
 
We feel so privileged to be a part of congregations which have found ways to adapt with grace, humor and love. If you are interested in volunteering to help with new initiatives that will keep our congregations vibrant and meaningful, please let us know. Please stay safe and stay in touch.
 
In care,
Rev. Sue Browning
David Biehler, President UUCR
Emily Cranwell, Co-President UUFE
Dr. Christina Drostin, Co-President UUFE
 
UUA News
 
Opportunity to “Attend” UUA General Assembly 2020
 
This year the annual UU General Assembly (GA) will be held as a virtual conference from June 24-28. The registration fee for the virtual conference is $150, which is notably less that the past fee for the in person conferences. The theme for GA 2020 is “Rooted, Inspired, & Ready”! If you are interested in learning more about GA, check out the UUA website.
 
Anyone is welcome to attend. UUCR is open to paying for registration for up to two attendees. If you are interested in representing UUCR as one of its delegates or have questions about GA, please be in touch with Rev. Sue at Email
 
Join the General Assembly Choir!
Are you missing opportunities to sing with a group? Why not participate in a virtual choir at UUA’s General Assembly?
 
Can’t imagine how it will work? Here’s an example from the NYC Virtual Choir and Orchestra, featuring Adam Podd, Director of Music at First Unitarian Congregational Society of Brooklyn.
 
GA Music Coordinator Benjie Messer, Music Director at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Phoenix, will direct the 2020 GA Choir. Two optional rehearsals will be held on Zoom:
 
Thursday, May 28 at 7 p.m. Eastern / 4 p.m. Pacific
Tuesday, June 2 at 2 p.m. Eastern / 11 a.m. Pacific
 
These rehearsals will allow singers to see each other, listen to their parts, sing along, and ask questions. Links to those rehearsals will be emailed soon to all interested singers, along with sheet music, backing tracks, and instructions for recording yourself. Final videos will be due on Friday, June 5.
 
If you are registered for GA and would like to join the virtual choir ($15), register here.
 
If you have already registered for the 2020 choir, you need only contact Benjie Messer email with your name and voice part to confirm your participation.
 
We look forward to hearing you sing!
 
For more information contact generalassembly@uua.org.
From your Social Concerns/Social Justice Committee
 
As with many of our regular church activities, we’ve missed our speakers providing opportunities to support local organizations through our Outreach Collections. Some of our members suggested that we consider a virtual Outreach Collection for you to consider. While this was not an exhaustive search, we did try to identify local resources that are targeting the amplified needs created by the pandemic.  We encourage you to send your donations directly to these organizations. We’ve provided websites where available and donation information. We look forward to the time when we can join together and, once again, host in-person Outreach Collections. On behalf of the Social Concerns/Social Justice Committee, we thank you for your thoughtfulness and consideration.
 
Good Neighbor Fund—provides emergency funds for families and individuals, under the auspices of the Chester Valley Ministers Association, vetted by DSS. Make checks payable to the CVMA Good Neighbor Fund and send to PO Box 227, Chestertown, MD 21620 (no website)
 
The Community Food Pantry—Walk In pantry available to anyone in need of food and staples. Make and send checks to the Community Food Pantry, P.O. Box 346, Chestertown. www.thecommunityfoodpantry.com.
 
SACRJ’s Feed the Children and Elderly Initiative—A community coalition collecting and distributing food through community pick-up spots and delivery to housebound. Make checks payable to Sumner Hall, note SACRJ Food, 206 S. Queen St., Chestertown. www.garpost25.org.
 
Backpacks for Kids Outreach Program, sponsored by Centreville United Methodist Church serves children and many others in need in Queen Anne’s Co. Make and send checks to CUMC with “Backpacks” noted on the check, 608 Church Hill Road, Centreville, MD 21617. No website. The contact person is Kimberly Starkey, starkeykimberly@yahoo.com.
 
For All Seasons—Behavioral Health and Rape Crisis Center with offices in five Eastern Shore counties. On-line giving preferred at forallseasonsinc.org, or checks to For All Seasons, Inc., 300 Talbot St., Easton, MD 21601.
 
Animal Care Shelter for Kent County—Caring for animals and their families even while Shelter is closed. Checks payable and send to the shelter, 10720 Augustine Herman Hwy., Chestertown, www.kenthumane.org.
 
FarmersWagon.org—A new online farm-to-door market providing food from local food producers and care packages for those in need. Online only donations for volunteer PPE and Care Packages; see FarmersWagon.org.
HELPING OTHERS OWN HOMES
 
Kent Attainable Housing has launched a new project in Kent County to help the working poor break the cycle of poverty. A dedicated group of volunteers has done a lot of planning and work to help some very worthy families qualify for loans that they can sustain to gain independence from a never-ending cycle of renting. These are the working poor; they are fighting for dignity and a new life for their children.  Kent Attainable Housing has created a path to home ownership for qualified applicants with financial education for perspective owners, as well as pro-bono construction and financing services, providing more than 1000 hours of volunteer service with an estimated value of $30,000 since the organization began work in 2019.
 
They are seeking partners in the community to support the families as they move into their new lives. The Social Concerns Social Justice Committee had planned a presentation about this dynamic project to the congregation in early April; we hope to reschedule this in the fall.
 
In the meantime, we want to introduce our congregation to this particular Kent Attainable Housing effort, so that we can consider opportunities for partnership when the first family is ready to move into their new home. They will need help with furnishings and supplies, as well as skills and resources we might have to help them as they travel down this new road. So, we invite you to meet some of the prospective owners, just below. If you are interested in finding out more about this new organization now, and how you can contribute time or resources, please contact Lynn Dolinger email or Lynn Geisert email.
 
LaToya talks about her work, family and need to own her own home: https://youtu.be/aS6TOgnsn_I
 
Jania talks about her family, her job and interests and barriers to buying her own home: https://youtu.be/RrJ_U-a6wfs
 
Thank you for your thoughtful consideration.
 
LAST SUNDAY’S VIRTUAL SERVICE
 
From Sunday, May 17, Rev. Sue Browning, “Why Rites of Passage Matter”
 
These last weeks have reminded us of the importance of celebrating and honoring milestones. Rites of passage, including birthdays, graduations and weddings, provide communities with ways to lift up transitions with ritual and grace. At this virtual service with Rev. Sue Browning together we’ll brainstorm new ways for our community to acknowledge life’s time-sensitive passages with love.
 
Deep gratitude for Words and Music from Eamon Peach, Ellen Barry Grunden, Dave Moore, Kim Agee, Jack and Judy Harrald. Our grateful thanks as well to the Tech and Communications Team ofJohn Ramsey, David Biehler, Don Barker, Mark Peach, Bozena Lamparska, Jane Hardy, Jan Whitney and Bill Browning
 
Pastoral Care & Connection
We are here for you!  We will focus on staying directly connected with our members and friends, especially those who may need assistance or support. The caring teams from our congregation is staying in touch, but if you need to reach out, please be in touch with any of the contacts below to stay connected (and see additional contacts below for RE families): 
 
Please know your congregation is here. We can help you find connections. Please don’t hesitate to reach out and let us know what is helpful for you in this time. 
 
Rev. Sue Browning, and the Pastoral Care Associates: Kevin Brien, Gayle Folger, Nancy Holland, and Vida Morley
or for more information, contact:
Jan Whitney (Office) p: 410-778-3440 | e: uuofchesterriver@gmail.com
Unitarian Universalists of the Chester River914 Gateway Drive, Chestertown, MD 21661
Phone: (410) 778-3440