Right now, it is easy and natural to focus on what we can’t do.  Can’t gather with friends or family easily.  Can’t travel easily.  Can’t gather at OUUC for Sunday services or classes or movies or anything!  Some days it seems like we can’t do much easily anymore.  The glass is half empty.

And yet.  We have found ways to visit friends and family, sometimes expanding our bubble and sometimes using technology.  People have connected to others they haven’t seen for years!  Some of us are traveling, flying with discernment and safety, driving with the same concern.  And, at OUUC, we have also adapted.  We gather virtually on Sunday morning.  Many small groups are gathering virtually.  Some small groups have gathered safely in person.  The grounds are cared for by a dedicated team of masked and gloved volunteers!  Pairs or trios of folks gather to walk and talk.  Troy has even invited a few individuals to safely join him to make music.  The glass is half full.

The Buddhist practice is to notice and accept what is.  In this case, the glass is both half empty and half full.  There is no judgment, it just is.  This is the reality:

We miss worshiping and singing together in the Sanctuary.

We miss coffee and conversation and hugs in the Commons.

We miss hearing the choir and the choir misses singing together.

We miss seeing the young ones and youth in the hallway.

We miss in-person classes and Covenant Groups.

And…

We welcome virtually everyone, including those who cannot usually attend our Sunday services, like those with health concerns and those who live elsewhere.

We welcome seeing each other and reflecting together in Zoom meetings and groups and gatherings.

We welcome learning together how to navigate Zoom and Canva and all the technology that keeps us connected.

We welcome innovation and creativity.

We welcome a new model of engagement that allows us to learn and grow together with study, reflection, and experience.  (More on Pathways to Engagement below!)

Half empty and half full.  We can acknowledge what is real, both the loss of what has been and the welcome of what is new.  And, in community we help each other hold it all, together.

Wishing you well with blessings on your week.

Rev. Mary

 

More on Pathways to Engagement

Pathways video #1

 

Pathways video #2

 

A third video is in the works!

Sara’s written introduction to Pathways to Engagement is here.

Rev. Mary’s written explanation of changes to the ministry structure and staffing is here.

Rev. Carol’s reflection on her continued justice role is here.