The highest priority for our first two online services was creating a sense of "normalcy" and so our Order of Service each Sunday was as similar to our regular service as technology permitted. What seems to be of the highest priority this week is acknowledging what we are going through, naming it, and lifting it up in prayer. With that in mind our service this Sunday will have many familiar parts, but will have a special emphasis on healing the grief and loss associated with current events. As the note above says, please have a pencil and paper as well as an (unlit) candle and match/lighter with you at the beginning of our service this Sunday at 10:30.
Our service will be greatly enhanced if you would send us a photo of yourself—one that is enough of a close up to see who you are. Think of this as a way you can minister to our congregation. It brings a great deal of comfort for us to be able to "see" everyone. I know that is true for me. Email your photo to our church email: email@example.com.
Of special interest to many of you will be the upcoming online Integrative Restoration Therapy (iRest) meditation workshop led by Rebecca Zambrano beginning Sunday, April 5th from 1:00 to 2:00 pm for (tentatively) six consecutive weeks. Registration and other details can be found below.
For those of you who have inquired about how current events have affected our church finances, our most amazing Board Treasurer, Dean Saulmon, reports that the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce has closed their building and is cancelling all rentals until May 10. Says Dean, "This will save us the $1,350 monthly rental fee that we pay them, up to the Chamber reopening. Our payroll expenses have increased some as we figure out online delivery methods and we will continue to honor our payroll commitments through this difficult time. We are hopeful that our members can adapt to the new and different methods to fund our church ministries. We are blessed to have a financial reserve to help get us through challenging periods like this. Thank you for your continuing generosity." Information regarding how to donate can be found below.
I have been deeply moved by all the congregational activity aimed at keeping us connected. Below you will find information about a proposed telephone buddy system in the works for our congregants; two daily prayer services our prayer chaplains are conducting; the ongoing readiness of our Angel Team to provide transportation, meal preparation, shopping, as well as virtual visitations and phone calls to those who need help; an upcoming Fun and Fellowship team meeting to brainstorm virtual events for our congregation, and our ongoing Book Club, now held online. Our congregation continues to generously support our Bucket of Hope, raising (as of this writing) $275 for the Nest, whose teenage clients need us now more than ever. Below you will find out how you can make a donation.
Our website could use an update to reflect our current "virtual" reality. If you have Wordpress skills, PHP knowledge, and would be willing to help in the redesign of the site, please firstname.lastname@example.org. Our website, newsletter, and Facebook have taken on increasing importance in our aim of staying connected—please check them frequently!
Finally, I want you to know how much I miss seeing you each week, but how gratifying it has been to see us so quickly adapt to changing circumstances. What seems important now more than ever is for us to get clear about why we gather as a faith community and so I end this message with one view of why we gather, one that I read during last week's service. Let's continue to deepen our inquiry as to what each of us brings as a ministers to our congregation, our families, and our world. With so much love for you, Linda
What is important about public worship is that we gather the sisters and brothers together for a celebration of the Reign of God even when that reign is not overtly evident in daily life or in our institutions. We gather not as an escape from daily life and these institutions, but in reflection on them in an attempt to see our lives and society through the eyes of the Divine and so that we may more fully participate in manifesting the Realm of God "on Earth as it is in Heaven.”
The celebration of the Reign of God that happens in public worship goes beyond rationalistic, academic exercises to delve into the broad, fully human landscape where our wayshower Jesus Christ demonstrates a new humanity and where our songs, prayers, and texts penetrate the Babel of our words, points, and arguments to heal the human spirit and to raise it up in the covenant community's vision of new possibilities.
adapted from Robert Hovda's, The Amen Corner
Online Meditation Class with Rebecca Zambrano
Sunday afternoons at 1:00 pm
Beginning April 5th through May 10th
These sessions will introduce the meditative practices and breath exercises of Integrative Restoration Therapy (iRest). These practices can teach you how to tap into your inner resources so that you can respond creatively, rather than reactively, to life's challenges. Research has shown that iRest helps many people to lower anxiety, heal PTSD, improve sleep and manage chronic pain. .
Each 1-hour session will consist of a short practice that’s easy for you to use on your own in small doses throughout the day and a longer practice that connects you with your divine nature. Most people find these practices deeply relaxing and even blissful.
Since we are under "Shelter in Place" restrictions until April 13th, we would like to reduce the number of times Donna Riguiera needs to check the mail, so if you choose to donate by check, please consider making a monthly donation. Our mailing address is Unity of Georgetown, P.O. Box 1872, Georgetown, TX 78627. Of course, you can always donate Online here at this direct link: https://unitygeorgetown.org/donate/
Join our Prayer Chaplains in Daily Prayer
at 8:00 am and 11:45 am
The Prayer Chaplains go into prayer every morning at 8:00 a.m. for 10 minutes. This is a healing prayer for the pandemic, all people, all life (animals, ecology, etc), the world. We pray and visualize God's healing love moving through all of this. We also pray for a higher level of understanding and awareness for all. Everyone is invited to pause at 8:00 to join in the prayer and energy with us.
The 11:45 AM prayer is a focused prayer as taught in the Healing Prayer Circle:
Grounding into Mother Earth, take a few deep breaths.
Breath in from above the Crown Chakra (the Divine Matrix or Mind) into the Heart & breath, and out through the feet into Mother Earth.
Breathe into the feet from Mother Earth into the Heart & out to above the Crown Chakra (Divine Matrix or Mind). The breath is focused through the core of the body.
You may say on the in-breath "I Am" & on the out-breath "My Breath".
The prayer is focused on Being the Unconditional Love that surrounds the virus & transforms it into only Good.
Everyone is encouraged to pray with us.
Please send a photo; we miss your smiling face!
We all miss seeing one another face to face. So how about sending us a photo of yourself, or you and your family, so we can share it during our ONLINE Sunday Service?
Please send your digital photo to email@example.com. In this way, we will visualize and manifest our presence with one another, together again soon!
Want a UCOG Telephone Buddy?
This is a lonely time for most of us due to the distressing news and our loss of social contact so Trish Phelps and Alice Cooper would like to organize a UCOG buddy system. The aim is for volunteers to check in with our members on a regular basis to make sure that everyone is doing okay. If you would like to work with them on this or have some suggestions, please contact Trish HERE.
The next meeting of the Book Club will be online on April 28th at 10:00 am. Our April book is "The Universe Has Your Back" by Gabrielle Bernstein. It looks like a very uplifting book. Join the Book Club Email List
LET'S PRACTICE GENEROSITY
The Bucket of Hope: Last week for The Nest!
It is still not too late to let them know we care. Donate HERE.
Hold on to your tabs, we will see each other soon!
Can you help with the Website?
Cathy needs a backup person, just in case! If you have experience using WordPress and have a little free time to help update our website, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org If you have PHP experience that would be even better!