A message from Rev. Denise Cawley, Assistant Minister for Pastoral Care

I am not very good at learning group dances. I have tried to years to learn the electric slide and other fun dances. I am not very good at it. I really want to learn belly dancing but I feel unable to move my body that way and remember the patterns. I have not given up that fantasy but I know I am working against my natural abilities. I try to remember that doing it pathetically is ok and give myself grace. I try to groove with the change.

For those of you who attended Sue Morgan’s memorial service last Saturday or will be attending Marje Gluckstein’s memorial on July 17 you did see or will see how good things look in the Sanctuary and Community Room. It feels like a miracle knowing what went into making it so. In this week’s Spirit-Lifter, Rev. Suzelle thanked Kelly Bognar, our Publications Coordinator, and her sons Jack, Elliot and Miles, who worked hard to transform these rooms from the post-renovation/construction jumble to lovely spaces again. I am grateful for their work, too for it allowed me to focus on helping Sue’s family and friends, including many of you. I want to thank our Lay Pastoral Care team too – they stepped up to support so many who needed listeners related to that death.

It’s Hard to Remember the Construction Before Pandemic
Some folks are confused about why so many things were never put back after our building renovations. During construction, things in pretty much every room and every closet were moved so the renovations could happen! The goal was, of course, to put the church back together quickly, however, the pandemic started before we could get it done. The building has been closed, and our spaces still need to be sorted through. It’s a lot of work to do while continuing to do online worship and RE, experimenting with small in-person gatherings, adding pandemic protocols to help us be together safely, and getting ready to learn a new system to do multi-platform church. In addition, our staff team has been decreased by two people (Admin Assistant and Community Builder).

WOW. Just writing all that makes me tired.

When someone asks me, ‘Why can’t we just have church right now?’ This is a taste of the answer. We are learning more new ways of moving, thinking, acting and being. Isn’t that what being a Unitarian Universalist is all about?

Does it feel strange to mask for service?
Saturday, hosting our first in-person memorial service with everyone masked, was a good test to see how it feels. I have to tell you, it was not that strange to be masked the whole time, and it felt great to be together. I am so grateful for everyone who helped to get the church ready for members and visitors again, even as we know we have more work to do.

New Multi-platform System Coming
Soon we will be learning a new system to broadcast worship online from the sanctuary. It will involve installing cameras in the Sanctuary to allow us to have in-person and online church at the same time. Saturday we tried to broadcast online in our old way, and sadly that didn’t work. But if you missed the memorial service for Sue Morgan, email me and I will send you a copy of the script. After learning how to do Zoom worship, the new method will be a third new way to do worship we will be learning. Your good wishes are appreciated as we learn.

Learning a New Groove
Learning all these new ways of being, thinking, and acting is challenging. While it is good for our brains to adapt to change, it feels clunky. Like learning a new dance move. Rather than being disappointed when perfection doesn’t happen, let’s cheer one another on, as we try new things. It might look different, it might feel awkward, but in the end, we can have fun and laugh as we move and groove in new ways.

With lots of love and care,

Reverend Denise