February 26, 2021 – 9:00 PM
“As a people of faith, we seek to better ourselves, our community, and our world through integrity, justice, and hope.”
High Street and COVID-19: What You Need to Know
- As of March 15, 2020 all in-person activities have been suspended for the duration of the COVID-19 Crisis. All group activities will use Zoom. You can find instructions on how to access Zoom (via computer, smartphone/tablet, or landline/telephone) here.
- Please regularly check our Happenings page. Happenings will be updated at least weekly or more often as required.
- Our Community and COVID-19 is a basic information page, giving you information on attending “Virtual Church” and advising you of congregational and community resources available to you.
February Theme: Beloved Community
What Does It Mean To Be A People of Beloved Community?
Henri Nouwen, the treasured catholic teacher, activist and pastor, once described beloved community as “the place where the person you least want to live with always lives.”
On its surface it seems to be a straightforward reminder not to expect perfection from the communities we join. And not to expect perfection from others. Indeed, it’s a plea to stick with those troublesome others. Forgive them. Accept them. Stay open to the whole of who they are, not just the caricatured sliver of them that makes it easy to write them off.
Besides the obvious calls to commitment, conflict resolution and hard work, there’s also a hidden call to hope woven into Nouwen’s words. To stay in community with difficult or offensive people, we have to hold on to the hope that they can change and grow. We have to believe that their better selves exist and will eventually show up. We have to have faith that giving them the benefit of the doubt is worth it. That assuming their good intentions isn’t foolish.
It’s a tall order. This kind of hopefulness and generosity toward others is not easy.
But here’s the catch, Nouwen doesn’t stop there. Right after that first sentence he adds another. Here’s the whole quote:
“Community is the place where the person you least want to live with always lives…That person is always in your community somewhere; in the eyes of others, you might be that person.”
Ouch! Nouwen doesn’t pull his punches. Just when we were starting to feel good about being the ones who are magnanimous with these annoying and offensive folks, Nouwen reminds us that we are actually among them! But don’t get so caught up in this message of humility that you miss how Nouwen is also using this to call us to an even greater hopefulness.
By adding us to the mix of the unwanted, he’s pointing out that beloved community requires us to believe not only that others are worth our effort but also that we will be worth the effort in the eyes of others!
It’s an insight that we must not miss this month. We human beings run away from community not just because others let us down, but also because we doubt that others won’t step up when we let them down. Beloved community stays at arm’s length not just because it is hard to build, but also because we don’t trust that it will be there for us.
It’s all one big reminder that the work of beloved community is bigger than we usually imagine. It’s not just about building a better world; it’s also about building up each other’s faith. We are in a battle not just against the division between us, but also the doubt within us.
What we really need to hear about beloved community is not just that we can create it, but that we can count on it.
This month, may we make sure we all bless each other with both of those messages.
February 28, 2021 Using ZOOM at 11 AM
Building a Culture of Gratitude led by Rev. Sarah and Mary Lou Ezell
What changes for us when the infrastructure of a community is based on gratitude?
Religious Education for Children
1. Virtual Religious Education Time for Children (11 years old and younger) on Saturday at Noon using ZOOM
We are currently using the virtual curriculum CARTUUNS. CARTUUNS uses animated shorts from Pixar and Disney as the basis for discussion about the values inherent in Unitarian Universalism. These short animated films run only 3-8 minutes long, making it easy to keep a child’s attention. Each week week host Discussion and fun activities keep children engaged and coming back for more.
Please contact Paula Del Rio email@example.com for login information.
Saturday, January 16th : we will watch the short film Geri’s Game and talk about the 4th UU Principle
2. Virtual Religious Education Time for Middle school and older on Thursday at 7:00 pm
1. Adult RE SoulMatters will meet Saturday Feb 27 from 11:00-12:30 to explore what it means to build the Beloved Community. Check your Happenings email or email the office for Zoom login information.
2. Mary Lou and I would like to share gratitude for staff this Sunday. If you have something you’d like to lift up for a staff member at High Street, please send us a little note by email before Sunday morning. firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
3. Outdoor Conversation Circles: Until we can meet indoors again…we can still enjoy some outdoor time with proper precautions.
Saturday March 6: Location 113 Timberlea Drive,Warner Robins, GA 31088; hosted by Kim Lynn (call or email for directions) from1-2:30 Bring your mask, a beverage and a chair!
4. SEUSS IS ON THE LOOSE AT HIGH STREET! Join us on Saturday, March 13th, at 4pm on Zoom to celebrate the birth month of Dr. Seuss! We’ll play a few casual games based around iconic Seuss characters as well as discuss our favorite memories and lessons we’ve gleaned from his fantastical stories. Look for Zoom details on Facebook, in email blast from Charles or email firstname.lastname@example.org to have them emailed directly to you.
5. Applications for Endowment Grants will be accepted from February 1 through March 15, 2021. All requests must be sponsored by a member of the congregation and must serve our mission. For proposed projects and programs to be considered by the Endowment Committee they are first submitted to the Board of Trustees for review. Grants provide assistance for up to three years for projects or programs which have not been part of High Street’s operating budget within the last three years. If selected for funding, the sponsor(s) of the project(s)/program(s) will be required to sign an agreement of fiduciary responsibility, and provide an annual report to the Board which ensures accounting and reconciliation of use of funds, and documentation demonstrating impact of the project/program. The project or program should be realistic in terms of goals, resources (physical and human), and time involved to initiate, administer, and complete. The Endowment is a way to help us be innovative in our ministry and service to one another and the larger community! (Send completed applications to email@example.com)
Download the Endowment Application form in Word Format or as a PDF.
6. New Curriculum for Adult RE
Tina Clark and I are planning to lead a UU curriculum called “Wellspring.” This curriculum begins with a focus on deepening spiritual practices while exploring UU history, sources and theology, inviting participants to consider their own core values and how these frame their own lives and commitments. The initial curriculum begins with a retreat, has about 19 sessions, and usually groups meet 2x a month (online and in person, when safe). Participants are asked to engage in a spiritual practice and to work with a spiritual companion/director. Visit this website, uuwellspring.org for more details about participating.
Our hope is that we would engage this curriculum over the next year with some flexibility to take some time off as needed in the summer or over holidays. The cohort will be small (10-12). We hope that after this initial program, a couple of people may want to facilitate a second round of the year one curriculum and also hope some folks will want to begin one of the follow-up options.
Please reach out to me or Tina with questions you have and to let us know if you’re interested! firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
7. Please join us beginning Sunday, February 21 for the Anti-Racism book discussion group; we will meet via ZOOM. We’ll be meeting 5-6:30 each Sunday.
Our text will be: Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestorby Layla Saad. There is also a workbook/journal available for purchase, but it is not mandatory. The book is available in print and electronic versions.
If you haven’t already communicated your interest, please let one of the leaders know so we can get you the login information.
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, or email@example.com
Book Description for Me and White Supremacy: Combat Racism, Change the World, and Become a Good Ancestor by Layla F. Saad – Laylafsaad.com
This book began as a free Instagram challenge called #MeAndWhiteSupremacy. Using a step-by-step reflection process, she encouraged people with white privilege to examine their racist thoughts and behaviors.The instagram and a free pdf book went viral and the subsequent book is still a bestseller.The author is East African, Arab, British, Black, and Muslim. She grew up in the UK and lives in Qatar.
The book has a companion workbook entitled Me and White Supremacy: a Guided Journal with room to write notes and answers to questions.A plain notebook will of course be a good substitute.
The book was designed to be a 28 day project, but our class will proceed at a slower pace so we can have discussions.
The author also hosts a podcast called the The Good Ancestor Podcast. Access is free and the program has weekly episodes. There are 40 recorded. Recently this voice only podcast added video.
8. Helping Others: These are especially difficult times for people living on the street or with inadequate or uncertain housing. There are several ways to help right now:
- Donate coats and other outerwear to Wear, the thrift store at 464 1st St.
- Donate a gift card at Wear, designated for use by those in need
- Volunteer at the emergency Brookdale Warming Center, open 24-7 at 3600 Brookdale Ave., turning no one away (sign up at www.unitedwaycg.org/volunteer)
- Donate gift cards for the Salvation Army for supplies for the Warming Center or for River Edge Behavioral Health to buy bus passes, medication, and photo identification for people in need of services (Deliver these to Bert Bivins Fire Station & Sheriff Precinct at 4036 Napier Avenue).
- Donate Biofreeze pain relief gel, cough drops, saline eye drops, Orajel, new men‘s and women’s underwear at High Street for Daybreak, Macon’s day center for those who are homeless.
- Volunteer at Daybreak, which has been VERY Covid-safe (contact firstname.lastname@example.org 478-972-0005).
9. Looking for a place to have a Covid-safe retreat for you & an intimate number of family/friends? Call The Mountain Retreat & Learning Center. They have converted the Director’s residence to a five star location for a retreat. It can sleep up to ten folks & has a complete kitchen, multiple baths, and above all a beautiful view of Blue Valley. They also have several smaller places for parties from 1 to 6. In addition, this is a great way to support our own UU-affiliated center just 5 miles west of beautiful Highlands, NC. Call them at 838-526-5838 to reserve your retreat accommodations.
10. Anti-Racism, Anti Oppression work at High Street–Rev. Sarah and Adult RE Organizers
A members at High Street begin a journey of learning and hopefully action related to dismantling systemic racism, I wanted to take a moment to note that while the first book being read presumes a white audience, organizers recognize that High Street has members who do not identify as white. The choice of this first book is in recognition that white people have often asked non-white folks to carry the burden of teaching and conscious-ness raising and this can no longer be acceptable. We also recognize that this can feel like we are continuing to center white people’s experiences. This is a paradox we do not take lightly and we keep in mind the need to choose resources as we move forward that invite a more inclusive discussion as well as opportunities for “caucusing”, that invites folks who do not identify as white to participate in ways that work for them. I am being careful here, too, because there is no monolithic identity or duality here–intersections of identity can make it hard to see where attention is most needed and when. I invite help in discerning this.
As your minister I am aware that there are limits as well to my capacity to serve as a pastoral presence for folks whose experiences may be vastly different than mine and I am committed to being present and companioning all who would invite me to their journey and the conversations that accompany that journey. Your needs may be as unique as each of you and also may have common threads. Watching the over 60’s group at High Street reminds me that developing groups that share common concerns and needs is one of the ways congregation members minister to each other. Anti-Oppression work has many spokes. How can I facilitate and support the needs of members of High Street in ways that make space for all the experiences and needs and concerns among you? Your thoughts are welcome!
Black Lives UU , DRUUM and EqUUal Access (I am sure there are more I could list) are examples of UUA affiliated groups that serve in different ways to help fill the gaps that many experience in their congregational lives as Unitarian Universalists. We have many leaders and voices across the denomination that express our theology and commitments from different lenses and I hope that each of you find ways to engage the work of anti-oppression and anti-racism in ways that are life-giving and transformative for you and for our communities. Each of us has the opportunity to engage this work and to contribute to the larger picture. Every change changes everything. No change is too small. Thanks to each of you for showing up to this work in the ways that you can.
11. Calling all chalice lighters! The worship team is experimenting with new ways to do chalice lighting on zoom. Send me a short video or picture of you or someone in your household lighting your chalice! We will be using these in our Sunday services. email@example.com
12. Getting to Know High Street. I would like to learn more about HIgh Street and its members and friends! Interim ministry is a time to review the past, celebrate, and dream about the future before making concrete plans for what comes next. I’d love to hear from each of you! What has your experience/history with High Street been? What do you hope to see us do in the future–what kind of place do you High Street will be in 2 years, 5 years, or in 10 years? Let’s visit by zoom and we can swap stories! Email me to set this up: firstname.lastname@example.org
13. From Rev. Sarah – A note about my schedule: I take Mondays off, and when my kid/husband are out of school, I generally take that off, too. I reserve Friday nights and Saturdays except morning time for family as well. On Sundays I begin my sabbath in afternoon/evening. This usually has me working between 40 and 50 hours a week, depending on meeting schedules, etc. Of course there are exceptions! Please call or email me to chat or set up a meeting.
14. The Bipolar/Depression Meetup Group has resumed meetings VIA Zoom on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of each month at 6:30 PM. Please note that there is no trained social worker at these meetings; this is strictly a peer support group. Please contact Jim Scott at email@example.com for Zoom login information.
1. This Sunday we will have an online offering using our new online giving technology, found here: https://onrealm.org/hsuuc/-/give/now
Please have your credit or debit card handy! (Also feel free to give beforehand, and as many times as you want!)
Thank you for your generosity.
2. Stay Safe on Your Computer! As more people are spending more time online, there has been an increase in email scams. Scammers retrieve email addresses from websites and change them, slightly, and use the changed email address to email others asking for favors and money. Please know that no minister of High Street Church will ever ask you, over email, to buy eBay gift cards or itune gift cards, or for money in general (unless it is for the church or some approved fundraiser). If you are a victim of an email scam, do not respond to it. Please report the email to gmail (or whatever carrier the email address uses). They will try to remove that email so the scammer won’t prey on others.
3. Interested in being a phone buddy or pen pal with someone from High Street? Contact Jane Donahue: firstname.lastname@example.org
4. A Note About the Happenings: The Happenings web page (https://hsuuc.org/happenings/) is usually updated only once per week, but under the current circumstances, it will updated as the need arises. There will be both a Date and Time of Update at the top of the page and reminder emails about the Happenings may not be made when updates are made. So make sure that you bookmark the Happenings page or put it in your Favorites and check it regularly.
5. Daybreak (Macon’s day center for those who are homeless) Daybreak has a significant need for specialized volunteers: nurses, adult learning tutors (reading, writing, math, finance, personal goals, etc.). Daybreak also always needs volunteers for general operations (laundry, showers, computers, gardening, the café, building and grounds maintenance).