November 28 – 10:00 AM
“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, 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.
What Does It Mean To Be A People of Healing? From Soul Matters
“Jewish teaching includes frequent reminders of the importance of a broken-open heart, as in this Hasidic tale: A disciple asks the rebbe: “Why does Torah tell us to ‘place these words upon your hearts’? Why does it not tell us to place these holy words in our hearts?” The rebbe answers: “It is because as we are, our hearts are closed, and we cannot place the holy words in our hearts. So we place them on top of our hearts. And there they stay until, one day, the heart breaks and the words fall in.”
– Parker J. Palmer
Oh how we want to escape our pain. Worry, loss, death, exhaustion, anxiety, Covid claustrophobia, political instability, the unraveling of our democracy, racial harm. It’s all overwhelming. We want to stitch up our protective coverings as soon as we can so our exposed and tender nerves can rest. We want the pain behind us as soon as possible.
But what if the work is to travel toward it? What if proximity to pain not distance from it is the real route to healing?
This seems to be what Parker Palmer is trying to tell us. And what our faith is tries to teach us.
Here’s what else Palmer has to say: “When the heart is supple, it can be “broken open” into a greater capacity to hold our own and the world’s pain: it happens every day. When we hold our suffering in a way that opens us to greater compassion, heartbreak becomes a source of healing, deepening our empathy for others who suffer and extending our ability to reach out to them.”
This doesn’t just reframe pain; it also helps us reimagine our relationship with vulnerability. Maybe vulnerability isn’t the cause of our pain but the first and needed step toward healing our pain. Maybe vulnerability isn’t so much the problem as the ticket that allows us to get on healing’s train.
This is what all the great spiritual traditions teach. Forget eliminating your pain; lean into it. Don’t run from it as fast as you can; befriend it. Hold it in your frightened hands until you realize it’s more malleable than you thought. Until you realize your strong and courageous hands can shape it, can take its sharp edges and mold them into pathways that connect you with other people’s pain, can transform it from a weapon that has wounded you into a bridge that connects you to others.
It’s then that we realize that pain can be more than a cage cutting us off from the world. It can be a tool that makes room, that carves open an entirely new space to live in. A space where we are more deeply connected to each other than we imagined possible.
This of course doesn’t mean the hurt goes away. But it does mean we end up feeling larger, and more whole. And maybe that is the most important healing of all.
Sundays at High Street in November
Beginning on Nov. 1, we will dive into what it means to be a people of healing, from death and dying, to elections and political divisions, to congregational changes and community transformation, to international problem solving and global healing and back to policing in America and rebuilding trust in our communities. The through-line in these Sundays is about building trust and allowing ourselves to learn and grow, even when we aren’t sure where it will take us and how we will overcome the challenges we encounter. Healing is about reconciliation–spiritual, political, communal, cultural, and global reconciliation. This process is complicated and involves both internal shifts and external transformations. November 2020 marks a volatile moment in our global national history in the nexus of a highly charged and divisive election, in the middle of a global pandemic that is worsening and causing damage on multiple levels to people and communities, while climate change fuels fires and other threats to the environments we live in and protests challenge fundamental aspects of the structures that govern our communities. How are we being changed by this crucible of events and how will we regain a sense of wholeness–as individuals and communities? What can each of us do to usher in healing and life-giving transformation?
November 29 Using ZOOM
The Trust Initative: Law Enforcement and Making Amends, a Groundbreaking Program – with Steve Lynn
Steve Lynn, member of High Street, and Chief of Police in Perry, Georgia will be speaking on the Trust Initiative. This is a program instituted through the auspices of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. Perry Police Department volunteered to be one of a handful of GA law enforcement agencies to implement this program which examines issues of past and present marginalization within the minority community, and works to develop ways to make amends and move forward.
Religious Education for Children
1. Virtual Religious Education Time for Children (11 years old and younger) on Saturday at Noon using ZOOM
Please contact Paula Del Rio firstname.lastname@example.org for login information.
Saturday, Nov 7th: we will watch the short film Mike’s New Car and talk about healing and laughter, the best medicine. No additional materials are required.
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.
2. Virtual Religious Education Time for Middle school and older on Thursday at 7:00 pm
1. We are excited to share a new collaborative between Northwest UU Church, UU Fellowship of Athens, and High Street UU church. We will be joining resources to offer RE to Middle-Highschool kids from the three congregations. Starting Thursday, Nov 5th at 7:00 pm. More details to come including FB event and zoom link.
2. Change of Church E-Mail Address: The church’s email address has changed. The new email address is email@example.com. The old earthlink address still works for now, but will be discontinued in early 2021, so please update your records and address books as soon as possible. All future emails from the church will likely come from the new email address, so, if needed, please make sure that your spam blocker will not block the new email address.
3. Daybreak needs New Blankets and Macon Outreach needs any coats and/or used clothing.
4. 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.
5. 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. firstname.lastname@example.org
6. 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: email@example.com
7. 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.
8. High Street BLM Banner: Recently Centenary United Methodist church, near Mercer, installed a huge Black Lives Matter banner above their front door. I applaud and commend the very public statement that they have made in support of recent fights for racial justice. As a member of the Board of Trustees, I have proposed that High Street take the same stand. The Board unanimously decided to act as representatives of the entire congregation in support of hanging our own Black Lives Matter sign, as this issue was time sensitive and urgent. Our banner has already been purchased by a benevolent member of our congregation and has been hung on the outside front wall of High Street. Several members of the congregation have also expressed interest in helping to fund the banner, if you are interested in helping to cover this cost, please send check payments to the church PO Box with BLM banner (or just BLM) in the memo block. You can also use the eGiving option from the website and app for the contribution. All donations to the cause are greatly appreciated! Any excess contributions will be rolled over for social justice work in the community.
Some of the Board were personally disappointed that we were not the first to take this stand, but we now have an opportunity to follow through and actively live our values. Our banner, same as Centenary’s, states that “All lives will not matter until black lives matter” which directly supports our first principle of the inherent worth and dignity of every person. This statement serves as affirmation that the Black Lives Matter movement and call to action are declarations that certain members of our beloved community are consistently and significantly disadvantaged, requiring special attention at this time. The placement of this banner on our walls publicly states that we are a congregation who will strive to support the members of our community who are systemically disadvantaged. We commit to maintain a safe space for the black community to feel welcome; we will ensure that their voices are included, heard, and encouraged; and we will recognize our own privilege and use it for the benefit of the less privileged. There is a multitude of work to be done and the installation of our banner only serves as a promise to the community, and ourselves, that we are committed to doing that necessary work.
High Street UU Church
9. Email from Daybreak
Good day! My name is Tyia Sprinkle, I am the new Volunteer Coordinator here at Daybreak in Macon. If you are receiving this email, it’s because your congregation information was listed as a contact who wants to work with Daybreak; a congregation that has a heart to help serve our brothers and sisters that are needy and homeless in our community here in Macon.
As I’m sure your aware, reactions to COVID has restructured every facet of peoples lives, and it is no different for those in need. In fact it has affected them even more severely than the average citizen. Many of the entities that give them support locally, including us, have had to stop offering many of the services they once had. This includes everything from not being able to get relief from the extreme heat, to substance recovery meetings closed, to medical events canceled…this list is too long to list. And above all, they are so distanced from the human touch. It’s been a long year for them, and all of us are trying to plan how will we go forward.
So because of COVID, all volunteer based entities nationwide are at a loss. Seniors have been the foundation of all volunteer forces across the country, and they are also the most at risk. We are in need of volunteers to help run our services. Please use the attachment any way you would like to announce to your congregants the need. I would be more than happy to come personally speak if you have a group setting, we can always give a tour of the facilities and what we are currently doing. Of course I’m available over the phone as well. Any help you can give to communicate the need would be so very appreciated.
I can be contacted in any of the following ways. And may all of your individual ministry’s be blessed!
Tyia Sprinkle (pronounced tie-ya)
work cell 478.972.0005
daybreak main 478.216.9119
10. The Bipolar/Depression Meetup Group will resume 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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: email@example.com
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).