Ways to Say Goodbye to Rev. Diana

Rev. Diana will be leaving her ministry at WUUC in June. Covid-19 has challenged us to find safe ways to say goodbye, and the good news is that there are options! Here are some of them:

  • Send Rev. Diana a card, letter or blessing by mailing it to WUUC, P.O. Box 111, Woodinville, WA 98072, or by emailing her, revdiana@wuuc.org, before June 28. Her email address will be deactivated after that. Rev. Diana won’t be in contact with members or friends of WUUC after she leaves the congregation (see her article for more information).
  • Attend her final online worship service with WUUC on June 14 at 10 a.m. As part of this worship service we will share a ritual of parting. Rev. Diana will also lead worship on May 31 and June 7.
  • Attend her goodbye party on June 28 after General Assembly worship. More information will come out via email soon, but there will likely be a Zoom option and a drive-by option for safe goodbyes.
  • If you’d like to have a final 20-minute Zoom or phone meeting with Rev. Diana, sign up here. Please note that since Rev. Diana will only be with WUUC on a regular schedule through June 14 and then on call the last two weeks of June, there are limited appointments available. https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1F-Z1IkiLNH8hUyFdI0eHIiX3FiFMy9TFWjUZgA5F1YI/edit?usp=sharing

Coronavirus Reopening Plan for WUUC

Coronavirus Reopening Plan for WUUC

On May 27, 2020, WUUC’s Board of Trustees adopted a coronavirus reopening plan. As the Board adopted the plan, it affirmed that we are all held in love and covenant, and that we are responsible and accountable to each other. The Board also affirmed its commitment to following best practices and WA State and King County guidelines and regulations.

The plan below will be updated as WA State and King County release additional information about reopening phases and best practices.

Coronavirus Building and Grounds Reopening Plan for WUUC

Adopted byWUUC Board of Trustees May 27, 2020; to be updated as needed

————————————————————————————————————–

Since the beginning of the pandemic, WUUC has committed to following WA State and King County guidelines and regulations. WUUC commits to making its best efforts to continue to follow WA State and King County guidelines and regulations.

As of the writing of this plan, King County is at Phase 1 of WA State’s Reopening Plan. We are currently under the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order. We anticipate that the earliest King County will move to Phase 2 is June 1. The very earliest King County could move to Phase 3 is June 22. 

WUUC will be hosting a pop-up blood donation center for NW Bloodworks from June 9 – 19.

Rev. Diana Smith will be ending her ministry at WUUC in June 2020. Minister Dan Lillie will begin his ministry at WUUC on Aug. 15, 2020. 

————————————————————————————————————–

Our Unitarian Universalist faith centers covenants. One of the covenants that we make with one another is to try to keep each other safe and growing in body, mind, and spirit. We don’t often talk a lot about this covenant, but we trust that it’s there. And sometimes we do talk about this covenant explicitly, like when a congregation’s leaders create safety policies and procedures. During the coronavirus pandemic, this has been needed and has become clear in new ways. We’ve learned that congregations have a significant role to play in how covid-19 spreads. We can take actions that help slow the spread and protect members and friends of WUUC and the wider community. We’re committed to doing that as a faith community.

As UU faith communities, we’re also committed to justice. As UUs, we affirm our interdependence, we commit to encouraging each other’s spiritual growth, and we declare that we will work for a world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all. One of the ways that we live these commitments out in congregations is by working to ensure that the congregation is accessible to all. In the recent past, WUUC has worked on this by beginning to use a hearing assistance system, creating wheelchair spaces in the sanctuary and access improvements around the church, by supporting Welcoming Congregation renewal, and by attending to dietary needs, amongst other things. As WUUC has moved online due to the pandemic, we continue to be conscious of the need to not create a two-tiered congregation where some members can meet in person and others can’t due to health concerns and are thereby excluded from full participation. This commitment is directly related to our faith’s commitment to justice. At the same time, we recognize the importance of contact with other humans, including in-person, safe contact, for emotional and mental wellbeing.

Finally, as we reflect on how to proceed, we affirm that congregations aren’t limited by buildings. While we love our sacred spaces and this congregation is deeply connected with WUUC’s buildings and grounds, WUUC is not the buildings and the grounds. Rather, Woodinville Unitarian Universalist Church is a group of people who are committed to being a congregation and are bound in covenant with one another.

Proposed Plan for WUUC May 27 – August 31, 2020 (Possibly into the Fall)

Building Use

From May – June 2020, only employees and volunteers who need to use the church building for essential purposes are allowed to work at WUUC (administration, finance, custodial and maintenance services, building safety checks, Rev. Diana Smith’s preparation for leaving WUUC, necessary material gathering for summer religious education). No meetings or gatherings are allowed at WUUC except the blood donation center. Anyone exhibiting symptoms of Covid-19 or diagnosed with Covid-19 must not enter the building.

  • Requirements for using the building:
    • Employees and volunteers who are allowed to use the building must have a face covering with them and use it if another person is within 10 feet.
    • Employees and volunteers who are allowed to use the building need to schedule work days so that only one employee or volunteer is actively using the office space (main office, minister’s office, library) at once. Incidental use of other areas by someone dropping off something, someone who is permitted to use the grounds using the bathroom, etc, may occur. A second or third employee or volunteer may use another part of the building (sanctuary or religious education classrooms) for an essential purpose at the same time another volunteer or staff member is using the office for an essential purpose.
    • Employees and volunteers using the building must maintain good hand hygiene and wipe down surfaces before and following use. WUUC will provide supplies for doing this.
    • NW Bloodworks must ensure necessary hygiene is maintained during the pop-up blood donation center’s operations. The minister will ensure staff ad volunteers are aware of the donation center’s operations so that staff who are permitted to use the building for an essential purpose can alter their work hours and take other necessary precautions.
  • Only after the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order is lifted and before June 8 or after June 22, may music be recorded in the sanctuary. If King County is in phase 2, then up to 5 people may be in the sanctuary to record music provided they each remain at least 6 feet or more away from all others, every person wears a mask, and no one is singing, shouting, playing a wind instrument, or breathing deeply to play music (i.e., everyone present to record music must be breathing at normal levels/not forcefully behind a face mask). One or both exterior doors must be kept open to provide additional air circulation.

From July – August 2020, if King County is at Phase 2 or 3 then the above considerations will continue to apply except and including that:

  • Staff and volunteers may use the building for a wider range of purposes provided they continue to meet the mask, hygiene, health, and area separation requirements.
  • No groups may meet in the building except that renters who use the building for support groups (AA, NAMI, Buddhist chemical dependency group) may use the sanctuary or portable 2 provided they meet physical distancing, hygiene wipe-down, health, and mask-wearing requirements listed above, as well as the currently-applicable state limits on size of gathering. As of the writing of this plan, in Phase 2 the limit will be 5 people and in Phase 3 the limit will be 50 people. (It is unlikely that 50 people could use a WUUC indoor space and maintain distancing requirements. If it looks like King County will enter Phase 3 during the summer, WUUC’s Board of Trustees will review updated guidance (see Resources at end of plan) and determine whether the cap will be 50 people or fewer. The participant cap will not be raised until WUUC’s Board has reviewed applicable information.) These rental groups may use the grounds for their gatherings if they desire.
  • The same requirements related to music playing and recording apply.

WUUC’s building will not be used for the rummage sale through the summer.

Responsible Parties: Through June 2020, the minister is the responsible party for ensuring communication of these requirements and responding to non-compliance. From June 29 – August 15, after receiving input from the Board of Trustees, the Board President will be responsible for communicating requirements and responding to non-compliance. Beginning August 16, the minister will be the responsible party. All employees, volunteers, and friends of WUUC are responsible for their own behavior.

Employee Work Patterns

Employees will be encouraged to continue to telecommute throughout the summer. The health and safety restrictions and requirements in the Building Use and Grounds Use sections will apply to employees who need or want to use the building.

Responsible Parties: Through June 2020, the minister is the responsible party for ensuring communication of these requirements and responding to non-compliance. From June 29 – August 15, after receiving input from the Board of Trustees, the Board President will be responsible for communicating requirements and responding to non-compliance. Beginning August 16, the minister will be the responsible party. All employees, volunteers, and friends of WUUC are responsible for their own behavior.

Grounds Use

During Phase 1, individuals may conduct landscape or building maintenance activities on WUUC’s grounds. If more than one person needs to work on the grounds at once based on the type of work being performed, those individuals must ensure they maintain physical distancing, mask-wearing, health, and hygiene guidelines. They may use WUUC’s bathrooms if they have a building key, ensuring that they maintain required, posted hygiene and safety practices in WUUC’s buildings. No one may use WUUC’s grounds if they have symptoms of or have been diagnosed with Covid-19.

WUUC’s grounds remain open during Phase 1. Individual congregants are not prohibited from using the grounds for spiritual purposes but groups are not allowed to meet on the grounds. WUUC also reminds all members and friends that it’s crucial that we all follow the “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order and limit non-essential travel in order to slow the spread of covid-19.

During Phase 2, no more than 5 – 8 people may gather together on the grounds, maintaining physical distancing, mask-wearing, health, and hygiene practices. If WA State updates the information for numbers of people and how groups may be configured for Phase 2, then those numbers will apply. However, if Public Health – Seattle & King County or another local government agency has more stringent requirements in place, those will apply. WUUC will work to update this plan with applicable information as it becomes available.

During Phase 3, as of the writing of this plan no more than 50 people may gather together on the grounds, maintaining physical distancing, mask-wearing, health, and hygiene practices. If WA State updates the information for numbers of people and how groups may be configured for Phase 3, then those numbers will apply. However, if Public Health – Seattle & King County or another local government agency has more stringent requirements in place, those will apply. It is also questionable whether a gathering of 50 people could use WUUC’s grounds and maintain distancing requirements. If it looks like King County will enter Phase 3, WUUC’s Board of Trustees will review updated guidance (see Resources at end of plan), as well as roofing repair plans, and determine whether the cap will be 50 people or lower. The participant cap will not be raised until WUUC’s Board has reviewed applicable information.

If King County moves to Phase 3 and allows gatherings of up to 50 people, then WUUC’s Board of Trustees may also decide to hold the rummage sale on WUUC’s grounds. The Board will make such a determination after it is clear when the local area will be in Phase 3. WUUC’s Board will review guidelines and regulations for retail services as well as those for outdoor gatherings as part of determining if and how to hold the rummage sale.

Responsible Parties: Through June 2020, the minister is the responsible party for ensuring communication of these requirements and responding to non-compliance. From June 29 – August 15, after receiving input from the Board of Trustees, the Board President will be responsible for communicating requirements and responding to non-compliance. Beginning August 16, the minister will be the responsible party. All employees, volunteers, and friends of WUUC are responsible for their own behavior.

Worship

Through August 2020, all WUUC worship will continue to be broadcast from worship participants’ homes using Zoom. Any pre-recorded music or other segments will be recorded following safety practices outlined above. Individuals recording in their homes is the preferred practice. 

Responsible Parties: Through June 2020, the minister is the responsible party for ensuring communication of these requirements and responding to non-compliance. From June 29 – August 15, after receiving input from the Board of Trustees, the Board President will be responsible for communicating requirements and responding to non-compliance. Beginning August 16, the minister will be the responsible party. All employees, volunteers, and friends of WUUC are responsible for their own behavior.

Updates to This Plan 

Through June, Rev. Diana Smith will be responsible for updating numbers and other information in this plan, including consulting with the Board of Trustees on updates.

From June 29 – August, the Board of Trustees will be responsible for updating numbers and other information in this plan.

WUUC’s Board of Trustees and minister Dan Lillie will reassess this plan in late August or September after he begins serving WUUC. This plan will remain in effect until the Board adopts a new plan.

Resources

Coronavirus – an early warning

Coronavirus – an early warning

By John Hartman
Pandemics like the coronavirus may occur more often when climate change is unabated. Warming and changing weather patterns shift the vectors and spread of disease.

Heavily polluting industries also contribute to disease transmission.  Studies have linked factory farming — one of the largest sources of methane emissions — to faster mutating, more virulent pathogens.

Similarly, the same populations that are bearing the brunt of the health and economic effects of the coronavirus are the same populations that bear the brunt of fossil fuel pollution — which in turn makes them more vulnerable to serious complications.

Dealing with the impacts of coronavirus while addressing climate change doesn’t have to slow down the economic recovery.  Outside of war, climate change is the only issue large enough to provide the economic recovery needed to help employ the millions of people out of work.  A climate-focused economic recovery.

Silver Linings of Online Services

Silver Linings of Online Services

Compiled by Donna Johnson
We asked the congregation to tell us what they like and appreciate about online services.  Turns out, there’s a lot to like. Here’s what you said:

Come Together, Right Now

  • I appreciate having services at all during this time of social isolation.  It’s good to feel the connection to a larger community.
  • It has reminded us all how much meeting together on Sunday means to us — “You never know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone.”
  • I’ve enjoyed seeing a glimpse of people’s homes and how they/we play with Zoom backgrounds.

Transformative Experiences

  • I can close my eyes and focus on the words, meaning, and emotion of what’s being said without feeling self-conscious or being a distraction. 
  • Amazingly, we still tear up, or have chills during a great opening, sermon or song.
  • I find that it is easier to focus during meditation without thinking about what’s going on in the sanctuary like I tend to do when we are in the church building.
  • Evocative pictures add so much!!!!
  • It is giving us new ideas about what church means and what we can do during services.

Go Team

  • “ZoomKeeper” is so wonderfully reminiscent of zookeeper, and so appropriate for us WUUCies.  Makes me smile every time. Like an inside joke.
  • Such a great team effort!!
  • The services are very smooth and professional — you’re all doing a great job!
  • I love that different people are coming together to create each service.  The team is larger and richer.

Easy Like Sunday Morning:

  • As a self-admitted “Not a Morning Person” I love having the extra time on Sunday morning.  A little more sleep, a slower pace: What’s not to like?
  • Mini-commute…. Usually takes about 30 seconds, unless there is a cat occupying the hallway.
  • Come as I am!
  • Okay to step away from my Tai Chi, Qigong, or treadmill desk and show up for church 30 seconds later all warm and centered and sweaty without a shower.
  • I can still sit next to and hold hands with my husband.
  • No flipping through the hymnal to find the hymns.  All is projected!
  • Honestly, it’s that I can clean the kitchen while I attend church, because yes, that’s my routine most weeks.

Coffee!!!:

  • I can drink (and refill) my coffee all during the service.
  • Coffee or breakfast at the same time? Works.
  • The church is saving a lot of money on coffee.

Break out rooms

  • The Breakout Rooms for coffee hour have ‘let’ me talk with folks I haven’t formerly spent much time with, along with catching up with friends.
  • Coffee hour with random folks means meeting new folks. And it’s somehow always a croissant experience instead of a donut. And I always stay longer than I intended, ’cause it is something I find more important than I thought it would be.

Music

  • I am enjoying the music. I hadn’t heard Matt sing, so I love hearing just how good his singing is. I always love Terry’s playing, but it seems even better now.
  • If we don’t know the hymns well as a congregation we can still enjoy them without being embarrassed about our challenges singing them.
  • Watching the choir sing “Come, Come, Whoever You Are” together, but each in their own homes was amazing!
  • The only issue I have, Lulz, is listening to my own voice during the hymns.             

Expanded Attendance

  • Attendance is up!!!
  • It has allowed us to maintain/regain contact with church members who have moved away, are on extended vacation, or find it difficult to come to services in person.
  • Much easier for visitors to see what the church is about without committing to a visit.
  • I love the online services, especially since I’m out of state. I feel like I’m right there with all the other WUUCies.
  • People from all over the country can join us.  My brother has been joining from out of state.

It’s Environmentally Sound

  • The parking lot is returning to a meadow.
  • We are reducing our carbon footprint.

Candidating

  • It has allowed us to call a wonderful minister without the congregation ever seeing him or his family in person. Indeed, the way it was conducted probably allowed more of our congregation to meet with him, individually or in small groups, than if he had come here personally for the traditional week visit.

Theme: Compassion

By Linda Sherry
In these stressful, isolated and changing times, what can/do we do with our sense of compassion? Maybe it’s compassion for our individual selves that is called for right now, or perhaps focusing on what’s happening within our own community?  Whether it comes in the form of sickness and job loss or loneliness, stress and worry, suffering has taken up residence in so many of our homes. Compassion is needed now more than ever.

The June 2020 theme for worship, RE, and small groups at WUUC is: What Does It Mean to be a People of COMPASSION?  Our monthly themes and resource materials come from Soul Matters Sharing Circle, a network of Unitarian Universalist congregations.  A small sample of thoughts to ponder about compassion from Soul Matters:

  • Compassion is different from empathy, which is the “mirroring or understanding of another’s emotion.”  Empathy is feeling; compassion is action.      Jeremy Smith
  • Were we to meet this figure socially… (sic) …  we might think that something terrible had happened to him. That he was living in the aftermath, in the fallout of some catastrophe. And we would be right.
    -Adam Phillips
  • I still believe that having compassion for others is not the same as saying that the harm they cause is ok. Empathy is not exoneration.      -Nadia Bolz-Webe
  • “Compassion hurts. When you feel connected to everything, you also feel responsible for everything. And you cannot turn away. Your destiny is bound with the destinies of others.”   
    -Andrew Boyd
  • The purpose of the journey is compassion.  When you have come past all the pairs of opposites you have reached compassion. 
    -Joseph Campbell
  • A friend pointed out to me that many of us are on a lower step of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Need than we were a few months ago.  Take time to listen to one another.  Truly listening is an act of compassion.    -Linda Sherry

As we join in community, whether in our worship services or in our smaller conversations, let’s take time to consider how our compassion is acting out in our lives. 

For spiritual materials on our monthly theme, go to https://drive.google.com/file/d/1MsmMfFCqsiSoL6VH97Ah881yN6KnPIBd/view?usp=sharing



Theme: Thresholds

Theme: Thresholds

From the WUUC Worship Team
The May 2020 theme for worship, RE, and small groups at WUUC is: What Does It Mean to be a People of THRESHOLDS?  Our monthly themes and resource materials come from Soul Matters Sharing Circle, a network of Unitarian Universalist congregations.  A small sample of thoughts about thresholds from Soul Matters:

  • If you go back to the etymology of the word “threshold,” it comes from “threshing” which is to separate the grain from the husk. So the threshold in a way, is a place where you move into more critical and challenging and worthy fullness.   John O’Donohue
  • What if the true invitation of a threshold is not to successfully move from here to there, but instead just to sit and pause? What if thresholds help us “become” by asking us just to “be” for a while?  Less traveling and more listening. The Rev. Sara LaWall writes, “a threshold is a space to imagine a new way, a new self. Not moving or pushing but sitting and cultivating…the goal is to allow you space and time to reflect on your past, present and future. To imagine a new beginning.”
  • At that moment of realization, a threshold is crossed. The idea, the dream, the recognition suddenly takes on gravity.  And that gravity creates an inevitability that transforms us, sometimes, whether we like it or not. What seemed unthinkable becomes thinkable.  Once that realization has emerged, you can either honor or ignore it, but you cannot forget it. What has become known cannot become unknown again.    Gary Zukav

Here are some wise words on Thresholds to ponder this month:

  • Those who stand at the threshold of life always waiting for the right time to change are like a person who stands at the bank of a river waiting for the water to pass so they can cross on dry land.   Joseph B. Wirthlin
  • Our only security is our ability to change.   John Lilly
  • The purpose of the journey is compassion.   The return is seeing the radiance everywhere.  Joseph Campbell
  • The truth is, indeed, that love is the threshold of another universe.  Pierre Teilhard de Chardin


For spiritual materials on our monthly theme, go to https://drive.google.com/file/d/1DDxTZvrp7ZD2w-AKSu-yaGAxjNXn_331/view?usp=sharing

For spiritual materials on the Sacred Words supplement on Blessing, go to https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ouaPHSMESzsToEeQ9jiZaKdy14XmCUuM/view?usp=sharing