President’s Letter June 12, 2020

Hello all.  I hope you are hanging in there, hunkering down, and finding some silver linings in these trying times.   

I wanted to reach out and connect in our growing digital platform while our physical UUFEC world is temporarily out of commission. 

So What’s Up with our Fellowship?  Lots. 

First off, Covid.  The pandemic is creating in us all, incredible levels of tension, fear, anxiety, anger, sadness and other emotions.   As compassionate UU’s, many of us worry for the health and wellbeing of the world all around us, as well as ourselves. Our UU faith provides us a connection with one another, but now, with this pandemic and our church’s doors closed, we miss that support in our lives.   

A ‘Covid Task Force’ was created last month, consisting of Hank Christen, Denny and Karen Lauer, Athena Riley and Rev. Doak.  Thanks to their research and thoughtful recommendations, the Board weighed the painful ongoing loss of human contact versus the dangers of viral transmission in our congregation and has decided to continue our current course of avoiding face to face meetings and avoiding Sunday morning services.  Stay tuned.  The pandemic is rapidly evolving.  Every day new scientific breakthroughs are occurring in Covid prevention and treatment.  This plague will pass. 

Next up, civil uprising.  Our hearts have been torn apart in watching or reading about the awful death of George Floyd.  We sit awe-struck, aghast, and dismayed, looking at the images of our police forces, military, politicians and our fellow passionate citizens.  We see examples of inhumanity, arrogance, and abject evil, but also noble images of idealism, bravery, and en masse intolerance for racism in its many forms.  

I am so proud to let you know that UUFEC’s Social Justice Committee (Chair Toni Pentecouteau; Members Athena Riley, Jane Park, Kathy White, Sarah Albano) is working on ways to participate in this chance to oppose and end the racism entrenched in our systems of law enforcement and justice.  Stay tuned and join in, as this critical work moves forward.  

And of course, Hurricane season is here.  

And other UUFEC work continues as well.  Our Canvass is officially over.  We attained our financial goal for the year thanks to a great canvass team led by Jane Park, supported by treasurer John Holt and Finance Chair, Blake Farley, and thanks to you all for your generosity and commitment.   If by chance you were not able to pledge yet for 2020/21, contact canvass@uufec.com to do so.   We have postponed our spring congregational financial meeting for the time being and will continue the budget set in place from last year.  We continue to pay all of UUFEC’s employees, to support them through these stressful times.  And our committees are still functioning and repurposing in these unheralded times.  

Services continue to be streamed online, with our own beloved Reverend Doak ‘back in the virtual pulpit’  as well as excellent guest speakers stepping up to the plate.  Virtual Zoom coffee hour happens at 11 am.   See details in the rest of this Enews.  Tune in. 

Lots of great energy and ideas are coming forth as we find our way in the current world.  We strive to do the good work that our faith calls us to.  We work to take care of each other and to take care of ourselves.  So one last thought for you- if you still have some energy: Reach out to your fellow UU’s and remind them they are cared for.  

Gil Brown

President, UUFEC Board of Trustees