connecting needs with resources
"...to spend some more time on the Motivating Vision part of the journey that we’re on to crafting a new congregational mission statement. So, you'll have a few months to focus on what vocation might be calling to you - what song is singing in your heart - what enthusiasm takes hold of you when you let your unconscious defenses down?" (Continue reading on page 4)...
So much has changed in so little time! Some of us may have new needs but fewer ways to share; some of us may have new ways to share and support, but confusion or challenges in knowing how to connect to those in need. Please fill out this survey as often as you would like to share how things are going for you, your needs as well as what you have to offer. We'll be working to connect those of us in need with those of us who can offer support, and checking in with those of us who are struggling.
please e-mail newsletteR@evergreenuu.org for a print copy
Late Spring 2020 | Covers May 4th through June 20th
tech help for virtual gathering
from the minister - on page 4
Table of contents
EUUF Info ......................................2
Connection Page ...........................3
From the Minister .........................4
Mission Planning Team ................5
Full Week Faith .............................6
Children & Youth ..........................7
Evergreen's Offering ......................8
UUA, Holidays and Days of Observance ....................................9
Calendar & News...........Back Cover
We have created a living document, a work in progress, a guide to how we "do" church for now, evolving as we learn more about how to connect using technology, as we learn more about what our needs are and how we can meet them, as a Fellowship and in smaller groups. This document, when opened using the link here or in the Weekly Update, will always have the most up-to-date information.
connect with us!
May 4th - June 20th
Sunday Worship Service
1607 4th St.,
Marysville, WA 98270
Please check with the Office Admin via email for in-person office hours
MINISTER Pastor Tom
BOARD PRESIDENT Ken Rines
BOARD OF TRUSTEES
OFFICE ADMIN Alli Curtis
RELIGIOUS EDUCATOR Mari Budlong
The early summer theme will continue with Motivating Vision - if you have artwork or photos of lakes or rivers to share for the newsletter, Weekly Updates or Facebook group, please share at email@example.com
Drawing parallels in service
by Mari Budlong
On April 22, 2020, we celebrated 50 years of Earth Day. A lot has changed over the past 50 years - some more positive, and some more destruction for the Earth.
As you probably know, The Green Team’s focus is on environmental issues. Our activities - before COVID-19 hit the planet - were to collect your styrofoam, batteries and light bulbs on a monthly basis and take them to be recycled. We do hope to be able to re-engage in that in the future.
The Green Team also helps with our fundraising auction by contributing a basket and also a sustainable dinner. We have been doing a church community garden, and each year we love to bring you a special service for Earth Day. We meet monthly and always welcome everyone at our meetings - whether one time to check us out or on an on-going basis.
We started planning this Earth Day service in January, and you won’t be surprised to hear that our original thoughts have changed a lot over the recent months as things have unfolded with the “stay as home” orders. We decided to explore how the Covid 19 virus has affected our environmental activities, for the good or bad.
Some of us find the current restrictions have made it difficult to continue with our usual recycling, reusing and even reducing our use of plastic. Because of changes in the way we now purchase groceries, we have fewer choices in using plastic bags and purchasing in bulk. On the plus side, we are reducing our carbon footprint by driving less, and traveling less. We are staying home more.
It is still possible to live an environmentally conscious life style. Local recycling is still being picked up (be sure to not contaminate your recycling with plastics that can’t be recycled). There are local businesses that are still providing services and grateful for our patronage.
These changes have made a difference in the pollution on the planet- it is documented that there is less smog, and the ozone layer seems to be healing itself. Wild life sighting has increased with fewer people out. We have a stronger sense of community, and when we say “we’re all in this together” it really means something.
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motivating vision Late spring 2020
We're so grateful for the patience and grace with which Evergreeners have attended the Sunday services - you have collectively made hosting each Sunday a pleasure. You have been so supportive of each experiment, change and opportunity for improvement. Thank you for making the transition sweet, Evergreen!! ~Mari & the Tech Team
The Green Team’s Earth Day Service: A Recap
pastoral associates are available by phone or e-mail, or they can set up a zoom visit with you. contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org
When I first heard we'd be asked to stay home to decrease the spread of the coronavirus, it seemed like it could feel like a military deployment. There's a pattern to being deployed that becomes clear the second time around, and familiar with the third --not only do many service members remain confined to very small bases (one of mine was smaller than the inside of a quarter mile track) for the duration of the deployment, many have little or no access to items we're used to having at home (think things like toilet paper, hygiene items, regular clothes laundering.)
At the beginning of a deployment, while we usually do know how long we'll be out of country, we don't know what our living situations will be like... (continue reading here)
Are you on Facebook? We have a private Facebook group called Evergreen UU Community--join us!
Seventy-two friends and members of the fellowship have so far pledged $156,590 to the 2020-21 pledge campaign.
Last year there were 65 pledgers. One was not able to pledge this year. Four pledgers moved away, and seven pledgers from last year reduced their pledges. The total reduction of pledges from last year’s was -17,420.
This loss was offset by ten new pledgers pledging $7,340 and 36 pledgers from last year who increased their pledges a whopping $20,640 for an increase of ($7,340 + $20,640) $27,980! Consequently, at the moment we are ($27,980 - $17,420) $10,560 ahead of last year.
On behalf of the Stewardship Committee, Chuck Taylor, Michelle Valentine, Ryan Weber, Nancy Guidry, Dan Hall, PastorTomBozeman, and the canvassers, Sue Gaskin, Judy Smith, Monda Sosa, Marijo Duprey, Dave Speights, and Carrie Kaeding, I want to thank everyone who was able to make a pledge. If you were not able to make a pledge, I want to express my gratitude to you for your support of the fellowship in other ways. In these times of despondency and isolation it is heartening to be part of a community that is so generous, bound together by the bonds of fellowship and liberal progressive spiritual values.
Dr. Tom Gaskin
Stewardship Committee Chair
Over the past several months, the Fellowship has joined together on a journey to explore our values, our beliefs, and our rich traditions as a community of faith. Through wide participation and open communication in Worship Services, Congregational Meetings, focus groups, cluster group meetings, and other small group gatherings, the Fellowship came to consensus on a set of Core Values to which the Congregation is fully committed as well as a list of Bedrock Beliefs that they agreed were essential to us and that we turn to in times of uncertainty and crisis. These efforts are in preparation for creating a new Mission Statement for the Congregation later this year.
The third segment of this journey, MOTIVATING VISION, was introduced by Pastor Tom at the Worship Service on March 29th. He will dig deeper into this theme to further clarify and explain the concepts involved during the services in May and early June. One of the topics that Pastor Tom will be discussing during this time will be individual spiritual practices which not only has relevance to the process of developing our individual and collective visions for the future of the Fellowship, but also may prove quite meaningful given the context in which we find ourselves during these challenging and uncertain times.
Given all that is going on these days, it was the recommendation of the Planning Team, the Board, and Pastor Tom that we slow the original schedule down a bit to allow for a more relaxed pace for reflection in this next segment as we consider where we want to travel together in the future.
As part of these reflections, members of the Congregation will be invited to share their aspirational musings about the future of the Fellowship that inspire and revitalize us to reach new horizons as a community and that reflect the refreshed Core Values and Bedrock Beliefs that we have been discussing. Pastor Tom will be providing additional guidance on the visioning process during the coming weeks as well.
Vision submissions will be printed in the Weekly Bulletin without identification of the author; at the end of the summer, they will be compiled for the Focus Groups to review, discuss, and synthesize holistically and present to the Congregation. We hope to have a rich representation of the hearts and minds and imaginations of our members. Please plan to add your voice to the vision of possibility and promise for Evergreen’s future.
from the minister
Ann Kelleher • Karen Winchell • Nancy Miller
Marijo Duprey • Sally Malan • Laurel Nisler
Meet with Pastor Tom
NEWS FROM THE MISSION PLANNING TEAM
To schedule a phone/virtual meeting, go to calendly.com/therevtombozeman. Or, if something urgent comes up, you can always call/text him at 774-353-0523.
(Click on the image to view full size)
My dear folks,
As the current pandemic carries on, and we wonder when life will go back to “normal” - or if it ever will - it’s easy to feel out of sorts. For many of us, it’s like there’s this looming threat on the horizon - and so many of those that are empowered to act in our best interest are clearly not doing so.
Since I’m an introvert who lives by himself, this whole self-isolation thing is both familiar and is also growing tiresome. And, in this space, I remind myself to take advantage of the opportunity. Just as doing a ten-day silent meditation retreat is both challenging and rewarding, so too can enduring lower-intensity but higher-endurance physical isolation.
Particularly as we continue with our work on revising Evergreen’s mission statement, now would be a great time to engage in something like what Ken Wilber calls a “2nd-person encounter with Spirit” - whether that’s in the form of prayer or devotional singing or ritual or anything of that nature.
It’s particularly in these times of stress that it can be valuable to have a spiritual practice in which you engage daily - in which you connect with that which is greater or beyond the self (which is distinct to such 2nd-person practices).
And such 2nd-person practices are also really valuable for any sort of visioning. Because a real, authentic Vision is something that you get excited about - something that gets your heart pounding - something that gets you to want to take action and make things happen. A real, authentic Vision is a step beyond desire or want or hunch or fantasy or urge - it is a step into calling or vocation. Sometimes they come quickly and sometimes they take their time. Sometimes they come all at once and sometimes they they dribble in bit by bit.
It wasn’t until I was in my 30s that I found my path leading into the ministry - and it has taken continued focus since then to discern the proper next step to take - to discern the Vision that life/God/the divine/the universe has for me.
The Planning Team and Board Of Trustees have agreed to spend some more time on the Motivating Vision part of the journey that we’re on to crafting a new congregational mission statement. So, you'll have a few months to focus on what vocation might be calling to you - what song is singing in your heart - what enthusiasm takes hold of you when you let your unconscious defenses down?
The invitation that I offered everyone is to engage in a 2nd-person spiritual practice at least twice each day to focus on the future of Evergreen. It could be for just a breath each time or for 15-30 minutes or you could dive in as deep and long as you want.
And, as you do so, write down any images, metaphors, symbols, or ideas that emerge from this practice and that deeply move or inspire you. Send them to the Planning Team and they will be shared anonymously with the rest of the congregation and also with the focus groups coming up in the Fall.
In addition to the daily practice, there will also be other opportunities to dig into this:
group study of sacred text
So please keep an eye out for those opportunities as they come into place!
Books / Poetry
Look for some of these titles on Overdrive, offered free with a Sno-Isle Library card.
Big Cat, Little Cat by Elisha Cooper
The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld
When Sadness is At Your Door by Eva Eland
I Miss My Grandpa by Jin Xiaojing
Pass it On by Sophie Henn
Vole and Troll by Iza Trapani
I Haiku You by Betsy E. Snyder
Anh's Anger by Gail Silver
Ride Like A Girl
Spies in Disguise
The Biggest Little Farm
How many of us are using screens and devices more than ever? Let's counter the typcial posture with some back bends.
-Cobra Pose - lay on your belly, place your hands under your shoulders, and lift yourself up, pushing lightly with your hands, using your back muscles to curve your middle back, look up gently
- Back Bends - this video shows a progression of movements that lead to a full back bend.
These blank comic book pages can be used to document in a graphic way the events of the lockdown. Have you done anything differently since we've had to stay home? Have any new or unique experiences to record? This could be a fun way to get some thoughts out on paper, be they lonely, funny, sad, frustrating, or dull.
Songs / Music
"Surfin' In My Imagination" by Ralph's World
"My Pet Rock" by Recess Monkey
"Opposite Day" by Stevesongs
"There's a Word For That" or "I Don't Like" by Bare Naked Ladies
Connecting with Our Faith
How familiar are you with our Principles? This "Handy Guide" by Emily and Ella Jones, a mother and daughter in another UU congregation, are a fun way to help us remember.
Loving kindness is an ancient Buddhist practice (metta) that involves sending love and light of kindness to the self, to those we love, to those we don't know well, and to those with whom we have difficulties. This guided loving kindness meditation by Jen Sievers was made to help us center during the coronavirus pandemic. Do you recognize any of the words from the worship Song of Response for Joys & Sorrows?
Children & Youth
These resources and ideas are tied to the theme and offer ways for you to engage with the worship series throughout the week.
Q: Why was the strawberry sad?
A: Its mom was in a jam.
playing with the season
explore throughout the week
Our RE Gatherings since we’ve gone virtual have shifted from working with the themes of the Worship Services to basing lessons on what’s needed, what’s realistic, and what’s helpful.
We've talked about various emotions and how they visit us (sadness, grief, frustration, anger, etc.), how sometimes they’re big and surprise us or feel heavy, sometimes they are fleeting, sometimes they are unwelcome, and sometimes they’re new and we don’t really know what they are. Sometimes they’re not here yet, but we have fear or anxiety about their potential visit.
We’ve talked about doing kind deeds and being sneaky about them (April Fool's Day inspired), and we’ve challenged each other to do something sneaky nice for family or neighborhood foiks. We talked about Earth Day; we explored the idea of boredom and how it doesn't really serve us, doesn't fully capture the emotions we have that are more accurately described as not knowing what to do (lack of direction), not having anything to do (not wanting to do what's available), nothing going on (relying on someone else to provide entertainment for us.) We talked about reframing the experience to consider that category of emotions as a blank canvas, ripe with possibility, and challenged the kids to shift their own perspectives from "I'm bored" to "I'm in a space of infinite possibility", to sit in that potentially uncomfortable space until they become inspired.
Now we’re taking those lessons and working them into a UU context of principles and living our covenants, and will create a covenant for our mixed-ages, online RE classes so we’re all working with the same agreements. Moving forward, we’ll be working roughly monthly to reflect back on the past few lessons to consider them from different perspectives and tie them to our faith tradition.
a time to laugh
Q: What do you call a rabbit with fleas?
A: Bugs Bunny.
Q: What's a tornadoes favorite dance?
A: The Twist.
Riddle Rhyme by Marilyn Helmer
I peek from the grass
like a bright yellow sun,
but I'll turn into fluff
before summer is done.
What am I?
UUA news, holidays & days of observance
EUUF Mid-week Connection - Virtual check-ins, everyone welcome -
join in sharing and connecting during this time of physical distancing.
Thursdays from 6-7pm, contact George B. (in the directory) for more information.
NEW* THIS FRIDAY: Big Questions - Friday, May 8th at 7:30 pm
Join here to discuss fundamental questions in philosophy. The questions take the Socratic form, “What is …?” What is justice? What is truth? What is it to be spiritual? All are welcome. Contact Desmond Smith for more information.
Book Discussion Group - Every 4th Wednesday, 7:15 - 8:45pm;
May 27th - Dark Star Safari by Paul Theroux; June 24th - Upheaval by Jared Diamond; July 29th - Istanbul: Memories and the City by Orhan Pamuk. Contact Michelle Valentine for more information.
Here's how we can continue to donate to Evergreen.
Find the secure form on our website to pay by credit or debit card, with additional options to give to outreach and the minister's discretionary fund
Send checks to Evergreen (with e-banking, too!)
Give-by-Text (details found on the website)
Note from the treasurer
As Unitarians we have the good fortune not to be asked specifically to tithe, or give 10% of our incomes. We also do not hear weekly calls to give. Our unique system of asking for pledges each year has its both benefits and challenges.
This year we set a very audacious, yet achievable pledge goal of $180,000 which allows for ongoing building maintenance and cost of living increases to our staff.
By giving to Evergreen you help the Fellowship continue to build this community of open-minded individuals to spread the light of peace, hope, social justice, environmental sustainability and inclusiveness.
As Treasurer, I thank you for your very kind and generous donations!
*Although I took over as Treasurer in July 2019, Roger Johnson was a constant, faithful presence to help guide me. He was a great man and will be missed.
**2019-2020 pledge statements were sent by email last week. In an attempt to make statements more accessible, I sent them as text in the body of the email. Unfortunately, the formatting was less user friendly. Statements will be resent as PDF attachments. I apologize for the extra emails and any inconvenience or confusion they have caused.
How's your Zoom netiquette? This fun, funny and informative video by Pastor Sarah Skochko can help you learn the do's and dont's of virtual viewing.
Do you have an Evergreen event, activity, or meeting to host virtually? First, check the website calendar for availability (we now have two Zoom accounts to reserve) and then click the Reserve Zoom button at the top of the calendar, enter in all the pertinent information and click submit. Alli, our Office Administrator, will schedule the room and send your login information as well as the link and Zoom information to send to the participants. Check out this video on how to do all that.
reserving the zoom room
General Assembly is where UU's conduct the business of the Association, explore the theological underpinnings of our faith, and lean fully into our mission and principles. Please join us Wednesday, June 24 through Sunday, June 28, 2020 virtually for this 5-day immersive experience where we participate in inspirational worship services and informative workshops, reconvene with friends and colleagues, and explore our bustling exhibit hall. GA is an unforgettable experience for the thousands of UUs who attend. Register here for the virtual event and find yourself with renewed energy and innovative ideas to share with your congregation and community-at-large!
The theme for General Assembly in June 2020 is Rooted, Inspired, & Ready! We are in touch with our theological roots, we are engaged in transforming our faith, and we are fired up to take action in the wider world. Find out more at uua.org/ga
Mother's Day - "In 1872, Unitarian Julia Ward Howe began advocating the creation of a “Mother’s Day for Peace” to be held on June 2 each year. The following year, eighteen cities held such a gathering..."
Memorial Day - This day is observed around the country in so many ways. This is a list of readings assembled by the UUA, offering us words to support us in honoring fallen soldiers, remembering their service.
Juneteenth - This compiled list of readings gives us a lot of material to dig into. inviting us to reflect on our history and our long path ahead. Hope Johnson's article, "What On Earth is Juneteenth?" introduces us to the day: "From its Galveston, Texas roots, the observance of Juneteenth as the African American Emancipation Day began in 1865 and has triggered a series of far-reaching events that continue to reverberate over the decades..."
In this article, Unitarian Universalist Service Committee - Partners Around The World In The Time of COVID-19, the UUSC shares success stories of how communities around the world are stepping up to fight for justice -- and they include some ways we can be involved and take action from home. Find out about work being done in Bangladesh, Thailand, Honduras, Louisiana, Mexico and more.
Is there a program you'd like to offer? Contact Desmond at email@example.com.
Find more details on our website! www.evergreenuu.org/adult-programs
There are no in-person programs at Evergreen at this time. Please check the website calendar and/or the Weekly Update (sent Friday mornings) with up-to-date information about online gatherings.
General Assembly -- now 100% virtual
upcoming meetings & Events @ Evergreen
As part of our congregational response to the coronavirus situation, the Board of Trustees is planning to hold the Annual Congregational Meeting via Zoom rather than in person on Sunday, June 14. Details will be available in the weekly update prior to the meeting.
After serving as Treasurer for the Board of Trustees for multiple terms, Roger Johnson took leadership of Evergreen's Personnel Committee. His last action on that committee was to recommend a new paid leave policy for EUUF staff whose duties are affected by the pandemic response. Not only have we lost a wonderful friend, the Board will dearly miss his thoughtful contributions to the governance of the Fellowship. --Ken Rines
Since we learned that some individuals enter worship services and meetings in order to spread hate messages and share inappropriate content, we've taken steps to protect ourselves. We have:
limited screen-sharing to hosts
disabled the ability to share files in the chat box (this is to decrease the chance someone will share a computer virus)
enabled the waiting room feature, admitting participants individually
submission deadline for late Spring newsletter: June 12th
date range: june 20th through August 2nd
Send your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Send your submissions to email@example.com
a message from the board president
MOST of our offerings, including Covenant Circles, Youth and Family Fellowship, RE for Children & Youth, Committee and Board meetings, and social gatherings, have moved online -- please check the website calendar for information about when they are happening and who to contact for joining information. You can also keep up to date with goings-on by subscribing to the Weekly Update. Our Office Administrator, Alli, will be keeping the website calendar as updated as possible. If you have anything to add or cancel, please let her know as soon as you can at firstname.lastname@example.org.