June 27, 2020
Grace and Peace, Friends.
Your pastors continue with you on this pandemic journey of being church.
What will we learn? What can we create? What must we grieve?
How might we continue to connect, nurture and serve?
Indeed, these questions of faith are particularly present and poignant in a pandemic as we witness the persistence and long arc of COVID-19. We see the increase in infections nationally and worldwide, revealing lack of resource, lack of sharing, and lack of coordination for the common good in so many places. We see the injustice of the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on those already marginalized. Life will not soon, if ever, totally return to what it was. It remains to be seen how much of this new reality will be worthy of celebration and how much we will regret and grieve.
Amidst this reality, we come back to our faithful commitment to the common good. We commit to identify and dismantle systemic racism within our communities. We commit to examine our intentions and our actions, to listen and learn, and to work for justice. We covenant to care for and pray for each other in trials of the spirit and in times of joy. We have a Parish Care Committee that is dedicated to seeing that care is given and needs are met. From individual donations and church leaders reallocating monies on hand, our Parish Aid Fund has grown tenfold in recent months! (If you feel called to do so, you can support that fund here). The Parish Aid Fund has already helped members with food, utilities, and housing. Do not let a prescription expire, delay attending to medical/physical need, or let a necessary bill lapse. As always, you can request meals, prayers, someone to call on you (a lay member or a minister), and other forms of support from your church community.
So, if you are experiencing a physical, financial or spiritual trial, you are encouraged to contact ParishCareSupport@universityucc.org or any of the ministers. Please do not hesitate to ask for help. We are your church community and we are dedicated to supporting you in times of need as well as times of joy. Particularly during these times of extra and unexpected challenges brought on by the pandemic, reach out to the church. We are here for you.
God of Providence and Grace, in a spirit of memory, thanksgiving, and hope:
We covenant with You and with one another;
To seek and respond to Your word and will, made known and to be made known;
To worship You in unity and diversity, welcoming everyone;
To live responsibly within Your creation, sharing with gratitude the gifts we are given;
To care for and pray for each other, in trials of the spirit and in times of joy;
To encourage each other in the growth of our minds and spirits;
To promote Your reign of justice and peace, meeting hate with reconciling love; and to reject the false gods of society, proclaiming the gospel of Jesus.
O God help us and be with us.