Dear members and friends of our beloved community,

At the beginning of the week, COVID-19 seemed so far away.  How much and how fast things change.  While on Monday I felt like the best course of action in response to the pandemic was to wash our hands a lot and offer the opportunity to join worship by Livestream, terms like social isolation, self-quarantine, and flattening the curve have all become part of the lexicon.  In the midst of all of this, it’s become clear that the most responsible thing we can do as a congregation is to protect the most vulnerable among us, in order to minimize the effects of this virus on all of us.  And none of us really knows for sure who the most vulnerable are.

If we do this right, we can save thousands of lives in this country, and that begins with eliminating gathering in large groups of people.  To that end, the UUA is strongly recommending that all congregations cease to gather in person for worship and classes for the time being, and Governor deWine is expected to make an announcement closing schools and ceasing large public gatherings. 

East Shore’s Board of Trustees will be meeting on Saturday via Zoom conference to make decisions about a number of things, including whether or not to have in-person meetings and what to do about staff and vendors among other things.  Things change so fast, it’s hard to know what will be happening next week, but we will so our best to keep you posted, as we monitor current news and recommendations for best practices and make decisions accordingly.

Halcyon had been planning on leading worship on Sunday, so I will join her in presenting a worship service in the sanctuary, which will be live-streamed via Facebook Live, which you can access on the East Shore Unitarian Universalist Church facebook page, and even make comments during the service.  We want to encourage you to stay home and join us online.

It’s a tough thing, we know, to gather through a computer screen.  We are, after all, people who value gathering as a mechanism for making meaning of our lives, which feels especially important in times of struggle. These are the times when we most want to be with the people who matter most, the people with whom we live out our covenant, our mission to love, revere, discover and connect. 

As I wade through this sea of information and misinformation, panic and reckless disregard, I keep thinking about what my driving instructor taught me when I was 16.  As we approach obstacles, the best thing to do is not stare at the obstacle.  To do so is to guarantee hitting it, since we always go in the direction we are looking.  The best thing to do is to keep your eyes on the distance, the place you want to go, rather that the thing you want to avoid.

We want to get through this, and to come out stronger and more committed to one another in the end.  If we keep our eyes on that future, knowing we’ll make it through and learn a lot along the way, we can actually get more out of this than we ever thought possible.

Thank goodness we all have each other, and can lean on each other even when we can’t be together physically. 

In Peace
Rev Denis