For the safety and security of our congregation and the community as a whole
we will be streaming our service
October 25, 2020
Now's the Time
Rev. Joan Montagnes
It's Celebration Sunday! A day to reflect and revel in our shared ministry to each other and our wider community. This is our stewardship service, a time to remember with our gratitude those who gave in the past so we could have a church today. A time to continue with our generosity to build a world of faith, peace, justice and love.
In preparation for worship this week, we want to send the login information and tips for those who have not used zoom before. It is a simple process, but we want to address any difficulties you may have.
First, if possible, download the zoom app on your computer, phone, or tablet before Sunday morning. This is a free app. If you haven’t downloaded it yet, just download it from your app store and follow the set-up instructions. If you have Gmail or Facebook set up is extremely fast and as easy as a click. If you do not have Gmail or Facebook no worries, it is still a very simple 2-3-minute process.
Things to know:
Unlike a zoom meeting, worship will be a zoom webinar. You will be able to see all those who you normally would see on the chancel, but you won’t be able to see or hear anyone else, and they won’t see or hear you. This has an upside. You can tune into church with your coffee and in your PJs.
During the service and during a short online fellowship hour, you can make a comment, say hello, and connect with the whole congregation in the chat box.
On Sunday morning just paste https://uuma.zoom.us/j/367428065 into your (computer, phone or tablet) browser, follow the prompts and you will be in the service.
If you are just using the audio on your phone dial +1 646 876 9923, and when they ask for the meeting ID, dial this number 367 428 065 and you will hear the service, but you won’t see it.
Our Stewardship Sunday service celebrates our church community and shared mission. Its timely title is shared with that of a bebop blues penned by the alto saxophonist and musical genius whose centenary was celebrated this summer, Charlie Parker. We'll hear Now's the Time as our service prelude, in a transcription for our in-house Cornette and Piano duo. Bass soloist and composer/arranger, Michael Harris, will treat us to a musical offering with words for the occasion version, in his version of the Bricuse/Newley song, Once in a Lifetime, and our service hymns will be led by Matthew Spaulding (also accompanying us on guitar) and Helen Lowry. After a duo reflection based on John Coltrane's After the Rain, Jonathan Vogtle will conclude the service with his solo piano rendition of the Sweet Charity's "Big Spender."
Every month our congregation joins over 200 Unitarian Universalist Congregations in exploring a single spiritual theme.
This Month We Ask
"What does it mean to be People of Deep Listening?"
Your opinions matter! The email inviting you to share your thoughts about the possibility of returning to in-person worship has gone out!
The "Gathering In-Person Task Force" is reviewing NYS regulations and UUA guidelines to help advise the board about next steps. We want to include your survey responses as part of the information the board will use to make important decisions about safe, fulfilling worship for our congregation.
Do you think you've missed an announcement? Be sure to click, "view entire message" at the bottom of your email browser to ensure you've seen the full E-Blast.
Parent Support Group
Are you a parent or caregiver of a child or youth? Could you use a little bit of adult conversation during the week? Would you like to connect with a group of parents and caregivers who are also navigating the start to an uncertain school year alongside the challenges of teaching our children antiracism, environmental awareness, and inclusivity? Do you want support in being your child's primary religious educator? Our parent support group might be the place for you. The group meets on Zoom at 7 pm on Tuesday evenings. Please email email@example.com or check your weekly RE email for details!
Religious Education for 2020-2021
Whether you and your family plan on joining our RE programs over Zoom, using our other online resources, or just engaging your child with our monthly take home packets, please register for the 2020-2021 RE year so we can accommodate your child's needs!
Though we won't be meeting in person at the church on Sunday mornings, we will provide a wide range of programming to fit our families' needs. Most classes will have monthly packets that can be picked up at the church or mailed to you if time/distance is an issue. We offer class choice, so children who fall within the age range of two or more options are free to choose one or more of those classes.
Here is what our programming looks like this year:
All classes will take place on Sundays. Zoom links will be included in the RE email. If you don't get the RE email, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
PreK – Sundays at 12 noon, class will meet on Zoom for a live chalice lighting, story, and a video tutorial of an accompanying craft. We will be using the Padlet app to provide links for families to connect with the lessons and craft tutorials on their own time. Take home packets will include a list of stories, supplies for the crafts, and a few other fun items.
Spirit Play (K-2) – Sundays at 1 pm, class will meet on Zoom for stories, wondering questions, and sharing time. Supplementary online materials will be available via the Padlet app. Take home packets will include list of stories, supplies for activities, and some materials for children to recreate Spirit Play stories on their own time.
Workshops (K-5) – Sundays at 2 pm, class will meet on Zoom to engage with monthly themes and rotate through Music, Art, Science, and Social Action sessions. Many workshop sessions will be available on YouTube in the weeks following each class. Take home packets will include materials that can be used during online classes or on their own.
Graphic Novels (4th-8th Grade) – Sundays at 3 pm, class will meet EVERY OTHER WEEK on Zoom will encourage spiritual exploration, deepen knowledge of Unitarian Universalist History, and call us to action based on our UU values, all while creating original graphic novels and stories. On the off weeks, we’ll use the Padlet app to connect students with videos, recorded interviews, links to webcomics and UU history sites, and interactive activities. Take home packets will include Zoom schedule, materials for creating original graphic novels, some art supplies, a notebook for keeping ideas, and some fun manipulatives.
Coming of Age (8th-9th Grade) – Sundays, 6 pm. (Already in progress but open to new members) Class meets twice a month online, exploring their journeys as Unitarian Universalists, learn about our Unitarian Universalist history, and developing their personal faith credos. This class involves fundraising for an end of the year heritage trip to Boston (June 2021, hopefully!)
High School Youth Group (9th-12th Grade) - Our high school youth meet weekly to check in with one another, have fun together, engage in social justice actions, and plan or participate in local and regional youth conferences with other UU youth. All high school youth are welcome to join. Email email@example.com to get connected with our high school youth group.
Schedule for Graphic Novels and Coming of Age:
The following weeks, Graphic Novels (3 pm) and Coming of Age (6 pm) WILL meet:
Instructions for connecting via Zoom can be found on our UUCB Religious Education Facebook page, or by emailing Sarah Martin at firstname.lastname@example.org
To keep up on everything that's going on in Religious Education at UUCB, please sign up for our mailing list here: http://eepurl.com/bJRvVD
Adult Faith Development
This Is the Perfect Time to Start Your Memoir Our Tuesday night Memoir Group is going strong and we'd love to add a couple of new members. Do you have a story to tell? Have you been meaning to write down precious memories to share with future generations? Are you just looking for some support for sustained writing practice. Everyone is a writer! Join us and start your memoir today. Email email@example.com if you are interested. This memoir group has begun meeting, but we still have room for more!
Looking for a Tech Support Facilitator for Adult Faith Development
Adult Faith Development is looking for a volunteer who would like to assist an adult class facilitator by providing tech support. This entails screen sharing documents and/or videos, and answering questions in the chat box. It is not a complicated job and you will be fully able to participate in the class.
Or you can go to zoom.us in your browser, sign in, join a meeting, and enter this number: 935 7901 4652
Or you can just phone in: 1-646-876-9923 and when the voice asks you for the meeting ID enter 935 7901 4652 on your dial pad
Bringing in the sheaves, bringing in the sheaves, we will come rejoicing, bringing in the sheaves! We’re opening the church up on October 24 between 10am-2pm to kick off the Stewardship Drive for the 2021 budget year. Come for fun, fellowship, music, goodie bags, and please come prepared to make your pledge of financial commitment at that time. We are grateful to those who built the church for us. Now’s the time to care for each other. Now’s the time to build the church for today and tomorrow.
Friday Night Candlelight Vesper Services: You Spoke, We Heard You!
Every Friday night in October Rev. Joan will hold Vesper Services at 7:00 – 7:30pm outside in the garden.
A short, spiritual, face-to face service at the church. Prayers for our time, music, ritual, kinship.
Please wear your mask, keep safe distance, and bundle up.
If these services are well-attended, they will continue into the foreseeable future.
It’s time to Order Wreaths and Poinsettias
Please consider ordering your holiday wreaths and poinsettias from the church, as it is a small fundraiser. They are always beautiful! The wreaths will be made out of concolor fir this year, which has slightly bluer, longer needles and is very fragrant. Wreaths are $30 (22” outside diameter, with pinecones, ribbon and berries) and Red, White or Pink Poinsettias are $15. We will do an easy curbside pick-up on Saturday December 5th or if necessary will deliver. Please fill out the order form. Payment can be: check to UUCB-wreath in memo line; or Paypal. Orders must be in by November 18th. Email with any questions – Andrea Burke-Harris firstname.lastname@example.org.
“West Ferry”- A print by Peter Sloan Capturing UUCB’s Heart and History
During our time apart, an original print entitled “West Ferry” has been seen hanging to the right of Worship Associates Fran and Ken Manly when they participate in our virtual worship services. This stunning image of the West Ferry doors represents not only UUCB’s intention to be a welcoming space for all, but it captures the rich architectural history that secured UUCB’s place in the National Register of Historic Places. The large arched oak doors, embellished with wrought iron decorative ornamentation resembling fleur-de-lis, are recognized not only for their charm and beauty, but for their place in social justice history. In 1968, during the draft resistance movement, police surrounded and stormed the church through these doors, in an effort to arrest anti-war activists who had sought sanctuary in UUCB. This print is timely in both its symbolic preservation of irreplaceable iconic structures and its reminder that UUCB has long been engaged locally and nationally in Social Justice issues.
You now have the opportunity to purchase this print, honoring not only our desire to return to our beloved sanctuary through these beautiful doors, but recognizing the important role they played in UUCB’s history of social activism.
If you would like a print for your own home or to give as a gift, place your order via e-mail to JVW61@aol.com. Include the number of prints, thecomplete name and address to whom they should be mailed, and your phone number. Prints will be mailed after payment is received. Send a check (write PRINT on the memo line) to UUCB, 695 Elmwood Ave., Buffalo, NY 14222. To pay by credit card, CLICK HERE.
Thank you for your support of the auction and the work of UUCB. Your “open heart” is a gift to us all.
Daily Brown Bag Get Together
Monday through Saturday at 12pm, join a lunch time get together with kindred spirits on zoom. Bring a sandwich and a cup of coffee. Visit with old buddies and make new friends. See each other’s smiling faces, share your worries, tell your stories, gain insights, and have some laughs. Everyone is very welcome.
Or if your computer doesn’t have a camera or mic, you can just dial in on your phone, +1 646 876 9923, the meeting ID is 138 000 249
Souls to the Polls
Please join our partners with VOICE Buffalo for an Early Voting 2020 kickoff event on Saturday, October 24th at 1:00pm. Please visit UUCB earlier for Celebration Saturday, and then head over to Community Access Services of WNY at 3297 Bailey Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14215 by 1:00pm. There will be a rally and march to celebrate the beginning of early voting in Erie County. The march will be less than a mile, and people are welcome to walk or drive as we head to a polling place to vote (or celebrate voting). Please send any questions to Hy (email@example.com) or Reverend Denise (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please also reserve 3:00pm on Friday Oct 30 for a rally in support of improvements to the Erie County Holding Center (details in next week's E-Blast).
During this time of pandemic, many of us are squeezed to the limit juggling the responsibilities of work and managing children all day. But some of us have had our “down” time expand and are looking for meaningful ways to contribute to the community while maintaining physical distancing recommendations and staying healthy.
The Justice Ministry Team invites you to join our newly formed Advocacy Team. As a member of the team, you will contact legislators, policymakers, friends, family, and neighbors in order to advance a justice cause. This may take the form of phone calls, emails and/or postcards and you will be expected to contribute in only those ways you feel comfortable and have the time to devote.
Please contact Kathy Taylor
(email@example.com or 203 605-1544) to join the Advocacy Team.
The Justice Ministry team would like to highlight opportunities to get involved in voter advocacy through the website UU the Vote. For the next couple of months through Monday, November 2 there are phone bank opportunities in the states of Florida and Wisconsin. We have highlighted a time to make phone calls in Wisconsin. In Florida the phone calling dates are October 27, and November 2. In Wisconsin the phone calling dates are September 30, October 21, and November 2.
To get more information and see other opportunities go to https://www.uuthevote.org/ and Click on Phone Banking. There is also more information under the Get Involved tab.
We hope many in the congregation take this opportunity to live our values and encourage individuals to vote regardless of their political persuasion.
Rev. Joan's Identity Used and Abused
Many emails that look like they are from Rev. Joan have gone out to church members asking for emergency assistance in the form of gift cards. They are not from Rev. Joan. Rev. Joan will never:
· Ask you for gift cards via an email
· Send you an email on an account ending with gmail.com – trust only her buffalo.org account
If you receive one of these emails, block the sender so they will be unable to send you any more requests. Sadly, there is nothing the church can do to stop the emails because they do not come from the church.
THREE FAMILIES BEING HELPED BY YOUR FOOD AT FAMILY PROMISE
Family Promise of WNY welcomed three families to the shelter. The beautiful new bedrooms and baths, and an expanded dining area now can provide a temporary home in new, larger bedrooms for each family, and a private bath, plus meals and help finding permanent housing and supportive services. The program succeeds! Over 90% of the guests find a permanent home in seven weeks or less.
While member churches no longer host families overnight, the Center depends on us for food to provide meals . There's no cooking involved; just pick a date, notify Nancy Wilkins at firstname.lastname@example.org, and on your selected date or before, drop off the items at 75 Hickory Street, at Clinton between 9 :30am and 4:30pm. You get a BIG thank you, and a knowledge that you are helping a family "get back to where they once belonged", as the Beatles would say.
Here is a list of urgently needed food, and a message from the Center Executive Director about suggested menus . THANK YOU for helping. Homelessness can happen to anyone, and is more likely now due to higher unemployment, family violence and small businesses closing as a result of the pandemic.
- Nancy Wilkins
Here is a list of items that we could use for our families...
- chicken fingers (frozen)
- fish sticks (frozen)
- ready-to-bake rolls (frozen)
- hot pockets (frozen)
Notes from Luanne Firestone . . .
WE NEED FOOD MORE THAN EVER now that access to school meals has been disrupted! Thank you for helping our families have access to healthy, nutritious food!
Because New York State has recently restricted our ability to serve meals prepared in volunteer kitchens due to health and safety concerns, we are asking meal donors to become grocery donors.
By signing up, you and your volunteer partner together are pledging to provide about $25 worth of groceries. WE WILL CALL YOU THE WEEK BEFORE TO CONFIRM YOUR SHOPPING LIST. HERE ARE SOME SUGGESTIONS FOR MENUS, ( ( to prevent duplication)
To reduce sharing food during the COVID-19 pandemic, please favor bringing in small portions or individually-sized food items whenever possible.
We promote healthy eating habits, so we do not accept soda or other bottled beverages, desserts or candy.
We are requesting that groceries be delivered between 9:00am-4:30pm on the day you are scheduled to our shelter at 75 Hickory Street in Buffalo. We are located on the grounds of Saints Columba-Brigid Church. When you get here, find the building labeled "Family Promise of WNY" located across the parking lot from the church. The correct door is red and should have a sign reading "Family Promise" on it. Any questions please call the main office at (716)771-3007.
Thank you and God bless you and your families. Please share this meal schedule with any friends you feel would be happy to help.
Family Promise of Western New York is a family homeless shelter. We are one of only 2 emergency shelters in Erie County that take families which include fathers and teenage sons - most other shelters divide up men from women and children. The majority of our guests are children. We network with the community to provide nutritious food for our guests.
We are a community that can do amazing things together, even at a safe distance. We have people ready to help - Lay Pastoral Ministry Team, Pastoral Care Team, a Food Delivery Team - all set up before Covid-19 struck and ready to go!
NEED HELP? Do you need groceries? Would you rather stay out of public laundry areas? Anything else? ABLE TO HELP?
The Widow and Widowers Circle has been postponed until we can do a face to face. Meanwhile, any widows or widowers who need to talk may contact Bonnie Collins at collinsb@buffalo or by phone or text at 716 867 9628. Meanwhile stay safe and healthy.
Social Justice Ministry Social Action Needed Now!
Please join us in writing an inspiring card or postcard to a young person at a local youth in care site! Here is some sample writing:
To: A special LGBTQ+ person. Type of message: "We wanted you to know that you are not alone. There are many people like you - people that we know, right here at UUCB! We also want you to know that how you see yourself as an LGBTQ+ person IS important. That is part of who you are, and part of what makes you unique and with something of value to offer the world! We believe in you and know you have much to offer the world. We care, and we want you to know that there are so many others that care as well! We hope you meet more and more every day! Yours, (signed whomever)".
Write up your card, email Denise DePietro at email@example.com to receive an address, and then mail it out! They will be addressed in care of a staff member. Right now there are about 65 youth. We hope for enough participation so each youth can receive a card. Thank you in advance for your help!
For the last fifteen years, this has been our mantra and our motto: Prisoners Are People Too;
to deny their humanity, is to deny our own. This is our wholehearted belief. It defines and
guides the work we do for incarcerated people and their families. It leads us as we educate
the community about criminal justice issues. We support our returning citizens as they strive
to be assets to their families and this community. The work we do can, at times, be
frustrating and disappointing but it can also be fulfilling and gratifying. We encourage
prisoners and their families to stay positive as we fight against inhumane and unprofessional treatment. We
urge prisoners to keep their eyes on the ultimate prize .... which is their release.
Floyd, from Buffalo, went to prison 15 years ago ... leaving two sons behind who are now 16 and 17 years old.
Floyd came home 3 weeks ago. He has worked with us for 9 months, preparing for his release. Pictures,
letters, and infrequent visits helped him to stay somewhat connected to his children for 15 years, but they are
teenagers now with "lives of their own." Floyd has a curfew now that has him in the house at a time earlier
than his teen sons.
We are so proud of this man who favorably impressed the NYS Parole Board at his FIRST Parole Board hearing
with his statements of remorse, rehabilitation, and plans for the future. We will continue to support Floyd
during his reentry process.
Visit our website at the link above and learn about what we are doing to support the growth of the
community's knowledge and understanding of the prison industrial complex, the plight of prisoners and prison
families, and the challenges of re-entry.
Nominations for Share the Plate
Share the Plate welcomes nominations for recipients for the 2019-2020 church year. Send your ideas to Eve Holberg, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Donations Sought for
Food Not Bombs
Buffalo Food Not Bombs is seeking donations of folding tables, bike carts, and food storage bins- if able to donate any of these, please speak with a participating UUCB member or reach out to them through their Facebook page.
In this time of increasing need, support our neighbors. Make food donations or donations of funds to the Food Bank of Western New York https://www.foodbankwny.org/
The Food Bank of WNY and Meals on Wheels for Western New York have joined forces to become FeedMore WNY! FeedMore WNY offers dignity, hope and a brighter future by providing nutritious food, friendship and skills training to its Western New York neighbors in need.
Click on the flyers and links below to read more about other upcoming events in the community
Weekly Announcements eBlast and Order of Service announcements should be sent to email@example.com by NOON on Wednesday.
Full announcements are published in the eBlast; please send a 50 word/2-3 line version for the Order of Service.
eBlast is sent out every Saturday at noon.
Monthly Newsletter Please send any announcements for the newsletter to firstname.lastname@example.org by the 15th of the month.