Parson to Person “A Different Way to Meet and Greet” 3/20/20

Sunday, March 15th, was UCN’s last “in person” service for a while–our last time to “meet and greet” (if only by touching our elbows!). We don’t know how long the Corona Virus threat will make it necessary to keep up our social-distancing practice (including postponing in-person Sunday services), but we do not want to lose our connections with one another. So UCN will have “virtual” services each Sunday at 10 am, which interested members and friends can access through their electronic devices (if they so desire).  See the directions above.  We will also include printed versions of some of the upcoming sermons in future issues of the Northliner.


But we want to “meet and greet” more personally too (even if it has to be by phone, text, or email). So you may get a call from me and/or from a member of our congregation, in the coming weeks and months. The idea is not to be nosy or to “check up” on anyone, but to see how each of us is coping–maybe share feelings, stories, strategies (do any of us have games to suggest or TV shows we are binge-watching, for example?), jokes, etc.


If you prefer not to have a conversation like that, feel free to not answer your phone. (Or just say, “I’m busy right now.”) We’ll understand. Our purpose is not to intrude but to let each other know we are keeping one another in our hearts.


In any case, let us remember that UCN is a community, and though we cannot meet and greet each other for a while in the way we used to, we are still there for one another.


And we will get through this together.


In that spirit, let me close with a poem that my sister Alice sent me recently. It was written by Irene Vella (and translated from the Italian by Kitty O’Meara). It doesn’t say all that I would want to say, but it gives me some food for thought. And, if I’m honest, a little hope too.  Maybe it will do that for you too. So here goes:


“And the People Stayed Home,”  by Irene Vella (translated from the Italian by  Kitty O’Meara)

And the people stayed home.

And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art,

and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still.

And listened more deeply.

Some meditated, some prayed, some danced.

Some met their shadows.

And the people began to think differently.


And the people healed.

And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways,

the earth began to heal.


And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again,

they grieved their losses, and made new choices,

and dreamed new images,

and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully,

as they had been healed.


And with that I wish you…


peace and unrest,