Ministry Council Update–May 2021

UUFA Ministry Council — May 20, 2021

Our Big Picture Conversation was a reflection of how we have done as Ministry Council in the last year. We started with the Board’s appreciation that we have everything together. With the combination of Covd and losing Alison left us not knowing what to do. But we have kept the Fellowship together, made our budget, and created a ministry team ready to move forward as we reopen. So many members stepped up to keep things going.  We did the online services well. 

We now know each other and Rev. Lisa better.  The decision of our leadership to take  on white supremacy is taking us to a more ‘woke’ and spiritual level. The Stay Connected group has been really helpful.

Gathering Anew in the Sanctuary: Rev. Lisa had imagined September 12 as our start date, but it might be earlier; possibly as early as August 8. People are coming with celebratory, joyous energy and also with lamentation, needing to express grief and loss. Worship should be a safe container to do this, but it should not not happen with the minister absent. Our Water Communion, which traditionally marks our return after summer, will take place on the first Sunday when we return to full in-person Sunday services.

During June and July volunteers will go in to set up two-seat pods, with little tables with Kleenex boxes. People will register to come to worship. We will save some space for visitors and newcomers. We must take special concern for kids and frail adults who can’t be vaccinated; we’re thinking about saving a couple of Sundays for them. There will be no congregational singing, so we’ll have tambourines. We will  space in the Fellowship Hall with a big screen where kids can run around. Newcomers will be recognized; we’ll ask longer-time members to give up their sanctuary seats.

UUFA Retreat: we are especially eager to bridge the generations with our October retreat. We’d like kids and families to meet each other in the playground over the summer. 

Lee feels called to stay in Athens and create a local retreat to give the congregation an opportunity to come together.

Physical Security: the security team and UUS have recommended that the RE wing be totally locked down during services. The Ministry Council is uncomfortable with the “lockdown mentality” implied by this measure, and wants further discussion.