April 2020 Newsletter
OGDEN UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST
IN THESE TRYING TIMES
These are trying times causing anxiety and anger to erupt and disrupt. Reading and listening to news can be helpful or hurtful or both. I read an article from a friend entitled “Coronavirus: Why you must act now, and I realized the one thing I can do as a mom, grandma, minister and one concerned with those on the front lines of hospitals and emergency work, and our larger planet is to take seriously the call to shelter in place to contain the viral spread. Here is a link to an article with great charts and figures.
Everyone will come to decisions differently about the best way to respond with love in these difficult days.
I’d like to share some ideas for practices to help ground us as we deal with anxiety and anger - two topics that will be the focus of upcoming reflections. I’d like to hear what you use to focus inwardly when pain and fear show up. As Franciscan priest Richard Rohr says: What you don’t heal you will always project.
Practices to consider (with thanks to Joyce Rupp’s Newsletter):
1. Pray the Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr:
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference....”
2. Psalm 91(from Nan Merrill, Psalms for Praying
“My refuge and my strength. In you alone I will trust. For you deliver me from the webs of fear, from all that separates and divides.”
3. List all people with good reason to have even greater fears: medical staffs,
EMT’s, police, military, transportation people, food workers, janitors, and on
4. Light a candle and give thanks for all that you have in your life.
5. Take deep breaths, remembering the pain of those whose breathing is
6. Do an act of kindness everyday.
7. Go to Tara Brach’s website for self-compassion and listen to her meditations and teachings such as this one:
“Let the fears you’re carrying, the big ones, come to mind. And now imagine that you are holding them gently and respectfully in both hands... and placing them into the arms of the Divine Mother. It’s not that you’re getting rid of them. It’s more like letting something much larger help you hold them. See if you can visualize and feel this. You might try actually cupping your hands and lifting them up.”
May peace and love be with you.
Many of us are familiar with the phrases: ‘Challenges either break us or make us stronger’ and ‘Challenges either divide us or bring us closer together’. Well, our unique and somewhat extreme challenges began on February 6, through an
‘unlikely and unwelcome visit’ from a couple of local youths. Throughout these past two months, we as a church community have demonstrated what these two phrases really mean and can look like in action. Your Ogden UCC Church Council
extends its sincere and prayerful gratitude to each and every one of you for your loving hearts and for the care that you have been extending to each other during these challenging times!
Your Ogden UCC Church Council had made some good progress on the much needed project of the writing the church profile before these ‘challenges’ occurred. Your Council has now turned their current focus to ‘checking in’ on all church members/attendees and church friends on a weekly basis for support. We encourage you all to check-in with each other as well. Please feel free to contact myself (801-917-9635) or Linda Smith (801-540-2907) with any immediate needs
May God’s love and compassion continue to flow among us.
As you may have guessed, our April yard sale has been canceled. With the uncertainty of when we will resume a semi-normal routine still up for debate, we will not plan rescheduling the spring sale but we plan on having one in the fall. Our goal will still be to raise (at least) $1000.00!
We haven’t given up on our Game Night but we are going to try something new – a ZOOM Game Night. Our first one will be this Friday, April 3rdat the usual time; 5:30. The ZOOM login was sent in an email from the church this morning but is included below:
Topic: Ogden UCC's Game Night
Time: Apr 3, 2020 05:30 PM Mountain Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 697 652 869
The May Community Meal has been canceled but we are planning on the November Meal with the free coat give away. If we get the Covid-19 restrictions lifted, we are considering a book give away in one of the parks so we can keep the children reading over the summer months. This could go a long way in keeping them from getting too far behind when school starts again in the fall. Stay tuned!
The Boy Scout meetings have been canceled until further notice. We will keep you posted as soon as they are resumed,
On March 31, Linda Smith and I learned that one of the four current FP families, a mom, young son and daughter, were graduating to an apartment of their own. Just a one bedroom apartment, but still their own. I stopped by to drop off a gift card from our church, for the family to purchase needed bedding, kitchen and other household goods. While I was visiting with Jan, the executive assistant, the family’s daughter peeked into the front room, and eagerly invited me in. I declined since the sign on the outside door said, “upon entering, first wash your hands.” But it was a delight to see her excited face, and recall time with her in early March.
It’s also reassuring to know that when a family graduates into their own housing, they do not leave the support of the program. Graduates continue to be monitored and assisted for at least two years after graduation. FP has many connections in our community and many ways of providing continued encouragement and support upon graduation.
During this time of safe sheltering, FP maintains their strict rules regarding contagion. Anyone with a contagious illness must leave the program until the contagion is over. Other housing arrangements can be made with the help of the FP director.
During this coronavirus crisis. churches are asked to limit the number of volunteers with the families to no more than one or two. Families are instructed to set tables, serve themselves, and clean up. There are no group activities after dinner and families are instructed to go to their separate rooms.
Our next opportunity to volunteer with Family Promise at the Unitarian Universalist Church is the week of June 21 through 28. I trust we will be well through this period of contagion and enjoying warm weather activities together again.
Our crafting group is on hold at the moment but as soon as we are allowed to meet in small groups again; we will resume our meetings at 11:00 am in the cottage. Until then, please keep in touch with one another and let us know if you have started anything new, for example; Ruth is making cloth masks for individuals to wear if they must get out for food, medicine, etc.
We cannot meet as a group to have lunch this month but we will tentatively plan on having lunch together in May. Please send Linda your suggestions for the next lunch location.
CHURCH REPAIR STATUS
The reflective film on our upper windows will be replaced on Monday, April 6th. The remote control for our chair lift and the bottom 1/3 of the rail to the chair lift will be replaced when we receive our next insurance payment because the chair lift company requires payment upon completion of their repairs. That only leaves the stained-glass window. We’ve asked that they stabilize the window since it cannot be replaced and we feel that it will serve to remind us that we’re all ‘broken’ but God loves us anyway!
The two young men that caused the damage, James and Francisco, will be going to court. We are writing an “impact statement” to the court and the boys will be required to provide some restitution. We are hoping that we can help the boys understand that destruction of anything that doesn’t belong to them causes more than just the loss of an object. Please continue to keep these two young boys and their families in your prayers.
Andy and Linda
For all the ‘front line’ providers during the Covid-19 crisis (doctors, nurses, paramedics, firefighters, police, pharmacists, …..)
Ben Cornwell’s son Joe, continues to struggle with pancreatitis but is out of the hospital!
Giovanna’s parents safe return home
The families in the Family Promise Program
Carli & Alec’s marriage plans to be fulfilled
For James and Francisco
Mike Sorensen’s sister and mother
All those that are ‘shut-in’
Serena Chamberlin and family
Jennifer Elwell’s Aunt Myra
The Herrick family for health & strength
Bonella family’s loss of Barrett’s mother
Kent Christiansen’s loss of his mother
Hannah’s loss of her friend to breast cancer
Prayers of gratitude for this Church community and it’s future needs
Wisdom & compassion from our leaders
All those suffering at the border
All those healing from sexual violence
Please let the office know if you would like someone added to the prayer list and you have that person’s permission to have their name or their loved one’s name added or removed from the prayer list.