On a recent evening, Michelle and I walked through the intersection of two quiet streets near our Brussels apartment. On each corner of the intersection, a cherry tree was blooming in the setting sun. We stopped to stare at the blossoms, unexpectedly bright after a long, cloudy winter, and saw bees buzzing and gathering their nectar in all the trees. It was a wonderful reminder that the seasons continue to turn despite the coronavirus pandemic affecting our own lives.
I hope everyone is well. I think that by now, all our fellowships and most EUU members are living under severe restrictions. In these times, it’s good to remember our connections and to reach out to one another via phone, email, social media, whatever.
EUU and the fellowships will continue to meet online using Zoom. I know that UU Rhein-Main did so last week; so did UU Basel. For those not near a fellowship, the At-large virtual fellowship meets regularly. Please see the article in the Unifier listing upcoming events as well as this article about using EUU’s Zoom account and how to attend your first ZOOM meeting..
At our last retreat, Rev. Thandeka encouraged us to set up small Love Beyond Belief groups. Our fellowships have organized small chalice circles and small group ministries and other meditative listening practices. These groups can also meet online. If you’re interested in online small groups, Karen Kyker, EUU’s Vice President, can provide advice – contact her at email@example.com.
As you have heard, the Prague retreat has been cancelled – perhaps the first time that EUU has had to cancel a retreat. I’d like to again thank everyone in the Prague Unitarian Church for all the hard work they put in – first to organize the retreat, then to think about how to deal with the growing crisis, then to cancel. And despite this disappointment, they are planning a few online events for everyone to savor.
The sixth UU principle set out a ‘goal of world community with peace, liberty and justice for all.’ On the UUA website, Rev. Sean Parker Dennison urges us not to give up on this ideal. The coronavirus pandemic reminds us how the world needs community now more than ever.