Changing Times

Restrictions to contain the coronavirus pandemic are easing across Europe. Will everything go back to normal now? And what have we learned from this time of confinement?

Over the past few months, EUU fellowships and at-large have developed a wonderful offering of online services, check-ins, chalice circles and meditative moments. While many of us are now freer to go outside and see friends, we know that this pandemic isn’t over yet. We will continue to meet online over the summer and perhaps beyond. We will remain physically apart, but we have learned to meet together from a distance and across borders. Take a look at the events on our website – even if you won’t travel far this summer, think of making an online visit to a fellowship in another country.

And let’s join together for an impromptu summer solstice event on 21 June: more details will be coming soon.

For the fall, the EUU’s Coordinating Council has concluded that, with all we’ve read about this virus, we can’t be sure what the world will look like in November. So, instead of an in-person retreat at Mittelwihr in France, we’ll gather for an online EUU fall festival. It will be different: we won’t have a non-stop hubbub of song and discussion but a series of Zoom events, perhaps spread over two weekends and paced for the online world. Maybe some of us can have ‘real’ meetings to supplement the online festival. The retreat committee will share more information soon – and they welcome ideas and volunteers, as always!

For months, we have all been hearing, reading and wondering about the pandemic. Yet now, different news has brought a new shock: the images of another case of police racial violence in Minneapolis and the rioting that has followed. As we wonder what the future will bring for the US, let’s remember that there is a core of optimism in Unitarian Universalism; let’s remember the declaration of Unitarian Minister Theodore Parker in the 1800s, evoked by Martin Luther King in the last century: “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice”.