Blog

Northlake Lighthouse – April 2020

in this together

 

Minister’s Message

– Rev. Nancy Reid-McKee, Minister

 

We are living in a time when all our habits, our assumptions, and normal patterns have been disrupted. Each day I talk with someone about their anxiety rising from this period of uncertainty we are living in. We are uncertain how this infection is spread, how to protect ourselves, how long the virus exists on surfaces, how long we may be in isolation, what will happen to the economy during this pandemic, or how this will impact the November elections.

 

And yet, I am inspired by our tenacity. We adjust to new ways, and we find hope and delight in these circumstances that force us to rethink our life patterns:

  • A mother isolated at home with her 5-month old baby slowly realizing the value of this uniquely intensive time alone with her children;
  • Someone driving over 30 hours to bring a brother home to a secure and safe place, because our family is, after all, where we belong in crisis;
  • A congregation connecting online day after day, and week after week, delighted to see old friends joining from distant places, because what matters most is the love and warmth of our community.

 

We are likely not halfway through this crisis, and it will likely get worse before it gets better, but I would rather journey through with this community of people than with any other. Because each day I see acts of loving kindness, words of support, and inspiring impulses to create community across the distances we are compelled to honor.

 

We will need each other more in the coming weeks. We will need to send cards, drop random gifts at front doors, call people we barely know, because our isolated lives will become harder to tolerate over time. But we are here for each other. We will do what is needed, and more than that. We will be extraordinarily generous with each other, because that is what we each do to feel whole, to feel truly part of this community. We are in this together. 

 

Please call me, or reach out to me with any concerns you have. I am available to talk, listen, and call on our wealth of resources so that we each feel embraced and loved in the coming weeks. (928) 515-9852 nreidmckee@northlakeuu.org.

 


Stewardship Drive During a Pandemic

– Rev. Nancy Reid-McKee, Minister

 

A word about money: some believe that our annual pledge drive, to raise money for the coming year, could not come at a worse time. I am not sure I agree. It is in times of hardship that we are forced to evaluate what we really value. The way we give and spend money reveals what is most important to us. It reflects a commitment to what we hold essential. We make decisions about what we support, and what we will leave behind as less essential.

 

While the traditional hierarchy of needs acknowledges we all need the security of food, water, shelter and safety, these alone just help us survive. To be truly alive and fully embrace life, we need spiritual grounding and a sense of belonging. This is exactly the time when we defy the typical messages of a culture that gives too much credence to individualism, consumerism, fear and survivalism. This is when we say that it is not enough that I, alone, come through this crisis. This is when we live into the vision we have given voice to, of a community who recognizes that we are interconnected with our planet and with each other. When crisis arises, we turn to a community that helps us to stay grounded in who we want to be.

 

This is precisely the time to give generously to Northlake and to the organizations we value, because our financial support now assures we are here to do that work that no one else can do: connect us with community and nurture our spirits. This is not the time to hold back due to uncertainty, this is the moment to commit even deeper to support Northlake, to make sure our vision of beloved community is upheld during a crisis, to assure the longevity of this vision. Our financial stability now, in the hard times, is what will ensure we continue to thrive long after the current crisis passes.

 


 

April’s Theme: In This Together

Margaret Rogers, DLRE

 

Northlake will not be following the original theme of Liberation for the month of April. Rev. Nancy has instead proposed the theme In This Together. We are in a moment in time that feels even more uncertain than usual. We reasonably anticipate that the challenges will mount. 

 

For a risk-averse person like me, my natural response is to pull back, not make decisions that will commit me in an uncertain future. Perfectly logical. And yet, as I reflect on what that would mean, that walling off in an effort of preservation, I realize that inaction is as risky as action. Through inaction and withdrawing my support of what I care about, I would increase the likelihood that those good things will be lost as well. 

 

Our Unitarian Universalist faith reminds us that we, and all life, are interconnected. Through both action and inaction we create the world yet-to-be. We cannot know just what the future will bring, but we can act now based on the information we have now. The decisions I make need to rely on what I know and what I have to give in this moment. If I hope that art will be a part of tomorrow, supporting the arts as I can right now is what will hold open that possibility. If I believe that we can create a more just world, that future too relies on action right now. This is the rainy day, and it calls us to be more bold in both offering what we can and asking for what we need.

 

New challenges and changing realities will have their moment and create their own decision points. I am holding on to the belief that as we are in this together, woven together in our interdependence, we will be better able to face the challenges that arise. May we find hope, solace, and strength in this community we weave together.

 

Instead of a Soul Matters Small Group resource packet, I will be sending out via Talk and to the Soul Matters Informal Discussion Group list readings, songs and videos relevant to the time and the theme In This Together.  If you would like to receive these resources, please email Margaret at dre@northlakeuu.org.

 


 

A Different Perspective

– France G., Climate Action team member

 

For those of us chafing at being homebound as well as worried about economic and personal complications, may I offer a different perspective.

 

While the virus attacks human lungs, this has been a great relief to the lungs of the planet.

 

Dolphins are back in the canals of Venice and the water is clear.

 

Petrochemical workers may be at home instead of adding to the smoke-filled refineries.  The coronavirus has severely affected economic activity leading to dramatic drops in air pollution in China, Italy and other countries. Some suggest that these pollution reductions have saved 77,000 lives in China alone.

 

As an indigenous elder said, this has given us time to connect with our spirit (to reconnect with our community, reprioritize and fully enjoy the moment).

 

Coronavirus policies have forced behavioral changes. How can we sustain those changes for the good of us all rather than slip back into old habits?

 


 

Northlake Events on Zoom

 

The meeting platform that we are using, zoom, has experienced some issues with outside people crashing meetings to cause disruption. As a result, there are some security changes occurring, both within the platform and in our way of publicizing meeting links. If you need a link that you do not have, please email Margaret at dre@northlakeuu.org.

 

Zoom links for Children’s and Youth activities will be distributed to families on Northlake’s mailing list. To be added, please email dre@northlakeuu.org.

 

// SUNDAYS

 

•  Sunday morning service @10:25 am

 

•  Sunday Children’s Gathering for ages 0 – 12 @ Noon

 

•  Sunday evening Youth Group for 6th – 12th grade @ 5 pm

 

// MONDAYS

 

•  Daily Chalice @ 12:30 pm

 

•  Social Justice,1st Mondays @ 7 pm (team meeting)

 

•  Seamsters Creative Union, 2nd Mondays @ 7 pm

 

•  Women’s Group, 4th Mondays @ 7 pm

 

// TUESDAYS

 

•  Chalice Circle @ 10 am – please email Margaret to join dre@northlakeuu.org

 

•  Chronic Pain Management Group @ 11 am – 12:30 pm

 

•  Daily Chalice @ 12:30 pm

 

•  Chalice Circle @ 7 pm – please email Margaret to join: dre@northlakeuu.org

 

•  Women’s Book Group, 1st Tuesdays @ 7 pm – closed group. Please email Margaret dre@northlakeuu.org for zoom link

 

•  Membership Team, 4th Tuesdays @ 7 pm. Please contact Cyndy J. or dre@northlakeuu.org if you need the link (team meeting)

 

// WEDNESDAYS

 

•  Daily Chalice @ 12:30 pm

 

•  Show and tell and a Story with Sara and Margaret @ 6 pm

 

•  Board Meeting, 1st Wednesdays @ 7 pm (team meeting)

 

// THURSDAYS

 

•  Daily Chalice led by Rev. Nancy @ 12:30 pm

 

•  Eastside Insight Meditation Group @ 7 pm, now every Thursday

 

•  Worship Team Meeting, 2nd Thursdays @ 7 pm, email Chelsea or dre@northlakeuu.org for the link (team meeting)

 

•  Committee on Ministry, 3rd Thursdays @ 7 pm. Closed meeting.

 

•  Movie Group, 4th Thursdays @ 7 pm. Pre-watch the movie selection, then bring your popcorn and come discuss the movie. Hosted by Rev. Nancy.

 

// FRIDAYS

 

•  Daily Chalice led by Margaret @ 12:30 pm

 

•  Essay/Book Discussion Group with Margaret @ 6 pm, 2nd Fridays – first book is Small Wonder (collection of essays) by Barbara Kingsolver

 

// SATURDAYS

 

•  Men’s Group @ 9 am, 1st and 3rd Saturday mornings. Email Steve R. or dre@northlakeuu.org for the link

 

•  Basic Drawing Class @ 9:30 am, March 28, April 11, 25

 

•  Daily Chalice led by Rev. Nancy @ 12:30 pm

 

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