There is important information in today's newsletter about the work and next steps of the House Group Leaders.
The future is bright and the Spirit is calling into new life together.
“Growing together as disciples of Jesus Christ,
courageously sharing God’s love with each other and the world.”
— Alki UCC Mission Statement
Our Year of Discernment:
Report from the House Group Leaders
|A huge thank you to the six house group leaders: Claire Foster, Jane Gunwaldsen, Kathy Herigstad, Sandy Johnson, Shannon Peterson and Laura Petrie. First, they spent a full day in training, then they hosted and guided all the house meetings in which a majority of us participated. They then met as a group, carefully wove together the findings from each of their groups, and consolidated the results of those meetings into a clear read-out. House Group Leader Report and Appendix. |
Wonderfully, the six house groups all came to very similar conclusions, which means we have clear directions for moving forward to realize our future as a church.
Next Sunday, March 22, our online streaming worship service will be a panel discussion with some of those house leaders, to give everyone the opportunity to hear more details about the process and answer your questions. This will help lead us to the next steps. Please send your questions to the church office in advance of the 22nd, so that we can have good questions for the panel.
In working through the Hope New Beginnings Process, our congregation overwhelmingly wants immediate action. Let’s get to work. You will see in the House Leaders report, that there is a call for the creation of two new teams. The first will be finalizing the best mix of existing and new mission directions going forward. The second will be exploring "radical redevelopment" of our church property, including exploring possible partnerships. You will see in the appendix that there were numerous options identified by the house groups on each of these topics.
The expectation is that the missional group could reach conclusions in the next two-to-three months, and that the redevelopment group will have explored the probable alternatives for redevelopment/ partnership, in that same time frame. The result would be a narrative that would indeed reflect the desire for change and action expressed so broadly across all house groups. This also will serve as the basis to form the crucial committee to begin the search for a settled pastor.
While holding regular services and being in community in our traditional ways will be challenging in the coming 30-60 days as we battle this local, national and worldwide medical situation, this also affords us the opportunity to connect in small groups and other meaningful ways, and put our collective congregational energy into completing this major re-assessment. We will then be able to launch Alki UCC into our new future together.
|Key Public Health Resources|
|Important links to stay updated on current public health issues and policies:|
We can't hear it enough!
- Wash your hands frequently – with soap and water and for at least 20 seconds.
- Sneeze or cough into the crook of your elbow or a tissue, not your hand. Wash immediately after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
- Avoid touching your face, especially your mouth, nose and eyes, with unwashed hands.
- Regularly disinfect surfaces frequently touched including keyboards, desktops, elevator buttons and door knobs.
- Use hand sanitizer.
- Avoid close contact with someone who is sick.
- Stay home if you are sick.
|It’s hard to strike the balance between freaking out and under-reacting. It may help to remember a few things:|
1. Public Health and your personal health are not the same thing. The health of individuals and the health of the population are connected, obviously, but the focus matters. The response to coronavirus (covid-19) in King County is a public health response. The goal is to protect the community as a whole. Your role as an individual is to do your small part to cooperate in the larger project, for the good of the whole community. Think of it as part of your civic duty. A war effort without the war.
2. As an individual, you don’t have to be any more scared of this new virus than you were of the viruses you already knew about. If your immune system is not compromised, if you do not have a health condition that puts you at risk, if you are not part of a particularly vulnerable group, then you are probably going to be fine. If, on the other hand, you are already at greater than average risk from something like the flu, then this virus is probably also more dangerous for you.
3. If you are individually at risk, the recommendations for you – stay home; avoid large gatherings; vigilant handwashing – are to protect yourself from getting sick.
4. For the rest of us who are not worried about getting sick: your individual risk of getting sick is not the point. The point of “social distancing” (work from home if you can; stay off public transit, especially at busy times; don’t hold large gatherings) is to slow down the rate of transmission of the virus in the general public.
We know the covid-19 virus is circulating in Washington State. We can assume lots of people have been and will be exposed to it. Every time you get on a bus or go to a meeting, you increase the odds that the virus gets passed from one person to another. Again: it’s not about preventing you from getting sick. It is about giving covid-19 fewer opportunities to multiply.
5. So, if this virus is already out there, and most people who get it have mild symptoms, why does it matter if it spreads slowly or quickly? For one thing, if fewer people get sick then fewer people will get dangerously sick, and then even fewer people will die. Second, slowing it down buys time, and time really matters, especially at this early point in this outbreak.
Remember that this virus is brand new in humans. There is no vaccine. There is no treatment. There is no natural immunity in anybody in the population. There is still a lot we don’t know about exactly how it moves and what it does. Buying time means delaying a massive outbreak until we are closer to having effective treatment and closer to having a vaccine. Buying time means avoiding massive stress on the health care system that could affect many more people with all kinds of health needs. Buying time might mean that some natural immunity builds up – people who have been exposed this year might be less vulnerable next year.
6. For most of us, this is serious, but not dangerous. Your role is critical because protecting public health is a group effort that takes massive cooperation. The way you think about this and talk to others about it can either encourage or discourage cooperation.
Please try to encourage each other. Find a source of information you can trust. Ask questions. Listen to science. Use common sense and compassion. Don’t let fear make you cynical. Don’t let cynicism numb your sense of responsibility to other people.
Stay connected, just not too close. Hang in there. Wash your hands.
— Jake Fawcett, MPA/MPH, KHN Immediate Past President
|Continuing prayers for Vicki Jackson, Bob Jackson's wife. Due to the current health crisis, Vicki says she and other residents of Hearthstone are on lock-down and there's a no-visitor rule in place. She says she would love to hear from the Alki UCC faith community. If you don't have it, please email the church office for Vicki's contact info. We love you, Vicki!!|
Remembering and Celebrating Bob Jackson
Please note that the Grand Dominion Jazz Band concert scheduled for this Sunday, March 15, has been postponed
until the fall.
For those grieving the recent death of a loved one:
Family and friends of Bob Jackson, family and friends of Jim Connor, family and friends of Barbara T. Shadel Madden Andersen, Kirstin Duckett and family, the family of Nancy Van Wyk, Julia Peeler's sister; Larry Gill; the family and friends of Ruth Okada; family and friends of Shelley Webster; Kathy Herigstad and family; Amy Young and family
Recent hospitalization, illness and other concerns:
Wanda Dray, Jane Gunwaldsen, new moms Gina Erickson and Ashleigh Johnson, Imy Peterson, Sandy Johnson, Dayle Banks, Kirstin Duckett's father, Don Peterson, Jeff Jolly, Bev Connor, John Kinsman, Kathy Herigstad's sister Jackie, Jan Cochran
For homebound members/friends of Alki UCC: Doris Colbert
Wider World: Prayers for all those affected by the corona virus outbreak; all those suffering from PTSD in the military and around the world; for all those affected by the increasingly cruel and inhumane US immigration policies imposed by the current administration; prayers for fewer guns, for all victims and those affected by gun violence; victims and survivors of extremist violence around the world; migrants seeking refuge around the world, and for those who are trying to help them. The rest of the missing schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram, who remain in our hearts as long as they remain missing. The hungry and homeless, the ill and the addicted, the lost and the lonely; the unemployed.
|Happenings & Cancellations|
|These events are happening|
Sunday, March 15
10:00 to 10:20 am
(see story below)
Monthly Council Meeting
Wednesday, March 18
These are cancelled
Painting the Stars
Tonight at 6:30 pm
Sunday, March 15
Tuesday, March 17
Friday, March 20
|"Virtual Worship" Test Service 1.0|
10:00 to 10:20 am
|This Sunday, we are trying a new way of worshiping together. Our in-person service has been cancelled to protect our community and help everyone stay healthy. Instead will have our worship service together online!|
We will be live-streaming a "BETA" test worship experience this Sunday, March 15, beginning at our usual 10:00 am start time.
We are streaming via a free-to-users service at Zoom.com and it would be helpful for you to download the app ahead of Sunday's broadcast. Sign up for a free Zoom account here.
Here's how to join us "live" for the full video/audio experience:
A few minutes before the service click on the special Alki UCC meeting link, which will also be posted on our website and sent to you via email.
If you haven't had a chance to download Zoom before Sunday, no problem. You'll be prompted to download the app before being connected.
To participate in worship by audio only, call 1-800-633-1101 as close to 10:00 am as possible.
If you know one or two people who don’t use the internet or social media, invite them to join you for our virtual service, and then have coffee together in your own personal “coffee hour.”
This may be our way of Worship for a while so please let us know if you need assistance beforehand. See you “there!” — Shannon Peterson
Invitation to weigh in on springtime Adult ed.
|Your Faith Formation team is busy wrapping up Painting the Stars, organizing the New Members Class and planning for what comes next after Easter.|
What do YOU want to see offered this spring? We are seeking congregational input so we can incorporate your thoughts and preferences in our next planning meeting.
Please fill out the online version of the Faith Formation Spring Planning Survey (linked here) no later than close of business TODAY. If you have any questions, contact Andrea.
|Don't forget the Food Banks!|
Click on the big blue donate button to learn how to donate by check or a secure online credit card donation.|