(Archive) Board Update: Ministerial Transition, COVID-19, Anti-Racism, Solar Project

(Archive) A message from Fred Hulting, Board President, boardpresident@uucmtka.org

It may be summer, but things are not slowing down at UUCM. As we are working through our ministerial transition, we must also deal with the uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic, choose how we respond to the call for anti-racism work, and support the Social Justice Ministry’s actions for racial and environmental justice. The Board met recently and laid out a plan for tackling all of this over the next few months. Continue reading →

(Archive) Changes to Our Zoom Worship

(Archive) The internet can be a wonderful environment for connection. Unfortunately, just like the “real world,” it’s plagued by people who don’t share our commitment to love and justice. Because the pandemic has moved most gatherings online, we’re seeing the rise of “Zoombombing.” These are trolls who try to use Zoom’s features to cause disruption by sharing harmful imagery or messages that are often sexual or racist.

We are striving to offer a meaningful, accessible and safe online worship service for UUCM members, friends and visitors. We already had some prevention settings in place for our Zoom worship. Based on recommendations, we’ve added a few more and will let the community know if others are required:

  • We will now be using a new meeting ID for each weekly worship service. We had previously been using the same ID number. The Zoom link will be shared each week in the Friday Update email and posted on https://uucmtka.org/.
  • When you connect to worship, you will automatically be placed in a waiting room. This will happen whether you join through the app or by phone. One of our greeters will manually admit you into the main Zoom meeting space. Think of this like waiting in the church community room before going into the sanctuary. For those using the Zoom app, it would help greeters if you changed your name to something recognizable (and not your device name). It would also help if folks could arrive early so there’s not a log-jam at the start of worship.

Continue reading →

How to Use Zoom

Zoom is a conferencing tool that UUCM is using for worship, small groups and all the ways that we are gathering together online. Once you have the Zoom app installed on your computer or mobile device, all you have to do is click on the meeting link provided or manually enter the meeting ID.

If you’re new to Zoom or would like some extra help, we’ve created an instruction document that take you through how to install and use Zoom. We also have assembled a Zoom Tech Team that can provide one-on-one support over the phone.

If you need immediate assistance on Sunday, please text ‪(612) 486-2656‬ and include your name. We have a UUCM Zoom tech team ready to help!

(Archive) Update: Worship on Sunday, 3/15 will be ONLINE only

(Archive) Although we had hoped to continue some version of face-to-face “Music Sunday” worship on March 15, evolving circumstances call us to postpone this special service*. We will not gather at UUCM this Sunday, but will instead hold worship online only through Zoom (more details below). Worship will continue each week on Zoom for the foreseeable future.

Sunday, March 15 at 10:00 am (gather starting at 9:30)

For the current Zoom meeting ID, visit www.uucmtka.org.

You are welcome to come online anytime starting at 9:30 am. If you’ve never used Zoom before, we encourage you to join early. You can use most any device — a smart phone, tablet or computer. Here’s a helpful video on how to join a Zoom meeting.

If you are an avid Zoom user and are able to pitch in with tech support or training for our community, please email Allison at office@uucmtka.org. We are forming a Zoom Tech Team that can help with online worship and small group gatherings.

Be sure to check the Friday Update newsletter later today and moving forward for many opportunities to connect online with our UUCM community. If you are not already subscribed, please email office@uucmtka.org or scroll to the bottom of the UUCM website homepage to sign up.

Thank you all for your understanding and grace. These are remarkable times we’re in. Hope to see you online this Sunday!

With love and care,

Rev. Terri Burnor, Rev. Meg Riley, Arif Mamdani
UUCM Interim Ministry Team

*We know how much our UUCM musicians and Paul, our music director, were looking forward to offering the gift of music during this special service. In all times, but especially now, music can lift us up, inspire or soothe. We will be incorporating music even into our online worship. If you have videos of you performing a song or favorite music videos from others, please send us links or share them on UUCM’s Facebook page.

(Archive) UUCM and the Coronavirus: Special Announcement

(Updated at 1:45 PM on Friday, March 13)

Dear ones,

The Coronavirus pandemic continues to spread, and we now have publicly confirmed cases of the COVID-19 infection here in Minnesota. Science, history, the wisdom of experts, and the experience of those in infection hot zones tell us many things. 

Ultimately, we as a faith community have the ethical responsibility to do all that we can to protect the most vulnerable and slow the spread of the infection. The most prudent guidance encourages us to be proactive. Therefore, we will be closing the church to all congregational gatherings and public events effective immediately, and continuing for the indefinite future. This includes worship, children and youth religious education, ministry team meetings, small groups, etc.

It pains us to make this decision. We know how much it means for us to be together, and how we are stronger together than alone. We look forward to seeing each other in a variety of places and at many times. And yet, in this case, the people who know best tell us that continuing to meet in close proximity increases the burdens on people’s health and the healthcare system exponentially.  

As this pandemic continues, we may not be together physically in our church building, but we will continue to care for each other and find creative ways to remain connected … to tend to our collective physical, emotional and spiritual well being … to feel supported and know that we are not alone in whatever fears or anxiety we may be feeling. 

We are working on detailed plans for worshipping together online, supporting families with religious education, and continuing many of our meetings by video or audio conference calls. We are setting up phone call chains and bolstering our networks of care to ensure no one is isolated. As these and other details are formed, we will be sharing them by email and on UUCM Happenings.

Throughout this pandemic, please continue to follow situation updates and prevention recommendations from the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)

Please know that your ministry team and this whole community is here for you. If you or someone in your family becomes infected, self-quarantined, or caught up in a travel ban, let us know. If you are experiencing economic hardship because of the virus, we can help. If your anxiety about this is overwhelming, please reach out. We are here for each other.

With love and care,

Rev. Terri Burnor, Rev. Meg Riley, Arif Mamdani
UUCM Interim Ministry Team

Contact information:
Rev. Terri: revterri@uucmtka.org
Rev. Meg: revmeg@uucmtka.org
Arif: arif@uucmtka.org

Church office: (952) 473-5900