A Pastoral Letter from Your Ministers
Dear UUCJ Community,
As we move into this new reality of social distancing, your ministers are aware of the stresses and strains and heartbreaks that we are facing. We are also aware of the strength and resilience of this congregation. We believe that by working together and staying connected by phone and electronic media, we can offer each other the support and companionship that we will all need.
To that end, we will continue to experiment with the best ways to create worship and fellowship opportunities. Watch the weekly E-News for information about worship and virtual coffee hour.
Every Wednesday evening Rev. Marti is holding remote office hours. You can make an appointment for a one-on-one pastoral conversation with her by emailing in advance. (email@example.com)
On Thursday evenings Rev. Roberta and Rev. Marti will facilitate a drop-in conversation space where we can check in with each other, share challenges and blessings, and support each other pastorally. You can join this conversation every Thursday at 7 pm at https://zoom.us/j/550218412.
A few months ago, the Board established a Minister’s Discretionary Fund whose purpose is to offer small amounts of financial assistance to members in need. Your ministers recognize that the current social distancing practices may cause some of you to lose income. If you need financial help with utilities, groceries, medical bills, etc., please let one of the ministers know. (Rev. Roberta: firstname.lastname@example.org, Rev. Marti: email@example.com). If you would like to donate to this fund, you can do so by clicking on this link — https://uucj.org/give/ — and indicating that you want your donation to go to the Minister’s Discretionary Fund in the additional notes.
A recent column in the New York Times focused on the effect of the pandemic on closely knit Jewish communities around New York City. Columnist Bari Weiss wrote, “This is why the ultimate Jewish value — to choose life — must supersede everything else. ‘We have a concept called ‘pikuach nefesh,’ saving lives,’ Rabbi Kobrin said. ‘That’s more important than shabbat; that’s more important than communal gatherings; it’s more important than saying kaddish for departed loved ones or having weddings or bar mitzvahs. Even though those things are really, really important.’ In the end, the point of community is to protect one another, especially those who are marginalized or lonely or overlooked. Like the virus, communal connection will have to mutate in Great Neck, and in every other city and town, as FaceTime replaces face time. At least for the time being. If Jewish history has a theme, it is resilience — the ability to renew and revive community during our darkest hours. Now, as ever, the people poised to show us the way forward are those who have been most connected all along.”
Let us draw inspiration from their words and strive to be such people, poised to show the way forward, and to remember that we have been connected all along.
In Faith and Love,
Rev. Roberta and Rev. Marti