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UWM COVID-19 Coronavirus Update: Suggestions and Resources for You
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Vision: A world powerfully transformed through the growing movement of shared spiritual awakening.
Mission: Advancing the movement of spiritual awakening and transformation
through Unity, a positive path for spiritual living.
March 17, 2020
Español Esta información estará disponible en Español a través de este enlace el 19 de Marzo del 2020.
COVID-19 Coronavirus Update
Suggestions and Resources for You
Dear Ones,

How many times have we heard lately that “these are unusual times”? Well, indeed they are. My heart has been deeply touched to see how our ministries are responding with care, thought, wisdom, and faith. I want you to know that we at the Unity Worldwide Ministries (UWM) central office are loving and appreciating you from afar. We are praying for you and your communities.
 

Ministry Events and Services

While ministries have been making their own decisions regarding events and services, the federal, state, and community guidance is becoming much clearer. The White House recommended on Monday, March 9, that there be no gatherings held in the U.S. with 10 or more people for the next 15 days.

Based on this guidance from the CDC and White House, it is our strong recommendation that Unity churches and centers suspend in-person services and events at their facilities. We know that many centers have already moved to offer them virtually and others will do so very soon. The important thing is to help your communities understand that their health and wellbeing and the health and wellbeing of our country are paramount priorities. These recommendations are being made from a place of caring and concern for everyone and especially those who are most vulnerable.

Clear recommendations have also been made regarding hygiene and prevention. Please ask your communities to follow the CDC’s sound advice:
  • Physical distancing – Keep six feet between yourself and another person. This means no handshaking, handholding, or hugging.
  • Work from home whenever possible.
  • Stay home if ill or any possibility of having been exposed.
  • Handwashing – Wash hands frequently for 20 seconds with soap and hot water. (Try saying the Prayer for Protection as you wash.)
  • Hand sanitizer – If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your face. – Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Sanitize and clean surfaces that are frequently touched. (Door knobs, faucets, desks, light switches, keyboards, phones, keys, etc.)
 

Building Community Virtually

Our centers provide precious communities of love and support. For some, gathering at their ministry may be the only face-to-face contact they have during their week. We are invited to rise higher and find new ways of providing that same sense of community and support. I recently read that handshakes and hugs are an expression of love, but they are not the love. It’s time for us to “step out in radical love” as Rev. Erin McCabe said on Sunday.

Here are some ideas:
  • Remain in communication with your community using all of your communication tools.
  • Hold a weekly Facebook Live event for reaching out with inspiration or prayer. You and your congregants must have Facebook accounts to participate.
  • When your weekly virtual service ends, hold a virtual discussion about the message topics and allow time for connection. Perhaps use Zoom so people can see one another. This can take the place of the usual after-service fellowship.
  • Have “coffee” with people. Reach out to people to meet virtually for coffee/tea using Zoom, FaceTime (for Apple products), Facebook Messenger, or any other means that allows you to see one another. This can be one-on-one or in small groups so people remain connected.
  •  Reach out to the elderly and those who were already isolated.
  • Attend online Unity classes and webinars. We cover a wide variety of interests at: UWM Trainings, Unity Worldwide Spiritual Institute, and Spiritual Explorers.
  • For more ideas, check out the ministers’ Facebook groups and resources below.
 

Donations and Love Offerings

Be sure to remind your community about your ministry’s giving opportunities. Help them understand that their giving is especially important during this time.
 

Resources

 

Unity People's Convention

Our board of trustees and central office staff are carefully monitoring the coronavirus situation as it impacts our Unity People’s Convention. The board will be discussing the issues surrounding the convention on their next board call on March 24, 2020, as well as exploring additional ways we can work with the regions to support our ministries and ministers.  
 

Central Office Staff Working From Home

As an office team, we are beginning to work from our homes. We value the health and wellbeing of all staff members and our communities. Even though we may be working in new environments, trust that our commitment is to continue serving you.

You can reach us at the same phone numbers and email addresses you have previously used. Those messages will be forwarded to us and we will respond as soon as we are able. Physical mail to staff will be sorted twice a week and staff will be notified when they have mail to pick up. We appreciate your patience as we adjust to our new processes.

We will soon be scheduling online connection events to support you.
 

Fluidity & Flexibility

The situation is fluid and changing quickly. Stay tuned to reputable media sources and follow the guidance and requirements of your local community, state, and federal authorities. Contact Diane Pletcher in our Member Services department at DPletcher@unity.org with your questions and comments and we will do our best to support you.
 

Take Care of You

You matter. Please reach out to those closest to you and to your fellow spiritual leaders and to those of us at UWM’s central office. We are here for you.
 

Prayer

Everything starts and ends with prayer. We offer two prayers that may serve you. One is a recorded prayer/meditation by Reverend Paulette Pipe that you can listen to anytime you wish. The other is a prayer I created for this situation.
 

This Could Be Our Finest Hour

Together we are likely to discover many new ways of supporting one another and new ways of reaching the people who need our communities and message now more than ever.

In a recent blog, Gretchen Schmelzer invited us to imagine that this could be our finest hour. Every small act of kindness and support will add up exponentially. She said, “It can only be our finest hour if we work together.” Let us use all of our Unity principles and faith to work together to bless our communities and our world.

In Love and Faith,



Rev. Patricia T. Bass
UWM Interim CEO
 
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