The Pane: Returning to New Normal Should Not Be Motivated by Guilt or Pressure
There are many unforeseen outcomes of this global pandemic. One of the effects we can recognize is the toll it has taken on our relationships with family, friends, colleagues, and fellow members of the church.
For most of us at UBC, we have not been together since March of 2020. Yes, we’ve met via Zoom or maybe waved at a distance if we encountered one another at the grocery store. However, it has been nearly 15 months since we have spent meaningful time together.
There is a vast difference between online interaction and physical presence.
Therefore, it is not out of bounds to say that most churches will need to spend a significant amount of time relearning each other. There are so many stories to share and new memories to make. There is a tremendous relational and spiritual formation that can occur when we gather together safely.
At some point, we are going to return to whatever this new normal looks like. It’s not going to be a date on the calendar that we can point to, mark, and commence. And you are not going to hear out of my lips that we should all just come back by ____ (fill in the blank).
I recognize the tremendous apprehension and anxiety about coming back together, especially in large groups. I also acknowledge that we have created new habits in the last year, breaking many of the deeper connections we had with others within this faith community.
The choice of when and how you return to an in-person gathering with UBC is entirely up to you. You should not feel pressured or guilted into a decision.
But when you return, know that your presence is valued, unique, and immeasurable. When you return to an in-person gathering with UBC, know that you are investing in relational and spiritual formation.
And if the foreseeable future does not have you returning to in-person gatherings, know that you are equally valued, loved, and contributing member of this faith community by your continued engagement of online worship, spiritual formation groups, volunteering, donating, encouraging others, and so much more.
The future of UBC is not dependent on some innovative strategic plan but our willingness to connect with each other, our neighbor, and to our God that binds us together in perfect unity. The mode does not determine the efficacy of our connection. That is only determined by our willingness to give ourselves over to the possibility of authentic relationships.
Young Adults Night Out, May 21, 5:30-8 PM
Do you need some time with other young adults of UBC around your age on a Friday once per month? Join our Young Adults Night Out on the third Fridays, 5:30-8:00 pm, starting on May 21.
The group will gather at a local restaurant for outdoor dining. Realizing not everyone can arrive by 5:30 pm, plan on joining the group as you are able.
If you have kids, you can drop them off at the church, beginning at 5:15 pm, for dinner and activities for $10 for the first child and $5 for each additional child.
Please RSVP by Wednesday, May 19 here: www.ubc-br.org/post/young-adults-night. The restaurant location will be text to you.
HOPE Grief Support Groups, starting July 15th
Graduation Recognition, June 6th
Noon Summer Book Club Begins June 10th
Join our Noon Summer Book Club for a bi-weekly conversation about Jemar Tisby’s new book, “How to Fight Racism: Courageous Christianity and the Journey Toward Racial Justice,” beginning on June 10th.
The group will meet in-person and online in the Fellowship Hall on the Second and Fourth Thursday of June, July, and August.
Purchase the book on Amazon in digital, audio, and hardback editions.
For those joining via Zoom, use the Mtg ID: 314 698 8114.
Please contact Andy via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (225.766.9474) if you plan to join.
Phasing Out Zoom for Worship by June 6th
Help With Sunday Worship Stream Quality
UBC is currently investigating ways to improve the quality of our online video presence during Sunday worship gatherings. We are looking for people who are interested in helping in the design or execution of our Worship streaming experience.
Volunteers can help with many different aspects of the project including planning equipment, software, and workflow upgrades; equipment installation; running a camera; or just being part of a rotation that monitors the soundboard or keynote during worship on Sundays.
Prior experience in video production, live sound, or social media is welcome, but not required. We are willing to provide training, if needed. To volunteer, please contact Justin (email@example.com).
UBC’s Together After: Weekly Dialogue in Sunday School & Spiritual Formation Groups
As a part of our church’s discernment about what “Next” holds after the pandemic, we are inviting our Sunday School and Spiritual Formation groups to have a brief time at the beginning of each week’s session to pray for UBC and to discuss a question provided.
In turn, we are asking the group’s leader to send a snapshot of the weekly conversation to Russ Futrell (firstname.lastname@example.org), Governing Board Chair, and Andy Hale (email@example.com), Senior Pastor. These insights will provide meaningful data to the church leadership’s discernment process.
May 23: What have you learned about UBC throughout this pandemic? What gives you hope for the future of our faith community?
Second Wednesdays, June 9th
We are hosting a Second Wednesday on June 9th. The evening is designed around a social distanced meal in the Fellowship Hall, with kids participating in age-based groups and adults gathering outside to catch up on life.
Meal participants will be assigned an individual table for their family with a pre-packaged meal. The cost is $5 per adult and $3 for kids (2 and older). The meals will be simple with healthy kid-friendly options.
The meal will be available starting at 5:15 pm, with kids going off to age-based groups at 6:00 pm.
To provide the best-resourced experience for First Wednesdays, families will need to register no later than Monday, June 7th.
As we gather, we ask that families follow social distancing guidelines, with adults and school age children wearing masks at all times away from the family dinner table. Families should remain at their assigned dinner table until the departure for age-based groups and outdoor adult conversations. We will have interactivities at the tables for the kids.
First Summer Gathering & Kids Club, June 13th at 4 PM
Join our first Summer Gathering and Kids Club on June 13 at 4:00 pm.
Kids, ages infant through 5th grade, will enjoy activities, crafts, games, lessons, and dinner. Drop off will occur at the Children’s Branch entrance. Register here by June 10th: https://form.jotform.com/211304851522142 .
Adults can pick one of the following activities: art, beginners’ yoga, board games, or cooking. A dessert social will wrap up the event at 5:45 pm. Please sign up for one of the activities by clicking on this link or calling the office: https://form.jotform.com/211304748703047 .
The Summer Gatherings are intended to be a time to build stronger connections within and through UBC. We hope you will not only participate but invite others to join you.
Celebrating Deb McElgin, June 13th at 5:30
Sunday Name Tag Project
You may now sign up online on the UBC website: www.ubc-br.org/cg
Yard Sale Gratitude
Youth Summer Event Schedule
Spring Mini Gardens
For more information, contact Eric at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit ubc-br.org/mini-garden
Retirees Luncheon, June 9th at 12 PM
CHURCH OF THE NATIONS
Worship via Facebook, YouTube, and Zoom
Join us for a live-streamed worship service at 10:30 a.m. via any of the following platforms:
Zoom: Join Meeting ID: 923-023-246-4
password is: ubc
Topic: George Floyd Protests
Please use the link below to download the lesson:
Download the Zoom Cloud Meetings app on your phone or computer and type in this meeting ID:
Sunday Morning Volunteers
With the campus starting to host more participants on Sundays, we need more volunteers to greet. Please contact Andy (email@example.com) if you can help with the 9 am or 10:15 am greeting rotation.