Join Us Online for Worship
Reluctantly Pausing In-Person Services
With great reluctance, the board and Rev. Dan have decided to pause in-person church services again beginning Sunday, August 29, until further notice. Services will still be available on Facebook or through the Website. We are planning for 12:30 Social Hours on Zoom. The link is:
https://zoom.us/j/7745289824?pwd=dy9GeHVpZk9LbGYweGx3QUo5eFBCZz09 (passcode: UUCEL)
Many things contributed to our decision: the rate of new cases of Covid-19 in Jackson County is nearing the “critical” stage; the vaccination rate in Jackson County remains under 45%; guidelines from the UUA encourage preventative steps such as ventilation and social distancing, which are impossible for us; some of our members and friends and all our young children are not vaccinated; the new Delta variant appears to be easier to transmit. Please see the attached information from the UU Association and statistics from Jackson County: https://www.uua.org/leadership/library/delta-guidance
Hopefully, this will just be a temporary pause. We will watch the rate of cases in Jackson County. When it drops back somewhere between 5 or 10 cases per day per 100,000 population, perhaps we can consider safely reopening.
Thank you for understanding our desire to keep everyone safe. This is a painful and discouraging step backward, but we are nevertheless encouraged by Rev. Dan’s outstanding leadership during these challenging times. Don’t hesitate to contact Rev. Dan or another church friend if you feel you need an extra dose of human contact to keep your spirits up.
Virtual hugs are not as warm as real ones, but they are equally heartfelt.
Welcome! Each week during this time of physical distancing, you can find our worship services here or join in through our Facebook page.
Our regular UUCEL livestreamed service appears here on Sunday mornings at 11:00 a.m. If the livestream does not start playing at that time, try reloading this page by clicking here: RELOAD. If you see the video but cannot hear the sound, move your cursor over the video and click the little speaker icon.
Looking for a previous service? You can find worship recordings on our Facebook page. You do not need a Facebook account to view the videos. If asked to log in, just click “Not Now.”
Help Save the Rahmani Family From the Taliban
Annie Thompson-Bert is organizing this fundraiser. My dear friend, and “adopted” niece, Rahmani is petitioning for an I-131, Humanitarian Parole on behalf of forward-thinking, highly educated family of 14, as they were beaten back by Taliban as they attempted to present their documents in those desperate last moments in the evacuation at Kabul. They are now in great peril in present-day Afghanistan. She needs your help.
She and I have applied to be guarantors for her young sister who was in a particularly risky situation, but now we ask your help to pay for the US government fees of $575 each for the remaining 14 family members. Because we used an immigration attorney for her sister’s case and learned about the forms and processes, applications can be submitted directly without the expense of attorneys. I was Rahmani’s English teacher for one year at Pioneer HS, Ann Arbor, MI while she was a student with the US State Department’s Youth Exchange Study Program in 2006-7. She was a phenomenal English student and student leader during the year and over the past 14 years, we have maintained a close relationship through all of life’s changes and challenges. She is a proud, American-educated US citizen, wife, mother of two tiny children and is a top level IT consultant for the US government. I know her better than some members of my own family and indirectly have kept up with her family’s lives over the years.
Her siblings are well-educated…some educated in master’s programs here in the US and desperately seek to join their sister here in freedom and safety. Their educations in the US have made it more dangerous for them in Taliban-ruled Afghanistan. Sharifa provides $600.00 per month to help her family survive and in the past, to help her brothers and sisters advance their educations. She needs just a little help from us to bring them to safety as she has her own home and family to keep afloat her in the US.
Sometimes the tide of history provides us opportunities to reach out and help folks who are in a real, hard place. There is no harder place right now than the streets of Afghanistan. Please consider donating to this campaign to bring Sharifa’s family to safety.
Reports on the progress of the application process will be provided to all who provide contact information.
Thank you, kind people. Peace, Annie and Sharifa