It’s been nine weeks now—nine Sundays—since we started doing worship services on Zoom instead of in person. I’ve noticed that some new people are coming to these services: some who tell me that they live here and they have been interested in our Fellowship for a while; some who are friends and family of established members (including some from out of state and even from abroad). And, I’ve noticed that some people aren’t showing up on the Zoom calls who used to be here in person regularly. In the life of any congregation people come and go, but this is a unique situation. In some ways, it’s easier to come to worship on Sunday morning. You don’t have to drive anywhere…you don’t even have to finish your breakfast! You can join the Zoom call and listen and participate—if you have a computer with internet or a smart phone. In some ways, then, it’s harder to come to worship now that it’s on Zoom.
On the news lately I’ve been hearing more about the unequal toll that this disease is taking on people of color and lower income people. I think of it as a white collar / blue collar split: in America today, many of us with white collar jobs are working from home and are able to get deliveries and not go out very much. And those with blue collar jobs are going to work every day—in grocery stores, big box stores, fast food restaurants, warehouse and delivery jobs. I might get stressed about a 1-hour trip to the store and the exposure to strangers and their germs…and for the workers in that store, that’s their reality 40 hours per week.
I’m suggesting that there’s a parallel between what’s true in our Fellowship and what’s true in this nation. Those of lesser means may have a harder time connecting to our Zoom services, while those with the luxury of a secure home with good technology have an easier time. What can we do to include more people, to not lose touch with the members and friends who were with us in person but aren’t with us on Zoom? Meanwhile, those of lesser means in our city, in our state, and in our country are at greater risk every day because they have to be interacting with people in order to make a living, while those with the luxury of a work-from-home job can shelter in place more safely. What can we do to decrease the health risk gap between rich and poor, through our individual actions and through public policy?
What’s true for us in the microcosm of the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Central Michigan is true in the society at large. We are called by our UU faith, by our conscience and our moral principles, to address social, health, and economic inequality wherever we find it.
Spirit of life and love, may we be reminded in this pandemic which separates us that we are all one human family.
May I be aware of my privilege. May I not take it for granted. May I work toward a more just and equitable society—and toward a more inclusive and loving congregation.
May it be so.
Rev. Andrew Frantz
Drew's office hours are suspended until further notice. However, he is reachable at any time via email, phone, or text.
Day off: Monday
Pastoral Care Concerns
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