From the Heart
I posted this reflection on my Facebook page this week, and I reproduce it here for all of you. I love you, members and friends of First Unitarian Church. You are beloved individuals forming a sacred community. You are in my heart always.
Five years ago one of my best friends died. She died suddenly in an accident; there was no time to say goodbye. We grew up together but as adults we lived in different states. When was the last time I had told her that I loved her, that she was dear to me, that our friendship was a treasure I carried in my heart? I couldn't remember.
I resolved after her death to tell my friends I loved them. And I did, for a while. But in time, the fear of baring my heart settled back in. It felt weird, again, to put that much vulnerability on the line. So I walked around with love for my friends and my congregants in my heart, but I didn't say it very often.
Now we face a crisis as a society, and the words "I love you" are back on the tip of my tongue. Friends, I love you. Members of First Unitarian Church, I love you. Colleagues, I love you. I told the owner of my gym I loved her as the gym closed this week, because I do. Now is not the time to hold back my love.
We are going through a terrible time as a global community. It's going to get worse before it gets better. We need all the strength, resilience and compassion we can muster, and we grow that in each other by sharing our love with one another. Say it out loud to the people in your life. I'm saying it to you: I love you. We'll get through this together.
Worship This Sunday
Join us on YouTube live this Sunday for an online worship service with First Unitarian Church. Go to firstunitarian.com and click the "Worship Online" button to join us. You can subscribe to our YouTube channel now to get ready for Sunday.
Please note that we are trying YouTube because people without Facebook accounts could not access last week's service. However, a few churches have reported trouble starting their YouTube feed. If we need to move this Sunday's feed back to Facebook, we will update the Worship Online button to have the correct information. Refresh your window and click again.
If you missed last Sunday's service, it is now available on our website in the Connect blog. Check back to the Connect blog for more ministry musical mediations, Spirit Play stories, and Bible study blog posts in the coming weeks.
This Sunday, March 29, our service is "Character Under Quarantine" In stressful times, our character is tested. We rely on our spiritual wisdom to help us live according to our values even under stress. Worship led by the staff of First Unitarian Church. We are joined by guest soloist Jerry Bellows on recorder.
How You Can Help (and Get Help)
Worcester Together is seeking sewists to make face masks and healthy people to volunteer at the city's newly established homeless shelters. Learn more about both opportunities on the special COVID response section of the city's website. The emergency homeless shelters are being set up with every consideration taken for safety. I am grateful for the leadership of the Rev. Aaron Payson, minister of the UU Church of Worcester, in working with the city to set up these shelters.
If you need information about COVID-19, including what to do if you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms, call 508-799-1019. It is a information line with the opportunity to speak live to a nurse Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Unemployment resources and small business support can also be found on the city's website. Remember that if you face an urgent financial need, the Minister's Discretionary Fund of First Unitarian Church may be able to help. You can e-mail me at
or call (508) 757-2708 to speak to me or leave me a confidential voicemail.
I miss you all. I miss being together and seeing your beautiful faces. Take comfort in knowing that by being apart, we are keeping one another as healthy as we can. We will celebrate together when the storm has passed.
Rev. Sarah Stewart