Staying Connected

Staying Connected Wendy Weiss, Programs and Membership Coordinator While we’re able to replace, or at least substitute for now, several of our Westside offerings through online means, staying connected to each other just isn’t the same. We humans are social creatures, and even if we’re isolated in groups, we crave companionship beyond our household family units. We are not built to be isolated from each other. So how are we really doing with all of this? From what I’m hearing in talking with people in our congregation, it’s a range. Not just across the span of our membership, but even within the same person from day to day and sometimes hour to hour. There is so much to process, and the information and circumstances change rapidly which requires continual sorting and processing. The Buddhists tell us, “Relax, everything’s out of control.” It’s easy to get overwhelmed and carried away by the news, the projections, the ever-updated protocols. We are looking at the enormity of our collective situation without any clear model or prediction of a timeframe or impact. With so many unknowns swirling and shifting, how do we stay connected? How do we define connected? Before social distancing and self-isolation, it certainly would’ve looked like normal daily activities that brought us to work, stores, public spaces with other people. That has all been put on hold. So in this pause, take a moment to consider what connected is to you now. I’m noticing people reorganizing priorities in the void of scheduled life. They’re returning to things they’ve put off because they were too busy in their working and social lives to do it before. Families who are used to spending time in different places with different people all day are physically in the same house most of the time together. Our range has been limited, so our awareness within those parameters has expanded. What are we finding? This very question is what makes me love our Spiritual Practices time together so much. Before, Spiritual Practices was the pause. The time for reflection. The place to take a deep breath and take notice. Now it feels like Spiritual Practices is an activity. An event to go do. A way to be with others who are looking for a break from the pause too. What I’m finding is that the time we take to connect with ourselves, in whatever form it takes, is the exact way to deepen our connection with others. When we slow down and prioritize, when we look within for what we’re missing or wish to bring out in ourselves, that’s when we’re moved to make meaningful connection. So we show up. Even if we can’t physically be together, picturing our fellow Westsiders also participating on Facebook Live, or seeing their name pop up in the comments, or making a call to check in, or actually seeing them in the Zoom meetings brings us closer to each other. When we think of others, we say we’re “holding them in our hearts.” Our minds conjure up images of the person and for that moment we are “with” them. In this we’re cultivating our heart connection. Perhaps we are being asked to rediscover this ageless, pre-technology way of staying connected? Join us for the following modern technology ways to connect each week: Sundays 11 am: Westside UU Church Facebook Page, Worship Reflection with Rev. Carol 11:30 am: Kids Club Zoom meeting (Contact me for Join URL) 12 pm: Coffee Hour with Rev. Carol, Zoom meeting https://zoom.us/j/638263434… Meeting ID: 638 263 434 Password: email Wendy for the password. membership@westsideuuc.org One tap mobile +12532158782, 638263434# US +13017158592, 638263434# US Wednesdays 11 am: Spiritual Practices with Wendy, Facebook Live on Westside UU Church Facebook Page 8 – 8:45 pm: Westside Wednesday Evening Chat, drop in anytime Join URL: https://zoom.us/j/299322611 Password: 529124

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Westside Unitarian Universalist Church

616 Fretz Road

Knoxville, TN 37934

(865) 777-9882

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