Minister's Post, Fri Jan 29

Dear Ones, Fellow Unitarian Universalists,

Josh Leach is the Public Policy and Communications Strategist for the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC). This week, I'd like share with you Josh's Open Letter to the 117th Congress. Josh writes:
As profound as the pain and heartbreak of the past year has been, you also take office at a time of renewed hope. A change of leadership in the White House and the Senate closes an era of divided government and offers a chance to move beyond the mistakes of the past. We urge you to seize this opportunity to make positive change. Below are some of the steps you can take to advance human rights during your time in office.
Josh then calls for the Congress to:
  • Enact Real COVID-19 Relief
  • Tackle Police Brutality and Structural Racism
  • Create a Pathway to Citizenship
  • Respond to the Climate Crisis
  • Align Foreign Policy with Human Rights
For the whole of Josh's letter, see HERE.

Covid Watch

U.S. and World: The 7-day average of new cases per day has been steadily declining for 2.5 weeks now -- ever since Jan 11. In the U.S. the new cases per day have fallen by 34% in 17 days. Worldwide, new cases per day have fallen by 24% in those 17 days.

But we aren't yet seeing a decline in deaths. Worldwide: deaths first exceeded 14,000 a day (7-day average) on Jan 23, and have stayed over 14,000 in the days since then. In the U.S.: deaths have been over 3,000 a day (7-day average) since Jan 8, and are creeping closer to 3,500 a day.

Yours in the faith we share,

Practice of the Week

Slogans work, as advertisers know – so let's put them to a positive use. Using slogans to guide and remind you of how you want to be brings more peace and more joy into your life. Maybe you could use a little more peace and joy.

This winter’s series has included, “Stay Close to your Resentment,” “Get Excited” and “Find Strength.” This week’s slogan is “Smile.”

It’s obnoxious when someone else tells you to smile, so only tell yourself. And make it authentic – a fake smile doesn’t do as much good, and if you’re in the middle of real depression, grief, fear, or anger, smiling isn’t appropriate.

But when you’re feeling more-or-less OK, an authentic smile can kick it up a notch. To make it authentic, think of things that make you smile – people you love, silly moments, that funny video you saw. Make a list of things that make you smile. Several times a day, look for moments to bring that list to mind...and a soft smile to your face.

Then notice: how this makes you feel, how you act toward others, how they respond to you. Savor these results, taking them in.

For more about benefits of smiling authentically, see "Smile."

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