Minister's Post, Thu Apr 1

Dear Ones, Fellow Unitarian Universalists,

Weekly Prayer

Dear Spirit of Life and Truth,

Since last Easter, many of us have had to bury loved ones, often from a distance and often unable to be with them as they died. The pandemic continues to ravage families and communities across the globe.
In Brazil where over 3,000 deaths each day from Covid-19 continue to mount;
in India where vaccines produced for overseas are being retained for use at home;
in the U.S. where infection rates are rising
in Europe where rates are spiking again leading to lockdowns;
in Tanzania where the pandemic-denying the regime of former president John Magufuli, who died last week, has been replaced by a new government under Samia Suluhu Hassan (the first female president), and where hospitals are overrun with Covid-19 patients. This pattern repeats across the globe, despite the progress of vaccination programs in some, mostly western countries.

There are many who need comfort, or a listening ear.

May find ways to offer ourselves in such ways as we can to meet others’ needs.
May our emptiness be filled with love.
May we discover anew in each day that Love is the greatest energy in our lives, and in our world.

We give thanks for the love, faith and compassion of so many who have gone out of their way to do acts of kindness for others – often unknown to them.

May we dare to trust and live in tune with our ideal of beloved community.


ICYMI ("In Case You Missed It")

Here's the Mar 28 service, "Trust"

Covid Watch

(I know that reporting from many conuntries is incomplete and inaccurate -- yet looking at trends still gives us an idea of important developments.)
The 7DMA (7-Day Moving Average) of New Cases per day has been increasing since Feb 20. It's up from 361,347 on Feb 20 to 576,368 on Mar 31. That's a 60 percent jump in 39 days.

The 7DMA of deaths per day, worldwide, peaked on Jan 26, and fell steadily until Mar 12 -- a decline of 42 percent over 45 days. Since Mar 12, however, deaths have been increasing. The 7DMA of deaths per day on Mar 31 is up 19 percent over Mar 12.

United States. In the US, the 7DMA of new cases per day on Mar 31 is just one-fourth of what it was at the Jan 11 peak. The bad news is that it's up 18 percent over Mar 16, just 15 days before.

The 7DMA of Covid deaths per day on Mar 31 is 932 -- the lowest since Nov 3. That's a 7 percent decline from a week ago (Mar 24), and a 73 percent decline from the Jan 26 peak.

The increase in US new cases -- along with greater increases in worldwide news cases and worldwide deaths -- has raised concerns about a fourth wave. So be careful!

Yours in the faith we share,

Practice of the Week

Be mindful. I know mindfulness has been kind of a trendy thing on the spiritual scene, and maybe, as a trend, it has played itself out. But as a good idea, it’s thousands of years old and won’t stop being a good idea.

Mindfulness simply means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, nonjudgmentally. And simply telling yourself a few times during your day, “be mindful,” is wonderful practice. When we are in touch with what is right here, right now, says Thich Nhat Hanh, "our understanding of what is going on deepens, and we begin to be filled with acceptance, joy, peace, and love." So: “Be mindful.”

Rick Hanson explains that
“attention is like a combination spotlight and vacuum cleaner: it illuminates what it rests upon and then sucks it into your brain. Since attention is largely under volitional control -- you can direct it with conscious effort -- you have an extraordinary tool at your disposal all day long to gradually sculpt your brain in positive ways....Happily, attention is very trainable. You really can develop better control of your spotlight/vacuum cleaner. This is where mindfulness comes in—which simply means being steadily aware of something. As you practice being mindful, you will gain more control over your attention....Mindfulness brings important information about what's happening around you and inside you. It helps you witness your experience without being swept away by it, and to hold it in a larger context; as your mindful awareness increases, negative experiences have less impact on you. ”
For the rest of the post listing benefits of mindfulness, and tips for doing it, see: “Be Mindful.”


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