Minister's Post, Fri Sep 10

Dear Ones,

Let me repeat: sign up for a Journey Group!

You may want to try out a different group -- or you may want to stay in the same one (if it's available). Or maybe you haven't been in a group. Whatever the case, it's time to sign up and indicate what group you'd like to join.

Please go here to sign up:


ICYMI (In Case You Missed It)

The Sep 5 worship service, "Curiosity," is here:

See our channel for many other past services HERE.

Covid Review

The Worldwide numbers are not reliable, and likely are greatly underestimating the actual prevalence of Covid-19. These numbers may nevertheless give us an indication of trends.

New Cases
Average New Cases per Day, worldwide:
Peak week (Apr 23-29): 828,292
Lowest since peak (Jun 15-21): 360,505
Four weeks ago (Aug 6-12): 646,651
Last week (Aug 27 - Sep 2): 639,617
This week (Sep 3-9): 580,136

Average New Cases per Day, US:
Peak week (Jan 5-11): 255,847
Lowest since peak: (Jun 15-21): 11,955
Four weeks ago (Aug 6-12): 127,837
Last week (Aug 27 - Sep 2): 166,522
This week (Sep 3-9): 146,903

Average New Cases per Day, Westchester County, NY:
Highest week of 2020 (Mar 23-29): 949
Lowest week, post-peak, of 2020 (Aug 19-25): 29
Highest week of 2021 (Jan 6-12): 861
Lowest week of 2021 (Jun 17-23): 11
Four weeks ago (Aug 5-11): 172
Last week (Aug 26 - Sep 1): 199
This week (Sep 2-8): 157

Average Deaths per Day, worldwide:
Peak week (Jan 20-26): 14,808
Lowest since peak (Jun 29 - Jul 5): 7,693
Four weeks ago (Aug 6-12):9,866
Last week (Aug 27 - Sep 2): 9,589
This week (Sep 3-9): 8,743

Average Deaths per Day, US:
Peak week (Jan 7-13): 3,517
Lowest since peak (Jul 2-8): 247
Four weeks ago (Aug 6-12): 778
Last week (Aug 27 - Sep 2): 1,401
This week (Sep 3-9): 1,272

Average Deaths per Day, Westchester County, NY:
Highest week of 2020 (Apr 6-12): 52
Lowest week, post-peak, of 2020 (Sep 27 - Oct 3): 0.0
Highest week of 2021 (Jan 28 - Feb 3): 11
Lowest week of 2021 (Jul 21-27): 0.0
Four weeks ago (Aug 5-11): 0.1
Last week (Aug 26 - Sep 1): 1.0
This week (Sep 2-8): 1.0

Worldwide, new cases have been declining since Aug 30, and are now down 12% since Aug 30. Deaths have been declining since Aug 25, and are now down 14% since Aug 25.

In the US, new cases have been declining since Sep 2; they are now down 12% since Sep 2. Deaths have also been generally declining (though not every day) since Sep 2.

New cases of Covid-19 in the US are now 147,000 -- which is 57% of the peak last January and 12 times the low in June. Deaths per day in the US are almost 1,300 -- which is 36% of the January peak and 5 times the June low.

The US vaccination does continue to slowly climb. The percent fully vaccinated is up to 54.0 (Sep 8) -- from 50.7 a month ago (Aug 8), and 48% two months ago (Jul 8). Meanwhile, the Westchester County fully-vaccinated rate is now 66% -- up from 63% on Aug 8, and 60% on Jul 8.

Folks, we might (might!) have turned a corner -- but, as we've seen before, downward trends can reverse. Hang in there and be careful. We'll get through this.

Practice of the Week

Choose Your Practice.

Our spiritual practice segment has suggested many practices to help in the development of emotional, psychological, spiritual flourishing.

The "Slogans to Live By" are sayings we could all benefit from keeping in mind, and the “Worth a Try” or “Occasional" are also recommended to everyone to give a try, once or occasionally. Then there are the practices that simply aren’t for everyone, but might be for you. I know Zen meditation is not for everyone, but it is my primary spiritual practice. As we start a new congregational year, it’s time to ask, what’s your primary spiritual practice? If you’re not sure, it’s a good time to give some attention to discerning one.

Not every activity or pastime is a spiritual practice. It's a spiritual practice if it helps you cultivate spiritual development – which you can recognize by the tell-tale symptoms like these:
  • increased tendency to let things happen rather than make them happen;
  • more frequent attacks of smiling from the heart;
  • more frequent feelings of being connected with others and nature;
  • more frequent episodes of overwhelming appreciation;
  • decisions flow more from intention or spontaneity and less from fears based on past experience;
  • greater ability to enjoy each moment;
  • decreased worrying;
  • decreased interest in conflict, in interpreting the actions of others, in judging others, and in judging self;
  • increased nonjudgmental curiosity;
  • increased capacity to love without expecting anything in return;
  • increased receptivity to kindness offered and increased interest in extending kindness to others.
There are some guidelines for how to make a given activity into a spiritual practice. Check them out at the full post: “Choose Your Spiritual Practice."


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