Minister's Post, Fri Oct 1

Dear Ones,

It continues to be a highlight of my week to see folks in person for the outdoor services we've held on Sep 12, 19, and 26.

The outdoor service moves to noon starting Sun Oct 3. Hope you can make it!

And please do sign up for a Journey Group. Sign up here:


ICYMI (In Case You Missed It)

The Sep 26 worship service, "Caste," 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): 828,577
Lowest since peak (Jun 15-21): 360,855
Highest since the June low (Aug 24-30): 659,618
Two weeks ago (Sep 10-16): 540,526
Last week (Sep 17-23): 493,448
This week (Sep 24-30): 450,395*
*Down 32% since Aug 30 (average decline of 1.2% per day for the last 31 days).

Average New Cases per Day, US:
Peak week (Jan 5-11): 255,831
Lowest since peak: (Jun 15-21): 11,956
Highest since the June low (Aug 27 - Sep 2): 167,086
Two weeks ago (Sep 10-16): 152,262
Last week (Sep 17-23): 127,374
This week (Sep 24-30): 109,464*
*Down 34% since Sep 2 (average decline of 1.5% per day for the last 28 days).

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
Highest since Jun low (Aug 15-21): 212
Two weeks ago (Sep 10-16): 182
Last week (Sep 17-23): 154
This week (Sep 24-30): 114*
*Down 46% since Aug 21 (average decline of 1.5% per day for the last 40 days).

Average Deaths per Day, worldwide:
Peak week (Jan 20-26): 14,807
Lowest since peak (Jun 29 - Jul 5): 7,694
Highest since the July low (Aug 19-25): 10,261
Two weeks ago (Sep 10-16): 8,948
Last week (Sep 17-23): 8,078
This week (Sep 24-30): 7,451*
*Down 27% since Aug 25 (average decline of 0.9% per day for the last 36 days).

Average Deaths per Day, US:
Peak week (Jan 7-13): 3,514
Lowest since peak (Jul 1-7): 248
Highest since the July low (Sep 9-15): 1,903
Two weeks ago (Sep 10-16): 1,882
Last week (Sep 17-23): 1,847
This week (Sep 24-30): 1,626*
*Down 15% since Sep 15 (average decline of 1.0% per day for the last 15 days).

Average Deaths per Day, Westchester County, NY:
Highest week of 2020 (Apr 9-15): 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
Highest since the July low (Sep 10-16): 1.3
Last week (Sep 17-23): 0.3
This week (Sep 24-30): 0.6

The US vaccination continues to slowly climb at about 1 percentage point every 10 days. The percent fully vaccinated is up to 56.2 (Sep 29) -- from 52.9% a month ago (Aug 29), and 49.9% two months ago (Jul 29). Meanwhile, the Westchester County fully-vaccinated rate is 68.0% (Sep 30) -- up from 64.7% on Aug 30, and 61.7% on Jul 28.

The news this week continues to be relatively good. Let's hope it continues -- and be careful out there!

Practice of the Week

This week, we have an Ecospiritual Practice: Consider The Problems of Progress

Practices to go with this contemplations:

1. Give and Take. Cultivating the mindset that taking requires giving. Choose one aspect of your life where you take from the Earth’s bounty. Your food, perhaps. Or your electricity, which might come from coal. Or maybe you simply collect pretty rocks from the beach. Big or small, make a pact with yourself. Write it down and post it somewhere prominent to serve as a reminder. For your chosen area, each take with require a give. If you are a beach pebble collector, you could also spend some time picking up liter on that same beach. If you choose food, you could volunteer at a soup kitchen or organize some friends to purchase fair trade coffee as a group.

2. Technology Fast. Choose one device your grandma didn’t grow up with and turn it off for a week. This could be your TV, radio, computer, GPS system, or any other piece of technology that occupies a significant place in your life. On Sunday, ceremonially turn it off. Throughout the week, journal about the experience.

3. Journaling: Exploring Feelings about Modern Life. Choose one of the starter phrases below and begin writing. Write continuously for at least ten minutes, allowing your thoughts to flow where they will. Start in on another starter phrase whenever you need to in order to keep the pen moving for ten minutes.
  • If I had been alive three hundred years ago, my life . . .
  • I like modern life, but . . .
  • The Earth provides . . .
  • If I had a time machine, and could go anywhere with it, I would . . .

Group Activities

Elder Wisdom. Invite several people who are more than eighty years old to share their life experiences with the group. Ask them: What has changed since you were children? What things are better now? What was better then? What do you see as the most significant area of human progress? What problems do you see for the future? What sort of world would you wish for future generations?

Questions for Group Conversation:
  • What are some of the negative aspects of technology? Can their effects be mitigated?
  • Identify one or two examples superfluous or wasteful technology. What can be done about this waste?
  • What criteria should we use to decide how much technology to allow into our lives? How can we approach technological progress in a mindful way?
  • What must you personally unlearn to approach technology sustainably?


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