November 2020 at the Dublin Unitarian Church

“In November, the trees are standing all sticks and bones.
Without their leaves, how lovely they are, spreading their arms like dancers.
They know it is time to be still.”

from “In November” by Cynthia Rylant

Greetings from Dublin Unitarian Church.  

Now that the prospect of getting back into the church building before 2021 arrives is looking like a slimmer and slimmer possibility, the church has been working hard to create as pleasurable an experience as possible for its services on Zoom and via its Facebook pages and websites.  The book club and managing committee meet regularly on Zoom and the congregation meet after the service for Virtual Coffee.  It’s been a learning experience for all and has strengthened the community no end. The AGM of the church has been rescheduled for November and members are getting used to the idea of a socially isolated winter ahead. A group of us also convened on 18th October in the evening for a special screening of a documentary about our former minister Rev. Bill Darlison and his provocative and profound thoughts on the links between astrology and theology made by congregation member Beta Bajgart.  This was a thoughtful piece and inspired a healthy Q&A session after with the director and subject. It is events like this that serve to make the hard times we are currently living through more managable.

Thanks are sent to our hard-working committee, both managing the church and the small group of dedicated volunteers looking after the Zoom feeds and email communications so that everybody – long-standing and newcomers – can feel part of the community.  Their work is important and we are pleased to say that, despite the closing of the physical building, the church is very much open. We hope that this current lockdown will be relieved partially or completely on December 1st but are aware that it may take a longer time before we rid ourselves of this horrible virus altogether.  Stay calm, stay positive, stay at home as much as possible.

We still provide two services a week, currently both online; a Sunday morning service at 11am, usually led by our minister, Rev. Bridget Spain but featuring members of the congregation, special guests or friends to give Bridget a much deserved break.  Also, our Service of Reflection is uploaded each Wednesday morning, led by Pam McCarthy.

If you would like to join the Sunday service live online, click here to go to Zoom to attend the service, but not until after 10.50 on any particular Sunday morning.  All are welcome.  You will be muted on arrival to assist with the clean broadcast of the service.  You are asked to remain muted for the duration of the service.  You are also welcome to switch off your video at this time. Just don’t forget to turn it back on (and unmute) for Virtual Coffee.  It will follow immediately and seamlessly after the service. We are taking all feedback about the Zoom broadcasts and acting on it to hopefully create a comfortable listening experience for the service – thank you for your support.

A recording of the service is being uploaded to the website in the days after each service.  We also have podcasts of each Sunday service on the I-Tunes Music Store.  Search for Dublin Unitarian Church

Services for November // Sundays at 11am

1st November – Samhain, All Souls – Rev. Bridget Spain
8th – Rememberance Sunday – Rev. Bridget Spain
15th – Moving Mountains, One Stone At A Time – Elaine Harris
22nd – St. Paul – Rev. Bridget Spain
29th – No Pope, No Party – Aidan O’Driscoll

The fast-moving narrative of the pandemic is forcing us to think fast on our feet and make changes with short notice.  We were also pleased to have settled on a new pattern for our ongoing series of short services of worship and reflection, led by Bridget or Pam punctuated by recordings of the reflections, music and prayers from our Sunday and Wednesday lunchtime services.  As all services in the church are curtailed for now, it makes our outreach via these daily short reflections even more important.  Thanks go out to Pam who now records her Wednesday service for us at home so that we can still enjoy it. You can find them all on a page dedicated to Services of Reflection (formally Daily Services).

Services in October were taken by Rev. Bridget Spain and Pam McCarthy and we thank her and the readers and contributors at these services – Susan McKeever, Denise Dunne, Andy Pollak, Doireann Ní Bhriain & Josh Johnston,   You can hear podcasts and full recordings relating to all these services at our Recordings page or via the podcasts at the I-Tunes Music Store.

Tony Brady has moved his Mindfulness Meditations group to Zoom – if you’re interested in being part of this, please make contact and your details will be forwarded to Tony.

The Book Club is still running on the last Wednesday of every month thanks to Zoom software and they are always happy to meet new people.  This month (25th November at 7pm) they are meeting to discuss A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende.  Contact us here if you would like to get involved.

The November edition of our monthly magazine Oscailt is now out and is posted on the church website (as well as via that link there).

All concerts in the church booked to happen between now and the end of the year have been cancelled or postponed.  We will be happy to look at starting to book new concerts and other cultural events once the route forward regarding church services is clearer and can be handled with safety and comfort for all.

We also have a newly re-invigorated Facebook page where we post links to all the services as they are uploaded as well as news of developments as they relate to our worship.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays, we are posting online readings – essays, poems, articles, online resources, quotes – that might help you through this hard time, not unlike the quote at the top of this email.  On a Saturday, we are posting links to music to calm and inspire.  If you would like to suggest examples of either “readings” or music to be found online that have moved you, please email email hidden; JavaScript is required

We are a church who worship together in a spirit of freedom, reason and tolerance.  We are pleased to be here to support people in whatever way we can through this unsettling time.  Wishing you a safe and calm November.

You have received this email because you subscribed to the Dublin Unitarian Monthly Email List either online or at a service or performance in the church.  If you don’t wish to receive it anymore, there is an unsubscribe link at the bottom of this email.

Best wishes,

Dublin Unitarian Church
112 St. Stephen’s Green West
Dublin 2

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