Here, Together: May 2020

We’ve all gotten the question.


“So how are you?”


For me, at least, ever since mid-March that question’s had me stumped. The best I’ve come up with requires air quotes — not easy to do over the phone.


“Ummm, ‘fine’ but …”


Because, of course, nothing is “fine” anymore, though there have been some spectacularly beautiful days. Oh, and just this week there was a deafening amount of late afternoon birdsong in the handful of scraggly trees behind my window. In fact, I don’t remember when I’ve ever heard that many birds within the confines of a city.


But there’s something else. For me, but also for so many of us, no matter how we might have responded three years or even three months ago, the truth is, everything has changed. In the present moment, we’re all being moved in the direction of a new, more nuanced understanding of what matters — or, as perhaps it should be said: what matters now.


Later this month I’ll be launching an online program I’m really excited about. Its goal is to help us deepen our individual and collective responses to the challenges — and opportunities — highlighted by the global pandemic. Details can be found further on in the newsletter.


I’ve called it What Matters Now to capture the flavor of this distinct moment in human history, and to underline my belief that how we answer this question will be of pivotal importance for the future.


I’ve decided to require registration and a small amount of prep-work, because I believe that to engage meaningfully in such an important subject will require a certain degree of commitment.


And, because of my conviction that What Matters Now can only be answered together, in community, I’ve set up the program format as a series of structured conversations. So please join in yourselves, but also forward the program information to others you know outside the UUFP community: family, coworkers, people from diverse backgrounds and age groups or different geographical settings. The more participants bring diverse voices, the richer the conversations will be.


How am I? Ultimately, I’m not fine as long as hundreds of thousands of people are dying — and dying alone, losing their livelihoods, forced into bankruptcy and driven into even more unequal life circumstances than they knew to start with. At the same time, I’m excited to think of the role we at the UUFP might play in hosting meaningful, action-oriented conversations with folks beyond our immediate circles. And beyond all this, I am ever grateful for the ongoing opportunity to build a life rooted in what matters, now, here together with you.


In love and service,

Rev. Nicoline