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First Parish Church of Groton Goes Virtual
Thursday Mar. 12, 2020

Dearly Beloveds,

The Board of Trustees and I have made the difficult decision to cancel church services this Sunday and we expect for at least the next two Sundays as well. We are paying close attention to the MA Dept. of Public Health guidelines. As you know, everything is changing quickly.

Our decision is based on the strong recommendations of the Unitarian Universalist Association and out of concern for those who are most vulnerable in our community -- elders and those of us with underlying health issues or compromised immunity. While this decision may seem overly cautious to some, we would much rather be on the side of closing too early than too late. We are heeding the advice to take action before anyone is sick in the hope that it will slow down the spread of the virus. We will do our best to reschedule all the wonderful things that were supposed to happen in March.

We have increased our cleaning protocols in both buildings for staff and renters. However, we urge all committees and small groups to meet virtually rather than in person for the time being. We will be sending out information about meeting platforms such as Zoom for those among us who are not quite up to speed on these technologies (such as yours truly…). If you have expertise on how to make virtual meeting simple for people, please share it with me.

In addition, I will be offering worship at 10 am on Sunday through our YouTube Channel -- just type First Parish Church of Groton into the YouTube search bar or follow this link: First Parish Church on YouTube!

YouTube Live videos fall into the category of things I never imagined doing but I am grateful for the technology which makes it possible. The video of the service will be available after the Live Streaming is over (Is that even what you call it?!). We will light the chalice, there will be a story for all ages, as well as a message. I will do my best but there should at least be some comic relief involved.

It feels really hard not to gather in person when things are difficult and uncertain. I would rather see your faces. But we are strong, resilient, and creative and we can do hard things. We will find as many ways to connect as we can. If you are in need of any kind, please reach out to me or to our Caring Committee and Pastoral Visitors Coordinators.

Caring Committee: Carol Swift at or call 978-448-6108
Pastoral Visitors: Trish Garrigan at or call 781-775-8635

Facebook is another good way to stay connected. Please send me a friend request, join the Friends of First Parish Church of Groton, MA page and visit the church page.

I posted this beautiful poem by Lynn Ungar on Facebook this morning and it is being widely shared there. It has been helping me to breathe today as I remember that we are all connected by invisible tendrils. We can hold onto those even if we cannot hold each other’s hands.

Pandemic by Lynn Ungar

What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath —
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
Center down.

And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.

Promise this world your love —
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.

With love,


3 Powderhouse Road … Groton, MA 01450-4700 … 978-448-6307 …   …  

Created 2019-03-19