EqUUality: How COVID-19 Has Increased Accessibility and Other Possibilities for Transformation

As we honor Deaf History Month (3/13-4/15), let’s reflect on how our denomination can be more inclusive of the Deaf and others who have hearing loss. How has COVID-19 already moved the needle toward greater accessibility, not only for the Deaf but for many others? What other possibilities for positive transformation has the coronavirus crisis brought about?

Service Leader: Karen Esterl

Share-the-Plate – Our plate recipient for March-April is NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness) Northeast Iowa. To donate to the recipient, simply designate so on your check mailed to

Decorah UU
PO Box 382
Decorah, IA 52101-0382

Download April 5, 2020 bulletin

BULLETIN, Sunday, April 5, 2020

Gathering virtually since 2020!

Welcome and Announcements

Today’s Service relates to the 2nd UU Principle  Justice, equity and compassion in human relations

Chalice Lighting 

We light this candle

Mindful of people who hear, see, move

Through the world differently.

Today may we catch a glimpse, see more clearly.

Today may we rekindle the light of justice and compassion.                               

…The Rev. Laurie Thomas

Opening Song  Celebration        …performed by Playing For Change

Joys and Sorrows  Please raise your Zoom hand to share any personal joy or concern with the Fellowship.

Silence Meditation /Sung Response  Your joy is my joy; your sorrow, my sorrow. Together we live our days, together we love this place.  In beloved community, we are not alone.    …Ellen Rockne

Video  Spoken without Words: Poetry with ASL SLAM

Offering /Offertory  For all that is our life, we sing our thanks and praise; for all life is a gift that we are called to use to build the common good, and make our own days glad.   …Bruce Findlow

EqUUality: How COVID-19 Has Increased Accessibility and Other Possibilities for Transformation      Karen Esterl


Closing Song  Let It Be Me        …Emily Saliers (performed by the Indigo Girls)


Extinguishing the Chalice 

Never has it been more true than now:                                                  

We extinguish this flame,

But the sparks within us remain alight.

From each of us, in our supposed solitude,

The signals buzz and hum, sparkling through space one to another,

Connecting us invisibly

But palpably.

 We are one.

And from every window,

Our light shines.                                                                                        

…The Rev. Amy Zucker Morgenstern


Thank you to our presenter today, Decorah UU member Karen Esterl. Karen is an applications developer and analyst (aka computer nerd) at Emory University in Atlanta (she telecommutes), but her formal studies have been in religion and English. She majored in both while an undergrad at Furman University and subsequently received her master of theological studies (MTS) in world religions from Harvard Divinity School. She and her spouse, UCC minister the Rev. Ellis Arnold, live in Freeport with two dachshunds, a cat, and a parrot. After the service, please treat yourself to a little something, and we’ll be in virtual touch soon. Take care, All!


Share-the-Plate – Our plate recipient for March-April is NAMI NE Iowa, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, providing education, support and advocacy.


Next Sunday, April 12 – Poems We Love, with Decorah UU Members & Friends. Many times we’ve hosted conversations about books we love. In honor of National Poetry Month, let’s share our favorite poems. You can send the poem(s) you’d like to share ahead of the service to otterdreaming@gmail.com, if you’d like people to be able to read along, or you can simply read to the gathering during the open mic portion of the service.


Decorah UU Support – As we continue to find our way through this challenging time, please remember: if you need help, let us know. While we might establish a more structured format for supporting one another in this way (picking up groceries or prescriptions, etc.), for now, simply let Otter know via phone 563-387-6050 or email otterdreaming@gmail.com. From there, we’ll look for someone who can help out while observing current health & safety recommendations, as well as observing confidentiality. We’ll all need support of one kind or another during this time. Please don’t hesitate to ask.


Decorah UU Circles – We’re contacting Members & Friends from our Fellowship Directory about being part of Decorah UU Circles, for support & connection. If you are among our wider circle of friends on our email list and would like to participate in a Circle, please let Sue Otte know at sueotte@gmail.com or let Otter know at otterdreaming@gmail.com.


Decorah UU Board of Trustees – The next regular meeting of the Board is Tuesday, April 7th, 7:00 p.m. online via Zoom. Board members for 2019-2020 are Matthew Alexander, chair; Beth Wahlberg, treasurer; and Bill Pardee, Carolyn Corbin and Maggie Hayden, general trustees. Julie Ohde and Lynn Pleggenkuhle have been nominated to join the Board in July as Carolyn and Bill complete their terms. Decorah UU members will vote on nominees at the upcoming Annual Meeting.


Unitarian Universalists in Solidarity with the Mashpee Wampanoag TribeOn March 27, the Bureau of Indian Affairs informed the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe in Massachusetts of a U.S. Department of the Interior order to disestablish the tribe’s reservation and remove its land-in-trust status. Vice Chair Jessie Little Doe Baird says that the order will terminate the Tribe’s ability to self-govern, strip the Tribe of their reservation lands, and effectively terminate them as a recognized people. The UUA unequivocally affirms our support for the Mashpee Wampanoag People’s sovereignty and right to their ancestral territory, and condemns the government’s blatantly illegal and morally reprehensible attempt to strip the Tribe of their rights and their homelands. In keeping with the UU General Assembly’s responsive resolution to repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery, we urge Unitarian Universalists to act now in solidarity with the Mashpee Wampanoag people to defend their sovereignty and push back against this latest aggression on behalf of the federal government.


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