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Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association, Weekly News and Reflections

May 14, 2020

Picture of Julica looking over it with a sign that reads enough, already

Julica Hermann de la Fuente, UUMA Intern

I Didn't Sign Up For This


I have joked with friends that if I ever write a memoir, I will title it Never A Dull Moment. And I’m here to tell you that the pandemic chapter will be called “I Didn’t Sign Up For This.” I still remember the disconcerting feeling of the first Monday when we began sheltering at home: nobody left! No one walked to school or drove away to work. They were ALL STILL HERE, and they still are, three thousand seven hundred and fourteen days later.


I love my family and I am very very lucky that we are fairly functional, we still seem to like each other, and my children are 11 and 15 – old enough to self-entertain and neurotypical enough that screens don’t send them around the bend. And even with all that, I DID NOT SIGN UP FOR THIS. (Yes, I’m yelling.) Also: I hate cooking, and why does it feel like that is all I do?


So this is a special love note to the Pastor Parents out there. To those of you single parents, parents of kiddos with special needs, parents of littles, parents of kids who desperately miss the structure of school, parents of preteens and teens that are missing critical time with their peers. To those of you pregnant parents, parents with young adults back at home and parents with young adults far away, parents who are also caring for elders. To those of you parenting kids of color and trans youth and young people with disabilities: You are magnificent. You are going above and beyond every day. You, too, did not sign up for this, and you are doing a great job.


Fellow Pastor Parents: let’s cut ourselves some slack, please. Let’s follow the instruction that I saw from a teacher on Facebook at some point in the past three thousand seven hundred and fourteen days: our job is to help our kids get through this with as little trauma as possible. We can handle academic learning later. In fact, we can handle many other things later. And let’s be real: we can’t keep working at the pace we were working before -- a pace never intended for health and wellbeing anyway. Let us free ourselves from this internalized nonsense. Let us trust and follow our bodies and our rhythms and our true capacity. Whatever it takes for us and for our families to make it: permission granted.


And let me also acknowledge and bring some love to those of you who want to be parents and keep trying, those who are still waiting to adopt your little person, to those who had fertility treatments interrupted by the pandemic. To those of us who have trauma in our family histories that has been activated by this difficult time. To those who are missing their relationships with niblings and god children and grandchildren. To those who are social distancing, with a glass door between you and the small people on the other side. To the ones whose family relationships are ruptured, and grieving that loss. To all of us who have had our families strained and distanced and challenged by this pandemic, so much love and care.


Will you pray with me?


Queridisima Diosa, Beloved Goddess, hear our call.

Bless us, Goddess, with the knowledge that we are good enough just as we are.

Grace us with small moments of quiet and solitude.

Help us prioritize our well being and the well being of our families.

Free us from capitalist expectations of productivity and worth.

Be with us as we learn how to grieve our losses without gathering with our beloveds.

Remind us of the communities that help us through the tough times.

And whenever possible: joy and resilience. Good sleep. A sense of humor.

Please and thank you.

Amen. Bendita Seas.

Virtual Ministry Days Highlights


  • Small Group Guidelines Discussions: Join us for a small group discussion about the guidelines revisions. This will be especially helpful if you were not able to participate in a study guide conversation last fall in your cluster or chapter, or if you would like to reflect on the improvements made by the guidelines committees after the feedback was received. We are pleased to offer this opportunity to reflect together on how these revisions will impact our ministries and shift our collegial relationships. Caucuses of various identities will be available. Please do join us by clicking on the date you would like to attend below.
  • Additional Opportunities for Learning: We are close to finalizing the transition of our Ministry Days classes to a virtual format. This week we want to highlight “Connecting With Mind, Body, and Soul Amidst Change and Uncertainty” led by our keynote speakers, Ayo Clemons and Rebeka Ndosi. Happening on June 17 & 18 at noon ET, this will be an opportunity for self-reflection, exploration, and body-based practices to support self-awareness and resilience in the midst of change. The cost of this 8 hour class is $200 (scholarship assistance is available). CEUs are available. You can register (must be logged into your uuma.org profile)
  • Calling all Singers of the Living Tradition: You are invited to make a video of yourself singing the song "Come Sing a Song with Me" for what we hope will be a beautiful virtual choir presentation used during both the 25/50 Worship and Service of the Living Tradition (additional song opportunities may be available so stay tuned). for a vocal score and the tools and directions on how to join the virtual choir. All members of professional associations (and their partner/spouses) are invited to join.
  • Ministry Days Spiritual Practices: Would you like to offer a Spiritual Practice as an "Extra Event" during Ministry Days? If so please email a title and description of the practice to . Small honorarium provided for presenters.

Opportunities for Connection


Support Calls:

If you are interested in offering a support call or have an idea for one please reach out to As always you can view the support calls open to UUMA members . For the time being we are taking a break on offering a call for all religious professionals.



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