4-25-2021 Order of Service


Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship

April 25, 2021, 10:20 am

Online on Zoom: https://zoom.us/j/738363620
Passcode: BUF

By phone, for audio only: (346) 248-7799
Meeting ID: 738 363 620
Passcode: 306220

Giving Options:

Please mail donations, payable to “BUF” to 1207 Ellsworth, Bellingham WA, 98225

Or donate online at buf.org

Or from your phone, use “Give+” for iPhone / Android


Blue song titles contain a link to a commentary on that song

Announcements further below

Zoom Hosts: Jeff Copeland, Walt Ellis, Rory McLeod, Rod Haynes

Gathering Music         Andrea Rackl, selections by Robert D. Vandall

Welcome                    Rev Paul Beckel

Chalice Lighting         Carrie Koehnline


Singing Together        #123 Spirit of Life

Anti-Racism               Lauralee Carbone


Reflections 1               Erika Shepard


Interlude                      Prelude Op.11, No.4 by Scriabin

Reflections 2

Interlude                      Improv

Reflections 3

Social and Environmental Justice Collection

Gabby Rigby, for NorthWest Youth Services

Offertory                         Prelude Op.11, No.9 by Scriabin

Singing Together        #1019 Everything Possible


Circle ‘Round


This week we’re expanding our Coffee Hour options

After the service, you can click on the “Breakout Rooms” icon at the bottom of your screen. We’ll have three different rooms to choose from: Q&A with Erika, Q&A with representatives from NW Youth Services, or simply check in with one another / meet newcomers.

Our BUF Covenant

Love is the spirit of this fellowship, and service gives it life.
Celebrating our diversity, and joined by a quest for truth,
we work for peace, and honor all creation. This is our covenant.


Spirit of Life

Spirit of Life, come unto me.
Sing in my heart all the stirrings of compassion.
Blow in the wind, rise in the sea;
move in the hand, giving life the shape of justice.
Roots hold me close; wings set me free;
Spirit of Life, come to me, come to me.


Everything Possible

We have cleared off the table, the leftovers saved, washed the dishes and put them away.
I have told you a story and tucked you in tight at the end of your knockabout day.
As the moon sets its sail to carry you to sleep over the Midnight Sea,
Well, I will sign you a song no one sang to me—may it keep you good company.

You can be anybody that you want to be, you can love whomever you will.
You can travel any country where your heart leads and know I will love you still.
You can live by yourself, you can gather friends around, you can choose one special one.
And the only measure of your words and your deeds
Will be the love you leave behind when you’re gone.

Some girls grow up strong and bold; some boys are quiet and kind.
Some race on ahead, some follow behind; some go in their own way and time.
Some women love women and some men love men.
Some raise children and some never do.
You can dream all the day, never reaching the end of everything possible for you.

Don’t be rattled by names, by taunts or games, but seek out spirits true.
If you give your friends the best part of yourself, they will give the same back to you.

You can be anybody that you want to be, you can love whomever you will.
You can travel any country where your heart leads and know I will love you still.
You can live by yourself, you can gather friends around, you can choose one special one.
And the only measure of your words and your deeds
Will be the love you leave behind when you’re gone.
Oh, the love you leave behind when you’re gone.




Congregational Dialog on Re-opening/COVID/Vaccination Policies

Noon, Sunday May 2nd — at the regular worship zoom link

The COVID Task Force shared a timeline recently about our projected re-opening schedule. There are many aspects that are still to be determined, so we want to have further dialog with the congregation about what policies will be most appropriate around gathering and vaccinations. A new FAQ is available at the very end of these announcements (below). We’ll talk about these, and respond to more questions — but most of all hear each other’s concerns, perspectives, and ideas about how to craft our future policies at the May 2nd meeting.


Next Sunday, May 2nd: An Odyssey – Rev Paul Beckel

This month I celebrate the 25th anniversary of my ordination in May 1996. Today I’ll share some of the lessons and stories, joys and sorrows of my ministry.


Sunday Service  Zoom Link: Meeting ID 738 363 620   Worship starts at 10:20am
Passcode is BUF
By phone, for audio only: (346) 248-7799


Miss the Easter Service or April Taize? 
Service videos are posted in the BUF YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-_v38Tob46Px4XucNog4Lg
Videos and texts are in our archives: https://wp.buf.org/worship-programs/past-worship-services/


Also this Sunday: Coffee Hour following the service and SEJC Business Meeting at Noon.


BUF Neighbor2Neighbor invites you to join the Meal Train for Anna Avalon and Don Hicks
What is Meal Train?  When a friend is in need, everyone asks “What can I do to help?” The answer is always to provide support through a meal. When many friends provide support through a meal, Meal Train keeps everyone organized. MealTrain.com is a free meal calendar tool that makes planning meals among a wide group easy and less stressful. Please share this information and invitation with others. Learn how you can help at Open Meal Train.

Another Porch Day — Saturday May 8th
Our series of ‘porch days’ have been a lot of fun this spring, with great music, a chance to stock up on Fair Trade items, just get together with a bunch of other BUFsters!

Our next outside event will be May 8 — the day before Mother’s Day.

  • Plenty of coffee, tea and chocolate and even more Fair Trade from Ten Thousand Village,
  • music from the BUF songbook,
  • line dancing in the street,
  • goodie bags and a fun art project for the kids
  • and a plant sale in the parking lot!


BUF Music and Choir Program
Thanks to all who participated in or attended BUF’s Earth Day service on Sunday, which was a ceremony in support of efforts to “Bring Tokitae Home.”  Here is a link to watch a 48-minute video of the ceremony:


BUF Pandemic Re-Opening Dialogue on Sunday, May 2nd at noon.
This will be an open-ended discussion and will address the breadth of questions and suggestions around the plan to safely reopen BUF. Please contact us: covidtaskforce@buf.org if you have questions or concerns.  To read the full guidelines for the current plan to re-open BUF click here.


FUNraiser for BUF
Key Dates: NOW through May 2, get donations from your home and favorite merchants

  • May 2-8, 4-6 pm: Deliver items to BUF
  • May 9-23 Bidding on Items at togetherauction.com/buf
  • May 24-26 Pick-up tangible items at BUF

Suggested Donations:
Goods and Services from your favorite merchants, Homemade desserts, soups and meals, Handcrafted items. Works of art made by you or artists in our community, Lessons & classes, Small outdoor gatherings, Outdoor excursions, Virtual (online) social events – musical performances, games, share a topic of interest, book discussion, etc., Use of your vacation home, Gently used treasures.

For more info, contact Debbie Boots or Lauralee Carbone.


BUF-SEJC Collection Recipient, Northwest Youth Services The pandemic response has thrown into perspective how lack of housing always impacts the safety of unhoused youth. Many don’t have a safe place to isolate or quarantine, open access to a sink to wash their hands, or a phone to keep in touch with their support network. NW Youth provides services to youth from ages 13-24 who are experiencing homelessness in Whatcom and Skagit Counties. It engages in both crisis intervention and crisis prevention. They meet homeless where they are in providing basic needs like housing and access to services like mental health, substance abuse, vocational/employment and educational opportunities. They also have a restorative justice and diversion program for juvenile offenders and a Queer Youth Project. For more information, check out their website:  https://www.nwys.org. Contribution can be made throughout April.

~ In Peace, Sita Amba-Rao, BUF-SEJC.


Nominations Committee for Board candidates is in full swing. We aspire to find folks who are committed to BUF and the UU principles that we all love.  We look for people who fulfill our principles of respect for one another, and in line with our recently adopted “Covenant of Beloved Community”, we are committed to creating a community and a world without racism, that is just for all. As we believe in democratic principles, we want you not only to vote on the candidates we have chosen, but to give you the opportunity to offer suggestions for people (or yourself) that you feel might fit the current criteria. Please contact a member of the Nominations Committee – Barbara Gilday, Claire Lending, Jeff Copeland, and Ann Lackland.


Pastoral Care: Let this be a gentle reminder to reach out both when you have a need and when you see a need in someone else; whether it is a big “ask” or a little acknowledgement. Taking the step to extend yourself to others in this congregation (and in the broader world) is an action you can take to make this community more welcoming and the world a kinder, gentler place.

Your Pastoral Care Team consists of: Mary Jane Brunt, Jan Krouskop, Joan Mackey, and Steffany Raynes. Ginny Baker and Rick Steele have both recently retired and we want to thank them for their service. The team will be seeking new members; let me know if you are interested. If you or someone you know needs emotional support please let us know at pastoralcare@buf.org.


A BUF Human Resources has begun recruiting for the Administrator and Bookkeeper positions at BUF. The job posting and full job descriptions are now posted on the BUF website:  https://wp.buf.org/administration-overview/employment/



Part 1

For commonly asked questions and answers, please visit:

For up-to-date, reliable information about coronavirus,
check the CDC and World Health Organization (WHO) websites.

For Religious and Faith-based Organizations COVID-19 Requirements, check the site below.
COVID19 Religious and Faith Based Organization Guidance.pdf


For additional BUF-related questions, please email coronavirus@buf.org

Please note that a congregational meeting on COVID has been called by the COVID Task Force and will take place on Sunday May2 @Noon via Zoom, following the service. Please be present and bring your questions and comments. 

The following article is written specifically with the reopening of BUF in mind and will be offered in installments.



Q: How do you clean high-touch surfaces at BUF to minimize the spread of COVID?

A: Scientific studies inform us that coronaviruses on surfaces and objects die within hours to days. Although routine cleaning and scrubbing with soap and water will remove this virus as well as dirt from surfaces, we do additional sanitizing on doors, handles, stairway rails, counter tops and all bathroom touchable surfaces with a 99.5% isopropyl solution. We do a complete job of sanitizing the entryway, bathrooms and workroom on Monday and Thursday, and focus on the Sanctuary on Friday. We have not yet returned to a schedule of service by the building steward and janitorial crew, so cleaning and sanitizing is being done by the administrative staff. We have planned for and have budgeted resources to start ramping up janitorial service to the building by the end of April.

Q: Will you make hand sanitizers available at BUF?

A: Yes. CDC recommends using soap and water to wash hands often for at least 20 seconds to prevent the spread of infection. But we will also make alcohol-based hand sanitizers that contain at least 60% alcohol available at entry, handwashing station in back of Sanctuary and in both bathrooms on administrative level.


Please note: The attainment of Phase 3 operations enables us to gather in groups for a live service in the sanctuary. At first, we will limit the attendance, starting with 5, 10, or 20 people. Gradually, we’ll increase the number, keeping in mind the health and safety of all concerned.

Q: How do I sign up for a service? What if I’ve forgotten to bring my mask?

A: A signup process will be announced. We’ll have a supply of spare masks available. Zoom services will continue to be provided for all for an indefinite period.

Q: Will you be handing out a printed OOS (Order of Service)?

A: No, the OOS will be offered on the website and displayed on the screen before the service starts.

Q: How will we greet each other?

A: Use a non-contact method, such as a namaste, or simply by smiling.

Q: Will we (the congregants) be allowed to sing? What about the availability of hymnal books?

A: No singing (except for the choir group) until further notice. No hymnal book will be available.

Q: What is the bathroom etiquette? Will we be able use the coat closet?  What about the elevator?

A: The use of restrooms will be as follows. One person at a time, at the Admin level only, with lines forming along the corridor, while maintaining social distance. (Exception: a caregiver will be allowed to accompany a person.) The coat closet will not be available, so keep all your personal belongings with you. The use of the elevator will be limited to one person-at-a-time. (Exception: a caregiver will be allowed to accompany a person.)

Q: Will we be able to enjoy the coffee hour in the social hall after the service?

A: Not at present. The social hall will remain unavailable. However, we’ll reintroduce the coffee hour at a later date.

Q: What kind of ventilation mitigation strategy will you be using at BUF?

A: Currently we’re working with our HVAC systems to adjust airflow in heavily occupied spaces in the building. We’re also checking the air filters. More details will come soon.

Q: Will you provide childcare?

A: When regularly scheduled Sunday Services are held, childcare will be provided following all required guidelines.

 Q: Any possibility of an outdoor Sunday service?

A: We’re considering this. We also hope to organize a “Picnic in the Park” on July 4.



Q: What can I do after I am fully vaccinated and have allowed two weeks to pass?

A: (From cnn.com) “(F)ull vaccination doesn’t mean you can ditch all safety precautions. We’re still far away from herd immunity, so health experts say you still need to:

  • Wear a mask and keep good distance around those who are unvaccinated and at increased risk for severe Covid-19.
  • Avoid medium- and large-sized crowds.
  • Avoid poorly ventilated public spaces.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Get tested for Covid-19 if you feel sick.”