5-2-2021 Order of Service

An Odyssey

Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship

May 2, 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: Walt Ellis, Jeff Copeland

Gathering Music       Melanie Rieck

Medley of UU Hymns, in jazz arrangements by Jim Scott

I Wish I Knew How, Billy Taylor & Dick Dallas

Welcome                    Rev Paul Beckel

Chalice Lighting        Jane Beckel


Singing Together      #128 For all that is our Life

Kevin Allen-Schmid, Patricia Conover, Barbara Ellis-Quinn, Barbara Gilday, Elie Friedlob, Lisa Moss, Karen Nuckles-Flinn, Carl Nyblade, Becky Pillai, Ron Quinn, Melanie Rieck               

Children’s Focus                              

Meditation / Milestones                               

Anti-Racism               Daria Haynes

Reflections, Part 1

Singing Together      #317 We are not our Own

Reflections, Part 2

Interlude                    Stand By Me, Ben E. King

Offertory                   When Morning Gilds the Skies, arr. John Carter,

Singing Together      #1050 Jazz Alleluia

Benediction / Extinguishing the Chalice

Circle Round            


Afterward: a series of 10-Minute Breakout Rooms
Stay with us. We’ll break into small randomized groups for about 10 minutes. Then the groups will be juggled for another 10 minute period. Stay as long as you like to meet newcomers, and people that you might not otherwise have met … check-in on one another’s well-being … and reflect on the theme of today’s service.

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.


For all that is our Life

For all that is our life we sing our thanks and praise;
for all life is a gift which we are called to use
to build the common good and make our own days glad.

For needs which others serve, for services we give,
for work and its rewards, for hours of rest and love;
we come with praise and thanks for all that is our life.

For sorrow we must bear, for failures, pain, and loss,
for each new thing we learn, for fearful hours that pass:
we come with praise and thanks for all that is our life.

For all that is our life we sing our thanks and praise;
for all life is a gift which we are called to use
to build the common good and make our own days glad.


We are not our Own

We are not our own. Earth forms us,
human leaves on nature’s growing vine,
fruit of many generations,
seeds of life divine.

We are not alone. Earth names us:
past and present, peoples near and far,
family and friends and strangers
show us who we are.

Therefore let us make thanksgiving,
and with justice, willing and aware,
give to earth, and all things living,
liturgies of care.

Let us be a house of welcome,
living stone upholding living stone,
gladly showing all our neighbors
we are not our own!




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.


The BUF Auction is online at www.togetherauction.com/buf

Bidding will run from May 9-23. But you can go to the website to view the items starting now! We will be adding donated items from now until the auction starts.

AND – we need donations!

After a couple of years focused on services and events (instead of physical items) as an aid to building community – we are now welcoming/encouraging physical items. So do you have a Maker in your family? Someone gifted with wood working or fabrics? An exercise treadmill languishing in your closet? A bike rack but you no longer have bikes? Donate them to BUF! You can also donate an event (like a tea party) or service (like offering to power-wash for 2 hours) – but please be explicit about your requirements regarding vaccination status, masking, social distancing, etc.

We will be at the BUF front lobby from 4-6 PM on the week before the auction starts to accept your donation. Getting donations earlier in the week is most helpful as we want to get the photos and posting up as soon as possible.

We have a budget goal to reach $10k from this fund-raising event. That’s a high bar for an online-only event. However, the auction is open to anyone and everyone. All BUF members are pre-registered (your phone number is your login and your last 4 digits of your phone are your password). If someone is not registered they are able to register online – but then have to send a request to get a bidding/paddle number assigned to them (this allows us to confirm legitimate interest).

Pickups and payments (cash, credit card, check, Give+ app) happen from 3-6 pm May 24-26th at the BUF front door.

Please line up your donations and mark your calendar to review the catalogue. You can save items to your ‘favorites’ list. The high bidder for each item at 5 pm on May 23rd will be the winner.

Thanks much The BUF Auction Team
Debbie Boots, Lauralee Carbone, Pam Ives, Hank Ohana


Next Sunday, May 9: To be Mothered, and Mothering, without bearing Children

Mother’s Day reflections from some different angles.

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


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.


Taize (by Zoom) with Rev. Tessie Mandeville First Monday of each Month: Monday, May3 7-8:00 pm (come a little early to settle in)
Passcode: BUF
or dial in: (669) 900-6833 Meeting ID: 753181200

Everyone is encouraged to sing from home and all participants will be muted, except for Andrea who will play most of the songs on piano; the words to the songs will be posted on your screen. Tessie and Lisa will sing a few songs acapella. We will have two readings, a meditation, and time to light candles. You might want to have at the ready one candle to light for the beginning and any other candles you want to light during our time of prayer requests.


Black Lives Matter Business and Planning Meeting, Monday, May 3 at 6pm.
Join Zoom Meeting: https://zoom.us/j/96292952504
Meeting ID: 962 9295 2504
Passcode: BUF
One tap mobile +12532158782,,96292952504# US (Tacoma)


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,
  • clay chalice kits to take home
  • goodie bags and a fun art project for the kids
  • and a plant sale in the parking lot!



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.”