All Souls Kansas City

March 2021, Newsletter, The Flame

Table of Contents:

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Forum & Sunday Services  |   From the Minister  |   Religious Education

Things To Do | Get Involved | Attendance

 Adult Education


Virtual Forum &

Sunday Services…

UU Forum | March 7: “The Truth in Black & White: An Apology from The Kansas City Star”

March 7 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am

On Dec. 20, 2020, The Star published an astonishing and deep account of its historical coverage of the Black community, apologizing and acknowledging the “sins of our past still reverberating today.”  The Star’s team talks about the impact of the series and where we go from here.  With reporters Mara’ Williams and Eric Adler; Editor for Race Equity Issues Trey Williams; and President & Editor Mike Fannin.  Click here to participate in Zoom on Sunday mornings at 10:00 AM. If prompted for a password:…

Sunday Service | March 7, 2021: “In Every Generation” with Rev. Jim Lewis

March 7 @ 11:15 am – 12:15 pm

Our living tradition is regularly changing, shifting, and growing. Rev. Jim Lewis will explore one theological shift in our UU history and what that might mean for our path forward.  Rev. Lewis is a former member of All Souls, who attended Starr King School for the Ministry in California, and is now an ordained UU clergy person.

UU Forum | March 14: “Environmental Injustices to Rural Residents” with Everett Murphy & Craig Volland

March 14 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Everett is a retired pulmonologist who, with his wife, Corva, have a home near Belair, MO., an area threatened by a large hog factory.  Craig handles agricultural issues for the Kansas Sierra Club.  They will discuss how rural people are threatened with obnoxious and dangerous practices of industrial agriculture in Kansas and Missouri.  Click here to participate in Zoom on Sunday mornings at 10:00 AM. If prompted for a password: 4501 Questions or want to be added to the weekly email…

Sunday Service | March 14, 2021: “Staying Afloat” with Rev. Kendyl Gibbons

March 14 @ 11:15 am – 12:15 pm

This is the anniversary of our last in-person worship gathering before we began virtual services a year ago.  What have we lost, and what have we learned, in the course of this year?  What does it mean to share this kind of sudden upheaval in our world, and how do we help one another through it?  And, what might come next?  We will have an opportunity to share some landmarks, as well as wisdom from the UU Trauma Ministry Response…

Sunday Plus Lunch – Time for the Irish

March 14 @ 2:00 pm – 3:00 pm

March 15, 2020, was the last Sunday Plus Lunch at church and the last time we were together for a church service.  We are celebrating that milestone and the resilience of our community with a special Virtual Sunday Plus Lunch on Sunday, March 14, 2021.

There will be THREE main course options to choose from. The Cassity sisters will be making Irish Beef Stew Cooked in Guinness, and Mark Gibbons will be preparing Corned Beef and Cabbage. The vegetarian entrée will be Barley with Cabbage.  We will also have salad and Irish Soda Bread.

Dessert options will include Irish Whiskey Bread Pudding with Irish Whiskey Sauce and as always, Rice Krispy Treats.

Deadline to order is Tuesday, March 9th. Order here.

UU Forum | March 21: “Creating Digital Equity in Kansas City” with Rick Usher

March 21 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am

As more people as well as students are working from home, access to the internet and suitable computers is a challenge for many.  Rick Usher, Assistant City Manager, will discuss efforts to bridge this divide.  Click here to participate in Zoom on Sunday mornings at 10:00 AM. If prompted for a password: 4501 Questions or want to be added to the weekly email list? email ForumAdmin@allsoulskc.org

Sunday Service | March 21, 2021: “Dark and Light:  Spring Equinox” with Rev. Kendyl Gibbons

March 21 @ 11:15 am – 12:15 pm

On this pivot of the year, when day and night balance, we celebrate the season of growth and new life.  But what does it say about us, about the world, and about the sacred, if all our thoughts and metaphors treat darkness as something alien and bad?  Is that a universal human archetype, or harmful cultural meme?

UU Forum | March 28: “K.C.” Tenants on the Violence of Eviction and the #CancelRent Campaign” with Tara Raghuveer

March 28 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am

Through a crisis-laden winter, K.C. Tenants shut down Kansas City’s Housing Court with protests against evictions and is carrying on a #CancelRent campaign in a fight for Kansas City’s most vulnerable communities exposed by the inequitable pain of the pandemic.  With Tara Raghuveer, K.C. Tenants Director  Click here to participate in Zoom on Sunday mornings at 10:00 AM. If prompted for a password: 4501 Questions or want to be added to the weekly email list? email ForumAdmin@allsoulskc.org

Sunday Service | March 28, 2021: “Loved into Being” with Rev. Susan Frederick Gray

March 28 @ 11:15 am – 12:15 pm

Faith in Unitarian Universalism isn’t an intellectual exercise: it’s “heart” work. Join UUs throughout the country for vibrant music, storytelling, and preaching that will help us to grow in spirit, in courage, and in generosity, as we embark on our next stewardship adventure.

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From the Minister. . .

The All Souls community has been extremely fortunate so far as to the impact we have collectively experienced from the COVID pandemic.  Several of our members have been diagnosed as having contracted the virus, but all seem to be recovering well.  Many of us have lost family members or friends to the disease, and our active healthcare professionals have experienced enormous stress in their job responsibilities.  These are not negligible losses, and our deep sympathy is with all those who are grieving, or feeling overwhelmed.  Some of us have lost jobs due to distancing restrictions, and others have been unable to honor loved ones who have died, or to celebrate once in a lifetime family events like weddings, in the ways we are used to.  We all miss gathering with friends, shopping, eating out, traveling, and many other normal activities that have not been possible for a year now.   Our congregation has had to wrestle with what it means to be a church that cannot gather, and how to be faithful to our commitments to programs that our members depend on, and social justice initiatives that make a difference in our city.  These struggles are all quite real.

It is also true that together our congregation has risen to meet many challenges this year with grace and good will, and a number of the worst case scenarios that we once feared have not occurred.  We have had — or been able to develop — the technical skills among our staff and lay leaders to keep our community vital with online activities and worship services, as well as protected events like Hunger Outreach and Sunday Plus.  Many volunteers have helped to deliver items to members, checked in with phone calls, and worked on baby quilts and other projects at a distance.  And most of our members have continued to support All Souls financially with their accustomed generosity.  In response to missing rental income and cancelled fundraising events, we may need to draw on our endowment funds to some extent before the end of the fiscal year in June, but not as much as we had first anticipated.  Thanks to the work of those who arranged our Payroll Protection Program grant, we have been able to maintain our commitments to our staff as responsible employers.  Unless something completely unexpected occurs, we will end this program year without disabling institutional damage, and that is cause for rejoicing.

Now we begin to look ahead to the coming fiscal year, which starts in July.  While we continue to await guidance about resuming in-person gatherings from the government and from the UUA, many of our members are in the process of signing up for, and beginning to receive, vaccinations.  Deaths and hospitalization rates are starting to decline, and warmer weather months will make safer outdoor activities more feasible.  At this time, we anticipate continuing on line Sunday services through the summer, with the hope of being able to come together in person when the program year begins after Labor Day.  Whenever it appears to be advisable, we will organize some informal outdoor gatherings, such as picnics or a concert, over the summer.

It is also now time for the board to begin planning for next year’s congregational budget.  If in-person activities can safely resume, both at Simpson House and in our main building for much of the year, we may see our rental income bounce back to nearly normal, which would be extremely good news.  If that doesn’t entirely happen, we may be facing another year of drawing from the endowment in order to fund a balanced budget.  We will also need volunteers to help organize some fundraising events, like the auction and perhaps a summer garden tour — which have traditionally helped to round out our income.  Not using the building as much during the past year has saved us some expenses, but that will not continue once in-person activities and rentals resume.  We expect that there is going to be pent-up demand for programs and services that will make it impossible to cut down on staffing hours as we get back up to speed.  

In short, if you can sustain any level of increase of your contribution to All Souls, this would be a perfect time to let us know.  Or, if you can manage a one-time special gift to get us back on track for next year, that would also be enormously welcome.  Our members who have struggled with their health and their job situation this year, and have been forced to reduce their giving, are counting on the rest of us to help fill in that gap.  We all want our congregation to continue to be a strong force for justice and service in our city, and for connection and inspiration in our own lives.  All Souls is coming through this year of crisis, because all our donations — of time, and care, as well as dollars — have built a strong, vibrant community.  Let’s make sure that we can move forward with confidence into our next chapter!

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Religious Education…

All Souls Youth, Pre & Elementary Classes

Thank You to our Teens

Many thanks to all of our All Souls’ teens who filled out the Advocate Survey! The Board of Trustees values your feedback as we seek to make our congregation more responsive to the needs of marginalized groups in our community.

Transformation, Emoji, Mystery, Spirit, Compassion

Mystery Friends Reconnected

We are reconnecting past mystery friend adults and their children/youth. They will be having fun sharing letters with one another monthly for the duration of the pandemic. If you have not been contacted and want to reconnect with a past mystery friend please contact Reverend Judith Cady at lrd@allsoulskc.org or 816-674-2147. Thanks to all of you who are participating in this program. Have fun!!

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Things to do…

https://allsoulskc.breezechms.com/form/Pledge
Contact Diane or Sharon Cassity for more information.

Have you ever wanted to visit Alaska? If so, WhaleCoast Alaska 2021 is for you! 4 Alaska UU congregations invite you to experience our unique environmental and spiritual tour program this summer, when it will be safe to travel again. See Alaska through the eyes of local UUs, with friendly homestays and awe-inspiring tour activities. See wildlife, including moose, bears, caribou, whales, bald eagles, sea lions, etc.  Visit Denali National Park. Experience Native Alaskan culture. WhaleCoast Alaska is an inspirational way to visit our beautiful state.

Complete info at:  www.WhaleCoastAK.org.

This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience you won’t want to miss!

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Get Involved…

Virtual Memorial Event Celebration

You are invited to contribute to a virtual memorial event celebrating the life of Jack Jonathan, the date of which will be announced soon.  

You can participate in several ways:

1. Record a brief video on your computer or cell phone, telling about one special memory or quality of Jack that you cherish.  These should be no longer than 4 minutes, with 5 silent seconds before and after you speak, in order to facilitate editing.  Please turn the phone to horizontal while you record.  Upload the file to http://bit.ly/JonathanVideoForm 

2. You can e-mail or USPS mail a written recollection to be read at the virtual event.  Email to office@allsoulskc.org or mail to All Souls.

3.  You can mail a physical photo or picture of Jack, or scan and email it, to be included in the photo montage.  If you are submitting an electronic image, upload the file to http://bit.ly/JonathanVideoForm

4. In lieu of flowers, contributions in honor of Jack’s memory may be made to All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church of Kansas City, 4501 Walnut St, Kansas City, MO 64111, or through the web page at Allsoulskc.org

Caring Connection

Do you know an All Souls member or friend who could use some extra attention and support — someone who’s had surgery, is ill, or is coping with another challenge? If so, alert Bonnie Schwarzenholz, chair of the
Caring Connection.


Do you need or know of an All Souls member or friend who could benefit from a supportive Caring Circle? If so, call Dori Bader, Caring Connection volunteer, for information on Caring Circles and how to initiate one.

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Virtual Attendance Figures for January 2021

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Adult Education…

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