There’s a tiny mascot at the church (pictured
above). He’s hard to find, and a little shy, but since
meeting him five years ago on a tour of the
building, I’ve checked in on him every few weeks.
For the last two years, it’s often felt like he was the
most consistent presence in UCL’s gallery.
Our theme for the month of April is Awakening. In
the midst of the rain, cranes, mud, and rapidly
changing weather in Nebraska it feels like a kind of
awakening is happening in our congregation. In
March, following a rapid drop in COVID-19 cases in
Lancaster County, we started to welcome back
pieces of our congregational life that have been
missing for a long time. On March 13, we held in-
person religious education for kids for the first time
this year. On March 20, we served coffee after the
worship service for the first time in over two years.
On March 22, the Lincoln Lancaster County Health
Department announced that they were moving the
COVID risk dial to green, communicating that the
risk of spread and impact of COVID-19 in our community is “low.”
Over the last two years we have found new ways of
being a community. We have put together online
worship services, gone to committee meetings on
Zoom, reached out by phone and Facebook. These
have been, and will remain, important tools to make
sure our congregation is accessible to all.
At the same time, when I walked into the gallery
and smelled coffee brewing and heard kids laughing
for the first time in years, I was moved. Five years
ago, when I met our mascot, I believed that one of
the most important things that a church does is
bring people of different ages and backgrounds
together in an experience of shared time and space.
On Sunday morning we gather together, and there
is beauty and meaning just in gathering.
It is going to take some time for us to awaken from
the last few years, to relearn the rhythms of shared
time and space - and we are going to move at
difference paces. As we move into spring, the
coffee is brewing, and we’re brushing the cobwebs
off our long-suffering mascot. Come join us.
Rev. Oscar Sinclair serves as the Settled Minister for The Unitarian Church of Lincoln, Nebraska.