President’s Message for December 2020
 John Isham 

     jpisham27@gmail.com

  There is light at the end of the tunnel.  What an emotional relief!  We can now pursue goals and do advanced planning without an assured and growing resistance.  There are still a number of roadblocks ahead but they are not insurmountable.

The first is the virus. Suddenly the administration wants to take possession of the pandemic so it can take credit for the vaccines and their distribution. This, after eight months of inaction, suppression and the causation of 270,000 deaths so far.  Until the presidential transition and the completion of transfer of efforts to the new administration really happens, we can expect very little progress toward a reduced risk of infection.  But following January 20th we will be able to look forward to a time when there is no risk of infection and we can have live services again on Sundays.  Perhaps this will happen at the beginning of our fiscal year in July, although that seems optimistic because of the delaying tactics of the incumbent administration.  Much will depend on the success of the vaccine distribution to bring a time when there is no need for masks or physical distancing. Masks, distancing, and temperature checks may be sufficient for most needed activities and gatherings in the interim, but now and even then, just the need for these precautions means the risk still exists and our congregation has too many members in the high vulnerability group. I refuse to subject anyone to that risk and would never be able handle knowledge if a member contracted the virus at a MUUF function.  We do not need to meet in person to exist, especially with the success of our virtual services.  It is not necessary for us to subject anyone to risk even if it means a short term negative impact on our membership numbers.  I wish all members had computer skills to Zoom with us and hope our contacts with those that don’t are sufficient to keep them active in MUUF. 

These last four years have helped to identify and solidify a large number of citizens, 73 million strong, many of whom stand in the way of making progress in many needed social action issues: global warming and ocean rise, clean energy and water and air, cleanup of the earth and oceans, police brutality, minority oppression and neglect, immigration issues, equality of wealth distribution, and a kinder, gentler society. MUUF is and will be doing what we can to help in many of these areas through DART(Direct Action & Research Training Center), MCEA(Manatee Clean Energy Alliance), and our social justice activities, but perhaps we also can help now that the mentor with whom these 73 million identify with is out of the picture and replaced with a sensible person.  Perhaps each of us can make a concerted effort to be kind to everyone we see and meet, even those not wearing masks and even those who break laws and even bullies who butt in. Perhaps we can all do a little each time to help ratchet down the animosity which has grown in these people who for four years have identified with the soon gone “example.”  Calm down, smile, the bad guy is gone, we can move on to a better future. Let’s all work on it!

Now, it seems, Trump is trying to throw out democracy altogether and cause (say bully) certain states to throw their electoral college votes to him even if their election results were democratically won by Biden.  This may still be going on when it is time to write the January MUUF Update.  It may go all the way to the Supreme Court.  Shame on us if it gets that far.  Have concern for our democracy if he is able to push it that far.  In the meantime, keep the Manatee Justice Ministry’s motto in mind: “Do justice…love kindness…walk humbly.”

 

  

Presidents Since the 50th Anniversary
John Isham  2018 to 2020
Carol Bartz   2016  to 2018
Martha Pelletier 2015
Bill Peruzzi:(winter) and Martha Pelletier (summer)   2014
Bill Peruzzi (winter) and Joan Butcher (summer)  2013
Grace Hirsch January 2012
Lorraine Berry  2009-2011