Connect With Us Via Zoom

You all are in my prayers during this unprecedented time when we are sheltering in place. I recently read an assessment of risk put out by CDC, and churches and bars are the highest risk (because of proximity, duration of time and singing – which propels the respiration). So, we are continuing to meet via Zoom, which is going very well. Please join us at 10 a.m. on Sundays here: The password is: 252867.

Also new, we are forming a Women’s Circle to meet once a month. Please contact me if you are interested. Men, I hope you create your own group. The purpose will be to laugh, love, share and support each other. Confidentiality and hearing everyone’s voices are the rules.

May you be well. Know you are loved.

– Rev. Judith Kennedy

Note: If you do not receive our weekly email, you can sign up here to get access to all Zoom sessions.

March 2020

These are challenging times, and it is so important that we continue to connect and support one another. Please join the service this Sunday at 10 a.m. via Zoom. (More about that below.) We know that God’s love is enfolding all.

Unity of the Black Hills has been closely monitoring the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and our local, state and national government regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.

On March 15, 2020, the CDC came out with a new recommendation:

Large events and mass gatherings can contribute to the spread of COVID-19 in the United States via travelers who attend these events and introduce the virus to new communities. Examples of large events and mass gatherings include conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings, and other types of assemblies. These events can be planned not only by organizations and communities but also by individuals.

Therefore, CDC, in accordance with its guidance for large events and mass gatherings, recommends that for the next 8 weeks, organizers (whether groups or individuals) cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States.

They further recommend: Cancel gatherings of more than 10 people for organizations that serve higher-risk populations.

In alignment with this new recommendation, Unity of the Black Hills has decided to close our facility for the next eight weeks.

We will be offering Sunday Service through Zoom Meeting, which is an internet-based video-conferencing system.

Our online service will be from 10 to 10:30 a.m., beginning with prayer, followed by a talk, and ending with group meditation.

If you are new to Zoom, please watch a 1-minute video tutorial about how to join a zoom meeting.

To participate fully, you will need:

  • EITHER a computer with speakers and a high-speed internet connection
    o About 10-15 minutes before the service starts, go to the URL for the Zoom session. It may take a minute for the software to load if this is your first time using Zoom. Once it has loaded, click the icon to Join Audio.
  • OR a smart phone with the zoom app (download for free from your app store)
    o Join the meeting on your phone using meeting the meeting ID we have sent to you through email.

You can also call in on your regular phone to participate with audio only at 301-715-8592. You will be prompted to enter the meeting ID.

Tips for a Better Online Experience

You can help make the online experience with Zoom better for everyone by following these guidelines to enhance internet performance.

• You can practice ahead of time by joining our Sunday Service meeting at any time between now and Sunday morning. Try it out and make sure everything on your end is working properly.

• Consider all the devices in your home that are connected to the internet. These include cell phones, iPads, Tablets, computers, TV cable boxes, and many more. Each of these devices uses a share of your internet “bandwidth.”

• Please turn off or set in airplane mode all devices you are not using for the Zoom meeting during the time of the Sunday service.

• On the device you are using, each application you open may be connecting to the internet. These may include email, calendars, cloud backups, any browser activity other than Zoom. Please shut down or pause any of these apps. Please note that on your phone, apps stay open and connected even when you switch to another app unless you explicitly close them. On a smart-phone, for example, you can close apps explicitly by double-clicking on the round button at the bottom of your phone and swiping up on each app that is displayed to close it.

• In order to give us a chance to interact, all microphones, cameras and telephones will be open as you log in. However, once the service starts, all microphones will be muted and all cameras will be turned off except for the person talking. Please do not turn your camera, microphone, or telephone back on during the service unless you are presenting. After the service, we will turn the microphones, cameras and telephones back on to allow for some interaction time.

• ‘Chat’ feature: You can also interact with other attendees using the ‘Chat’ button. Please refrain from chatting during prayer and meditation time, or any time you would not be talking with each other during an in-person service.

• Speaker View / Gallery View – you can toggle back and forth between seeing just the main speaker, or seeing everyone’s video. For our social time, you will want to be in Gallery View and for our service time, you will want to switch to Speaker View.

Love Offering

As you are aware, our bills do not stop just because we are not meeting in person. If you have not already done so, you may want to consider setting up your Love Offering to happen automatically through your online bill pay system at your bank.

You also can donate online now with any major credit card or PayPal:

Love offerings also can be mailed to:

Unity of the Black Hills
3645 Sturgis Road, Suite 400
Rapid City, SD 57702

If you know of anyone in our Unity community who does not receive our email newsletter, Happenings, or does not regularly use email, please feel free to call them and spread the word. We look forward to seeing you all (virtually) on Sunday!


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