Making Connections by Vicki Carter

Tonight my husband, Robert Carter, and I watched an independent film that our son bought tickets for us to see. I watched on my iPad, and he watched on his laptop. There was no descriptive narration for the blind, but I think the movie was driven by dialogue to an extent that a blind person could follow it okay. My husband didn’t stay for the Q and A, only because he has sleep issues. (People with zero light perception can’t regulate their sleep using the sun to control circadian rhythms...)

I loved the whole online premiere experience! Knowing that our son, Graham Carter, was watching the Q and A in real time with me was very cool. He reminded me that Robert and I had once met the director at the man’s birthday party in downtown Brooklyn. Graham and I texted after the Q and A, and that was so fun!

Even though we didn’t talk during the event, I felt so connected to Graham.

Gone are the days when Robert and I could (literally) jet off to join Graham at a film festival. There are no more film festivals. There are no more films in production. Experiences like tonight matter for our family.

How are you finding ways to reinvent the experiences that matter most to you and your loved ones? How are you connecting? Is technology helping or are you struggling with it?

Last month I almost entitled my article “The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth.” I am not a geek. I rely on my geek husband and son. I know how awful it is to struggle with technology.

But can you imagine being separated from your loved ones without it? When I lived 70 miles from home and had no car or phone my mother used to write me every week. If she needed me to get to a pay phone and call her she would phone a friend at his newsstand and wait for me to stop by and get the message.

There was no email, no FaceTime, no Zoom, no cellphones making us constantly available. We are lucky to have all that in this time of physical separation.

I've attended two parties and a concert on Zoom. People send little treats on messenger or by text. We can have group calls on the HomePod. (This really confuses my elderly father-in-law. He thinks we must be in the same room with Graham.) Best of all, my husband, son and I have a text group that Robert named “The Fabulous Carters.” Hardly a day goes by that we don't share an article, a song, or a joke. Before all this happened, I used to look at “Find My Friend” and see that Graham was 1431 miles away. Now I know people who are separated from loved ones by less than a mile. It might as well be a thousand miles.

I look forward to the time when our family can be in the same room again. Until then, I will just have to be grateful that we have so many ways to stay connected.

June Lessons on Good and Evil

June 7 The Evil Wizard

June 14 The Sword of the Wood

June 21 The Noble Ibex

June 28 The Dog and the Heartless King

Updated: 9 hours ago

Each year UUCBV's congregation and friends meet to review all of the achievements of the past year and to plan what will be next for UUCBV. This year's meeting is virtual on Sunday, May 24 at noon. Our calendar has the link for you to join. Please review our report found on our website under the Home tab within the Info Directory titled Annual Report ( <-you can also click the blue link in this post). New resources are planned to be available under this heading.

What’s Next for the MSJE?

Have you heard? The UUA recommends that UU churches not open for services until May 2021. Certainly, things have changed since the COVID-19 social distancing guidelines came into effect. The good news is that the MSJE and our social justice work can become more popular and even more productive if we become creative and use mass media constructively. With our new minister coming soon, for the year 2020 - 2021, the MSJE will need to develop digital expertise to continue our work. So, put on your thinking caps. We plan to continue working with our current partners - Family Promise (FP) of Bryan/CS, BISD Hope’s Locker, Pride Community Center, Brazos Valley Interfaith Immigration Network (BIIN), Climate Change Lobbyist (CCL) & TX UU Justice Ministry (TXUUJM). In addition, the UUA has specific social justice programs with which we can participate involving economic, climate & environment, immigrant, LGBTQ, racial, reproductive & voting rights justice.

Specifically, with the November election looming, working to prevent voter suppression and trying to increase voter registration in our area may be something we could focus on. The UUA has begun a campaign, UU the Vote, to help congregations support democratic processes in our governments. I hope we can work with the UUA, Texas UU Justice Ministry (TxUUJM) and the local chapter of the TX Democratic Women (TDW) to get out the vote. Rev. Chuck Freeman is willing to help mobilize the MSJE in this venture, so hopefully we can invite him to speak with us soon. .

To show how powerful we can be, in April 2020, one member suggested a collection for the Emergency BIIN Cares Fund for immigrant families who will not receive assistance from the Coronavirus stimulus package. We collected over $2000 in donations from individuals in the congregation and also donated $1250 from our Neighbors in Need Grant (for Sanctuary Movement work) to this emergency fund. We made a difference.

Split-the-Plate Needs a Revival - Historically, Split-the-Plate has been very successful in collecting money to support nonprofit organization with which we are involved. Since 2010, the MSJE contributed $17,546 through Split the Plate to different organizations. From June 2019 to March 2020, MSJE raised $2766.38 through Split-the-Plate. This averages to about $277/month up from $137/month during the June 2018 to May 2020 collection. However, since the emergence of the COVID-19 virus social distancing policies and the church performing services on-line since March 2020, Split-the-Plate collections have been very low with a collection of only $57.08 In April 2020. We need to revive Split-the-Plate. How can we do that? We need your ideas!

The Green Tip of the Week his needing your help also, Many feel that the Green Tip of the Week as been effective in helping individuals change their daily habits to be more environmentally friendly. We are running out of tips. Please consider contributing your Green Tip of the Week to MSJE,

Keep up with the MSJE Happenings by going to

Pam Johnson



800 George Bush Drive

College Station, Texas 77840

Mailing Address:

PO Box 12372 College Station, TX 77842




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Rev. Donna Renfro began serving UUCBV in September 2018, with an extensive background in directing religious education and a passion for equality, Rev. Donna is a calming and inspiring presence for people of all walks of life.


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