The windstorm at the beginning of February took down a tree and the sign for the Blaine Free Church Unitarian Universalist congregation on the corner of Harrison and Cedar. The new sign is up, along with a new labyrinth walk for Borderites and the Salishan neighborhood to see and enjoy.
The church was built in 1929 and houses the free religious thinking that our United States forefathers envisioned when they assured our nation would house all religious thought, not having a nationalized church.
When Anna Bradstreet arrived in 1633 to join her husband and father Thomas Dudley, both who would later serve as Massachusetts Bay Colony governors, she had her first glimpse of people from backgrounds other than her privileged upbringing. Once in Massachusetts these people sought communities of like traditions, one of the reasons the 13 colonies formed as they did.
Over one hundred years later, when our United States forefathers were stitching together our Constitution, many were Transcendentalists and Unitarians who wanted to protect those differing thought traditions developed during the Reformation. Unitarianism started with the signing of the Diet of Torda or the Act on Religious Freedom in Transylvania in 1568. Today, ours is a community of principles, rather than a singular path.
Come visit and see our new sign.
For over a year we have lived under the threat of Covid-19 and even with that very real threat many people have resisted the safeguards put in place to protect us. I too have grown tired of the isolation and discomfort. I continually am drawn to the reports, seeking good news, but the numbers continue revealing increasing totals of sickness and dead. The numbers have become so catastrophic my mind rebels. It seems impossible to place these numbers into meaningful context.
With 28,608,931 sickened by Covid-19 in the U.S., it seems endless. But maybe a closer look will reveal new perspective to give us greater resolve to continue to do what is necessary.
• There were 2,418 new deaths yesterday in the U.S, which equates to as if everyone in Point Roberts, Custer and Deming had died. But what if I could have saved even one life by accepting the discomfort of wearing a mask. Would I? I like to think I would.
• Washington suffered 4,988 total deaths this last year from the pandemic, which translates to everyone in both Everson and Nooksack dying over the course of last year. Would their lives be worth the disruption of my personal freedom by accepting to restrict the size of my social gatherings. I would have to say yes.
• The U.S. experienced the tragedy of 515,138 deaths due to Covid-19. This converts to the full populations of Whatcom, Skagit, San Juan and Okanagan Counties. Can I cope with the nuisance of washing and sanitizing my hands more frequently for them? Again, yes.
• The next day saw 2,580 more deaths in the U.S., the equivalent to 50 percent of Blaine’s population. What are our lives worth? Maybe we should all ponder that.
For those reading this letter – what if you could personally save even one life by your actions – what would you be willing to give up, what would be your sacrifice? I believe the answer is obvious.
Lee C. Bravener