AUUMM (Association of Unitarian Universalist Music Ministries) sponsored an online workshop about how to handle overwhelm and trauma, presented by the creator of The Trauma Stewardship Institute, Laura Lipsky. She reminded us of how traumatic the last 18 months have been for the whole globe, dealing with the upheaval that Covid and our faulty response to it has wreaked. Her list of side effects of Overwhelm and Trauma rang true for me and so many of my colleagues: saturated nervous system, lack of presence, disheartened, feeling helpless, anger, etc. But she also gave us a list of survival skills we can use when we are feeling overwhelmed or traumatized: admire art, go outside, be active, spend time with animals, etc. I know for me, music-making has always been my key survival skill. (No pun intended.) I hope you all can dig into your tool box and find the things that help bring you back to your present body and bring you peace during this difficult time.
I am particularly saddened to bring the choir back to Zoom-only rehearsals, after spending several months in hybrid rehearsals, with many of us singing in our courtyard with masks on. This fall, the choir will continue creating recordings, and I will continue to try my best to bring you uplifting and meaningful music on Sunday mornings, in whatever form that takes. Thank you all for your flexibility and patience. Hopefully we'll all be able to sing together again soon!
Director of Music Ministries
Beth Syverson is Orange Coast Unitarian Universalist Church's Director of Music Ministries. She plans and arranges the music for worship on Sunday mornings, provides piano music during services, and directs the Orange Coast Choir. She is also the artistic director of OCUUC’s concert series—Orange Coast Concerts—which features several eclectic concerts throughout the year.