The UK Blessing — Churches sing ‘The Blessing’ over the UK https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUtll3mNj5U

Download for color-by-number fun – Our-Lady-of-Guadalupe

OL-CBN2-Our-Lady-of-Grace

Lift up Your Day Listen to the beautiful duet of The Prayer sung by Catholic Charities’ Kevin Burch and his daughter Alexandra, which has garnered nearly 2,500 views on YouTube – visit diolc.org/social- concerns. See also how you can pray, act and be inspired during this challenging time.

Relieve stress through Forest Bathing

One of the things you can still do during a “safer-at-home” order is to go outside. It wasn’t all that long ago that presenters Vicki Lopez-Kaley and Kristine Beck shared a couple of Forest Bathing (shinrin-yoku) experiences with our guests (and a few grateful staff members who also participated).

Forest Bathing involves immersing yourself in the forest through your senses. Studies show that spending time in nature, especially among trees, can reduce anxiety, elevate mood and increase focus. Forest Bathing is not hiking or exercising but rather an invitation to inner stillness, to slowing down and to connecting mind, body and spirit.

Vicki and Kristine offered this guidance:

Forest Bathing can be done on a trail, in your yard or even near a window if you can’t go outside. Anyone can do it!

The recommended “dose” of forest bathing is two to four hours, but benefits can be experienced in as little as 20 minutes.

Try this example:
• Set an intention and begin with a ritual as you cross the threshold of the forest. Find a convenient place to sit on the ground or a bench.
• Stay in one place, using all of your senses to explore the present moment. (15 minutes)
• Walk slowly, noticing what is in motion around you. (20 minutes)
• Choose one to three invitations that fit you and the situation. Several will be presented to you. Pay attention to your surroundings, body sensations and how your senses connect you to nature. (Take as much time as you need)
• Sit quietly. (20 minutes)
• End with a ceremony, such as drinking tea and journaling about your experiences.

If you do journal, we’d love to hear from you. Email FSC communications coordinator Stacey Kalas at skalas@fspa.org with any reflections you are willing to share with a wider audience.

Other tips:
• Let things reveal themselves naturally and without expectations.
• Notice things on the ground. Gather a few that appeal to you. Perhaps a stone catches your attention. Pick it up carefully and give it to one of your hopes or worries as a way to let the natural world hold what you hold.
• Take a moment to say a genuine “hello” to a tree without words. In the silence of your heart, share a thought, feeling, compliment, question or secret.
• Renew your energy. Slowly, over about eight seconds, take in a deep breath filling your belly, not simply your chest. Hold it for a few seconds, and then slowly exhale for a count of 10. Repeat five times or more as you stand or sit still.

Here’s a virtual experience you can try right now, wherever you are: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OKDz0P-LJTs&feature=youtu.be   Peace of the Woods sunset and songbirds

If you aren’t already receiving our free weekly Reflections From the Center, you can sign up at www.FSCenter.org or email fscenter@fspa.org. Enjoy more resources and updates on our Facebook page @FSCenterLaCrosse.

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As a way to stay connected, our friends at HomeTouch Ministry, source of the Children’s Worship Bulletins, have provided 4 days worth of devotions and activities and a template to color and send with a note to those who might feel isolated – click to view and/or download:

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Getting More Out of Lent

So What’s the Good News

Why Does the Resurrection Matter

Holy Week and Easter Resource Kit

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https://www.childrensbulletins.com/covid19-childrens-activities-for-churches

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Have you been making cloth face masks and would like to donate them to the community?  Vernon County Health Department is accepting donations to distribute to those in need.  At this time we have very limited donations and would love to help those that need masks get them.  We are distributing masks on a first come first serve basis.

Please contact us at (608)637-5292 or (608)637-5251 to donate or if you are in need.

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The Vernon County Health Department is coordinating volunteer help for the Coronavirus outbreak.  If you wish to volunteer to be of help to others, call us at (608)637-5251.

We will ask you some questions about your skill sets and then put your info into a volunteer list.  This allows us to identify the right volunteers for the various needs that may arise.  i.e. transportation, grocery delivery, personal care, repairs, childcare, phone calls, data entry and so on.

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Women’s Prayer & Virtue Groups– How can you be physically, relationally, emotionally, and spiritually healthy with all this time at home? Two options are available to help: a daily gathering via Zoom or a six-session virtue-based study for moms. Learn more at archmil.org/evangelization/Courageous-Communion/womens-groups