Woods Working: Phishing and Communicating

I got a phone call this morning from UUFRC’s president, Steve Hill, notifying me that someone with the email address revgretchenw@gmail.com, writing under the heading “Blessings,” is seeking help in the form of ebay cards. I can’t tell you how many ways this is sooo not me!! Please do not open or respond to that email. It is absolute fraud.

What troubles me most is this is being sent to the leadership of UUFRC first. Clearly whoever is doing this is using information from our web site – or is a regular here. These messages have been personalized in some cases. We will be looking into how to stop this as quickly as possible. I have already sent Google a Phishing report for the email address. I just wanted all of you to know we are working on ending it.

It was easy for me to go right to work on this problem, as it has happened to me several times before, and despite my disappointment at a world in which these things have become endemic, I could respond as I was trained by my mother: “This is no time for paralysis! Get to work!”

The fact that I knew how to respond led me to think about why I have been more than a little paralyzed about the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, I was overwhelmed and paralyzed.

Them I remembered the Asian flu epidemic of 1957. I like to joke a lot about what happened to me then, but it finally came together why I have been frozen in communicating with you. I helped my mother care for our whole family (six children and one large father) as the flu went through all of us – except me, while going to school, playing in the band, and doing Girl Scout work.

Then when all had passed for the family, I got a grand case of it. My fever reached a point (holding at 106) where the family doctor suggested to my mother that she let me die because I was sure to be brain damaged and a vegetable. This is where I usually joke that I have an excuse for my kind of crazy. But as the novel Corona Virus began to spread, I remembered the pain, feeling like I was on my own funeral pyre and being burned alive. The hallucinations continued longer than I really know. And I do NOT want to go through that again. Hence, my paralysis. My mother would say, “It is a reason, but not an excuse!” Frankly, I am not fishing for your sympathy, just letting you know. Some of you may have similar stories.

So I apologize to all of you for my delayed response to all of this and am going to work just as I did with the Phishing expedition. This blog is the first step. And you will be receiving this information through the UUFRC web site and Mailchimp.

I will also be putting daily tips tip help you work through your own emotional and spiritual responses daily on the minister’s blog on the UUFRC web site. I hope you find them useful.

First Tip: BREATHE – let the breath you have been holding so long be fully released; feel the air coming back gently and naturally through your nostrils – and/or mouth, if your nose is not an option; and gently blow puffs of trapped energy out until the breath is gone. Repeat till you feel more relaxed.

Bright Blessings

Gretchen Woods, AIM