Many paths. One welcoming and diverse community.

Committee News

Below lists the most recent committee news as published in the Connection. To view news by category, choose the appropriate council link to the left.  Each council page provides a description of what that council covers and lists published articles for that council.

Lifespan Education and Social Justice news is not included. For those items, go to their webpages by clicking on the menu above.

Tip of the Hat

tip of the hatTip of the Hat is a new column that provides a place for each of us to express recognition of or thanks to others in the congregation. You might ‘tip your hat’ to a group, a team, or an individual. If you have a submission for this column please email it to the editor, Leie Carmody, with “tip of the hat” in the subject line. Your message should include who is being recognized or thanked.

to Nan Kritzler: Now, as you are finally ‘officially’ able to retire from UUCOV, I want to extend a HUGE thank you for all the time (blood, sweat and tears), you put into training me to become the next UUCOV Office Administrator. As you always have done for this congregation, you went above and beyond in your time and efforts. You have made the transition as smooth as possible for all involved. I will never be ‘Nan’, but I will try my best to maintain the standards you have set. Go enjoy your life—you earned it and deserve it!  Blessed be. - Salli Clarke

to Bench Donors: A big public thank you to those who donated toward the three new benches that have been ordered for our front patio. That will complete the plan for the patio - to have four benches on our circular front patio offering a welcoming spot for visitors and members alike. The benches will arrive early in December and will be assembled by our Campus Crew. - The Board of Trustees

to Marianne Koerner and Green Sanctuary Team: Susan and I very much enjoyed the Green Sanctuary’s presentation and discussion of ‘Before the Flood’. We’ve seen interviews with DiCaprio, but we had not seen his movie. It’s very well put together. Our thanks to you and to all involved at UUCOV. - John and Susan Darovec (Citizens' Climate Lobby).

Be Part of the Conversation

As announced in the October Connection, the Board of Trustees and the Mission Statement Task Force will be holding a series of three open Mission Statementconversations about the proposed mission statement. You are invited to attend the first conversation on November 14th, 7pm, in the sanctuary.
The Task Group spent many hours studying and debating a fresh mission statement to present as an option to the congregation, who will vote on it at the Annual Meeting on March 24th. We will be using consensus building tenets to help us navigate through this process. It will be both interesting and informative as we have a conversation on what we want our mission statement to say.
We want your feedback and impressions, so we craft a statement that truly reflects UUCOV. If you cannot attend this first meeting, please come to one of the other two - January 8th at 1pm or March 14th at 3:30pm.
A mission statement relates to the essential questions of who we are and why we exist. It is transformative and helps focus all our work. The proposed mission statement is –
"A welcoming, caring community
Encouraging spiritual growth,
Seeking truth and justice."

Share a Story of Generosity

Some of the most meaningful moments at UUCOV are when members and friends share personal stories of how they have been touched by generosity they have experienced in their lives. You can help keep alive the UUCOV spirit of generosity. Please share a story with the congregation on a Sunday or write a brief story to be read by a volunteer. If you would like to participate, contact Dan Hadley   - 941-786-982.

Pathways Classes

pathway signAre you interested in joining UUCOV or in learning more about our congregation? Would you like to meet other new folks who may also be thinking about becoming members? If so, why not join us for one of our Pathways classes?
We have scheduled three series of Pathways classes at Waters Hall in the upcoming months:
Mondays, November 13 & November 20, 2017 from 1-3pm
Tuesdays, January 23 & January 30, 2018 from 6-8:30pm
Thursdays, March 15 & March 22, 2018 from 2-4pm
Sign-up sheets for all three can be found at the Welcome Table. Have a question or two before deciding or prefer speaking with someone before signing up? Please contact one of the Co-Chairs, Claire Harrison,   - 941-244-0151, or Pat Schwing,   - 248-851-9519

Spiritual Fellowship Groups

The Spiritual Fellowship Group (SFG) Steering Committee invites UUCOV members and friends to become involved with an ongoing close-knit group of fellow congregants who are ‘like-minded’ in many ways but who commit to being tolerant and welcoming of alternative beliefs and philosophical positions. Members experience this give-and-take as invigorating and helpful as they continue to develop their ideas and beliefs concerning spirituality and a myriad of other subjects and attempt to apply these concepts to today’s world.
Spiritual Fellowship Groups, led by facilitators, are limited to 8-10 members who pledge confidentiality and a commitment to regular attendance at two meetings a month. There are all-women, all-men, and mixed-gender groups depending on an individual’s preference. Facilitators meet once a month with our minister for training, but if there are enough applicants, we will then create new groups.
Persons desiring to join a group should contact Cindy O’Dell -   - 317-370-6705. Folks who would like to learn more about these groups may speak with Cindy or other members of the SFG Steering Committee including: Wendy Voigt   - 419-636-1589, Linda Van Zandt at   - 314-277-6738, or Bill Harrison   - 207-838-2556.

Social Media – Is It For You?

facebookIt isn’t for everyone; many people deliberately avoid it. But as a recent convert, Linda Underwood, reported, “I am compelled to say that it has marvelous benefits if used well.”
Our Facebook group, ‘In Touch-UUCOV’, is private, open only to UUCOV members and friends; it provides a mechanism for many things. A recent review of our posts showed we had: an article on how to greet new visitors, a reminder for several upcoming UUCOV events and questions and replies about upcoming events, two posts about member health statuses following surgeries, a dog-sitting need, Rosh Hashanah greetings, and recommendations for giving to Puerto Rico relief. During the fall hurricane season, several requests for assistance were coordinated through ‘In Touch’.
This Facebook group is an excellent way to keep ‘in touch’ with others and to get answers to questions almost immediately. Since It is not open to outsiders, your posts are safer. Contact Lori Baribeault   for the procedure to join and other questions.
We also have a public Facebook group, ‘In Touch-Common Good” on which we post about political issues. This option is open to you and your friends and puts us in touch with other politically active groups. Posts to this group can be read by any Facebook user. If you have any questions about ‘In Touch-Common Good’ contact Barbara Riemer Buehring .

Denominational Affairs

Humanitarian Service
Ties with India began with Unitarian outreach in the early 1800's. On Sunday, October 15th, Rev. Mike McGee spoke passionately about the Holdeen India Program, part of our International Justice movement. This UUA program provides aid for humanitarian service ventures and social enterprises seeking to advance prosperity for all of India’s people. Education programs, livelihood development initiatives, and project’s promoting access to credit have all received UUHIP support. Many efforts are targeted at the people formerly referred to as ‘untouchable caste.’ To learn more visit

Pledge to Black Lives Matter
UUA President Susan Frederick Grey recently called on UUA congregations and members to consider financial support for the Black Lives UU movement as part of a far reaching pledge and appeal to promote greater investment in a new generation of leadership. She cites our need to invest in Black Leadership and organizing within Unitarian Universalism, for this is the very leadership that can help move our faith forward in the promise and practice of beloved community—a community which practices radical inclusion within and bold justice leadership for all beyond.
Please consider helping to fulfill our collective commitment to nurture a radically inclusive, justice centered, multiracial and multi-generational religious faith for our time. Gifts can be made at by sending a check to UUA, Attn: Stewardship and Development, 24 Farnsworth St., Boston, MA 02210-1409. Please write ‘BLUU’ on the memo line, to insure that the funds go to Black Lives UU. At the present time, gifts are being matched dollar-for-dollar by a generous $1,000,000 gift from a UU family committed to racial justice.

Looking for a Special Person

HandsRaisedAre you familiar with Robert’s Rules of Order? Do you have experience with these rules in meetings?

Please, please contact Dave Lyon at or 765-215-4329.

What is General Assembly?

2017GAGeneral Assembly (GA) is the annual national gathering of UUs to conduct business, learn, sing, listen to really good speakers and be totally inspired. So, who goes? And what happens there? And what does it cost? How long does it last? What do you actually do?

These and any other questions will be answered in an informal Q & A in Water’s Hall on Saturday, February 18th, 1-2pm and Monday, February 20th, 4-5pm. So, stop by....find out more. This year’s GA will be in New Orleans, LA!! ...this GA will be not only close, but at a terrific venue.

For Adult Eyes Only

greetingNow’s the time, folks! Ignore the good advice you heard as a child. TALK TO STRANGERS. On Sunday mornings and at any UUCOV event, – members and friends alike - do the opposite of what you were taught. TALK TO STRANGERS!

Too often, we hear, “I was a visitor one Sunday morning and while everyone was hugging and chatting around me, no one talked to me”. That is a tough thing for one to hear when we are striving so hard to be the welcoming and loving congregation that we think we are. But we are not always welcoming to everyone. So once you sit down, please, say hello to the persons sitting next to you whether you know them or not. It is everyone’s challenge/pleasure to talk to strangers at UUCOV. If you are visitor, say hello. If you are a member, tell a strangers you are glad to see them. Don’t listen to your mother – talk to strangers.

Creative Thinking Caps On!

thinking-capThe Coordinating Council is working on developing an idea for an artistic design that is specific to UUCOV. We will continue to use, as do most UU congregations, the UUA logo which is a stylized chalice. And we are hoping, in addition, to come up with an image specific to UUCOV that we can use on our GA banner - which needs updating - and, perhaps, in our sanctuary as well.

Something that depicts us or that says what we stand for or who we are. Some congregations use a design that represents a part of their grounds or building. Some use a design from their town. Some of our songs suggest art designs such as roots, trees, earth. If an image or theme occurs to you, please submit your idea to Linda Underwood this summer at . It does not have to be a finished design. Just an idea that can be worked into different forms. Thank you.

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