Many paths. One welcoming and diverse community.

Coordinating Council

UUCOV has a Committee Council structure to coordinate activities  that share an interest in a specific topic.  The Coordinating Council, whose members serve as team leaders of the individual Committees Councils, consists of 10 individuals plus the UUCOV Board of Trustees Vice President who serves as Chair.  These individuals represent the following Committee Councils:  Administration, Caring and RememberingCommunications, Finance, Lifespan EducationMembership, Physical Plant, Social Activities, Social Justice, and Sunday Morning Experience.

The duties of the Coordinating Council are to 1) improve coordination between committees, 2) facilitate the strategic planning process, 3) ensure integration of program planning and financial planning, 4) ensure board policies are implemented at the committee level, and 5) identify issues or concerns that need board attention.

Each Council Team Leader has responsibility for meeting with their designated committee(s) and/or committee chairs so as to be knowledgeable regarding their specific area of interest.  The Vice President conducts monthly meetings with the chairs of the Councils and shares decisions that have been made by the Board of Trustees.  Council Team Leaders bring issues or concerns to the meeting that are then shared by the Vice President with the Board of Trustees.  All meetings of the Coordinating Council are open to any who are interested in attending.

Coordinating Council News

Return Those Books, Please

bookTo those of you who borrowed Anne Neumann’s “A Good Death”, Atul Gawande’s “Being Mortal”, or Rev. William Barber’s “The Third Reconstruction”, please return them to the Welcome Table any Sunday in March. Thank you.

For New(ish) Members

blue greenchalice smIf you’re new to UUCOV or new to UU, you might appreciate a roadmap. All this information is also available on our website, This month the focus is on the buildings on our campus and on the Coordinating Council.

Our Campus

Our campus is comprised of three buildings: the Sanctuary, Asta Linder House, and Waters Hall.

The Sanctuary is home for our Sunday morning spiritual experience and for all entertainments, parties, screenings, and for most public events. It is also available for use by other organizations, e.g. VICA (Venice Interfaith Community Association), IVMS (Island Village Montessori School) , Venice Musicale, South County Jazz Club. The choir rehearses in the Sanctuary on Thursday evenings, unless they are bumped to Waters Hall by a public event.

Waters Hall holds our library, our administrative office, Rev. Van Zandt’s office, and our recording studio. Committees hold their meetings in Waters, as well as the Board of Trustees, the Coordinating Council, Socrates Café, Mindfulness Meditation, some Fellowship groups (including the summer drop-in Fellowship groups), the Book Club, and the Three O’Clock Poets. The garden is near the Waters Hall lanai.

Asta Linder House is the focal point of our Religious Education program for the children, Sunday classes and activities. For eight weeks of the year, it is transformed into a temporary home for families being housed as part of the Family Promise program. Except when Family Promise families are in residence, Asta Linder is where Sunday morning adult Religious Education courses are conducted. Additionally, it houses our 1st-Wednesday-of-the-month Plato’s Circle discussion group, is the meeting place of a Spiritual Fellowship group, and is the ‘spillover’ destination for a group needing space when the Sanctuary and Waters Hall are occupied.

Coordinating Council

UUCOV has established committees to run our many activities, social, educational, and spiritual, and to handle our administrative and financial needs and keep the campus in good shape. The number of existing committees had grown to a point where each committee operating separately made it difficult to coordinate plans and programs and decisions. So, to improve coordination amongst the committees, they were grouped into 10 Teams, whose leaders meet monthly in a Coordinating Council under the leadership of our Board of Trustees Vice-President, currently Linda Underwood..
These Teams with the current Team Leader are : Administration (Dave Lyon), Caring and Remembering (Bev Morrison), Communications (Tom Voigt), Finance (Joel Morrison), Lifespan Education (Jaye Williams), Membership (Claire Harrison), Physical Plant (Bill Dowling), Social Activities (Eileen and Steve Leapley), Social Justice (Marty King), and Sunday Morning Experience (Lori Baribeault).

Team Leaders bring issues or concerns to the meeting which are either settled there or referred to the Board and, of course, the Team Leaders are informed of, and can discuss, how to implement Board decisions that may affect one or more committees. In this way, also, integration of program planning and financial planning are ensured. You are welcome to attend any meetings of the Coordinating Council, which are usually held 9:30am, the first Tuesday of the month.

Team Highlights – What’s Going On

The following is a brief summary of the monthly team reports:

Sunday Morning Experience: SME has designated a space for a wheelchair in our Sanctuary seating.

Fiscal Team: A very successful auction was held. The budget for next year being finalized for presentation and approval at our Annual Meeting March 25th. An open meeting for budget questions is scheduled for March 22nd at 2pm.

Membership Team: A new Pathways class was held in February with 16 new members/friends.

Lifespan Team: The monthly Aston Gardens Outreach program continued. A variety of programs continued on The Third Reconstruction, Comparative Religions, End of Life issues, etc.

Campus Team: The lanai has been repainted and the noise abatement panel installed.; plantings and mulch around the front patio are finished. A new metal bench has arrived and, if deemed acceptable, others will be purchased.

Social Events: A successful Open Mic & Chowdah night was held with wonderful food and even better talent.

Social Justice: Common Good is joining other community organizations on several legislative and policy fronts. We had representatives at the SW Cluster meeting in early February and held a screening, open to the public, of “Legalize Democracy”. A new Facebook Group, “In Touch-Common Good” has been started to help UUCOVers stay current with Common Good activities; join it.

Community Outreach is expanding UUCOV’s participation in the Family Promise program. Tim Saltonstall is UUCOV’s volunteer liaison with the Laurel Civic Association.

Interweave hosted a successful showing of the documentary “From this Day Forward” and a new logo for the joint congregation group has been adopted.

Green Sanctuary is exploring an electric charging station at UUCOV and is updating their section of the UUCOV website to keep everyone informed. GS cosponsored a film with VICA on “Facing the Surge” about sea level rising.

Administration: The Personnel committee is actively seeking candidates for the Office Administrator position. Following the Leadership Weekend in January, a Mission Task Force and a Strategic Planning Group were formed.

You are welcome to join any team; we need your energy and interest to keep UUCOV vital and of consequence to our world and neighborhood. With so much happening, you are urged to join the Facebook pages to get info in the most timely way.

Welcome to Interweave

Rainbow FlagInterweave is a UU Social Justice committee actively working to end oppression based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Interweave is guided by UU principals. We value and affirm the lives and experiences of LGBTQ people of faith of all ages, races, ethnicities, income levels and abilities. We strive to connect and nurture all LGBTQ individuals, communities, groups and their allies.

Over the years, our chapter of Interweave at UUCOV has sponsored LGBTQ events, represented UUCOV at the Sarasota Pride Parade and Harvey Milk Day Celebration, and participated in activities sponsored by GAIN (Gulf Coast Affirming Interfaith Network). Recently we have combined forces with neighbor UU congregations to form Interweave Suncoast.

We are currently focusing on the ageing LGBTQ community and creating a questionnaire for all assisted living and retirement communities to determine their policies vis-à-vis LGBTQ individuals. Are their policies inclusive? Supportive? Of couples? Are they sensitive to needs of the ageing LGBTQ community? Do they provide employees with sensitivity training?

In future, we will offer more social activities and will interact with Interweave Suncoast and other area LGBTQ welcoming congregations. UUCOV’s Interweave welcomes new members.

About The Green Sanctuary Committee

Green EarthThe Green Sanctuary Committee began at least 10 years ago with the goal of having UUCOV become ‘certified’ as a ‘Green Sanctuary’ by the UUA.

We started to fulfil the requirements as put forth in the manual, such as getting an energy audit for the UUCOV campus, working on projects with the RE children, and some that dealt with environmental justice. We obtained a grant from Home Depot to make some improvements to Waters Hall and to add some plants for the garden. Thanks mostly to Bill Dowling and contributing members of the congregation, solar panels were installed on the sanctuary roof.

With a change in committee leadership, the committee decided to focus on educating the congregation and the community. In the past few years we have had a project every winter – usually in March or April. One year we had a series of environmental movies and another we had speakers on climate issues and what we can do as individuals and as a community. Last year we hosted the Pachamama Alliance for an all-day program.

We have talked in the past about starting a community garden. This has never gotten beyond the talking phase.
We had hoped to work with Transition Venice on their sustainable garden tour, but they are not planning to do that this year; a group in Englewood is putting one together, but it sounds like they want to keep it in Englewood.

At our next committee meeting on Monday, Feb 13th, 1pm in Waters Hall, we will map out our agenda for this year. So far our only commitment is to support the VICA program on Feb 27th. (See Lifespan Learning) and the Poster Contest.

We want to see our website more easy to access and brought up to date. Maybe we will partner with Audubon on some project. Or we could work with the Green Sanctuary group from UU Sarasota and show an environmental film later this winter. We hope to be better at spreading the word about other environmental actions and events in the larger Sarasota County area. We would like UUCOV to be a sponsor (no cost) for a solar co-op and encourage members and others in Venice to go solar.

We welcome people who want to learn, to participate, to help. If you’re interested in participating with the Green Sanctuary committee, please email Susan

This committee depends in the agenda set by current members. Our Chair, Susan Brinckerhoff, is in Venice just the four months of winter; this committee needs year round leadership so that it functions while she is in MA.

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