August 2015 Connection


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Issue No. 1808

Venice, FL

August 2015


Sundays at UUCOV

Sunday Service  begins at 10:00a.m. Youth Religious Education 10:00am (starts in the Sanctuary). Sunday Adult RE begins at 9:00am.

Sunday Services

August 2 2015: "The Challenge of Challenging Times"

Rev. Roger Grugel. Each of us at some point in our life will encounter difficult, even life-threatening, events. How do we not just survive, but actually thrive, from experiencing personally trying circumstances. Rev. Roger Grugel is associate chaplain for spiritual care at Moorings Park retirement community in Naples, FL. He was previously a hospice chaplain for Avow Hospice in Naples.

August 9 2015: “Our Living Tradition”

Rev. Khleber Van Zandt. Our spiritual and religious traditions happen to be both centuries old and brand new. Herewith, notes from this year’s General Assembly of the UUA.

August 16 2015: “Transforming Congregations”

Rev. Khleber Van Zandt. Could this be one of those congregations that reaches out and transforms people’s lives? Let’s see.

August 23 2015: “The God of Jesus”

Rev. Khleber Van Zandt. In Adult RE this summer, some of us have engaged a search for the Historical Jesus. What might we now say about the God that Jesus spoke of? And what difference can it make?

August 30 2015: “Mission: Yours, Mine, and Ours”

Rev. Khleber Van Zandt. What would you say if asked if you had a mission? My own mission seems to be evolving, and perhaps our congregational one needs a reexamination as well.


Sunday Adult RE

August 2 2015: "Dead Sea Scrolls"

Continuing a Great Courses offering taught by Dr. Gary A Rendsburg of Rutgers University, followed by discussion.

August 9 2015: "Dead Sea Scrolls"

Continuing a Great Courses offering taught by Dr. Gary A Rendsburg of Rutgers University, followed by discussion.

August 16 2015: Adult RE

To be announced.

August 23 2015: Adult RE

To be announced.

August 30 2015: Adult RE

To be announced.

Special Offering

August 16 2015: Alliance for Fair Food

Alliance for Fair Food (AFF), formerly Interfaith Action of Southwest Florida, is a network of people of faith and religious institutions that works in partnership with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) to raise poverty wages and end modern-day slavery and human rights abuses in the fields. AFF brings the spiritual resources of diverse faith traditions and the moral weight of faith-based voices in society to our work in collaboration with farmworkers for justice in the fields. Checks should be made out to UUCOV, with "Alliance for Fair Food" in the memo line.

Minister's Corner

Minister on Study Leave

Our minister, Rev. Khleber Van Zandt has been on study leave and will return August 9. His column will resume in the September newsletter.


How to Contact Us

Mailing Address: UUCOV
1971 Pinebrook Road
Venice, Fl 34292-1563


Minister: Rev. Khleber Van Zandt V
Phone: 314-223-0551
Office hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday 10:00am-1:00pm
Email or phone anytime to meet at a different time.

Office Administration: Nan Kritzler
Phone: 941-485-2105
Office hours: Monday - Friday 10:00am -Noon

Music Director: Steve Hanson
Phone: 630-346-1842

From the Board

President’s Remarks for August

JoelMorrisonI attended a Florida UU President's convocation in Orlando which was a very uplifting experience and made me feel really good about our congregation moving ahead in a positive direction. We can be proud of having made decisions and acted on them.

We received many kudos for going to two services so smoothly. The UUA coordinator, Maggie Lovins, said it was one of the hardest moves for a congregation to make and that it usually takes a three year trial to really get it going. She also applauded our new emphasis on adult education and stated that many new materials are ready from UUA, or soon will be, to aid us in this endeavor. I got a round of applause from those present when I mentioned our conversion to solar power. And our move to a Coordinating Council from our previous committee structure of over 40 committees was well received

I was also relieved to hear that at least five other congregations have had to deal with employee changes, or are in the process of doing so. None found it easy. Their experiences were equally difficult and many are still in the process of healing. I also got some good contacts from a congregation that is already involved in the Family Promise program.

Have you applied to become part of the Facebook group In Touch-UUCOV? Congratulations to Linda Underwood for establishing this easy channel of communication. It enables those not attending services to voice joys and concerns; it allows those far from Venice or who otherwise miss talking with friends on a Sunday morning to keep in contact on a regular basis. I urge every Facebook-user in our congregation to join ‘In Touch-UUCOV'. Joining is easy; just email Linda Underwood () expressing your interest and she’ll send you an invitation. This means of sharing personal experiences and concerns among friends has great potential to be a tremendous community builder!

At the same time, I hope all who use this communication channel remember to honor its good and basic purpose, i.e., to share personal experiences. I bring this up because recently there were comments posted on ‘In Touch-UUCOV’ about what should be congregational discussions, such as personnel matters, structure of services, and issues involving the minister. These comments are personal views about congregational issues, and as such should be addressed in congregational venues. The starting point should be with the Board of Trustees or the Coordinating Council.

Keep in mind that ‘In Touch-UUCOV’ is not a part of everyone’s life. If an issue of congregational concern becomes the topic on ‘In Touch-UUCOV’ there is a danger that it could lead to separating the congregation into “warring factions” that would cause strife rather than help with communication. No one wants to see that happen!

-- Joel Morrison

Congregational Life

Stewardship Workshop

Stewardship: the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care. At its June meeting, the Board settled on goals for fiscal 2016, one emphasis being the development of a 12 month Stewardship Program. On August 15, 9:30am to 3:30pm, UUCOV is hosting a workshop on Stewardship from a UU perspective, i.e. one which links a congregation’s goals to a vision of its future; William Clontz from the Stewardship for Us Team will prepare us for our “Next Steps”.

Learn about money and stewardship as connected to a congregation’s Mission and Vision of the future. From this unique view, what are the tried and tested techniques, approaches, and tools we can use to bring our stewardship environment to the next level? What can we learn about what ‘works’ and what doesn’t? And how can this knowledge shape our future?

We will be joined by individuals from nearby congregations, and have invited those interested from the Naples congregation, the two congregations in Fort Myers, and the congregation in Port Charlotte.

The cost is $25, which includes workshop, materials, snacks, and lunch. Childcare is available. To register, contact Khleber at .

Lammas Pot Luck Celebration

lammasLet's enjoy celebrating Lammas by coming together at a potluck event, Sunday August 9th after service in Waters Hall. Lammas is described as the first harvest festival of the year and a time to acknowledge the coming end of summer. Grains (such as bread or crackers) and fruit, such as apples & grapes were suggested, although anything in season is welcome. We also have the opportunity to welcome back Khleber and Linda Van Zandt from their time away. Fun to be had, see you there!

From the Recording Studio

On-AirSad to say, listenership is next to non-existent - this in spite of the fact that the Radio Committee has recorded many new stories, biographies, and book readings. Recent ones are being broadcast 9:00-3:00 Thursdays through Saturdays, and older ones Sundays through Wednesdays. The Radio group is open to hearing any comments or suggestions that could change this state of affairs.

While Brad and Bill have been busy with new recordings, Dick has caught up with editing and uploading recordings made before July 15. They include two presentations at Humanist meetings (one of which features Rosemary Hagen!). They also include four 2 hour Socrates Café/Plato's Circle discussions, "Road Trips" by reporter and author Kim Cool, "Giants of Jazz" – Sidney Bechet" narrated by Brad Jenkins, and "W.E.B. DuBois", also by Brad. Stay with us – tune in - more great things to come -

Are YOU “in”? Will YOU have a plaque on the Memorial Wall?

The luna pearl granite is about to be ordered to construct the Memorial Wall that will be a part of our Garden of Remembrance! Certainly YOU want to take advantage of pre-construction prices to assure that you will be included!

MemorialPlaquesSmMemorialWallLocation 400x299Here are the specifics: Those who are “in” have already ordered a memorial plaque that will include their name (as they specify), their date of birth and their date of death. Examples of the plaques can be viewed elsewhere in this newsletter and near the Memorial Book in the UUCOV Sanctuary. Each individual plaque will be ordered at the appropriate time.

The total cost for 1) the plaque, 2) contribution towards construction of the wall, 3) possible interment of cremated remains, and 4) perpetual maintenance of the Garden of Remembrance is $500.00. If you gasped at the cost, please think again and check out the cost of being so remembered in more traditional locations. You should find this cost to be quite nominal.

If you have questions or would like more information, please contact Bev Morrison at or by phone 941-497-6337.

UUCOV is a 12 Month Multi-state Congregation

usaJust for clarification: just because some of our congregation only live in Venice for part of the year doesn’t mean that UUCOV isn’t part of their lives all year. The love for our congregation and its work continues 12 months a year. We stay “In Touch” with each other during the summer months and our stewardship to UUCOV continues also.

Susan Brinckerhoff and Bill Dowling are working this summer on the Green Sanctuary Application. Kindra Muntz is taking care of our Common Good issues all year round. Linda Underwood contacts our visitors each week during the summer and is updating Membership forms. Leie Carmody edits Connection from New England. Eileen and Steve Leapley coordinate the Welcome Table from Connecticut all summer. (And the above covers only 2 of the far-flung states to which our members head for the summer.)

UUCOV's September Beach Bash Service/potluck is in Great Need of Volunteers

MaxineBarrittparkThe Beach Bash, Sunday, September 20th at Maxine Barritt Park, starts at 10 A.M. with our Sunday service, potluck will follow. Your Social Activities Team (Eileen and Steve Leapley) will still be in Connecticut, so they are urgently requesting five helpers to set up the pavilion prior to the start of the service.

If you can help, please email Eileen at , and she will call you to discuss how you can assist. Thank you in advance to those UUCOV folks who will step up and help to make this a very special Sunday!

(And is it too early to invite you to think ahead to October and the Halloween/Dia de los Muertos party on Sunday, the 25th? What is your amazing costume going to be?? Hmmm.....)

Lifespan Education

Understanding the Mysteries of Human Behavior

humanbehaviorA Great Courses lecture series "Understanding the Mysteries of Human Behavior" given by Prof. Mark Leary, Garonzik Family Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke University. Viewing of the DVD lectures and discussion. Tuesdays, August 4 – Sept. 22 at 7:00pm in the Sanctuary.

Spiritual Fellowship Summer Drop In

smallgroupweb“Spiritual Fellowship Group" meetings will be held August 6th from 1 to 3 p.m. and again on the 3rd of September at Waters Hall. Lynn Jordan will lead this month's topic: "The Zest for Living". Courage faces fear and thereby masters it. Cowardice represses fear and is mastered by it. We will discuss the challenge of how to hold on to our youthful zest for living in spite of life's uncertainties. Everybody is welcome, current SFG members and/or people interested in finding out more about these small groups that so many of us belong to. Questions? Pat Schwing patriciaschwing@gmail or Carol Wolfers .

Group Activities

platocolorPlato's Circle
This group, an outgrowth of the popular Socrates Café , announces at each meeting the subject to be discussed the following month. The group meets 1:00pm, the first Wednesday of each month in the Asta Linder House. August 5th discussion: "The Religious Right: Who Are They, What do They Want and Why?"

Everyone is welcome. Suggested readings are: Frances Fitzgerald, Cities on a Hill, 1986 (Chapter 2 on Jerry Falwell and Liberty Baptist) or David Bromwich "The Rebel Germ" NYRB, Nov. 25, 2010, p.4 on Limbaugh and Glenn Beck.

Book GroupBook Group
The Book Groups meets the first Wednesday of the month to discuss books chosen by the group (May change to the 2nd week beginning Sept.). All are welcome to attend. Contact: Barbara Smith - . August’s book is "H is for Hawk" by Helen MacDonald.

14Mindfulness Meditation
Wednesday at 6:00pm, Waters Hall. Each meeting begins with a guided meditation, followed by a short reading and discussion. The meditation and readings are guided by the teachings and practice of Early Buddhism and are beneficial to all who seek a happier, more contented life. From time to time, Bhante Saddhasara, a monk from the Mahamevnawa Monastery in Tampa, will come and give teachings.

socratescolorSocrates Café
All UUCOV members and friends who enjoy lively discussions are invited to participate. Socrates Cafe meets every third Wednesday of the month at 1:00pm in Waters Hall.

Social Justice

Family Promise: Important Update

FamilyPromiseFamily Promise of South Sarasota County is a faith based non-profit organization that enables the community to address the needs of homeless children and families by providing temporary shelter, meals and comprehensive services to help them achieve lasting self-sufficiency.

UUCOV will be a host church, housing families at Asta Linder House overnight for a period of one week, four times a year. Coordinating Team members Steve Barry, Georgia Blotzer and Barbara Griffin attended training sessions on July 13 and 14 with coordinators from other host churches and volunteers from Englewood Methodist, which will be the first host church. The new Executive Director of the South County Family Promise affiliate, Valerie Walton, is hard at work getting the program organized with guidance from the national organization. Renovations for the Day Center, located at 720 Shamrock Blvd, will take six to eight weeks after which the program will begin.

Families referred by area social service agencies will undergo an intensive interview process to ensure there are no alcohol, drug, mental, legal or social problems that would interfere with successful participation in the program. Adults who are not working and preschool children will spend the day at the Day Center receiving counseling from a professional case worker and looking for work and housing. Once it is opened the Day Center will be looking for volunteers to help the staff. The weekly rotation schedule for overnight housing at host churches will be available within the next week or two. Then, as soon as the Day Center renovations are completed, we will schedule our first host week.

Our Coordinating Team has been working with the UUCOV Facilities Group and Youth Religious Education Committee to prepare Asta Linder House for the families. Required spaces are a common room for dining and evening activities, a kitchen, two bathrooms, and private sleeping areas for up to five families, no more than 14 people. We are looking into ways to temporarily partition the two largest side rooms to make the required sleeping spaces. During host week, from Sunday afternoon to the following Sunday morning before service, Asta Linder House will not be available for congregational activities.

Two nearby congregations have volunteered to be support churches for UUCOV. Bill Hershkowitz from the Jewish Congregation of Venice has offered to provide menus and prepare some of the dinners. Bill is a chef for the Interfaith Community Dinners and prepares a well-balanced, nutritious and delicious meal for the monthly dinners at the United Church of Christ. The UCC congregation has offered to collect supplies and provide financial assistance if needed. Our congregation will be responsible for volunteers. All volunteers will receive training to help us feel comfortable with the families and make our hosting experience a positive one. If you would like to volunteer and have not already signed up, or have questions about the program, please contact Barbara Griffin, 941-497-2733, , or Georgia Blotzer, .

A Suggestion for August Learning

MelbourneUBonny Hurley recommends watching A Climate Change (, produced by the University of Melbourne, which she found extremely well organized and helpful; it will be aired, beginning in late August. The 1st three weeks focus on the social costs of rising seas (mainly in the South Pacific), then three weeks on climate science and three weeks on economic possibilities for mitigating climate change (reducing CO2 emissions, increasing non-carbon energy production, etc.) or adapting to it (building sea walls, raising bridges, changing agricultural practices, etc.) It has a slight 'Down Under' bias -- but it does not ignore the rest of the globe. Subtitles in English are an option.

This is a free Massive Open Online Course is free, and like all MOOCs, you can do as much or as little work for it as you wish. You can watch the video lectures at any time of day or night and repeat them as often as you wish. Quizzes and assignments have deadlines, but if you do not complete them, no problem! But If you want a 'certificate' or Statement of Accomplishment to prove you took the class, you do need to finish them.

Coffee Talk

coffeeVolunteers are needed at Coffee Talk, located at 237 Center Court next to the South County Food Pantry. This is a place where people - many of them clients of the Food Pantry - can come for a cup of coffee and something to eat. It is cool and comfortable and there are people to talk to. Their website, is a good place to learn about this organization. Coffee Talk is open Monday thru Friday from 9 to 1:30. A signup sheet for volunteers will be at the Social Justice table on the lanai. We have also been asked to save recyclable aluminum cans to help support Coffee Talk and are considering making a bin on the lanai available for this purpose. For now, please start saving your aluminum cans.

Publication Deadlines

Connection: Articles and announcements for the Connection are due on the 20th of each month for the next month's edition. Please email your submissions to .

UUCOV Happenings: Events submissions are due at Wednesday Noon for inclusion in UUCOV Happenings. Please email your submissions to .

UUCOV Mission and Covenant

Our mission is to build a welcoming and diverse community which encourages growth of the human spirit, the free and responsible search for truth and meaning, and active participation in social and community issues.

In a climate of joy, goodwill and trust this congregation covenants

  • to treat one another with kindness and respect,
  • to listen with openness and acceptance,
  • to support and protect the environment of which we are all a part,
  • to solve problems responsibly as we grow and change,
  • to encourage learning and nurture the growth of diverse human spirits, and
  • to dedicate time, talent and re- sources in an effort to make a difference in local and world communities.

In the spirit of our free religious heritage, we promise these to one another.


UU Principles

We, the member congregations of the Unitarian Universalist Association, covenant to affirm and promote:

  • The inherent worth and dignity of every person;
  • Justice, equity and compassion in human relations;
  • Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our congregations;
  • A free and responsible search for truth and meaning;
  • The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;
  • The goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all;
  • Respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part.

UU Sources

The Living Tradition we share draws from many sources:

  • Direct experience of that transcending mystery and wonder, affirmed in all cultures, which moves us to a renewal of spirit and an openness to the forces that create and uphold life;
  • Words and deeds of prophetic women and men which challenge us to confront powers and structures of evil with justice, compassion, and the transforming power of love;
  • Wisdom from the world's religions which inspires us in our ethical and spiritual life;
  • Jewish and Christian teachings which call us to respond to God's love by loving our neighbors as ourselves;
  • Humanist teachings which counsel us to heed the guidance of reason and the results of science, and warn us against idolatries of the mind and spirit.
  • Spiritual teachings of Earth-centered traditions which celebrate the sacred circle of life and instruct us to live in harmony with the rhythms of nature.

Grateful for the religious pluralism which enriches and ennobles our faith, we are inspired to deepen our understanding and expand our vision. As free congregations we enter into this covenant, promising to one another our mutual trust and support.


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