May 2016 Connection

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Issue No. 1905

Venice, FL

May 2016

 

Sundays at UUCOV

Sunday Services: 10:00am

May 1, 2016: "The Adventure of Forgiveness"

Rev. Michael McGee. Norman Cousins said that, "Life is an adventure in forgiveness." Perhaps forgiveness is the most difficult and yet fulfilling of all adventures. Rev. McGee retired after forty years of UU ministry, and he and his wife Terry now live in Osprey, Florida and Chautauqua, NY.

May 8, 2016: "Mothers, and Other Mythological Creatures"

Rev. Khleber Van Zandt. On Mothers' Day, we might need to be reminded that mothers are neither the omniscient, nurturing saints nor the omnipotent, controlling tyrants we make them out to be. No matter what our psyches do with them, the best moms are forever real and ultimately human.

May 15, 2016: "Our Last Song Will Be?"

Rev. Khleber Van Zandt. It might be difficult for a group like ourselves to reach consensus on such a sensitive topic, but if we were going to choose a last song to sing together, what do you think the lyrics would be?

May 22, 2016: "Millstones and Milestones"

Rev. Khleber Van Zandt. As some journeys end, others begin. And when we reach an important milestone, we may be handed more responsibility than we recognize. This Sunday, we'll thank our teachers and RE leadership, and recognize the accomplishments of our children and youth.

May 29, 2016: "Meet Dorothea Dix"

Fran Vanecek, UUCOV member. Dorothea Dix was instrumental in establishing the asylum system in the US and Europe motivated by her desire care for those in need and her belief in the efficacy of moral treatment for lunatics. She met with presidents, royalty, and the Pope as an advocate for the people who could not care for themselves.

 

Adult RE: Asta Linder House Rm. A

May 1, 2016, 09:00am: "Women in Islam"

Members of the Islamic Society of Sarasota and Bradenton will share more thoughts and experiences on the the status of women in Islam. A discussion period will follow.

May 8, 2016, 09:00am: "Skeptics and Believers: From Suspicion to the Premodern Cosmos"

Religious Debate in the Western Intellectual Tradition. Examine the contrast of Friedrich Nietzsche's view of the meaningless Cosmos with the Christian Cosmos of Thomas Aquinas. A Great Courses lecture and discussion led by Dan Hadley.

May 15, 2016, 09:00am: "Skeptics and Believers: Scientific Revolution and Descartes"

As modernity unfolds, the Protestant Revolution brought religious wars and challenges to existing social structures and new ideas about the Cosmos. A Great Courses lecture and discussion led by Dan Hadley.

May 22, 2016, 09:00am: "Skeptics and Believers: Enlightenment and Religion"

Explore how the Enlightenment produced thinkers like John Locke and others who embraced a natural, human reason that led to freedom from the past and tradition. A Great Courses lecture and discussion led by Dan Hadley.

May 29, 2016, 09:00am: "Skeptics and Believers: Faith, Suspicion and Modernity"

How do we resolve the claims of faith and reason in public life where there is diversity in religious belief and culture? An examination of divisive issues such as abortion and the teaching of intelligent design in schools. A Great Courses lecture and discussion led by Dan Hadley.

Special Offering

May 8, 2016: Family Promise South Sarasota County

In its first year of operation Family Promise of South Sarasota County has served eight homeless families. Six of the eight families successfully completed the program, obtaining sustainable employment, permanent housing, help with transportation and childcare through Family Promise contacts and referrals. Families nine and ten are now in the program. Your contribution, in addition to funding general operations, will add to the Day Center's emergency fund that is used for necessary incidentals, transportation and clothing for the families. Please write your check to UUCOV with Family Promise SSC on the memo line. Thank you for your generosity

Minister's Corner

Minister's Message May 2016

GlassesPadPen“They’re doing it again!” I scream in my head.

“Doing what again?” comes the response.

“Leaving. Fleeing north. Doing the I-75 shuffle. Heading back to wherever they came from last fall.”

Yes, you tried to tell me this would happen. Yes, I know we went through this last spring, too. And yes, I know a lot of you have seen it happen for decades and so are used to the ebb and flow of members and friends. But I guess I’m still new to this community, at least in this way: it still feels like a huge loss this time of year when so many fine people take their leave all at once.

I’ve heard that my immediate predecessor, Interim Minister Mike Young, tried to convince you that this is no longer a “snowbird” congregation, that there is a larger number who stay in town than flee north when the season is over. Maybe by the numbers, that’s strictly true; apparently only 30% of you are “beloved seasonals” which means that 70% - a huge majority - are year-rounders and are therefore not leaving but plan to stay here through the rest of the summer months.

But quantity is one thing, quality another. Maybe it’s true that not as many as it seems are leaving. But gosh, it sure seems like a lot of energy and excitement and enthusiasm is heading north up through Georgia to somewhere other than here.

How about we close all the northbound highways and keep all that goodness and light here in Venice all year?

Okay, okay. So it’s silly to think of closing the highway or making people change their plans and stay around with us for longer. But maybe it does make sense to settle in and nurture that feeling of family that is so important to so many of us.

The great programming we’ve come to expect doesn’t have to stop. We could continue seeking but do so at a slower pace. And with two-thirds our usual attendance, we’d have a little more room to spread out and get comfortable in a more intimate setting.

If you have ideas for programs we ought to try, please let me or Jaye Williams, our Lifespan DRE, know. If you have something you’d like to present over the next few months, give us a shout in the next couple of weeks and we’ll see what we can do to facilitate that happening and get you and your program on the calendar. Several people have already stepped forward with plans for Adult RE and other programming, but as of right now, there’s still time and room for more.

We don’t have to keep up the pace of the past three months, but let’s not just shut down. We’ll need each other over the summer, and our neighbors might need us, too. And then we’ll be still be here next year when our beloved seasonals return, ready to face the hard questions together.

See you in church,

Khleber

How to Contact Us

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

Website: www.uucov.org

Minister: Rev. Khleber Van Zandt V
Phone: 314-223-0551
Email:
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
Email:  
Office hours: Monday - Friday 10:00am -Noon

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

From the Board

The Coordinating Council

At UUCOV, we have a Coordinating Council you need to know about. Why? Because if you have a question or an idea, or you would like to volunteer in a specific area, or something is of concern to you, a Council Team Leader is the person to go to.

All the committees of UUCOV are organized into eleven Teams. The Team Leaders, appointed by the board to serve for one year, make up the Council and meet monthly with an agenda and minutes. The Council is chaired by the Vice President of the Board, presently Linda Underwood. If you wish to add an item to the agenda, send that information to her. You can read the minutes on our website or on the lanai bulletin board. The Counci meets the second Tuesday of the month. Visitors are welcome.

As we grow, it is harder to know everything and everyone and to keep track and participate in all that is offered at UUCOV. It is our goal to keep communication open and transparent, with information easily available

UUCOV is fortunate to have volunteers who give generously of their time and talent; current Team Leaders are:

  • Administration, Dave Lyon - Denominational affairs, personnel, strategic planning
  • Caring and Remembrance, Bev Morrison - Caring committee, memorial wall
  • Communications, Tom Voigt - Website, monthly Connection, weekly Happenings, publicity, brochures
  • Stewardship, Joel Morrison - Endowment,  Fundraising,  Stewardship, Legacy Friends
  • Lifespan Education, Jaye Williams - Youth Religious Education, Adult Religious Education, Spiritual Fellowship Groups, Interest groups
  • Physical Plant, Bill Dowling - Grounds maintenance: building maintenance
  • Social Activities, Eileen and Steve Leapley
  • Social Justice, Marty King - Green Sanctuary, Interweave, Community Outreach, Common Good
  • Sunday Morning Experience, Lori Baribeault - Worship, music, ushers/greeters, Sunday social time
  • Welcome/Membership, Claire Harrison - Welcome Table, Pathways
  • Technology, Dick Smith - AV, Recorded programming

Congregational Life

To All UUCOV Fairygodmothers (& -fathers)

fairygodmotherYou’ve been waiting to discover what’s on the Wish List - items, services, or projects, approved by the Board, that hadn’t been included in a committee’s budget. Currently on the List (with book plates available to personalize the hymnals):

Six grey large-print hymnals @ $45.00 each
Six teal large-print hymnals @$25.00 each

You can, if you choose, make a donation in memory of someone or celebration of a life event. If you wish to donate one or more hymnals, please contact Linda Underwood -  who will coordinate with the appropriate team. If you have an idea for something to be put on the Wish List, please contact the appropriate Coordinating Council Team Leader.

Gosh! What’s the difference?

newsAt this very moment, you are reading the monthly UUCOV newsletter. It is called Connection. (Notice it has no ‘s’)

Each Friday, you are emailed a bulletin, reminding you of timely events and other items of interest. It is called Happenings. (And yes, it has an ‘s’)

Team leaders, committee chairs, Board members, the Minister all submit articles and notices for inclusion in Connection; they are sent to  and forwarded to the editor. You are invited to express your views via a Letter to the Editor, 325 word maximum, please.

Thanks for a Wonderful Time!

picnic-flyerA great big THANK YOU to our UUCOV new members for hosting a fantastic party on April 18th when over 100 celebrated a beautiful summer evening at the beach. It was a perfect evening, full of food, fun, and friendship.

Express My Gratitude

blue-greenchalice-sm(Trudy Jacoby speaks about her decision to become a Legacy Friend)
"By leaving a legacy, I can express my gratitude for everything that UUCOV means to me. I approve everything the people in the past have done for our congregation, and I would like to see it prosper and continue on. So by leaving something to the UUCOV, I hope I will help accomplish that."

8 Cabins Available on UUCOV’s Greek Cruise

yachtAugust 31 will see UUCOVers beginning their 8-day Aegean island cruise aboard the sleek, 40 passenger, mega-yacht, The Harmony G, specially designed for easy access to the small islands, hidden harbors & exclusive ports that larger ships cannot reach. Find out the glorious details from Nancy Ryder 941-483-4576 or .

Meeting Challenges

The Friday bi-monthly support group will not be available throughout the summer: We will alert you to the fall startup date.

Meet More New Members

JewettDonnaDonna Jewett grew up in Hingham, MA., joined the Old Ship Unitarian church as a teenager in the 1950’s. Her family spent summers on Cape Cod and later her parents spent winters in the FL keys. She graduated from UVM in Home Economics and taught 7-12 grades in Littleton, Ma. While also getting a Master’s degree at Framingham State College. She married young, divorced after 16 yrs. and later met her “soul mate”, Dave Jewett. They discovered that they were both UU’s. She started her own business as nutritional consultant teaming up with Shaklee Corporation and also loved to share the environmentally friendly products with so many people.

In 2000, they moved to Cape Cod and joined the UU Fellowship in Falmouth. She also was involved in garden clubs, and environmentally active community groups. Her hobbies include tennis, kayaking, swimming, and nature walks. Today, they have a large organic garden and solar heated greenhouse with hydroponics and are 95% off the grid! They are continuing D&D Healthy Solutions business to help others with their health, wealth and the environment. Together they have 18 grandchildren! Dave has 3 biological kids and 7 adopted, Donna‘s daughter is also adopted.

They enjoy being snowbirds here in Englewood FL esp. at The Open Studio where we can grow their own food and enjoy the arts! She says: “I’m especially glad we found another “family” at UUCOV that reflects so many of my values and beliefs.”

JewettDavidDonnaDave Jewett grew up in the woods in East Taunton, MA. After graduating from Harvard in Biology, he became an experimental scientist/engineer. He has worked in vitamin research and various physical chemistry projects related to batteries and fuel cells. He spent about 20 years developing silicon materials for solar cells and another 20 years reducing the costs of LED substrates. He is presently working with his wife, Donna in D&D Healthy Solutions promoting healthier and greener lifestyles. Dave became a Unitarian in 1945 and is presently active in the UUFF in Falmouth, MA.

AmorelloNanNan Amorello - I was educated at Arlington Technical Institute and retired after 26 years as a programmer/analyst. For my second career, I earned a BS in Early Education and Early Intervention from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA and taught pre-kindergarten until retirement in 2010.

Married to Al for 47 years, we have two children, five grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild. I have volunteered with various church and community project involving families, young children and young mothers and hope to continue here in Venice. My hobbies include sewing, knitting, reading and walking.

Pat Franks - I grew up on a farm in Illinois. I received my Ph.D. in Zoology many years later from Rutgers in New Jersey, and after completing Post-Doctoral training at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, I moved to Toronto Ontario Canada where I lived and worked in the pharmaceutical industry for several years. I returned to New Jersey and continued my career in the pharmaceutical industry until retirement a few years ago. During my working years, I travelled widely in Canada, to Europe, South American and the near East. I moved to Florida as a full time resident 2 winters ago. I am an active gardener, love to bird and be out in nature, and enjoy volunteering at UUCOV. I have two daughters, one in Florida and one in New Jersey and five grandchildren. Although I live in Florida year round, I do try to return to my beloved Illinois each year.

Lifespan Education

Let's Keep Journeying

Jaye WilliamsMessage from our Director of Religious Education

I have selected as a final hallmark of a healthy congregation, from Owen-Towle’s Growing a Beloved Community, his # 11: Keep Journeying . The word ‘journey’ evokes travel for me, one of the greatest pleasures I have experienced. Planning a vacation is as much fun for me as the trip itself. One bit of research leads me to a book or movie that allows me to immerse myself in some aspect of the places I plan to visit, a blog or message board suggests an experience that none of the guide books mentioned. Travel is something to look forward to; it is in front of me and I am excited, expectant and maybe a little anxious.

Whether on a much planned vacation or meeting the day-to-day events of life, we are all on a journey, moving forward. Owen-Towle speaks of a journey as holding "some deepening affirmation, some correcting discipline or some fresh wonder". My goal is to create Lifespan RE programs that honor these three characteristics.

For those not journeying far from Florida, we will have a variety of fun, spiritually rich and thought provoking programs throughout the summer. For those who will be away for a time, keep us posted on how you are learning, growing and moving forward. I am very grateful to be on the journey with you.

Youth Religious Education

Imagine Project Group PhotoAlbert Einstein said: "Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world"

Over two special Sunday YRE sessions, the children and volunteers, led by Lee Plyler, participated in the IMAGINE Project. The IMAGINE Project is an ongoing collaborative art project of Expressive Arts Institute. It invokes the power of imagination to bring personal and social change.

The children and adults brainstormed what they imagined for human, social or environmental change. After a very interesting and thought provoking facilitation, the group chose I IMAGINE WORLD PEACE. Each participant then decorated a fabric strip to express her sense of the group's imagined change. Those strips were sent to Expressive Arts to become part of a large work displaying all of the fabric strips from around our nation. You can learn more at https://www.facebook.com/ImagineProjectExpressiveArtsFlorida?ref=hl

Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer

cartoon-sun-hi

During the summer months, we have the opportunity to explore and enjoy a wide range of topics and activities with our children. We want you to be a part of our summer fun. Do you have a hobby or interest that you can share with our children? You can come for all or some of one of our Sunday YRE sessions. Contact Jaye Williams to find out more at .

UU and You! 2.0

blue-greenchalice-smSix Thursdays May 5 - June 9, 6-8pm In this continuation of UU and You 1.0, you have an opportunity to deepen your understanding of UU and to engage meaningfully with liberal theology.

We’ll use “A House for Hope: The Promise of Progressive Religion for the Twenty-first Century” by John Buehrens and Rebecca Ann Parker; you can buy it from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc or borrow a copy from the church. Using the metaphor of a theological house, this book aims to recover the hope-filled framework that inspired generations of activists to work for women’s rights, racial equality, economic justice, and peace. Please try to read the Beginning and Part 1 of the book before the first class. May 5 session will be in Waters Hall; other sessions in Sanctuary.

There is a signup sheet on the Sanctuary lanai. For more info, contact Khleber Van Zandt at or 314-223-0551.

Aging Well, With Optimism

dancing-peopleAs we get older, we discover changes in how our bodies move and behave. Using a Great Course series presented by Dr. Kimberlee Bethany Bonura, PhD in Educational Psychology, this series will cover topics including: Self Care, Motivation, Attitude, Chronic Pain/Illness, Sleep and Stress Relief. Lectures and discussion. Mondays May 9-June 27, 5-6:30pm, Asta Linder, facilitated by Marianne Lombard.

From Pythagoras to Georg Cantor, from Newton to Goedel

mathThe formation of unusual religious views influenced by mathematics. May 12, 1:00-2:30, Asta Linder House. First of two lectures by Bill Wolfers.

The Pythagoreans believed that reality was made up of numbers and so were sacred. Descartes attempted to salvage his luke-warm Catholicism with logical arguments. Pascal invented probability and tried to build his beliefs as though the world was a huge betting parlor. Newton was devout but cautious; disputed the Trinity. Cantor dealt with infinity and found religion there. Goedel's logic caused him to doubt the US Constitution and the completeness of any logical system so he turned to a kind of mysticism. There will be no homework, quizzes or tests!

From Socrates to Bertrand Russell, from Spinoza to Samuel Alexander

owl-thinkingUnusual religious views formed by philosophy. May 19, 1:00-2:30, Asta Linder. Lecture by Bill Wolfers.

Plato taught that our senses deceive us. The Good (or God) is found in pure reason. The whole Christian system in the middle ages relegated philosophy to the role of a relief pitcher who could save things in the late innings. Spinoza was first in modern times to worship Nature. Leibniz God was as good as possible and Voltaire made him pay for it. Bertrand Russell carefully explains why he is not a Christian and Samuel Alexander turns to Darwin to find God in a place called not yet.

'Teaching As Relationship' Workshop

Connie GoodbreadNot just for those of us involved in the designated RE program, this workshop - run by UUA staffer Connie Goodbread – addresses basic UU issues: what is faith development? what do we serve? why do we exist? what does the world need from us? what is our life-saving message? how do we teach it? how do we support each other as we explore Unitarian Universalism? May 14, 10am - 4:30pm. $27, light breakfast and lunch. Contact Jaye Williams -  to register.

A Summer History Discussion Forum

UUCOV partners with the Venice Area Historical Society to present 5 forums focusing on the South after the Civil War. The monthly meetings will take place at UUCOV on the first Tuesday of the month, 2 pm; Brad Jenkins, and others, will present overall material prior to discussion. Readings on each topic are suggested, but not a requirement. The books are available through the library system and from Amazon.

Tuesday, May 3, 2:00 PM, “Reconstruction, 1863-1877”Foner, Eric Finer, A Short History of Reconstruction, Updated Version, 2015.
Kenneth Stampp, The Era of Reconstruction, 1967.JenkinsDiscussion

Tuesday, June 7, 2:00 PM, “Farming on Shares, 1865-1960”
James a Agee and Walker Evans, Cotton Tenants: Three Families, 2013.
James Agee and Walker Evans, Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, 1939.
Bradford Jenkins, So I Sung to Myself, Southern Exposure (Spring, 1979).
Dale Maharage and Michael Williamson, And Their Children After Them, 1990.

Tuesday, July 5, 2:00 PM, “Black Life in the South, 1900-1960”DuBois, W.E.B. The Souls of Black Folk, 1903.
Gaines, Ernest J. The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, 1971.
Rosengarten, Theodore. All God's Dangers: The Life of Nate Shaw, 1974.
Wright, Richard. Black Boy, 1945.

Tuesday, August 2, 2:00 PM, “Miss Scarlet's South”
Edwards, Anne. The Road to Tara: The Life of Margaret Mitchell, 2014.
Mitchell, Margaret. Gone with the Wind, 1936.
Pyron, Darden. Southern Daughter: The Life of Margaret Mitchell, 1991.

Tuesday, September 6, 2:00 PM, “Dixie Becomes America or Vice-Versa”
Bartley, Numan V. The New South, 1945-80: The Story of the South's Modernization, 1995
Daniel, Pete. Standing at the Crossroads: Southern Life in the Twentieth Century, 1996.

Interest Groups

BookClub1Book Club
The book group will not meet May - Sept. Instead, they will be joining the Venice Area Historical Society discussions on Reconstruction and the history of the South after the Civil War.

BuddhaMindfulness Meditation
Guided meditation and a look at early Buddhist teachings on living a more peaceful life. Wednesdays, 6:00 - 7:30pm, led by Linda Kabo. The group will not meet June, July, and August; will resume on September 7.

platoPlato's Circle
TThis discussion group meets the first Wednesday of the month at 1pm in Asta Linder. This month, the group addresses “Elusive Happiness” The search for happiness is much desired but often hard to attain, despite the good advice from many ‘experts’. We’ll explore this desirable outcome, using the wisdom offered by Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert in his book, “Stumbling on Elusive Happiness”. He brings the latest scientific research in psychology, cognitive neuroscience, philosophy, and behavioral economics, to understand our unique ability to imagine the future and our capacity to predict how much we will like it when we get there.We will examine the Ten Commandments and consider their importance for civilization. We will discuss their necessity for morality; and, perhaps, rewrite them to reflect what we believe is necessary for an ethical life. Bill Dowling will provide a brief PowerPoint overview and facilitate the discussion

socratesSocrates Cafe
Socrates Cafe are gatherings around the world where people from different backgrounds get together and exchange thoughtful ideas and experiences while embracing the central theme of Socratizing, the idea that we learn more when we question and question with others. All UUCOV members, friends, and neighbors who enjoy lively discussions are invited to participate. Socrates Cafe meets every third Wednesday of the month in Waters Hall at 1:00pm..

ThreeOClockThree O'Clock Poets
Attn: Poets. Three O'Clock Poets will meet on the third Thursday of the month in Asta Linder House at 3pm. All poets and poetry lovers are welcome.

Social Justice

Small Actions Make a Big Difference

thanksThanks to all who made phone calls or sent emails to state legislators during the recent 2016 state legislative session in Florida—we blocked the fracking bill in 2016!

Thanks to all who attended the Pachamama Symposium April 2—we made connections with UUs in other congregations, and with people in our neighborhoods, including a Venice City Councilman who cares about climate change!

Thanks to all who attended the rally outside Vern Buchanan’s office April 15th, to speak up for campaign finance reform.

Thanks to all who came with us to the County Commission meeting on April 26th in support of a resolution to overturn Citizens United, corporate constitutional rights, and money as speech. Let’s hear the voices of the people.

Thanks to everyone who continues to gather petitions for the Solar Choice amendment, so we can get it on the ballot in 2018.

Thanks to folks who attend the Green Sanctuary meetings, Transition Venice meetings, and Citizens Climate Lobby meetings—we are taking steps in our congregation, our community and the nation to create a sustainable environment for us now, and for generations to come.

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Comments, kudos, questions, concerns, musings - all welcome. 325 word maximum. Send yours to .

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 Thursday 9:00am 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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