March 2017 Connection

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Issue No. 2003

Venice, FL

March 2017

 

Sundays at UUCOV

Sunday Services: 9:30 and 11:00

March 5, 2017: "Justice? or Partisanship?"

Rev. Khleber Van Zandt. The political situation has tied many of us in knots, whether we’re staunchly trying to defend the current administration or searching for ways to bring it down. Is it possible to a productive conversation while remaining non-partisan and yet holding to our deepest values?

March 12, 2017: "Aging as a Spiritual Journey"

Rev. Frieda Gillespie. We are all aging, some of us with more difficulty than others. As we do, are we attending to the spiritual dimension of the changes in our lives and our selves? What are some of the ways we can grow through this experience of change?

March 19, 2017: "Toward Possibilities"

Rev. Khleber Van Zandt. In Turning to One Another, Margaret Wheatley wrote, “There is no power greater than a community discovering what it cares about.” Our work together as a congregation is just that: figuring out what we care about, and exploring possibilities for change in ourselves and the world.

March 26, 2017: "Hindu Nation"

Rev. Khleber Van Zandt. “America is not a Christian nation,” writes journalist Lisa Miller. We are rather, she says, a people prone to pick from the deli counter of religious choices – very much in the spirit of Hinduism. How does this compare to your experience? And your religion?

 

Adult RE, Asta Linder House Room A

March 5, 2017, 09:30am: "Long Strange Trip: Universalism"

Presentation covering Unitarian Universalist history followed by a discussion led by Bonnie Norton. This session concludes "Universalism", begun last week, and shows its explosion in America during the first half of the 19th century as people adopted the teachings of Hosea Ballou.

March 5, 2017, 11:00am: "Comparative Religion: The Goals of Religious Life"

This lecture elucidates the different ways--literal, metaphorical, mystical--in which leaders in several major religions describe the ultimate goal of human existence. Discussion to follow, led by Linda Kabo.

March 12, 2017, 09:30am: "Long Strange Trip: Evolution"

Presentation covering Unitarian Universalist history followed by a discussion.  This session follows both Unitarianism and Universalism as they evolve from bible-orientated religions to our present day.

March 12, 2017, 11:00am: "Comparative Religion: The Way of Action and the Way of Meditation"

The way of disciplined action is the most widely practiced path to the ultimate goal of human existence. Lecture with discussion to follow on how this path is readily observed in the legal traditions of biblical Israel and Islam, and in the Hindu caste system.

March 19, 2017, 09:30am: "Long Strange Trip: Evolution"

Presentation covering Unitarian Universalist history followed by a discussion. This session looks further at the evolution of both Unitarianism and Universalism.

March 19, 2017, 11:00am: "Comparative Religion: The Way of the Mystics"

Virtually all religions include adherents whose orientation and religious practice centers on the mystical path. The mystics tend to avoid outward and literal manifestations of religious life in favor of meanings conveyed through metaphor and esoteric insights. Led by Linda Kabo.

March 26, 2017, 09:30am: "Long Strange Trip: The Hundred Year Waltz "

Presentation covering Unitarian Universalist history followed by a discussion led by Bonnie Norton. This session documents the century-long courtship between Unitarianism and Universalism leading to their ultimate merger in 1961.

March 26, 2017, 11:00am: "Comparative Religion: The Way of the Mystics"

This lecture explores the primary ways in which Hindus, Buddhists, Jews, Christians and Muslims have understood their truth claims amidst multiple and often conflicting truth claims of others. Led by Linda Kabo.

Special Offering

March 5, 2017: Speical Offering: UU Justice Florida (UUJF)

Unitarian Universalist Justice Florida (UUJF)is one of 21 UU State Action Networks that combines the power of congregational and individual commitments to work for systemic change to problems at the local, state and national levels. Our Common Good Committee works closely with UUJF on important issues like climate change, immigration, and democracy at risk; all UUCOV members and friends are invited to join the action network at www.uujusticefl.org/action-network/sign-up. Please make checks payable to UUCOV with "UU Justice FL" in the memo line.

Minister's Corner

Caring for Each Other

HandsHeartRedBack when we talked about designating this recent February as Caring Month in our congregation, I had no idea I would be one of the ones who would need caring for. I knew my father had been trying to die for a long time, but he chose February 4th as his final exit date, leaving me and my family in need of some care and comfort.

And I must say, you came through in spectacular fashion, with cards and letters, expressions of support, and hugs - don’t forget the hugs. Thank you very much - I will not forget your many kindnesses.

Caring Month, indeed!

In an area like our own, this sort of care can seem to become more than commonplace. It is only reasonable that a congregation such as ours would experience more loss like this than congregations in other parts of the country. It’s not that we’re more reckless or foolhardy; we’re simply older, on average, and so the actuarial probabilities catch up with us. Nature will always take its course, and so the tasks we are given to learn are to celebrate each other while we can and to experience every day of life as a marvelous gift.

During the past couple of weeks, I heard a dearly beloved member of this congregation say that, yes, when she had suffered a great loss, the congregation had initially come through with flying colors for her as well, with cards and letters and condolences in abundance. But soon there came a time when the expressions of care ceased, and it felt to this person as if she might be invisible, as if no one knew quite how to simply approach her and ask, “How are you doing today?”

Obviously, it can be hard to know what to say to someone you know to be grieving. Many of us have heard outrageous things said by friends or acquaintances whose only desire was to reach out and say something nice, but alas.

It is a risk, no doubt, to reach out. But it is a risk worth taking if the alternative is to leave someone feeling invisible.

I know that “How are you?” can sometimes sound like the person asking is not serious in wanting to know, is only trying to get away, is eagerly hoping to hear, “Oh, I’m fine.” But a sincere “How are you?” can also be the most open way to find out truly how someone is doing. It can be the best way to offer care to a person who desperately needs it.

One other question comes to mind that might indicate that you care more than you’re able to say in that moment, and that would be, “Would you like a hug?”

While it’s always best to ask first, don’t forget the hugs.

Holding you in my heart,

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

President’s Message March 2017

LyonDave150UUCOV Mission Statement: Our mission is to build a welcoming and diverse community, which encourages growth of the human spirit, the free search for truth and meaning, and active participation in social and community affairs.

Is this who we are? Can you tell what it means? Is it clear, concise and easy to remember? Many of us feel we can do better!

For instance, our Stewardship Committee adopted the following as its mission statement: To nurture a culture of generosity.

Wow! Short, concise, and very descriptive.

In mid-February a task force was convened at the request of our Minister, myself and Vice-president Linda Underwood. Following an exchange of UU experiences, the group accepted the challenge of re-visiting our mission and subsequently proposing a new mission statement to the congregation.

Have some ideas? Some thoughts on our mission? Please share them in the upcoming weeks with the task force members: Dale Povenmire, Donna Schafer, Bonnie Norton, Linda Van Zandt, Tim Saltonstall, Mark Murray, Dave Jewett, Pam MacFarlane and Marty King.

Our decisions at UUCOV, be they financial, spiritual or educational, should be supporting our mission. Our congregation, due to our many, many activities, has been described as a train flying down the tracks with no destination. Let’s hope this task force focuses our efforts and gives us direction

Congregational Life

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.

Why Am I a Legacy Friend?

FeatherPenLinda Underwood writes: That is an easy question for me. I am a legacy member for the same reason that I try to participate fully in UUCOV life. Being a steward in this congregation is vital to me. I was very busy in my previous life with a consuming job and a mother who, in her final years, needed me. I was not aware of what I was missing until I came through the doors of UUCOV.

It is a conscious decision that I want this congregation that is so important in my life to be available to others. And without all our stewardship that will not happen. I gladly give my time and resources currently and I have chosen to be a legacy member to help ensure the longevity of this congregation for others and for our community.

To join Legacy Friends or to get information about planned giving, please contact John Spitzer at 319- 331-5914 or .

Update from Stewardship Committee

DonationBoxWoodThe mission which guides our committee is "To Nurture a Culture of Generosity.” Some of our recent activities include:

Annual Appeal—The Annual Appeal with the theme, "Living our Values", is in full swing and pledge cards and donations have been arriving daily. There has been a robust response from members and friends. We anticipate the Appeal coming to a close by the end of February.

Donation Box—Following several months of study, we recommended to the Trustees that the practice of passing the collection basket be temporarily ended in favor of using a donation box in the Sanctuary. Passing of the basket sends a message that we are all expected to drop something in the basket. This change is part of a larger effort to nurture a culture of generosity with a focus in the many ways that members and friends freely contribute their time, talent, and treasure to the Congregation. In March we plan to review total contributions from all sources and make a recommendation to the Trustees as to how to proceed.

We continue to promote using the internet to financially support UUCOV. Those who want to contribute financial support directly from their financial institutions or via credit card can use the new green Donate button on the UUCOV website.

! Countdown to Sicily #6

SicilyIn only six months, UUCOV travels to Sicily. After March 1, our reserved spaces will be released, and travel with us will be on a space-available basis. Sign up now to guarantee your spot. Contact Nancy Ryder at .

A Once-A-Year Event

BackwoodsBarbecueMark your calendars for a great barbecue luncheon! On Saturday, March 25th at 1pm, after our annual meeting, UUCOV will sponsor a delicious barbecue brought to you by Backwoods Barbecue Catering. The menu will consist of pulled pork, chicken, coleslaw, baked beans, and cornbread. Utensils, condiments, water, and iced tea will be provided, and you can BYOB. The venue is our beautiful new UUCOV patio, and the event comes to you at no charge. No doubt you will be hungry after the meeting, so rest assured there will be lots of delicious food as well as sparkling conversation. See you there!

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, uucov.org. 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.

Lifespan Education

Message from our Director of Religious Education

WilliamsJaye150Our History Matters
Last Spring, our children presented a song with movement. The first verse was "standing on the Earth with our roots dug down...". The image of solidity and grounding those words and movements evoke feel powerful and reassuring to me.

If we are to be, live, and act with intention in our UU faith, wouldn't it serve us to connect with our roots? Whether one chooses to picture a line, a circle, or a trip, there are people and events that brought forth the Unitarian Universalism we each experience today. Their stories are important and vital to our journey.

The more personally we engage both with head and heart in our history, the more likely we are to build relationship with each other. We connect and are rooted in solid ground as we go out to serve our World.

The Long Strange Trip curriculum, exploring the history of Unitarian and Universalist thought, has been offered and moderated by Bonnie Norton as a Sunday ARE option. It has been so wildly popular, that Bonnie and I had requests from a number of you that a weekday repeat of the course, for those that couldn't attend on Sundays, would be greatly appreciated.

Please check your March calendar as both an afternoon and evening session of the course will begin Mondays in March. Many thanks to Bonnie for continuing to share her time and talent as moderator.

Youth Religious Education - Welcome Newbies!

Newbie"Welcome newbies! You will love and be loved." This was part of an e-mail response from YRE Committee member Carol Zoernack on the news that we have two new teachers/helpers with Sunday YRE: Olga Hebert and Tim Saltonstall. We are also thrilled to have Kathleen Gerstner joining us to help with special events and field trips.

The YRE Committee, along with the DRE, hosted a YRE Volunteer Refresher and Orientation in February. The group got to role-play being the children in order to experience the opening circle for both age groups served on Sundays. Teachers shared their experiences and joys in working with our kids. Obviously, those new and returning volunteers had a great time with lots of laughs and enthusiasm. It's not too late to join us. Contact DRE Jaye Williams if you want to find out how you can get involved.

YRE Spring Break Activities

Peace PoleTwo special events are planned in March for YRE children and their friends. “Peace Begins with Me”, on March 13th , 2-4pm, will feature guitar music, singing, dancing, and snacks and each child will decorate a personal peace pole.

Then on March 15, 2-4pm, Barbara Smith will lead a session “Journey to Japan”, including crafts, music, and food. And Pam MacFarlane will enchant them with her masterful storytelling.

Join Khleber and Jaye at an Off-Campus Program

AstonGardensAston Gardens holds a monthly Adult Education Program; Khleber and Jaye have been invited to lead the Tuesday, March 21st discussion, 10-11am, about our Third Principle: acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in our communities.

UUCOVers and our friends are invited to attend ; if you wish to be there, an RSVP is necessary. Call Aston Gardens, 941-240-1000, to let them know you’ll be attending. UUCOVers and friends are also welcome to join the Aston Gardens monthly ARE program; sessions are held in the Ballroom, 1000 Aston Gardens Drive, Venice, FL.

Aging and End of Life Series Continues

wills trustsknow choices doctorWe’ll have 2 more programs in this Series in March. On Thursday, March 2nd, 1:00-2:30pm, Attorney John Griffin, specialist in elder care law, will speak about “Wills, Trusts and Other Legal Considerations”. He’ll provide information on Florida law and answer questions.

On Thursday, March 30th, 1:00-2:30pm, Dr. Heather McCullough will speak on “Conversation with a Medical Doctor”. Dr. McCullough earned her medical degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI. and has been treating patients in Southwest Florida for over 20 years. She will present information on interacting and communicating with your primary care doctor about aging and end of life topics.

A Popular Series is Repeated - TWICE

Long Strange TripIn March we will begin two repeat programs, one series in the afternoons and one in the evenings, of "A Long Strange Trip", a six-part series that details the 2000 year history of Unitarian and Universalist thought from the beginning of the Christian era to what we know today as Unitarian Universalism. You will see an exceptionally well done video and participate in a discussion.

This fascinating story includes the compelling life stories of heroes such as Michael Servetus, David Ferenc and Joseph Priestly, William Ellery Channing and Hosea Ballou: it details the role of transcendentalists such as Theodore Parker and Margaret Fuller in developing our commitment to a free and open search for truth and meaning. You’ll follow the evolution of both Unitarianism and Universalism in this country from bible-orientated religions to the non-creedal movement we know today, and you’ll learn of the diverse influences such as the Civil War, Suffrage ,and Feminism. And you’ll learn the how the two movements came together and merged in 1961, creating what we know today as the Unitarian Universalist Association.

1: Monday Afternoons March 20-April 24 1-3pm Asta Linder House
March 20 "In the Beginning", examines early liberal religious thought prior to the Protestant Reformation and tells the story of one of our most compelling heroes Michael Servetus.
March 27 "The Birth of Unitarianism" chronicles the spread of Servetus' message and the development of the first coherent Unitarian theology. It tracks these ideas across Europe and eventually to England where we encounter Joseph Priestly (yes, the scientist) and discover his role as a Unitarian minister.
April 3 In "American Universalism", we come to America with the arrival of Unitarian thought in this country and learn about three separate movements all of which compete with the early churches established by the Pilgrims and Puritans. This session includes understanding the impact of the Transcendentalist movement through the work of Theodore Parker and Margaret Fuller.
April 10 “Universalism" introduces us to Universalism from its early development in Germany to its explosion in America during the first half of the 19th century as people adopted the teachings of Hosea Ballou.
April 17 "Evolution" follows both Unitarianism and Universalism as they evolve from bible-orientated religions to our present day non-creedal movement. It Includes the effect of several diverse influences such as the Civil War, Suffrage, and Feminism.
April 24 "The Hundred Year Waltz" documents the century-long courtship between Unitarianism and Universalism leading to their their ultimate merger in 1961. This video follows the resulting UUA to the present day.

2: Monday Evenings March 27 – May 1 6:30-8:30pm Asta Linder House
March 27 "In the Beginning", examines early liberal religious thought prior to the Protestant Reformation and tells the story of one of our most compelling heroes Michael Servetus.
April 3 "The Birth of Unitarianism" chronicles the spread of Servetus' message and the development of the first coherent Unitarian theology. It tracks these ideas across Europe and eventually to England where we encounter Joseph Priestly (yes, the scientist) and discover his role as a Unitarian minister.
April 10 In "American Universalism", we come to America with the arrival of Unitarian thought in this country and learn about three separate movements all of which compete with the early churches established by the Pilgrims and Puritans. This session includes understanding the impact of the Transcendentalist movement through the work of Theodore Parker and Margaret Fuller.
April 17 “Universalism" introduces us to Universalism from its early development in Germany to its explosion in America during the first half of the 19th century as people adopted the teachings of Hosea Ballou.
April 24 "Evolution" follows both Unitarianism and Universalism as they evolve from bible-orientated religions to our present day non-creedal movement. It Includes the effect of several diverse influences such as the Civil War, Suffrage, and Feminism.
May 1 "The Hundred Year Waltz" documents the century-long courtship between Unitarianism and Universalism leading to their their ultimate merger in 1961. This video follows the resulting UUA to the present day.

UU & You 2.0

House For HopeThis continuation of the UU & You orientation classes begins Tuesday, March 14th , 6-8pm, and will meet for six consecutive weeks; it is open to all, whether or not you attended UU&You 1.0. In this program, you’ll deepen your understanding of Unitarian Universalism and be invited to meaningfully engage with liberal theology in both group and individual settings.

We’ll read “A House for Hope: The Promise of Progressive Religion for the Twenty-First Century” by John Buehrens and Rebecca Ann Parker. Using the metaphor of a theological house, this book aims to recover the hope-filled frameworks that inspired generations of activists to work for women’s rights, racial equality, economic justice, and peace.

You’ll need to order your own copy of “A House for Hope “ from a website like Amazon or you may borrow a copy from the church. Please try to read the Beginning and Part 1 of the book before the first class. For further information, contact Khleber Van Zandt at or at 314-223-0551. You may either sign up on the clipboard in the lanai or contact the church office at to let us know you want to attend.

Interest Groups

BookClub1Book Club
The UUCOV Book Club will hold its March meeting on Thursday, March 9th, 1:30pm; the book selection is “The Underground Railroad” by Colson Whitehead. Refreshments are served. All are welcome.

In April, we will discuss "Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right," by Jane Mayer and in May "Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City” by Matthew Desmond. Contact Barbara Smith, 941-408-1729 or for further information.

BuddhaMindfulness Meditation
Guided meditation and a look at early Buddhist teachings on living a more peaceful life. Meets weekly Wednesdays 6-7:30pm. 

platoPlato's Circle
Plato's Circle, an open discussion group, meets 1-3pm the first Wednesday of each month, in Asta Linder House. On March 1, participants will respond to the question: "Where do we go from here-politically, emotionally and morally-with the new reality brought on by President Trump?” Brad Jenkins will facilitate the meeting.
socrates

Socrates 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. UUCOV’s Café meets every third Wednesday of the month in Waters Hall at 1pm. All UUCOV members, friends, and neighbors who enjoy lively discussions are invited to participate on March 15.

Three O'Clock Poets
Dawn Spitz meets with the Three O'clock Poets on the third Thursday of the month in Waters Hall, 3:00 – 4:30pm. All poets and poetry lovers are welcome.

ParkWellness Walking
Each Saturday (until the end of April), Marianne Lombard will lead a walk from 10:30-12, with a focus on awareness and light exercises (breathing, posture, stretching). Meet her at “ Pinebrook Preserve”, 1251 Pinebrook Rd. Donations to UUCOV. Contact Marianne 941-485-5270, with any questions.

Social Justice

Family Promise Open House

Family-PromiseUUCOV’s Family Promise Committee is hosting a working open house, 12pm, on Sunday, March 5th at Asta Linder House. We will begin ‘setting up’ the ALH to host 1 family; 1 adult + 3children (This number is subject to change). The house will be bustling with volunteers eager to share their experiences, answer questions, and explain the program. We are happy to announce that we have enough volunteers - 44 volunteers! - for our March 5th hosting week. UUCOV ROCKS! We are now recruiting volunteers for our April 5th hosting week.

The South Sarasota County Family Promise Program (SSCFP) is designed for 13 Congregations with each congregation hosting 4 weeks a year. UUCOV is 1 of 11 Venice Congregations who have pledged help; the SSCFP has had difficulty in recruiting the last two congregations needed. This leaves them scrambling 8 weeks each year to find volunteers and a host congregation.

UUCOV and the Venice United Church of Christ’s (VUCC) have a plan to resolve the difficulty. Each of us will provide hosting space for an additional 4 weeks. And by hosting two weeks ‘back-to-back’, so to speak, we allow the families to sleep in one place for 2 weeks which improves the quality of their lives. We hope to implement the extended program beginning in Oct 2017.

The VUCC representative, Sandy McHenry, who has been involved with our FP program from the beginning, tells us they need our help to find more volunteers. Everyone wants to help, but ‘wanting to’ and ‘being able to’ are different things. We are actively talking to 3 other congregations who cannot host but are willing to provide some volunteers and meals.

Do you have questions, concerns or want to see Family Promise in action? Please come to our working open house March 5, Sunday at noon. We will be honored and proud to show you how FP makes a difference! Or, catch us at our Family Promise sign up table on the lanai in February.

Let’s take it to Tallahassee

tallahassee capitolOn March 20-21, UUs from around the state will join with us for our annual UU Justice Florida Legislative Day in Tallahassee. This is our chance to see our State legislators in action at the State Capitol and meet with their staffs on critical bills.

We will carpool from UUCOV at 11 on Monday, and be treated to a wine and cheese reception Monday night and a catered dinner at the UU Church of Tallahassee. Our Keynote Speaker will be followed by Lobby training by members of the Leon County League of Women Voters, with maps and bills provided. Our dinner and hotel are compliments of UU Justice Florida, as their investment in UUs statewide, to help us learn how our state legislature works and become actively engaged in our democracy.

Tuesday morning we head to the Capitol, have scheduled meetings at the offices of our Senator and Representative, see key committee meetings or sessions of the House and Senate, and debrief at lunch in the Capitol cafeteria. We stop for dinner on the way home and are back by 9:30pm on Tuesday. Carpooling makes it doable and fun. This is a critical year to bring the voice of our values to our state legislators.

Join us! Register online at http://www.uujusticefl.org/BookingRetrieve.aspx?ID=92976 by March 13. Call Kindra Muntz at 941-266-8278 if you have questions.

"It's Almost Earth Day! Think about your Mother; she needs help!"

EcoEarthTo celebrate Earth Day the Green Sanctuary Committee is sponsoring a talk by Tim Rumage on Monday April 17, 7pm. Mr. Rumage is a planetary ethicist and naturalist who has been teaching at the intersection of science, ecology, art, design and architecture for more than 30 years. He is the Coordinator/Developer of Environmental Studies at Ringling College of Art and Design. Along with David Houle, Tim is the co-founder of This Spaceship Earth and co-author of the book with the same name. He will speak about climate change and what we as citizens of this planet should do about it.

Denominational Affairs

Denominational Affairs

There is always something happening either at the National level of the Unitarian Universalist Association or in the Southern Region of which our congregation is a member. In these times, when our values of hope, love and justice for all are sorely challenged, it is always uplifting to experience UUA gatherings and events; they are terrific opportunities to come away renewed in spirit. Two opportunities you might want to consider:

Spring Regional Event, Saturday April 4 at the Marion County Fellowship in Summerfield, FL., an all-day conference that will provide a wonderful opportunity to come together with other UUs from across Florida for learning, networking, and renewal. In addition to worship and a chance to meet others with similar interests there will be two workshops of special focus. The first is a session specifically designed for those interested in Stewardship and Generosity in our congregations. The other will be a session that builds on our legacy and considers how, as a denomination, we are called to offer an alternative in our communities. Please contact Bonnie Norton at if you are interested in attending this conference. We will arrange carpooling.

Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

Comments, kudos, questions, concerns, musings - all welcome. 325 word maximum. Send yours to or to our Connection editor, Leie Carmody at .

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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