Many paths. One welcoming and diverse community.

From the Board

The UUCOV Board is the governing body of our congregation. They provide guidance and policies that help our congregation grow and function in a manner that is in accordance with our seven principles.

2016-2017 UUCOV Board


From left: Donna Schafer, Secretary; Rev. Khleber Van Zandt, Minister;  Peter Hurley, Treasurer; Dave Lyon, President; Linda Underwood, Vice President, Richard palmer, Trustee; Elaine Carlson, Trustee, Linda Kabo, Trustee 

From the Board News

From the VP

UnderwoodLinda150The Board of Trustees, after work with the Coordinating Council and several task groups, is very pleased to share the Congregational Goals for this fiscal year. For the past several years, we have worked to establish goals that will hold us accountable and will help focus our congregation’s work. These goals come from a variety of sources and are discussed and agreed upon at the Board’s annual retreat held at the beginning of the fiscal year. This year our retreat was held on the Sanctuary lanai.

The goals listed were adopted at our May 11 meeting; they are ambitious and worthwhile. They reflect a desire to support a caring congregation in which we treat each other with respect while working to make justice for others a reality. The goals reflect a continual seeking of truth and of currency with the issues surrounding us. For two years, we have chosen to order our goals by our mission statement. We have found that practice very helpful in helping us maintain focus on what is important.
We hope you will join in supporting these goals as many of our teams will be active in their actualization. We add, with great humility, we are proud of these goals and think they reflect our desire to support a loving congregation that does important work.

Linda Underwood

UUCOV Congregational Goals for 2017/18
(Ordered by Mission)

Responsibility to be open and welcoming to a diverse people
1. Renew our LBGTQI Welcoming Status.
2. Support a sensitization program in relation to race, immigration status, sexual orientation, religious and political perspectives.
3. Actualize “Engaging Conflict” strategies
4. Increase access to leadership and continue to enhance transparency
Growth of the human spirit and search for truth and meaning
5. Refresh current mission statement
6. Provide increased spiritual practice training
Participation in both social and community affairs.
7. Explore opportunities for increased support to our community.
8. Explore our congregational needs now and in the future.
9. Hold leadership development training
10. Complete development of clear “job descriptions” for volunteer positions. (carry over from previous year)
11. Explore staffing needs.

Board Announcement

Due to the resignation of Marianne Koerner from the UUCOV Board of Trustees, pursuant to our by-laws, the Board of Trustees in consultation with the Nominating Committee of 2017, has filled the vacant position. The Board of Trustees is happy to announce that Paul Casavant has accepted the invitation to fill the vacated position until the next annual meeting when the congregation will elect a member to fill the remaining one year of the two year term.

Vice-President’s Message

UnderwoodLinda1How fortunate many of us are to have chosen Venice as our home for all or part of the year. The Chamber of Commerce has named Venice “Paradise” and, for some people, it is just that. But on December 14th many of us heard Jon Thaxton from the Gulf Coast Foundation tell us about another Venice: a Venice where over 50% of its children who attend public schools are going hungry and are eligible for free or subsidized lunches. That means 22,000 children are hungry, particularly on weekends when they are not in school. We heard that the local governments have not planned low income housing for over 20 years. We learned we have “food deserts” where communities have no access to healthy food. We heard many sobering facts about a Venice that many do not see.

The Social Justice Team invited Jon Thaxton to start a conversation with us and to spur some thinking about the needs of our community. We need to understand our neighbors who are in need in order to best plan how we may respond.

On January 9th at 2:00pm in the Sanctuary the Social Justice Team will hold an open meeting for all interested in learning more about our community and doing some brainstorming on the strengths of our congregation and how we might be best positioned to respond to our neighbors in need.

Who knows where this exploration will take us? But it will be a worthwhile journey and it is expected that we will identify some very real ways that more of us can get involved in our community. Come be a part of this brainstorming to help develop programs that reflect our congregation’s passions, skills, and interests.

We are stewards of our congregation and our community. We care and we have great capacity to help. Come learn, discuss, and share your thoughts on January 9th and help our congregation in its Social Justice planning.

Vice President’s Report

UnderwoodLinda150In June, Dave Lyon wrote about our congregation’s Goals for 2016-2017. I had previously written about the ten Teams comprising all UUCOV’s committees, each of which has set its own yearly goals – which support the congregational goals. What does that mean? It means that in different, but important ways, the whole congregation is focused on common efforts.

Throughout the year, the Team Leaders will be working with the Board to refine and accomplish these goals; we want you keep you informed about this process and will find ways to include you in those efforts that capture your interest. Beginning this month, you’ll find under Congregational Life an update on what the Teams are working on.

This month, I want to highlight a big change in Social Events. Social Events is the driving force behind all our fun activities such as Thanksgiving and Spring Dinners, Open Mic, Solstice Celebrations, etc. BUT this year there will be an important big difference. In response to a congregation goal to “Assess our programs to increase focus and depth of congregation involvement”, the Social Events Team, Fiscal Team and the Board are collaborating to the end that future social events will be open to all without charge.

The Board feels that as we ask for increased stewardship from the congregation in full support of UUCOV, we should not ask for additional funds for social activities. This is not a new concept; other congregations have adopted this stance. It is our hope that we will be successful and we are going to give it a try. Thus, we ensure that our social events are open to all. Lack of funds will not keep anyone from attending any UUCOV social event.

-- Linda Underwood

The Social Events Team, chaired by Steve and Eileen Leapley, will be working this summer to come up with an increased social schedule and some differences from past years. You will see events for specific age and interest groups. You will see day activities and evening activities. To get involved with the Team, contact Steve () or Eileen ().