Many paths. One welcoming and diverse community.

Social Justice

scalesofjusticechaliceOur social justice ministry at UUCOV is in the best tradition of Unitarian Universalist history and principles. We support our Seven Principles, nurture our spirits, and help heal the world through:

Social Service: charitable assistance and hands on help to those in need
Social Witness:
publicly addressing justice issues
Social Education:
discussion, study, and reflection about justice issues
Social Action:
organized action to remedy injustice

Our four committees focus on social justice from different perspectives:

Community Outreach: local
Common Good:
local, state, national and international
Green Sanctuary:
environmental
Interweave:
gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender

Social Justice News

Summertime and The Livin' Is Easy-Hah!

Well, not for all. So, to those of us physically here in Florida during the summer, please consider these opportunities to make a difference.

FamilyPromiseFamily Promise at UUCOV-We will be hosting families again the week of July 2-9. If you haven't been involved, summer might be a great time to start. There are a range of jobs from staying overnight at Asta Linder to providing food items, to prepping the living space, etc. Contact Cindy O'Dell, 317-370-6705 or .

Laurel Civic Association Summer 14-Reading Program- Wednesdays from 6/14 thru 7/19, 2:45-5:00, Laurel Civic Center, 509 Collins Road, Laurel 34275. Volunteer one Wednesday or many. Listen to elementary children read and help them with words they get stuck on. Contact DRE Jaye Williams,   or John Jefferson at 941-483-3338.book

coffeeCoffee Talk Venice-9:45-12:15, Tuesday and Thursday. Upstairs room of the Venice Train Depot. Help set-up, visit with guests, and close-up. You can volunteer as little as once per month. Clients stop in and can have some fresh fruit, soup, sandwich, coffee, cookie. All are served and clients range from homeless to bicyclists and bus riders. Stop by to check it out and/or contact Pat Moser at 941-493-3541 or .

Community Dinners-Help set up and serve at community dinners offered at four Venice churches on a rotating basis. 4:15-6:15 Mondays and Tuesdays. Contact Steve Batchelor or Phil Veach, 941-586-9751, 941-586-3949, .salad

baglunch colorSandwich Making- Show up the second Tuesday of the month at 8:30am, St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 508 Rivera Street, Venice 34285. Gray Hall. Takes less than an hour.

You DID It! Thank You!

UUCOV had budgeted $2000 for Family Promise. You gave to Family Promise of South Sarasota County, via the special offering in May, over $2100!FamilyPromise
And more thanks: to the Physical Plant Team’s hard work in keeping ALH presentable and working; to the Book Club and ARE who put on an educational program on homelessness that helped us all better understand the problem; to the YRE children who make a welcoming sign for each family when we host! What a village!! Thank you for your support and help.

The South Sarasota County Family Promise (SSCFP) began hosting homeless families in October 2015. Since that time, we have hosted 22 families; 31 adults; 50 children. Eighteen families completed the program with an average stay of 53 days. Thirteen families either got a job or increase in income. Two families received a car; three families had cars repaired. Nineteen families received gas cards and three received bus passes. Five have received legal aid for child support and SSI. Fourteen families received YMCA passes. Seven families received $2800 move –in assistance from other agencies and three received $800 from SSCFP (that’s $22,000!). (Data as of May 1917). In addition to what SSCFP already provides, participating professionals teach classes on legal aid, budgeting, parenting, and nutrition for these parents and children. Jennifer Fagenbaum, the director of SSCFP, is a dynamic and energetic leader and will bring more and more help to these families.

Currently, there is 1 family, mother and 3 children under age 8, in the program. We had a second family that graduated in June when they found a job and a home. They are now being helped through the aftercare program. Want to participate in helping and making a difference? Please call Cindy O’Dell, 317-370-6705.

Cleaning Up Our Sanctuary

EcoEarthThe Green Sanctuary Committee has removed the toxic cleaning materials that were under the sink in the Sanctuary kitchen (the usual suspects: detergents, Ajax powder, Windex, etc.) and replaced them with BASIC H 2. It takes only a few drops of Basic H, a non-toxic and highly effective cleaner, diluted with water to do the job. It not only saves money, but it uses much less packaging, reduces trips to the landfill, and releases far fewer toxins into the environment.
When we look at the incidents of autism, allergies, ADD and asthma, we should remember that many of these can be directly traced to household chemicals; UUCOV is a great place to start to raise our awareness of what we can do to protect ourselves and our planet.

Issues for the Common Good

In Touch-Common Good: Our public Facebook group, hosted by Barbara Buehring, has grown 20% in the last month. If you’re not familiar with it, check it out so you can stay up-to-date on what’s happening and how you can part of the action.

letters1Letter writing: The lazy summertime is a good time to become part of the letter-writing group, Get ‘what’s and ‘how’s by sending an email to   saying you’re interested and would like some guidelines to get started.

Petition drives: Everything you need to know to help with (either of) the 2 important petition drives (one countywide (Single-member districts), onepetitions1 statewide (Voting Restoration Amendment) can be learned from whoever is manning the Social Justice table on the lanai each Sunday. Just stop by, get informed, and “Take Five.”

Community Outreach

Summertime and the Livin' Is Easy
Well, for some it is. As we heard through our Evicted series, and from other organizations that we support through Social Justice Community Outreach, the summer months can be very challenging for those receiving much needed services in our community. So, to those of us physically here in Florida, please consider these opportunities to make a difference this summer.

coffeeCoffee Talk Venice-9:45-12:15, Tuesday and Thursday. Upstairs room of the Venice Train Depot. Help set up, visit with guests, and shutdown. You can volunteer as little as once per month. Clients stop in and can have some fresh fruit, soup, sandwich, coffee, cookie. All are served and clients range from homeless to bicyclists and bus riders. Stop by to check it out and/or contact Pat Moser at 941-493-3541 or

Community Dinners-Help set up and serve at community dinners offered at four Venice churches on a rotating basis. 4:15-6:15 Mondays and Tuesdays. Contact Steve Batchelor or Phil Veach, 941-586-9751, or 941-586-3949,

FoodPantryMobile Food Pantries-A variety of locations and times to volunteer are available. This includes the Sprouts fresh food distribution. Go to allfaithsfoodbank.org and select “Give”, follow the link to “volunteer” and get registered and sign up for a specific date/time/location. If you have difficulty signing up, contact Heather Cline, 941-549-8156.

Sandwich Making- Show up the second Tuesday of the month at 8:30am, St. Mark's Episcopal Church, 508 Rivera Street, Venice 34285. Gray Hall. Takes less than an hour.

bookLaurel Civic Association Summer 14-Reading Program- Wednesdays from 6/14 thru 7/19, 2:45-5:00, Laurel Civic Center, 509 Collins Road, Laurel 34275. Volunteer one Wednesday or many. Listen to elementary children read and help them with words they get stuck on. Contact DRE Jaye Williams, or John Jefferson at 941-483-3338.

Family Promise at UUCOV-We will be hosting families again the week of July 2-9. If you haven't been involved, summer might be a great time to start. There are a range of jobs from staying overnight at Asta Linder to providing food items, to prepping the living space, etc. Contact Cindy O'Dell, 317-370-6705 or FamilyPromise