January 2017 Connection


If you have trouble viewing email addresses or images, click here to view it online.


Issue No. 2013

Venice, FL

January 2018

Due to technical issues, this newsletter was delayed.
We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.


Sundays at UUCOV

Sunday Services

January 7, 2018: Hello, My Name Is… 9:30 & 11:00

Rev. Khleber Van Zandt. Perhaps you’ve written your name on one of those nametags that say, “Hello, my name is….” How did you decide what name to use? Our congregation must be a place where people can name themselves and be welcomed and included regardless of the names they’ve been called out on the street.

January 14, 2018: Peace, Love, and Understanding 9:30 & 11:00

Rev. Khleber Van Zandt. Martin Luther King Day. The Nick Lowe song, “What’s So Funny ‘Bout Peace, Love, and Understanding,” is a wry take on generational divides. We’re going to need to bridge those divides and more in order to build the sort of world – and congregational community – we seek.

January 21, 2018: You and I and #MeToo 9:30 & 11:00

Rev. Khleber Van Zandt. The courage and audacity of the women, men, and people who have spoken out about their experiences of sexual misconduct has brought us to a new place in our culture and society. The way forward has yet to fully appear, but we cannot and will not go backwards.

January 28, 2018: Masks and Walls 9:30 & 11:00

Lori Baribeault. Why do we work so hard at keeping up appearances? And what might we gain if we let just a few more people in to our 'fortress of solitude?' Lori, UUCOV’s Team Leader of Sunday Morning Experience and active with Interweave, worked in Human Resources and Benefits for 25 years and spent many years in community theater, both behind the scenes and on stage, even studyimg a semester at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.


Adult RE, Asta Linder House Room A

January 7, 2018, 09:30am: "Your Many Homes" WATERS HALL A

Living Room Conversations will explore a new topic each Sunday in January through readings, videos and discussion. Your Many Homes-Explore what home means to you. Is it a feeling? A physical place? Is UUCOV one of your many homes?

January 7, 2018, 11:00am: "Long Strange Trip - In the Begnning"

A multi-part video presentation covering two thousand years of Unitarian Universalist history followed by a discussion led by Bonnie Norton. This week: In the Beginning -- The early roots of liberal religion up to the time of the Protestant Reformation.

January 14, 2018, 09:30am: "Hope"  WATERS HALL A

Living Room Conversations will explore a new topic each Sunday in January through readings, videos and discussion. Hope- "Hope" is a word comprised of many meanings with many associations. In uncertain times, hope can be a source of comfort and solace, an alternative to cynicism, a refuge that leads to inaction... One's vantage point may be one's pivot point.

January 14, 2018, 11:00am: "Long Strange Trip - In the Beginning, Part 2"

A multi-part video presentation covering two thousand years of Unitarian Universalist history followed by a discussion led by Bonnie Norton. This week: In the Beginning: Part 2 -- Significant events during the Reformation including the role of Michael Servetus and John Calvin.

January 21, 2018, 09:30am: "Ethics for UU's"  WATERS HALL A

Living Room Conversations will explore a new topic each Sunday in January through readings, videos and discussion. Ethics for UU's - Unitarian Universalism is grounded in the understanding that our actions speak louder than our words or beliefs. Are we intentional in developing a personal ethical framework to live by? To what sources do we turn to guide us?

January 21, 2018, 11:00am: "Long Strange Trip: Birth of Unitarianism"

A multi-part video presentation covering two thousand years of Unitarian Universalist history followed by a discussion led by Bonnie Norton. This week: Birth of Unitarianism -- With the Reformation came the first development of liberal religious thinking and the birth of Polish Unitarianism.

January 28, 2018, 09:30am: "The Civil Conversations Project"  WATERS HALL A

Living Room Conversations will explore a new topic each Sunday in January through readings, videos and discussion. The Civil Conversations Project- Krista Tippett curates The Civil Conversations Project. The project suggests it is up to us, where we live, to start having the conversations we want to be hearing and creating the realities we want to inhabit.

January 28, 2018, 11:00am: "Long Strange Trip: The New Unitarian Movement"

A multi-part video presentation covering two thousand years of Unitarian Universalist history followed by a discussion led by Bonnie Norton. This week: The New Unitarian Movement continues to spread across Europe from Poland to the Netherlands and eventually to England.

Special Offering

January 14, 2018: Center of Hope

The Center of Hope Social Service Program provides more services to the homeless, hungry and economically deprived in the Venice area than any other agency. People in need can get food, clothing, hygiene items, bus passes, emergency financial assistance for utilities and rent, help replacing lost or stolen ID, referrals for dental work, haircuts and other services, and friendly and compassionate attention. Please make checks payable to UUCOV, with ‘Center of Hope’ on the memo line. Thank you for your generosity.

Minister's Corner

What’s the Big Idea?

Back in mid-December, I had the pleasure of attending one of the “community conversations” designed to allow us to share thoughts and ideas about2 lightbulb heads our congregation and its future. I went with some trepidation: I didn’t know how it would go, and I wasn’t sure anyone would show up.
Lo and behold, at the appointed time, over forty people had gathered in the Sanctuary. And what an exciting discussion!
Lots of participants had lots of ideas about what outreach activities were appropriate for the congregation to be involved in. Some admitted that particular social justice efforts were the primary reason they had joined the church in the first place; others expressed the belief that we do too much for others, that we ought to focus more on taking care of our own members and friends.
For myself, I think both taking care of our own and reaching out into the community are vitally important. Indeed, these are two of the key reasons for a congregation to exist.
Being welcoming to visitors as well as to current members was another recurring theme. Some wanted better hearing assistance systems so people can hear what’s said during programs and presentations. Upgrades to our audio-visual capabilities were important to many as well, it being well-nigh impossible to see the projection screen from the middle or back rows of our Sanctuary.
Further, in order to include shut-ins and to welcome more people into experiencing our services, the suggestion was made that, instead of posting audio recordings of sermons after the fact, we live-stream our entire services over the internet.
It became clear that space issues still haunt us. Many obviously long for the days when we had only one service each Sunday, a possible solution for which would be to build a larger Sanctuary near the existing one and to use the one we have as a fellowship hall / education wing with a full-sized kitchen. When someone estimated the cost to be a million dollars or more, many balked, wondering if a new building would be worth the expense.
Late in the process, the chair of the Sunday Morning Experience Team mentioned how difficult it is to find ministers willing to guest preach after they learn we have two services each Sunday. This seemed to shock some folks, perhaps because they’ve never thought about what a strain this puts on resources.
Success is wonderful, but it has its cost. Doing two services every Sunday has its downside for a number of people, not least of all your minister and staff. But when our Sanctuary is too small to welcome all who show up, something’s gotta give. The cost of doing two services is not as great as that of building a new building, and I would say not as great as turning people away.
What shall we do about it together?
I welcome your ideas, big or small.
See you in church,

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
Office hours: By appointment.

Office Administration: Salli L. Clarke
Phone: 941-485-2105
Office hours: Monday - Friday 10:00am -Noon

From the Board

For the Future: What Do We Want?

On Decembr 12th, at the first congregational conversation about our future, over 40 people came together to share their visions for our long range planning. The visions, concerns, hopes are captured below and ordered under the several themes of our mission.
Pursuit of Justice:
• Need more focus in our work with social justice projects
• Support/buy/rehab a local house to offer Section 8 housing opportunities
• Are we a social service agency or a congregation???
• Work with other community groups on public housing
• Publicize results of our social service projects.
• New projects need sufficient volunteers, don’t bite off more than we can support.
Spiritual Growth:
• Need to balance our spiritual work with our social justice focus
• Build a labyrinth for meditative walking
• Record/live-stream the whole service
• Difficulty recruiting guest ministers for two services
Loving/Welcoming Community:
• Strengthen our endowment
• Respond to the hearing impaired members - Add a T-coil or loop system in the sanctuary for hearing impaired people. Install speakers in the back of the sanctuary
• Diversity is our strength
• Build a Social Hall/ Multipurpose structure with a kitchen large enough to accommodate the congregation
• Any new building should be contiguous to the sanctuary and connected by a covered walkway or square
• Expand the Sanctuary to allow all to attend a single service.
• Hire a consultant
• Hire additional help to maintain grounds
• Add smoke detectors in Sanctuary
• Adjust the air conditioning
• Install canopy for front patio, retractable awning
• Plan to adapt to the world as it will be in five years re our facilities and website
• Pinebrook may become a bus route
• Outsource more –hire an administrator or intern minister to reduce the burden on our minister – or an assistant for Khleber
• Hire an IT person
• Need a larger area for the congregation for audio and visual programs
• Renew our congregational commitment to the Welcoming Congregation
• Tap into the many talents of our members
• Strengthen relationships with members/friends who are seasonal.
• Pay off mortgage.
• Amend by-laws to allow absentee voting
• Improve efficiency of communication-who is doing what, when and where
• Share all the above suggestions in Connection
Use this list to spark your thoughts/imagination/dreams. Your input is needed.
We will have another conversation on UUCOV needs on February 12, 2018 at 1:00 PM in the Sanctuary.

From the President

First let me wish you all a Happy New Year. May it bring enjoyment, good health, and improvement to those issues that concern us the most.
Well, things at UUCOV are bubbling……
Our search committee to staff our music program is off and running with lots of enthusiasm under the leadership of Bill Harrison.
The by-law review committee, under the capable direction of Barb Smith, is charging ahead.
The nominating committee is working* to present us with names to staff the Board of Trustees for 2018-2019, plus two members to succeed them on next year’s nominating committee. Bev Morrison has taken the reins and will bring us a great slate.
The auction team has begun its first task; donations are being solicited, and we’ll soon have another great list of choices for our enjoyment.LyonDave150
The finance group is very busy working on next year’s budget. This is always difficult as our wishes exceed our revenue.
The stewardship committee is diligently preparing the upcoming appeal. With the stock market at record highs, we’re hoping for a commensurate generosity.
The caring team has initiated neighborhood parties and several have occurred and more will follow. What a great idea to gather with neighbors and realize how many UUCOV members are in your neighborhood and how we can support each other.
I want to announce a change. Starting on Thursday, January 11, 2018 your Board of Trustees will meet in the sanctuary. We feel it is a much more welcoming space than the back room in Waters Hall. Please come and see how the business of the church is handled. All in attendance will be given the opportunity to address the board.
Dave Lyon, President

*see below, Request for Help

Congregational Life

Tip of the Hat

tip of the hatTip of the Hat provides a place for each of us to express recognition of or thanks to others in the congregation. You might ‘tip your hat’ to a group, a team, or an individual. If you have a submission for this column please email it to the editor, Leie Carmody, with “tip of the hat” in the subject line. Your message should include who is being recognized or thanked.

To Linda Underwood and Bill Dowling for their excellent three-minute speeches on the changes to the Venice Comprehensive Plan at the Open to the Public session of the Venice City Council on November 28th. What a great example for others! It is important to bring our concerns to our elected officials. Bill was even interviewed by the Herald-Tribune and appeared on ABC-TV7 news that night. Way to go, Bill and Linda! Kindra Muntz

To Pat Franks - Our Sunday services are made all the more special by the time we spend afterwards with each other and Pat helped make that time even more enjoyable. Thank you, Pat, on behalf of the Sunday Morning Experience team for finding volunteers for our Sunday social times over the last several months. In addition, you and your helpers have cleaned and organized the kitchen numerous times. Lori Baribeault

To Bev Morrison - Kudos to Bev Morrison for all the work she did to organize UUCOV into neighborhoods! Bonnie Hurley

To Karen Griffin, Barbara Smith, Marilyn Amick, and Saxon Stanley. We appreciate you! * Jaye Williams
*see Lifespan Learning, YRE article

To Marianne Koerner, Steve Doublestein, Nancy Zarowin and Ray Goins for sharing their diverse and high energy musical talent and organization with the congregation and to the choir for their continuing and well-appreciated service as we transition into a new musical era for UUCOV. Board of Trustees

UUCOV Has Bylaws

A Bylaws Committee has been convened to review the UUCOV Bylaws. Its commission is to report its recommendations to the congregation. Thesebylaws clipart 4 recommendations will be voted on at the UUCOV Annual Meeting, Saturday, March 24th , 11:00am-1:00pm. Committee members are Barbara Smith (Chair), Joel Morrison, Charlotte Neagle, Matt McHugh, and Linda Underwood. The current Bylaws, http://uucov.org/images/phocadownload/Bylaws/150329bylaws.pdf  were adopted March 29th, 2015. The Bylaws Committee will convene an Open Meeting to receive your in-person input, Friday, January 19th at 3pm at Asta Linder; written recommendations, however, are welcome anytime up to that date. Please submit to Barbara Smith in writing at with a description of the general issue you are seeking to change. Also, please provide in writing your recommended language and specific location within the Bylaws where you seek to insert the recommendation. Your email submission will be acknowledged and very appreciated.
We have high respect for the work of those UUCOV members who put forth the UUCOV Bylaws at its formation and during the intervening years and are impressed as to how they have well served this congregation. The 2018 Bylaws Committee endeavors to continue in that tradition.

UUCOV Endowent Fund

It’s a gift that keeps on giving, now and hereafter. All gifts, large or small, are welcome in the UUCOV Endowment Fund. With a gift of $5,000.00 or more, you are designated as a UUCOV Patron and automatically recognized as a UUCOV Legacy Friend. Check with Wayne Strife - 941-375-2400 or John Spitzer - 319-331-7187.

We’ll Be Celebrating

FeatherPenMarch 3rd. Legacy Friends, save this date, 4:00-6:00pm. We’ll gather to celebrate our commitment to support UUCOV’s mission far into the future. Look for details in the February Connection. If you’re not yet a Legacy Friends and want any information or an opportunity to talk about planned giving, contact John Spitzer - 319- 331-5914 or .

Request for Help

Tis the season... and the Nominating Committee has begun work to identify a slate of candidates to serve on our Board of Trustees. In addition to openings on the Board, there other leadership positions open on the Coordinating Council and key committees. Fulfilling stewardship is more than just monetary support. We need the talent and hard work of a committed membership in a variety of ways to keep UUCOV thriving. We need your help to identify leadership talent within the congregation! If you would personally like to serve in a leadership capacity, please reach out to a member of the committee to either express your interest or learn more about needs for the upcoming year. If you wish to recommend someone, please do so only with their permission. We look forward to hearing from you!
The Nominating Committee:
Bev Morrison, Chair     
Claire Harrison            
Bonnie Norton             
Paul O'Dell                 
Phil Veach                  

Speaking Up

Speaking Up

The national news has been both heartening and difficult as so many have courageously come forward to tell their stories of sexual assault and harassment at the hands of powerful abusers. Heartening, because there finally appear to be consequences for powerful perpetrators. Difficult, because the stories can bring up old trauma and hard reactions for those who’ve lived with abuse. If you need to tell your stories in a safe and supportive atmosphere, join us in the Sanctuary on Thursday, January 25, 3-5pm. Contact Rev. Khleber Van Zandt, .

A Congregational Conversation

Be part of refreshing the UUCOV Mission Statement on January 8th, 1:00 pm, in the Sanctuary We will look at our long range planning ideas to see if our mission reflects those ideas. What comes first? Mission/purpose or actions. Perhaps doing this planning in tandem helps in our work?

Fun, Frivolity, and Fund-Raising!

Yes, all at the same time, cause it’s AUCTION time! Show up in the Sanctuary, Saturday, January 27th beginning at 4:00 pm for a greatGavel afternoon/evening, dinner included, and quietly make the rounds to select what you want to ‘silently’ bid on before the live auction gets underway.
There’s still time to contribute to the fun and fund-raising by offering a party, a brunch, a lesson, an art item, a service, a ‘whatever’ for fellow UUCOVers to bid for; we can accept donations until January 14th. Check out the 2015-2017 auction brochures on the lanai to stimulate your own ideas, then pick up a donation form from the lanai or contact Diane de Grasse, to get listed in the auction brochure. The fatter the brochure, the more fun, frivolity, and funds. The Auction is our biggest fund raiser at UUCOV - last year we raised well over $10,000. Let’s do it again.
If you’d like to be in on all the action by volunteering, contact Joel Morrison .

The Search is On

musicA committee of five (Bill Harrison, Chair, Bob Allen, Barb Griffin, Dawn Spitz, and Wayne Strife), has the responsibility of finding a person (or persons) to run UUCOV’s Music Program. We have been able to find strong interim music talent so that the committee will have the time they need to find the right fit for UUCOV. We were fortunate enough to have a great number of people volunteer and we thank everyone for their offers to help.

Say Hello

10 new members were welcomed by the congregation on December 10th. They are (left to right): Doug Choate, Suzy Choate, Nancy L. Wilson, Ray New members Dec 2017Goins, Janet Lemoine, Stan Majors, Mary Erceg, and Jill Majors. Not pictured are new members Janet Knudsen and Bob Knudsen.
Our next Pathways class is scheduled for January 23 and January 30 from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at Waters Hall. We encourage folks who are interested in becoming a member or just want to learn more about Unitarian Universalism and our congregation to attend. Sign up at the welcome table or contact Claire Harrison ,-or- 941-244-0151.

A New Service, A New Opportunity

safety committeeThe Board has created a new committee, a Safety Committee, to not only check on and improve building and grounds safety, such as lighting and smoke detectors, but also to plan ahead for possible disasters, and to evaluate the safety of our community in terms of interpersonal relationships and how we treat each other.
We need your help to make UUCOV safer.
At our initial meeting, we will evaluate our current levels of safety, and at ongoing meetings we’ll discuss how best to implement needed safety measures. If you are interested in the topic or have a background that could be useful, please contact Stephanie Zoernack .

Lifespan Education

Message from our Director of Religious Education

So Many Choices-
Often followed by, "so little time". I hear this much more often around UUCOV as we head into our January-April time of year. So, I invite all of us: say itWilliamsJaye250 loud, say it softly, out of the side of our mouth, with glee, through gritted teeth, and with joy in our hearts. So many choices, so little time!
I find myself in a constant mental looping "cost/benefit analysis" of these many choices presented for my attention during the season. It goes something like: "Will it really be worth my time?" "If I leave that program early, maybe I can do both." "This program sounds so fun, but shouldn't I staff the table on that vital political issue instead?" "With the traffic the way it is now, it's going to take forever to get up/down to that program."
I am inviting myself to shut down that mental loop in 2018 and to choose to trust that I will make wise choices involving my time. I will be in attendance where I am supposed to be and I will be mindful of how I benefit from being there.
I look forward to seeing you at UUCOV programming and other opportunities throughout our community. I also look forward to hearing that you chose lunch with a friend, a walk on the beach, time with your kids, or curled up with a book.
Jaye Williams, DRE

Youth Religious Education

We are extremely fortunate to have volunteers who allow our YRE program to expand beyond our Sunday YRE curriculum. Two excellent examples occurred in November. Karen Griffin led YRE on a field trip to Sleeping Turtles Preserve. If you haven't taken advantage of this gem of a park, located on the Myakka River, Google it and see what Karen provided our children as she led the nature walk-and-talk.
Barbara Smith and Marilyn Amick, along with youth volunteer Saxon Stanley, gifted their time and talent to the special YRE session, The Gift of Giving, the day after Thanksgiving. Using cardboard boxes and scraps of fabric that otherwise would have been recycled, the children created lovely boxes. They also decorated mini cupcakes to "gift" their parents when they came to pick them up.
Thank you Karen, Barbara, Marilyn and Saxon. We appreciate you!!!
YRE jan 2017 3            YRE jan 2017 1YRE jan 2017 2

An Invitation

invitationWe are providing the children at UUCOV with teachings and experiences they will find no where else. You are invited to Asta Linder House for refreshments and an informative and fun experience, 10:00-11:30 am on Thursday, February 1st , to learn about Youth Religious Education at UUCOV.
RSVP by January 29th to Jaye Williams, .

Reminder: Transportation and Child Care

If you need transportation to any of our Lifespan Education programs or are needing child care, contact DRE Jaye Williams ( in advance), unless an alternate person to be contacted is listed in the program details.


agwdsl final vertAston Gardens hosts a monthly UUCOV Adult Education Program; Jaye Williams will lead the Tuesday, January 30th discussion, 10:00am – 11:00am. UUCOVers and friends are welcome to join the sessions; they are held in the Ballroom, 1000 Aston Gardens Drive, Venice.

Back by Popular Demand

Did you notice that “Long Strange Trip” is on the ARE schedule once more, beginning January 7th?Long Strange trip
It was one of the most widely attended Sunday ARE series and we are honoring requests, by those who missed all or parts of it, that it be repeated at the 11am RE slot through March. The program will present the history of Unitarian and Universalist thought from the beginning of the Christian era to what we know today as Unitarian Universalism. Each lecture and discussion stands alone, so attend one, some, or all. Moderated by Bonnie Norton.

faith like a riverAlso back on the programming schedule is “Faith Like a River”, with sessions beginning January 31st . Watch for details in Happenings.

UUCOV Hosts…

Betty Intagliata Lecture Series LogoThe theme of the Betty Intagliata Lecture Series, winter series, funded by the Bill Jervey, Jr. Foundation, sponsored by the Venice Area Historical Society, and held in UUCOV’s Sanctuary is "Civil Rights in Florida." The 1st of the series will be on Tuesday, January 16, 7:00pm. The kickoff program will feature noted award winning, Florida historian Gary Mormino whose topic will be "Florida Civil Rights Heroes." All programs are free and open-to-the-public and will be followed by refreshments. For more information, see www.veniceareahistoricalsociety.org. 

Your Role in an Age-Friendly Community

Dr. Kathy BlackCaring and Remembrance Team is thrilled to announce that Dr. Kathy Black will speak at UUCOV on Tuesday, January 24th, 1:00-2:30pm as part of our Aging and Choices series. Dr. Black is a professor of Aging Studies and Social Work at the Univ of South Fl., Sarasota- Manatee and is currently The Patterson Foundation Initiative Consultant for Age-Friendly Sarasota. You will be inspired to consider the myriad of ways in which each of us can contribute to our collective age-friendly journeys that enhance community life for all.

Age-Friendly Sarasota is Florida’s first global age-friendly community. This talk will discuss community features that enhance active, healthyAge Friendly Sarasota and engaged living for people at all life stages and abilities. Everyone is a stakeholder in an aging society and we will review the contributions of key sectors including government, nonprofits, businesses, people and communications.

Chalice Circles

UUCOV Chalice CirclesEver wanted to explore topics of spiritual importance with a small group of fellow congregants, but just couldn’t face a years-long commitment? This winter, come join in a new small-group ministry we’re calling Chalice Circles (not exactly Spiritual Fellowship Groups but similar). These covenant-based Chalice Circles will meet regularly over a period of a few months before breaking up to reform with different members, allowing groups to continually be renewed and participants to get to know new people.
Interested? An organizational meeting will be held on Thursday, January 11, 2018, from 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm in the Sanctuary. Questions? Rev. Khleber Van Zandt, .

Interest Groups

978 080703261 9Book Club
The Book Club meets in Waters Hall at 1:30pm on the second Thursdays of the month. On January 11th,we will discuss “Noon at Tiffany”s” by Echo Herons.
We will also consider one of this year’s two communal reads, ‘Daring Democracy’ by Frances Moore Lappe and Adam Eichen for the February selection. This would allow our group to be in sync with the UUCOV calendar and allow you to check out one of the copies being purchased by UUCOV.

The Mindfulness Meditation group resumes Wednesday meetings on January 3rd in Waters Hall A, 6:00-7:30pm. Julie Jons will facilitate through14 February. After a short reading and discussion, followed by gentle stretches, Julie will guide the group in silent meditation; all meditators (beginning and experienced) are welcome. If you have any questions, contact Julie   402-708-6508

platoPlato’s Circle
Plato's Circle will meet Wednesday, January 3rd, 1-3pm at Waters Hall. We’ll examine how the words we use to describe our emotions affect how we feel. There will be a brief introduction by a Ted Talk speaker regarding words changes in response to cultural expectations, followed by discussion.

Sleeping Mats for the Homeless
Meet in Waters Hall on Saturdays, 10:00 am-12:00 pm. We need all types of workers: bag cutters, plarn (plastic yarn) makers, and especiallyplastic grocery bags 3601377 ver1.0 640 360 crocheters! There is on-the-job training!!! Contact Judy Heipel 813-924-3387

Socrates Café
Socrates Cafe are gatherings around the world where people from different backgrounds get together and exchange thoughtful ideas and experiencessocratescolor while embracing the central theme of Socratizing, the idea that we learn more when we question and question with others. Beginning in December, our Café will meet every third Wednesday of the month in Waters Hall at 1pm,. Spread the word that the general public is welcome and invited.

walkingLeftWellness Walking
This group begins again with Marianne Lombard on January 13, meeting each Saturday through April, 10:30-12:00 at Pinebrook Park, 1251 Pinebrook Rd. Park at the tennis courts. Our walks, with awareness, will include light exercises (breathing, posture, stretching). Donations to UUCOV are welcome. If you have questions, contact Marianne - - 941-485-5270

Writer’s Support Group
Share your writing - poetry or prose - fiction or your own life journey - in a supportive environment of fellow writers on the 1st and 3rd Mondays, 1:00-3:00pm,will Waters Hall. In January, the first meeting will take place on Tuesday, January 2nd, 10:00 am-12:00 pm at Sylvia Hancock’s home, 1318 Still River Drive, Venice Questions? Call Sylvia at 360-460-8593.

Social Justice

Have you noticed…?

...the new addition to the UUCOV campus? The Green Sanctuary Committee hopes that the new BIKE RACK will inspire all to use bicycles as much asBike Rack possible, with the goal of lessening fossil fuel emissions as well as adding to good health.

Transgender 101: Part 2

transgender flagsOn January 25th 7:00 pm- 8:30 pm, in the Sanctuary, Nathan Bruemmer from ALSO Youth in Sarasota will return to share information about the transgender community and the issues and challenges they face. With the current political situation, the transgender community is one of the most vulnerable and at-risk populations in our state. Come for this informative presentation and discussion. Light refreshments will be served after the presentation.

Family Promise: Thank You’s All Around

This year’s first hosting (December 24, 2017 – January 7, 2018) presented an opportunity for UUCOV to show our flexibility and what a caring FamilyPromisecongregation we are. Because of the holidays, we added 8 more shifts and additional van drivers to ensure our families had access to the Family Promise South Sarasota County Day Center when it was open. The Center, the primary place where these families’ lives are focused (there they have access to computers, play grounds, washing machines, showers etc) will be closed for three days in a row so the employees can have the holidays off.
        -Thank you to all the volunteers from our co-hosts Venice United Church of Christ and St. Mark’s Episcopal Church and to the ‘free agents’ (not affiliated with a church) who help us host.
        -YRE has plans to welcome the hosted families and their children to UUCOV’s home - joy, sharing, taking time to say hi! Thank you, YRE.
        -Jim Beckstrom has been working to bring us into the 21st century with a computer program that will seriously reduce the number of times people touch the same document to accomplish 1 task. Thank you, Jim.
        -Thank you to the Social Activities Team for inviting our Families to the UUCOV holiday party on Xmas Day. Whether they attended or not, they knew they were welcome.
       - Physical Plant team continues to amaze with their work. Thank you for all your help with Asta Linder House.
       -And to all the volunteers who are giving food and shelter and a shoulder to lean on to the 2 families in the current program (a single mother with 4 children, 3 boys and 1 girl, aged 8years to 6 months and another single mother with a 3 year old), it is an honor and a privilege to work with you and for you. You make a difference!!

And Family Promise Starts the Year with a Request

Family Promise needs at least one more member on the steering committee, an administrative position not requiring directly working with the families. The ideal member has not only respect and love for the program, but organizational skill as well, and is open to sharing responsibility. Our goal for the administration of Family Promise at UUCOV is to have several coordinators who can transfer responsibility from one to another. The computer program Jim Beckstrom is developing makes this possible and easy. We are very flexible and accommodating! If you’re interested or just want to check it out, contact Cindy O’Dell 317-370-6705.

Three opportunities to act for the Common Good

1) Borrow or buy the UUA Common Read ‘Daring Democracy’; be ready to join in February discussions and workshops at UUCOV.
Some copies will be available at the Social Justice table. Buy your own for $9.09 or less at Amazon.com.978 080703261 9

2) Join the March for Democracy in Sarasota ,January 20th. There will be speeches and music and an alternative program for those who cannot march. Sign up to travel by bus; the bus is scheduled to leave from Jacaranda near I-75 is filling up fast. We aren’t certain if a second bus can be scheduled. Buy a T-shirt if you wish.

3) Carpool with a group from Venice, Monday, January 22nd, to the state Capitol for the most exciting UU Justice Florida Legislative Days ever! Our uujfKeynote Speaker Monday night is Desmond Meade, the founder of the Voting Restoration Amendment campaign. We will be celebrating his good work and, we hope, the SUCCESSFUL completion of the petition drive to put the amendment on the ballot in 2018 This is a wonderful opportunity to see the Florida Capitol, meet with the legislative staff, and see our legislators in action. As representatives of the UU Justice Florida Action Network, we will be lobbying our legislators Tuesday morning on bills for the common good. You will be given a packet of information about the bills and lobby training Monday night. UU Justice Florida pays for your Monday night dinner and hotel. Register and join us for this informative, intense two-day experience. We have dinner enroute on the way back and are home Tuesday night by 10:00 PM.

Register Now

climate changeSusan Brinckerhoff will facilitate ‘Change is Our Choice: Creating Climate Solutions’, a Northwest Earth Institute Course. This five-week course, beginning on Thursday, February 8th, 1:00pm, is limited to 10 participants and pre-registration is required.
Presented in an interactive format, this discussion course integrates video, audio and printed content with action plans that help you roll your sleeves up and get started taking action toward a better tomorrow.For info or to secure one of the 10 spots, contact Jaye Williams 941-587-2981.

Denominational Affairs

Denominational Affairs

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 .

To ALL the Members and Friends of UUCOV:
On behalf of the Board of Directors, our many volunteers and all of our clients and their families, let me say, UUCOV KNOCKED OUR SOCKS OFF!!! CHAPS Logo  We are so very grateful for the extraordinary generosity shown by all of you in our “Reverse Advent Calendar” hygiene drive. Over 65 bags of items and monetary donations were collected and have already started to be distributed to our So. Sarasota County clients. We at CHAPS know that, by being able to provide these necessities, our clients are able to use their limited finances to pay rent, utilities and purchase prescription medications, - without having to go without basic hygiene needs. They stay healthier, their family members are safe from potential exposure and they are afforded the basic dignity that everyone deserves. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! Blessed be!
Salli L. Clarke, CHAPS Board Member, Assistant Pantry Manager and Corresponding Secretary

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.

If you do not wish to receive the Connection, please click here to unsubscribe.