October 2016 Connection


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Issue No. 1910

Venice, FL

October 2016


Sundays at UUCOV

Sunday Services: 10:00am

October 2, 2016: "Call of the Shofar"

Rev. Khleber Van Zandt. Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, is a time for assessing our lives and making resolutions about the changes we wish to make in the coming year.

October 9, 2016: "A Land Remembered"

Rev. Khleber Van Zandt. In days gone by, this was the time we celebrated the ‘discovery’ of America by Columbus. Postmodern sensibility now dictates that we pay homage to the ones who were here long before the Euros came and tortured the land’s previous tenants.

October 16, 2016: "Run - Don't Walk - To the Edge"

Rev. Michael McGee. Where is the edge in your life? Where is the edge for our nation at this critical time in history? And what awaits us there?

October 23, 2016: "On Purpose: Our Principles"

Rev. Khleber Van Zandt. The UUA’s current statement of Principles and Purposes is a 1995-amended, 1985-revamping of an original 1960 document that tried to articulate in a more exciting and brand-driven fashion the old watchwords of liberalism - freedom, reason, and tolerance. How successful are the Principles and Purposes? How well do they speak for us here in our context?

October 30, 2016: "Los Vivos y Los Muertos"

Rev. Khleber Van Zandt. The “other side” seems closer at certain times of the year, especially in the season around Samhain and Halloween, somehow allowing the living to maintain relationships with the dead.


Adult RE: Asta Linder House Rm. A

October 2, 2016, 09:00am: "Skeptics and Believers: Freud-Religion as Neurosis"

Sigmund Freud sought to expose religion from a psychological perspective. He presents faith as a "universal obsessional neurosis" born out of the Oedipal complex, with God as a wish fulfillment of the loving father able to forgive our hatred of him. A Great Courses lecture with discussion to follow.

October 9, 2016, 09:00am: "Skeptics and Believers: Barth and the End of Liberal Theology"

Shaken by the brutality of World War I, Karl Barth published Epistle to the Romans, launching 20th-century religious thought and rejecting the liberalism of the 19th century. He argued that the task of the religious thinker is one of "confession," acknowledging and reflecting on God's saving message. A Great Courses lecture with discussion to follow.

October 16, 2016, 09:00am: "Skeptics and Believers: Theology and Suspicion"

Karl Barth and subsequent thinkers like Paul Ricoeur began to acknowledge how religion can foster illusions and false, mystifying comforts, even as they affirmed the richness, value, and realism of genuine religious faith. A Great Courses lecture with discussion to follow.

October 23, 2016, 09:00am: "Skeptics and Believers: Protestant Theology After Barth"

The spectrum of Protestant theology after Barth, from the "correlational theology" that sought to reconcile human experience with Christian revelation to the evangelical ideas of the mid-20th century, which saw revelation as offering "fixed truths" and "moral absolutes" for all times. A Great Courses lecture with discussion to follow.

October 30, 2016, 09:00am: "Skeptics and Believers: 20th Century Catholicism"

Much of the Catholic theology of the 20th century was dedicated to overcoming the antimodernism instituted at the First Vatican Council in 1869—culminating in 1962's Vatican II—in spite of antimodernist views that continue to hold substantial power. A Great Courses lecture with discussion to follow.

Special Offering

October 9, 2016: Interfaith Outreach

Interfaith Outreach, Inc., a south Sarasota County volunteer organization, sponsors programs to help the hungry and homeless. Each week member churches host free community dinners open to all; the backpack kids program provides weekend food to school children who are on the assisted lunch program; a cold weather shelter houses homeless people on the coldest winter nights. Checks should be made out to UUCOV, with 'Interfaith Outreach' on the memo line. Thank you.

Minister's Corner

Living Fully

as-you-wishWhile I trust you’ll find details available elsewhere in this newsletter, I believe it’s important enough to reiterate a request here: please look into the activities we have planned around November’s theme of “Aging and the End of Life”! Since none of us are getting any younger, and all of us could potentially benefit from reflecting deeply and having ‘the conversation’ on these topics, I hope you’ll read these books and put these events on your calendar and join in as you can.

First, on Thursday, Nov. 10th at 1pm, is Consider the Conversation. One review says that Consider the Conversation is an inspiring film about the struggle Americans have with communication and preparation around the end of life. It examines multiple perspectives on end-of-life care and includes interviews with patients, family members, and medical experts from around the country, hoping to inspire dialogue between patient and doctor, husband and wife, parent and child, minister and parishioner. Rather than being a story about death, this is about living life to its fullest. A panel discussion with local hospice professionals and volunteers will follow.

Next up, on Tuesday, November 15th at 1pm, we’ll have a discussion of Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal. In his best-selling book, this practicing surgeon argues that quality of life should be the ultimate goal for patients and families as he offers better models for assisting the infirm and explores varieties of end-of-life care that demonstrate that our final days can indeed be rich and dignified.

Finally for November, on Tuesday the 22nd at 1pm, we have a discussion group based on The Good Death by Ann Neumann. In her book, Ms. Neumann listens to the stories of people who are close to death and discovers that the way we talk about dying and the way we actually die are two very different things. Full of intimate portraits of nurses, patients, bishops, bioethicists, and activists who are shaping the way we die, The Good Death presents a fearless examination of how we approach death and how those of us with dying loved ones live in death’s wake.

That’s it for the big-ticket items during our Aging and End-of-Life month of November, but all these items can be considered a prelude for next February which we are tentatively calling “Caring Month.” In that busiest month of our high season, we hope to take what we learn in November and develop programming that expands on ideas of how we could better care for ourselves and for each other both in this congregation and across society.

I hope you’ll agree with me that while much of this programming may appear to be focused on death, it is at its core much more about helping all of us to live life to its fullest.

Join in as you can, and

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: 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
Office hours: Monday - Friday 10:00am -Noon

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

From the Board

From the President - October 2016

LyonDave150A phrase I ran across this summer has stuck with me: “You don’t learn anything when YOU are speaking”. Since I have a need and a desire to learn much more about our congregation’s passions, feelings, and needs, it is time for me to LISTEN.

This fall I plan to do some Firsts for me:

Attend a Plato’s Circle gathering.
Drop In to a Spiritual Fellowship gathering
Make sandwiches at St. Marks for the Center of Hope.
Fill Backpacks at United Church of Christ.
Help with food distribution at Garden Elementary.
Attend many UUCOV committee meetings.

Linda Underwood and I plan to schedule gatherings where we will LISTEN to you Regarding:

Our future facility needs.
Social Justice issues.
Our mission statement.

Will you join me? Try something new? Attend a committee meeting? Join a program? Together we are better---Together we are stronger.

--Dave Lyon

Congregational Life

October 30 is Party Day

skullCome to UUCOV’S second annual Dia de los Muertos party, Sunday at 5pm in the Sanctuary. We’re having a chili and cornbread potluck, and costumes are encouraged but not required. We’ll also have a table set up to remember our deceased loved ones, so please bring any photos that you’d like to share.

New Directories Are Coming!

directoryLook for a DRAFT directory to be sent via email in early October. You will be asked to check it over and send in changes and corrections to your information. Once we have the corrections made, you will receive a new directory via email. Print directories will be made available in early November.

Remember, you can always refer to our online directory on our website at http://uucov.org/home/members-friends/login. Members and Friends have log-in names and passwords. Contact the office at  if you need a new password.

Updated Wish List

ListFirst, thanks to Tru Pearl for donating two large print hymnals. Currently on our Wish List are:

  • Four large print grey hymnals ($45 each)
  • Four large print teal hymnals ($25 each)
  • Automated external defibrillator (AED) for Asta Linder ($1,000)

Why am I a Legacy Friend?

FeatherPenLegacy Friends help secure a strong financial presence for UUCOV with present gifts or future bequests in their Estate Plans. As Rosalie Danbury says: "We believe in what UUCOV stands for and when asked, I agreed to give so much to the church for as long as I can on a year-by-year basis. Tom would agree. We have always tithed, or more, each year. I do not want to wait until I am dead to give to those I love. Aloha,”

Team Highlights – What is Going On

  • Adult RE, Caring Committee and Sunday Morning Experience jointly are working to present a variety of activities - lectures, common book reads, and small group events - around the topics of aging and end of life issues. Other Teams have been invited, as appropriate, to develop activities on these issues.
  • Social Justice: Community Outreach has announced that Cindy and Paul O’Dell have assumed Family Promise co-coordinator responsibilities from Barbara Griffin for Volunteer Coordination. Barbara is thanked for her leadership in starting this valued program. Georgia Blotzer will continue also as co-coordinator. Rick Williams has assumed responsibility for meal coordination from Mary Leone and Mary is thanked for her work.

Sandwich making has continued through the summer.

  • Campus Team: The summer crew completed a major project of installing sound dampening material in the mechanical room to reduce the air conditioning noise. The noise reduction planning for the lanai continues.

Coming Soon – Monthly Game Night

gamesniteBeginning on Nov. 1, 7pm in Waters Hall, we’ll gather the first Tuesday of each month for an informal, no pressure, drop-in game night. This is open to all ages and all game-playing abilities. We’ll start with these games: Mexican Train, Sequence, Scrabble, Poker, and other card games. Depending on interest, we will modify options. We’ll have “teachers” for those of you who wish to learn a new game. Coffee and ice tea will be available along with light snacks. If you wish to bring something additional you are welcome to do so.

The Social Events Team is looking for people to serve as “teachers”, as well as people to participate with the children so parents are free to play games as they choose. Also we may need ,volunteers willing to pick up neighbors who do not drive at night. Any questions or interest in supporting this or if you need a ride please contact Linda Underwood, , or Bill Dowling, .

Countdown to Sicily #11

SicilySicily was the beginning of the unification of Italy by Giuseppe Garibaldi when he invaded Marsala to liberate the island from the Bourbon rule in 1860. Want to learn more and visit this historic city for yourself? Visit Sicily with UUCOV from September 16 - 27, 2017. For trip information contact Nancy Ryder, .

Lifespan Education

Message from our Director of Religious Education: We Stepped Up for Kids!

Last spring the YRE Committee began discussions about how we could help elementary students near UUCOV. We learned that a key component to student success is having the right supplies. For some families this is a challenge. The School Days project was launched to provide schools with supplies their students need to get off to a good start.

We chose to be conservative as we weren't sure how our congregation would respond. After all, many are still away in August. We are thrilled to report that not only did all the items listed as needed get purchased and brought to UUCOV, we raised a total of $345 in cash donations!! This allowed us to contact the two schools we originally were working with (Garden Elementary and IVMS) to ask about additional needs. We were also able to provide Laurel Nokomis School with items requested by their guidance counselor.

We look forward to developing an ongoing relationship with our nearby schools. Thank you to all that donated to this new project.


School Days

Youth Religious Education - Harvesting the Great

As we enter the time of harvest, our children were thrilled to lend their helping hands to sorting and packing the UUCOV "crop" of supplies for students to use this school year. The children broke into two groups with one child reading from the backpack needs list and others finding the supplies and loading them into the backpack.

The adults expressed how grateful they were to be in YRE that day, to see how excited the children were getting the backpacks ready for a child they will never meet but who, they knew, they were helping. Hearing comments like, "They are going to love these." and "I know I use those a lot, too." validated the value the School Days project.


Loading the Backpacks

Join Us at Jelks
Our fall field trip is set for Jelks preserve on the morning of Oct. 30th. If you haven't been to this local preserve, please consider joining YRE on an approximate 1 mile hike led by Karen Griffin. This preserve abuts the Myakka River and is a treasure! Contact Jaye Williams for more information.

Voters Invited – Ballot Issues

votebuttonMonday, October 3rd, 1:30-2:30pm, the Sarasota League of Women Voters will provide an unbiased presentation of the 2016 ballot issues and proposed changes to the Sarasota County Charter (our local county constitution). In addition to federal, state and local elections to be held on November 8th, there are four proposed amendments to the Florida constitution. Join us to hear about the League of Women Voters, the November ballot amendments and the proposed change to the Sarasota County Charter from our guest speaker, Lourdes Ramirez. For more info. contact Jaye Williams -

What? I’m Not Going to Live Forever??????

Much like the sometimes heard, “I don’t want to grow up”, either you, a loved one or a friend may be doing their level best to convince themselves that they can’t deal with or face the physical, mental, emotional, legal, and relationship aspects of aging and death.


Adult Religious Education is teaming with the Caring Team to focus on these issues and we invite you to begin reading one or both of the most highly regarded books on this subject.


“Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End” by Dr. Atul Gawande

“The Good Death: An Exploration of Dying in America” by Anne Neumann.

A limited number of copies of the book will be available to borrow from UUCOV beginning on October 16. The Sarasota County Library system has copies of each title or you may purchase the book on your own.

You are invited to join in the book discussions that will be held in November. The discussions of the books will be facilitated by Bev Morrison and Nancy Zarowin, both UUCOV members. Questions may be directed to: Bev Morrison, Nancy Zarowin or DRE Jaye Williams

Beyond Our Differences

BODstillOn Tuesday, Oct. 25, 1pm, the Venice Interfaith Community Association and UUCOV will present the film Beyond our Differences, a PBS documentary exploring the common threads that unify the world's religious traditions. Janice Shull, retired pastor of the Venice Community Church of the Brethren, will lead a discussion following the film.

Spiritual Fellowship Groups

smallgroupwebThis fall marks UUCOV’s 14th year of Spiritual Fellowship Groups, the program of ongoing, close knit groups of fellow UUCOVers who are, in many ways like-minded and who are also tolerant and welcoming of diverse and/or alternative ideas and philosophical positions.

The give-and take can be invigorating and helpful as we continue to develop our own unique ideas and beliefs concerning spirituality while trying to make sense of the world we live in. Group members enjoy both the benefit of small forums in which to exchange ideas and the nurturing and support they receive from their groups.

Groups are limited to 8-10 members who pledge confidentiality and a commitment to regular attendance at two meetings a month. Led by trained facilitators, most groups meet November to May, although some continue throughout the year. There are all-women, all-men, and mixed-gender groups depending on an individual’s preference.

Facilitators meet once a month for support and sharing of ideas to enhance the program. We try to place new members in groups as openings occur and on occasion will create new groups with trained facilitators.

There is a “placement process” to add new members and to keep groups “balanced”. If you’re interested in joining a group, or want more information, please contact Cindy O’Dell: 317- 370-6705 or .

Interest Groups

BookClub1Book Club
The UUCOV Book Club meets the second Thursday of the month at 1:30pm, Waters Hall. On October 13, we’ll discuss "The Hindi-Bindi Club," by Mondica Pradhan. We will decide on our reading list for the year, so please bring your recommendations. For November, we’ll be reading "Surviving Sarasota," about early Sarasota settlers, the Whittakers, by local author Clarissa Thomasson.

BuddhaMindfulness Meditation
Guided meditation and a look at early Buddhist teachings on living a more peaceful life will resume. Weekly Wednesdays 6-7:30pm. Classes have been temporarily suspended. Check the calendar on our website or watch our weekly events bulletin Happenings for when it resumes.

platoPlato's Circle
Plato's Circle, an open discussion group, meets 1-3pm the first Wednesday of each month in Asta Linder House. This month, Oct. 5, we will address the problem of finding resources when needed. We develop a network of sources to provide information, guidance, and service when issues arise – legal, financial, medical, insurance – but older Floridians are often transplants from elsewhere and find themselves in a quandary about where to find local and state resources. Ann Werner, herself a transplant from Indiana, will have some answers.

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

ThreeOClockThree O'Clock Poets
The Three O'Clock poets group will be suspended until late fall.

Social Justice

Sarasota Pride

SarasotaPride1“Sarasota Pride 2016 - We Are Orlando” will be held on Saturday, October 15, 12-5pm: a joyous celebration of the lives of the 49 people killed in Pulse Nightclub. Lots of food, music and fun.

This year we are working with the Sarasota and Bradenton congregations for a joint exhibit. Those interested in spending an hour helping to cover our booth would be greatly appreciated. And it's a great way to meet our UU neighbors! For information, or to volunteer, contact Lori Baribeault at

Check This Out

FamilyPromiseAt this writing, the Family Promise host week, Oct. 9-16, still needs volunteers to fill some host and/or overnight blocks. Please check the sign-up sheet on the lanai on Oct. 2 to see if you are still needed. If so, and you’re willing to help, contact .

Common Good

SocialJusticeLogoThe mission of the Common Good Committee is to show how individuals can help to solve social and environmental justice problems at the source. Being engaged in civic events at the local level is one way UUs can put our faith into action.

If you haven’t yet heard a face-off of the District 23 candidates for State Senate, Frank Alcock and Greg Steube, you can do so on Oct. 6 at the Sarasota Tiger Bay Club luncheon meeting, at Michael’s on East, 1212 S. East Avenue, Sarasota from 11:30-1:30. Come learn the direction in which they plan to lead our state Senate. Your participation is important! You can register online here: https://sarasotatigerbay.com/events.

On Oct. 26, you can watch the documentary “Facing the Surge” at the Selby Library, 1331 1st Street, Sarasota, 5:30-7:30pm. This is a great documentary on climate change sponsored by the Citizens Climate Lobby: see this outstanding trailer: http://www.adaptationnow.com.

Join the statewide conversations on social justice, and highlight what members of our congregation are doing on the new public Facebook group of UU Justice Florida https://www.facebook.com/groups/1704254003141776.

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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