June 2017 Connection


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Issue No. 2005

Venice, FL

June 2017


Sundays at UUCOV

Sunday Services: 10:00am

June 4, 2017: "The Golden Rule"

Rabbi Harold Caminker. What Might Happen If We Really Loved Our Neighbors As Much As We Love Ourselves? Rabbi Harold F. Caminker is currently the spiritual leader of the Jewish Congregation of Venice in Venice, Florida. He was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan.

June 11, 2017: “A Muslim in the Family”

Rev. Khleber Van Zandt. Guess who’s coming to dinner? Our new Muslim son-in-law, that’s who! How shall we prepare our common table for the differences that are likely to surface?

June 18, 2017: “Growing Illiberalism”

Fathers’ Day. Rev. Khleber Van Zandt. One small step beyond progressive liberalism, a strident illiberalism seems to be taking hold in conversations on the left. How can we maintain a progressive stance without becoming illiberal ourselves?


June 25, 2017: "Embracing Change"

April Glasco: ED Second Chance/Last Opportunity. This week's sermon teaches us that our situation in life is not permanent. The goal of our life is to learn how to be able to embrace and achieve successful change. We do this by being more flexible and open-minded. I will share my personal story and successfully illustrate how I embrace change through life struggles and pain. My model for myself is to take out the trash and toss it away and remove the bitterness and disappointments to turn 'Life's Bitter Lemons' into refreshing Lemonade.


Adult RE, Asta Linder House Room A

June 4, 2017, 09:00am: "John Adams-Constitutionalist"

From the Great Course Cycles of American Political Thought-In this session, Adams' contribution to American political history is examined through his works and writings.

June 11, 2017, 09:00am: "A Political Constitution"

From the Great Course Cycles of American Political Thought-In this session, we investigate how the Constitution was shaped by the competing needs and concerns of delegates from all over the 13 counties.

June 18, 2017, 09:00am: "A Philosophical Constitution-Faction"

From the Great Course Cycles of American Political Thought-In this session, we trace how The Federalist Papers contended with majority factions.

June 25, 2017, 09:00am: "A Philosophical Constitution-Structure"

From the Great Course Cycles of American Political Thought-This session examines political structures described in The Federalist Papers including the separation of powers and the system of institutional checks among governmental branches.

Special Offering

June 11, 2017: Children First

Children First is a private, non-profit organization that serves over 600 of Sarasota County's most vulnerable children, birth to five years of age, and their families. It is Sarasota County's exclusive provider of Head Start and Early Head Start programs. Kindergarten readiness is the ultimate goal. If you write a check, make it out to UUCOV and put "Children First" on the memo line.

Minister's Corner

Still One with the Universe

[Due to illness, herewith a reprint of a column from 3 years ago.]Heaven Hell
When you die, will you go ‘up,’ or ‘down’? It’s an archaic question, but one that still drives the behavior of many. In a worldview that’s a carryover from earlier times, if we misbehave we risk having God the Cosmic Enforcer toss us into Hell forever. If we play nice, though, St. Peter is sure to welcome us in at the Pearly Gates of Heaven.
Many of us were taught in Sunday School - or simply absorbed from the culture - the notion that Heaven and Hell are real places we would be sent to after we die. Heaven was up, Hell was down, and it was made quite plain by the tales of leisurely strolling on streets paved with gold or being forever dipped in unquenchable fire how we ought to behave and which direction we ought to aspire to go.
We hear many variations on these themes from elements in our culture because fear is so often the tool of choice to keep people in line and cleaving to the straight-and-narrow. Our own religious traditions long ago rejected the use of the fear of eternal damnation. Over the decades we also left behind the promise of eternal bliss as the sort of carrot to use to keep us civil with each other. And still, the language of Heaven and Hell, up and down, may not be as far from our own internalized views as we would like to believe.
Now some reflections on what it is I believe about such things:
First of all, I believe Heaven and Hell are real in the sense that the experiences of our lives can be wonderful or horrible. In other words, I think our reactions to the world and to the events of our lives put us in the states of mind of ecstasy or turmoil. Or both.
I have been in heaven, and I have been in hell, and I know which one I like better.
I also believe that, when the time comes, I will go both “up” and “down.” Some of ‘me’ will go down, I think, in the sense that the elemental materials that make up the cells of my physical body will return down into the earth to be recycled into other entities. Some of ‘me’ will go up, I think, in the sense that the energy that motivates my cells and feelings and activities will exit my physical body and return out into the universe from whence they came.
I don’t believe the entity that I think of as ‘me’ will continue as a separate consciousness, but I do believe that all of that ‘me’ entity will be differently infused out into the universe and in the process, remain one with all Creation.
I don’t know about you, but I am comforted by that thought.
You may agree with me in whole or in part or not at all, but I hope that your own reflections on these subjects may (eventually) bring you peace and comfort – whichever direction you’re ultimately headed.
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: Salli Clarke
Phone: 941-485-2105
Office hours: Monday - Friday 10:00am -Noon

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

From the Board

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.

Congregational Life

Tip of the Hat

Tip of the Hat is a new column that 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 Steve Doublestein. Thanks for making what could have been a knuckle-biting event (joining experienced kayakers after an almost 30-year distance from being on the water) into an easy and pleasurable experience by offering his encouragement and hands-on assistance. Leie Carmody

To Tim Saltonstall and the volunteers. Appreciation for showing up at the Laurel Community Association to do the food sorting. Linda Underwood

To Marilyn Amick. Thanks for the beautiful calligraphed names in our Membership Book of all those who joined UUCOV since 2015. Claire Harrison

Social Activities

baglunch colorBeginning June 5th, the Social Activities Committee will meet regularly on the first Monday of the month in Water's Hall from 12:30-2:30pm. Interested? Contact Catherine DiSante . Bring a brown bag lunch.

Refreshing our Mission Statement

wills trustsThe founders of UUCOV, in the year 2000, wrote our current mission statement which has served us well for over 17 years. The Board of Trustees, given our growth and the age of our current mission statement, felt it was time to revisit our statement.

The Board sincerely thanks the Mission Task Force, comprised of Mark Murray, Pam MacFarlane, Marty King, Dale Povenmire, Bonnie Norton, David Jewett and Linda Van Zandt, who worked for several months to review our current mission statement, review other mission statements, and to propose a new mission statement to the Board plus some ideas on how to reinforce our mission.

The Board will identify ways to involve the congregation in a review of the proposed mission statement, which will require a congregational vote. Our goal is to be prepared for a vote at the Annual Meeting next March. Stay tuned for an invitation to participate in a discussion about our mission.

The proposed Mission Statement –
A welcoming, caring community
Encouraging spiritual growth
Seeking truth and justice.

Bench Update

A big thank you to Rick Williams and Paul Casavant for the donation of our first bench!

We also received a $1,200 “matching donation”; i.e. a donor will match your donation dollar for dollar up to a maximum of $1200, which would enable us to buy two more benches. We are getting closer to actualizing our goal of benches for the lanai and under our large elm tree. Our goal is to get additional benches ordered for a fall installation. To uucov buildingdonate, simply mail or put in the donation box a check with “benches” on the memo line.

Why Am I a Legacy Friend?

JoFeatherPenhn Spitzer writes: "Jean and I began attending UUCOV services about 5 years ago, and our attachment has grown stronger and stronger. We like the sermons. We like the music, the programs, and the activities. But we have found it is the values and mission of UUCOV that attach us most strongly. We believe in those values and our mission, and we want to provide our support for them to flourish far into the future. That is why we are members of Legacy Friends and that is why I feel honored to serve as its Chair."

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

Changes in Waters Hall

To provide privacy for groups meeting in the living room so people entering and leaving Waters Hall do not interrupt them, a wall with French doors will be built, creating an enclosed living room and a separate hallway.

MinisterscornerAprilAlso, Salli, our Office Administrator, will be moving into what was the Radio Room; this will provide her with a quieter office space. Her former office will be a multi-purpose room, used by the radio station staff, possible volunteer office staff in the mornings, and will be available for small meetings in the afternoons.

! Countdown to Sicily #3

We remind you that although the trip is filled, you can be put on the waiting list by contacting Nancy Ryder, .Sicily

Ready to Try Something New?
Nancy Ryder has been UUCOV’s Travel Coordinator for years and has accumulated the materials that made her tenure the successful one it has been; she is ready to pass this invaluable collection to the UUCOV member/friend who will succeed her. Is that you? Drop her an email to hear about the task and its earthrewards.

For New(ish) Members: General Assembly in Venice and New Orleans

2017GAIn 1961, the American Unitarian Association and the Universalist Church of America consolidated, forming the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA), of which UUCOV is a member. The following year, 1962, the newly formed UUA held its first annual meeting, called General Assembly (GA), at which attendees worship, witness, learn, connect, make policy for the Association through democratic process, and have a wonderfully interesting and exhilarating time.
Anyone may attend and attendance has grown steadily since 1962; over the past three years, attendance has averaged almost 4000 of us each year. Each congregation is allowed a certain number of delegates who have voting rights; UUCOV will have 5 delegates attending.
The program for the five days of GA is complex and very busy, with events starting about 7am and concluding with social activities at 11:30pm; attendees can choose from more than 450 events during the five-day GA. Some of the programming choices are annual events, such as
The Ware Lecture: a distinguished guest is invited to address the General Assembly
The Banner Parade: a procession of hundreds of congregations and UU organization
Music: A choir of 180+ voices perform as singers assembled from UU churches across the continent sing at the Sunday Service and the Closing Ceremony
The Exhibit Hall: over 60,000 square feet of exhibit space
Sunday Morning Worship.: the largest annual gathering of UUs joining in worship. Members of the public are welcome.
Joining GA from Home
If you cannot get to New Orleans for the 5-day events, there are still many events at which you can be present by watching online. You’ll not only be able to watch events, you’ll be able to ask questions and to participate in debates and to propose amendments in the live business sessions. Go to http://www.uua.org/ga/off-site CAUTION: The times listed are Central daylight Time.

Lifespan Education

Message from our Director of Religious Education: "The Cool Kids"

Cool Kids 1For many of us there are memories of cool kids. You may perhaps have been one of them or, like me, not. In general, these students never had to think twice about sitting alone, not being picked for teams or partners in science labs or group projects, not wearing the right thing or saying the wrong thing.
Fortunately, most students grow into adulthood and are able to put the experiences of youth in perspective and focus on the present. We realize that as teens we, the masses, revered and held up for admiration and even envy things that were not such a big deal. As adults, such attributes as caring, supportive, encouraging, selfless and engaged might land in our top ten most admired characteristics.
So, I'm willing to go out on a limb and assume our covenantal relationship with one another is strong enough that I might single out some of our UUCOV members and friends as The Cool Kids. This group was honored during the April 30th service followed by cake and other goodies.
Why are they cool?
They care about our YRE program enough to offer support, encouragement, passion, and time to our children.
They do this with an eye to the future; investing in a future they might not be around to see.Cool Kids 2
Now isn't that cool?

Youth Religious Education

YRE 1 June 2017So, What Are They Learning?

On April 30th, the YRE teachers and children shared highlights of their YRE curriculum with the congregation. The younger children used the curriculum “Love Surrounds Us”. The younger children were joined by the older children as they waved their 7 Principles wands and chanted, "Love surrounds us every day, the Principles show us the way!" The entire congregation joined in as our lead teachers and children stepped onto the chancel. It was upbeat, energetic, and fun!
The older children shared highlights of their curriculum and led the entire congregation in singing Now Let Us Sing (a staple of their “Sing to the Power” curriculum) with the zipper verses Fire Within and Listening Ears.YRE 2 June 2017
The younger children end each YRE session with the following statement. It is powerful and a lesson for all of us, too.

"Be good to yourself.
Be excellent to others.
Do everything with love."

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.

"A Fascinating Course"

Unexpected Economics”Who knew that economics was about more than money?”
“...sports, voting, marriage, and even pregnancy and happiness.”
“...a collection of marvelously intriguing interpretations of common situations done according to economic principles.”
"Unexpected Economics" began in May and if you weren’t there, you missed
The World of Choices, A Market for Pregnancy, Selling a Kidney, Traffic, Congestion, Two-way Ties between Religion and Economics and Prediction Markets
In June, on the 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th, 7-9pm in Asta Linder, Charlotte Neagle will screen more lectures and lead discussions on what one reviewer called the “astonishing breadth and width of the course in a presentation that “is clear, logical, and even humorous”. These lectures. open to the public, expand the subject of economics beyond the economy itself. They emphasize that economics is about viewing the world where we all face scarcity. Our choices are shaped by the costs and benefits of the various alternatives and change over time.

The Struggle for Black Empowerment

On Tuesday, June 13th from 7-9pm in the sanctuary, the film “Wilderness Journey: The Struggle for Black Empowerment and Racial Justice within the Unitarian Universalist Association, 1967-1970” will be shown.
Learn how the so-called Black Empowerment Controversy almost destroyed the fledgling Unitarian Universalist Association in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Get historical perspective on this topic and what might inform our actions today. Listen to and participate in the discussion following the film.UUALogo

The Mystery Session

Lunch LearnOn Thursday, June 15, at 11:30, show up at Asta Linder with a brown bag lunch for a 2-hour “Lunch and Learn” experience. UUCOV will supply refreshments and a sweet treat .Following lunch, we’ll view a short video and talk together about we’ve seen. The topic? you ask. For (at least) this first monthly “Lunch and Learn” during the off-season, we’re not telling. Come and find out.

General Assembly Debriefing

2017GAFrom 6-8pm on Wednesday, June 28th, those who did not attend the General Assembly are invited to the sanctuary to join those who did, and hear the stories, learn what happened, and participate in the discussion. Childcare will be provided if requested of DRE Jaye Williams by June 16. Anyone in need of transportation to this event, contact Rick Williams 857.636.8761 .

Interest Groups

Book Club
The Book Club will continue through the summer, meeting at 1:30pm on the second Thursdays of the month. On June 8th, we will discuss Janet Snyder Matthew’s "Venice, Journey From Horse and Chaise", a selection from the reading list for the Summer Lecture SBookClub1eries 2017. Although it is out of print, it is available at local libraries and through Amazon. To borrow a used copy, contact Barb Smith .
July’s book is Amoc Fowles’ “A Gentleman from Moscow” and in August we’ll discuss Carson McCuller’s “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter”.
Also, throughout the summer, we will co-sponsor the Summer History Lecture Series with The Venice Historical Society. (see above) This program will focus on local South County history from 1865 to 1965. The first of these will be on June 13th at 1:30pm; we’ll discuss “Four Visionary Women of Venice: Ann Worthington Manning, Louella Albee, Elizabeth Savage Owens and Frances Bourne.” All programs are open to the public; we’ll meet in the sanctuary.


Mindfulness Meditation
The group will not meet again until September.

platoPlato's Circle
Plato's Circleis a gathering, open to the community, on the 1st Wednesday of each month, at which people discuss challenging ideas and issues through empathetic listening and conscientious thinking. A discussion leader presents an overview of the topic; it is then opened for participants’ responses and group interactions. At the June 7th meeting, 1-3pm, the discussion topic is: Can a National Guarantied Income end poverty and technology-driven joblessness? Questions? Contact Bill Dowling:. All UUCOV members, friends, and neighbors who enjoy lively discussions are invited to participate on June 21.

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.

ParkWellness Walking
The group meets will not meet again until September.

Social Justice

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

Issues for the Common Good

All UUCOVers can help get the BIG MONEY out of elections and restore democracy statewide and countywide by gathering signatures for two petition drives. Both must be completed by December 31 of this year. Petitions are available at the Social Justice table. Francie Storey will give them to you and collect them once you gather signed petitions from your friends and neighbors. Just “take five” and bring them back completed. That will be a big help.

petitions1State petition drive: The Voting Restoration Amendment will restore the voting rights of 1,700,000 ex-felons in Florida who have fulfilled their debt to society and now lack all civil rights. Florida is only one of three states in the nation (including Kentucky and Iowa) that prevent ex-felons from voting. 700,000 petitions are needed statewide to put this on the ballot in November, 2018. Every one we gather will help.

County petition drive: for single-member district elections for County Commissioners and Charter Review Board members. 17,000 petitions are needed in Sarasota County by December 31 to put these on the ballot March 13, 2018 along with the School Board election. These will restore local control to our elections, help get the BIG MONEY out, and make our elected officials more accountable to the voters. Thanks to volunteers on the Common Good Committee, the Social Justice table on the lanai will be staffed and maintained all summer long.

Also, here’s a great way to impact our federal representatives. Indivisible meetings will be held all summer at the Jacaranda Library, along with actions to reach our Congressman. Check www.fl17indivisible.com and email to find out when the meetings will be held and how you can help. Contact Billie Chambers at to join the letter-writing group and have letters published in the Herald-tribune and the Gondolier-Sun. Together, guided by our UU Principles, raising our voices on issues of importance, we can make a difference!

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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