July 2017 Connection


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Issue No. 2005

Venice, FL

July 2017


Sundays at UUCOV

Sunday Services: 10:00am

July 2, 2017: "The Power of Prayer"

Rev. Roger Grugel. Unitarian Universalists are often ambivalent about prayer. This service will address whether there is an understanding of prayer that is both efficacious and consistent with our Unitarian Universalist tradition. Rev. Grugel is associate chaplain for spiritual care at Moorings Park retirement community in Naples, FL. He was previously a hospice chaplain for Avow Hospice in Naples.

July 9, 2017: “Faith in the Marvelous”

Rev. Khleber Van Zandt. In Rabindranath Tagore’s "Crossing", the poet recalls that in his childhood, “faith in the marvelous bloomed anew each dawn.” How can we keep that childlike ability to find joy in the world amidst the accumulating tragedies of living in a post-apocalyptic age?

July 16, 2017: "Liberal Religion and Empowerment"

Rev Brock Leach. We've come to think of liberalism in institutional terms, wondering what's wrong with our governments or our denominations and what we can do to fix them. No doubt these are critically important questions, especially right now. But the heart of liberalism is empowerment— individually and collectively. What would it mean to exercise that power to create our future? Rev. Leach is a community minister of the UU Church of Sarasota, helping develop and lead denominational efforts to educate and support religious entrepreneurs.

July 23, 2017: "The Future of Liberal Religion"

Rev Brock Leach: In an age in which people have unprecedented power to instigate change and organize themselves, our reliance on institutions to solve our problems is yielding to social entrepreneurship like never before.  Maybe we are the ones to usher in the future of liberal religion.  Maybe it's already happening. Rev. Leach is a community minister of the UU Church of Sarasota, helping develop and lead denominational efforts to educate and support religious entrepreneurs.

July 30, 2017: "Got Joy?"

Rev. Jennifer Dant. Is joy relevant to Unitarian Universalists? And if it is, how do we "get it" when so much of the current culture seems joyless and frightening? Rev. Dant has been our chaplain and community minister.


Adult RE, Asta Linder House Room A

July 2, 2017, 09:00am: " A Philosophical Constitution-Interpretation"

We take a closer look at The Federalist Papers, including the Pluralist and Republican interpretations and the Elitist critique.

July 9, 2017, 09:00am: "The "Genius" of Thomas Jefferson"

We examine the complicated, sometimes contradictory, political views that underpinned Jefferson's life and writings.

July 16, 2017, 09:00am: "Jacksonian Democracy-The "People" Extended"

We hear of the debate between a strong central government versus preserving states' rights to self-determination.

July 23, 2017, 09:00am: "Iconoclastic Individualism-Thoreau"

Thoreau served as a liberal critic of a developing liberal society. His championing of the individual would later resurface in movements for civil rights and environmentalism.

July 30, 2017, 09:00am: 'Inclusionist Stirrings-Douglas and Stanton"

This lecture considers those who lived on the fringes of the body politic--slaves and women.

Special Offering

July 9, 2017: Alliance for Fair Food

Alliance for Fair Food (AFF) is a network of individuals, bringing the spiritual resources of diverse faith traditions and the moral weight of faith-based voices to work in partnership with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) for justice in the fields, raising poverty wages, and ending modern-day slavery and human rights abuses. Checks should be made out to UUCOV, with "Alliance for Fair Food" in the memo line.

Minister's Corner

An Old Desk

Several years ago, my father gave me the inheritance I’d looked forward to most of my life: a century-old roll-top desk. This desk had belonged to myold desk great-great-grandfather when he was president of Fort Worth National Bank, one of the many businesses he founded as Fort Worth was becoming a trading center far out on the Texas frontier.
My father dearly remembered the desk residing in the foyer of the bank when he was a little boy. After I was born, my dad acquired the desk from other relatives and I remember it being a fixture in our home as I was growing up. In fact, my dad had been sitting at this desk one day in the late 1950’s when I stumbled in and sheepishly asked him if he could help me buy a book I wanted: a how-to manual about model rocketry. For some reason that long-ago day, he said yes. I don’t know how much that singular act contributed to my pursuit of degrees in engineering later in life, but I know that day it helped me feel loved in a special way.
Years and years later, I carried the old desk up out of our basement and began the process of refinishing it. Yes, I knew it then and I know it now - refinishing lessens the value of antiques. But this desk had already been poorly “refinished” at some point; big drips of shellac marred the finish and made the roll top completely unusable. I scrubbed and scrubbed the solid oak with a chemical refinisher that wasn’t designed to so much remove the finish as to blend it back into the surface of the ancient oak grain. The result was a piece of furniture that, after a few weeks of struggle, I was proud to use as my father had done and as my great-great-grandfather had done before him.
I have to admit it was a little hard to let it go, but I recently passed the desk on to a nephew of mine who I know to be interested in history and in his own family’s genealogy. The desk will continue to be loved and cared for.
As I scrubbed the surface of the desk and worked at blending the finishes into the wood, I remember that it occurred to me how like our religious tradition this desk was.
The desk, and our traditions, are solid and substantial - we can and should be proud, as I am of this desk, of the traditions handed down to us. But sometimes we may find that it takes a little scrubbing to make them usable: not everything we’ve inherited works for us the way we need it to in our own day and age.
It is, in the final analysis, up to us to polish our heritage for our use today and then, when the time comes, to let it go and hand it on to those who will come after us.
May we know when to scrub and polish. And may we know when to let go.
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 President

The Results are in -  You are very generous!!!

LyonDave150In December 2016, Donation Boxes, crafted by Dave Williams, were introduced for a trial period. The Stewardship Committee made this recommendationDonationBoxWood to encourage members and friends to respond to their own spirit of generosity and remove the pressure to contribute that can be associated with “passing the basket”. The board agreed to a trial period with the agreement that the results would be analyzed and a decision would be made based on the results.
The Fiscal Team completed a four-month comparison. The plate total collected for the period December, 2015 thru March, 2016 was $4493. The donation box total for the period December, 2016 thru March, 2017 was $7296. This is a 62% increase!!
Since the amount collected in December, 2015 was extremely low, a three month comparison was made. The total collected for the period January, 2016 thru March, 2016 was $3882. The donation box total for the comparable three months, January, 2017 thru March, 2017 was $4961. A 28% increase!!
Based on these results the Fiscal Team, the Finance Committee, and the Stewardship Committee recommended to the Board of Trustees that the use of the Donation Boxes permanently replace the passing of collection plates at Sunday services; your Board of Trustees approved the recommendation. The collection of funds for UUCOV-supported charities will continue to be by passing the collection plates on one Sunday each month.

We hope, through the continued work of the Stewardship Committee, the Legacy Committee, and the Finance Committee, to continue to grow a sense of joyful generosity and for each of us to contribute to the stewardship of UUCOV in our own ways.

Congregational Life

Tip of the Hat

tip of the hatTip 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 Frances Donahue. Thank you for the lovely donation of a large jacaranda tree to be planted this fall in honor of your father, Henry Lombard. And a thank you to Marianne Lombard for helping make this possible. UUCOV Board of Trustees.   jacaranda

To Pam MacFarlane and to Marty and Bruce King. Thank you for making the arrangements for and thank you for hosting a wonderful afternoon of storytelling by Elizabeth Ellis. Linda Underwood

UnderReconstructionTo Bill Dowling and The Campus Team. Thank you all very much for the smooth transition of my office at Waters Hall. You were very patient and accommodating with the arrangement of furniture, re-routing of multiple computer wires and picking up various furniture donations. Salli Clarke

Gonna Make This Garden Grow

Last December, when John Spitzer took over as Chair of Legacy Friends, he talked with various members and past Legacy Chairs and then convened an Advisory Group to assist him in promoting opportunities for members and friends to provide a legacy to UUCOV.

FeatherPenCurrently, all Legacy Friends’ donations are directed to the UUCOV Endowment Fund, which only allows withdrawals of interest – withdrawals of principal are not allowed. Some individuals have said they would like to have their entire donation available to UUCOV to support legacy projects, such as buildings. In consideration of this situation, the Advisory Group has recommended that we establish a new fund from which the entire balance would be available to support legacy projects, and that members be given the option to allocate donations to this fund.

John Spitzer writes, “I hope we can implement this recommendation in the near future, as I am one of the members who would like to use it.” John and his Advisory Group have other proposals under consideration as well so stay tuned. If you have questions about Legacy Friends or wish to obtain information about planned giving, please contact John 319- 331-5914 or

Stay In Touch the Easy Way

Are you aware that UUCOV has an informal Facebook page for members and friends to ask questions, post goings-on, happy events, family and friend news, etc.. In Touch-UUCOV is a face book page open to all members and friends. This is an informal page to keep connected. It is especially fun during the summer months when many are away and it is an easy way to keep in touch with friends and what is happening in the congregation. It is a 'closed' group so if you're not already part of it, you'll need to send an email to Lori   telling her you want to be invited; she'll take it from there. facebook
It's an easy way to find out what is happening in the congregation and to keep in touch with friends, especially during the summer months when so many of us are traveling or away for months at a time. We were able to hear from our members at General Assembly in New Orleans, we can see pictures of gardens from the north, get an update on the mat project or see pictures from last month's Elizabeth Ellis storyteller afternoon.


Lifespan Education

Message from our Director of Religious Education

WilliamsJaye150Jaye Williams has taken a well-deserved vacation and we ask that you “read” your experiences of the past year’s rich and varied educational programming as her “message”.

Youth Religious Education

We Honor Our Children
On May 28th, Rev. Khleber, DRE Jaye, the YRE teachers and the entire congregation celebrated our children completing the 16/17 "school" year of YRE programming. YRE Committee Chair, Stephanie Zoernack, spoke to the congregation, and specifically to our children, about the growth they have exhibited this year and the spirit and gifts they bring to the teachers, volunteers, and congregation.

  Khleber followed with a blessing where each child was presented with a rose. Of special note, Maggie Fangboner and Kenzie Mickish have   completed elementary school and will begin middle school in August. They received necklaces with a chalice on a sterling silver pendant.   We love, bless and honor our children. Congratulations!!Maggie Fangboner Kenzie Mickish

Mackenzie Zoernack Bridget Mickish

Tamina Mickish


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.

Lecture Series

The four-month program of lectures about local South County history, 1865-1965, continues, co-sponsored by the Historical Society, the Bill Jervey Charitable Foundation, and UUCOV.
All programs are free and open to the public and will be held in our sanctuary at 1:30pm. The second lecture, on July 11th, titled, “Bertha Palmer and Her Family in Sarasota, 1910-1982” will be given Dr. Frank Cassell, Professor of History and President Emeritus, University of Pittsburgh. He’ll be available to sign his new book after the program. For those interested, there is a suggested reading list. Barb Smith   can give you details.

Understanding Japan

japan map islands   Japan is a paradox of 2000 years of isolation and globalization which we will explore through its history and culture. We’ll learn the ongoing clash between tradition and modernity. a conflict shaped by Japan’s long history of engagement and isolation. On July 20th 7-9pm, we’ll begin the video lecture Great Course program “Understanding Japan: A Cultural History”; Mark J. Ravina of Emory University will lecture.

On Thursday, July 20th, the first lecture “Japan: A Globally Engaged Island Nation” will begin to dispel common misperceptions about Japan and to look at the origins of its rich culture. On the 27th, in “Understanding Japan Through Ancient Myths”, we’ll be introduced to the fascinating stories of “Shinto”- The Way of the Gods.

Lunch & Learn

At the first Lunch & Learn on June 5th the group focused on the poetry of Mary Oliver. Pictured you see 10 of the 17 attendees.first lunch and learn

Lunch Learn 


   Our July Lunch & Learn will be held on July 20th at 11:30, in Asta Linder House. Bring a brown bag lunch. UUCOV provides the drinks and a sweet treat. Watch Happenings to learn what our topic will be.

Interest Groups

Book Club
The Book Club will continue through the summer, meeting at 1:30pm on the second Thursday of the month.
On July 13th, we will discuss Amoc Fowles’ “A Gentleman from Moscow”. August’s book is Carson McCuller’s “The Heart is a Lonely Hunter”.
Remember that we’re also co-sponsoring the Summer History Lecture Series with The Venice Historical Society (see above). The second lecture, on July 11th, is titled “Bertha Palmer and Her Family in Sarasota, 1910-1982” 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 Circle is 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. Plato’s Circle will not meet July-Oct. The first fall meeting will be Nov 1st at 1pm. See note below. ***


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 will not meet again until September.




***A recent survey to determine whether to continue Plato's Circle July-October revealed only five individuals available for summer sessions and one who would serve at least once as a discussion facilitator. Since I, too, am gone during the summer, Plato's Circle is adjourned until November. But until then, I suggest Plato Circle attendees explore interesting discussion topics. Of the many sources on the internet, an exciting and stimulating one is the ‘TED Radio Hour’, which has video presentations of 15 minutes or less that can serve as a discussion vehicle for us. I will be in touch with them to share ideas and for help planning November’s meeting. If you want to be included in this group send your name and email to Bill Dowling .

Social Justice

Issues for the Common Good

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

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

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

Cleaning Up Our Sanctuary

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

You DID It! Thank You!

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

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

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

Summertime and The Livin' Is Easy-Hah!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 .


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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