August 2017 Connection


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Issue No. 2005

Venice, FL

August 2017


Sundays at UUCOV

Sunday Services: 10:00am

August 6, 2017: "Toujours Gaia"

Rev. Kathleen Korb. A sermon about courage, commitment and fortitude, or, as some would call it, faith, in the bad times that come to us all. Kathleen Korb, a graduate of Harvard Divinity School, retired from congregational ministry in 2014: she is current president of the West Central FL UU Cluster and serves on the Tampa Bay Interfaith Board.

August 13, 2017: “The Fragility of Whiteness”

Rev. Khleber Van Zandt. Our dictionaries often define racism in terms of individual prejudice, but this does little to explain how social hierarchies are reproduced. While those of us who are white may be against racism, we still benefit from the distribution of resources put in place and controlled by people like us.

August 20, 2017: “A Man Had Two Sons”

Rev. Khleber Van Zandt. The parable known as the Prodigal Son is an old tale where the meanings we were handed long ago may not be the ones we need today. We’ll take another look at all three of the characters in the story and see what more there is to learn.

August 27, 2017: “We Are Family”

Rev. Khleber Van Zandt. It was several years ago that this congregation went through the UUA’s ‘Welcoming’ process, learning about the similarities and differences among people of different sexual orientations. Perhaps it’s time to revisit that process and to update our list of hopes and expectations for the future.


Adult RE, Asta Linder House Room A

August 6, 2017, 09:00am: "American Feudalism-The Vision of Fitzhugh"

From the “Great Courses: Cycles of American Political Thought” George Fitzhugh offers a perspective from outside liberalism, but from a completely different point of view.

August 13, 2017, 09:00am: "Lincoln's Reconstitution"

From the “Great Courses: Cycles of American Political Thought” By applying the Declaration of Independence, not the Constitution, as the cornerstone of American governance, Abraham Lincoln reshapes the nation's definition of liberalism, ushering in a new justification for activist government.

August 20, 2017, 09:00am: "Equality in the Law and in Practice"

From the “Great Courses: Cycles of American Political Thought” After the Civil War, a new battle heats up between two opposing strains of the American political tradition-active state liberalism and minimal state liberalism.

August 27, 2017, 09:00am: "Social Darwinism and Economic Laissez-Faire"

From the “Great Courses: Cycles of American Political Thought” - Variance and diversity have very different meanings in the world of complexity theory.

Special Offering

August 13, 2017: Audubon Society & Laurel Community Gardens

The Audubon Society fosters the cause of conservation with emphasis on birds and their habitats, sponsoring birding field trips and school education projects and supplying speakers for neighborhood community programs.
The Laurel (Nokomis) Community Garden provides a place for local individuals to raise vegetables, fruits and herbs, improving their families’ health and nutrition while reducing food costs. If you write a check, please make it out to UUCOV, with the organization’s name on the memo line.

Minister's Corner

We Have a New President

At the recent 2017 General Assembly in New Orleans, the Unitarian Universalist Association elected as its ninth president the Rev. Susan Frederick-Susan Frederick GreyGray, the first woman elected to lead our movement.
In electronic voting, 3,252 delegates (about 66% of those eligible) cast ballots. Susan received 40 percent of the vote in a first round which eliminated a third-place finisher. In the final round, Susan finished with 56 percent to second-place Rev. Jeanne Pupke’s 42 percent.
In her year-long campaign, Susan called the UUA “a voice for love and justice” and promoted a three-point vision of an association that is “spiritually vital, grounded in relationships, and organized for impact.”
What’s that mean? Being grounded in relationships means that, because of the limits of our social location, our work in the public square must rightfully be done in partnership with coalitions of others. Further, we must be organized for impact if we want to be more effective in influencing society by propagating our deepest values.
But spiritually vital? Surely some in our number will be rankled by such language.
Susan explains: “By vital, I mean we need congregations and ministries that invite people into greater connection across families, generations, and cultures to offer a path away from disconnection and division.” And on her website, she says we need “a vital spiritual voice that calls us toward our best selves – to articulate the power of love in the face of fear, the importance of compassion, reverence and interconnection when it comes to how we must live into the global realities of the 21st century.”
Just because she was elected president, the world did not stop. The evening previous to her installation as president, two employees of the UUA were attacked in the French Quarter. Overnight, Susan and others had gone to the hospital where one of the men lay in critical condition.
Later, after the four attackers were arrested, a group of UUs were in the courtroom as the young men were brought before a judge. “We wanted to show up for restorative justice and to advocate for a reasonable bond for all four,” one UU said. “We don’t want these young men thrown away.” Susan herself put out a press release calling for reasonable bail for the young men. Nonetheless, prosecutors and the judge agreed on a high bail for all four defendants.
Sounds like Susan is all about working for social justice in cooperation with others while remaining grounded in an inner life filled with compassion. Could the fact that Susan was named by her mother after Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton have anything to do with it?
See you in church,


How to Contact Us

Mailing Address: UUCOV
1971 Pinebrook Road
Venice, Fl 34292-1563


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

Reflections on General Assembly

Our President, Dave Lyon, could not attend General Assembly this year, but he has turned over his column space to those who could. Here are,ga2017 logo nola 1200x630 briefly, some personal feelings and thoughts about their experience at GA. Next month, you may hear from a few more.

Lori Baribeault
This is my third GA and each one seems to build on the last for me! The energy within the Convention Center seemed to mimic the energy of the city, powerful. Each of the workshops I attended gave me such innovative ideas about how we can help our membership and the world at large. The theme that I found running through the workshops I attended, as well as the magnificent Ware Lecture given by Bryan Stevenson, was “being proximate.” What we do on Sundays is critical for our base, but being wherever we are needed, whether that be Center of Hope, Laurel Community Center or at the Community Dinners, is where our true congregation lies and where we will find our heart. Oh, and did I mention the food??? Oh, my goodness, the food!
Sal Salorenzo
The main theme of the General Assembly was equality: political, economic, social. The only session I attended at the GA was the one where the three women candidates for the UUA presidency shared with the audience their respective views of the present and future goals of the UUA. I was extremely impressed with each candidate’s background and credentials and their dedication and commitment to what the UUA stands for and its goals in the present and for the future. There was little doubt in my mind that whoever won would do a good job as its standard bearer. (ed. note: UUA’s new President is Susan Frederick-Gray). I am a charter member of the WWII Museum and I finally got to see and like any other tourist to New Orleans, I toured the French Quarter and its famous Bourbon St.
Leie Carmody
I thought I’d have a sweet balance of GA and the French Quarter, but never made it away from the convention center except once, to have dinner with ‘our crowd’. Assemblies and workshops 8:45am til 9ish pm most days was the norm. As a delegate, even got to debate with others over exact, precise wording of 4 lines of a Statement of Conscience (loved it!) Key for me was finally ‘getting’ the white supremacy concept – not a personal affront to any of us (unless we deserve it) but a realization and acceptance that our culture is so white-oriented, the ‘superiority’ of whiteness is so institutionalized, that we Whites enjoy many advantages and privileges over other ethnic groups that we never even notice! And we don’t even think of ourselves as being part of a ‘white group’ that someone can make some generalization about. Stunning (and discomfiting) once I could see it.
Richard Palmer
New Orleans was nice. I went to General Assembly upset by news coming from UUA headquarters. The months and weeks before the meeting included accusations of racism against the sitting UUA president and senior UUA Staff and UUA-initiated group statements of conscience. I was disappointed that these issues were only indirectly discussed at GA; rather, people focused on the wonderful job an interim group of three ministers had done to keep things together and put new rules and practices into place so that problems would go away. I learned at GA that UUA was setting up a five million dollar plus trust fund for Black Lives to fix a broken promise from a previous UUA administration forty-nine years ago. The money will to go to BLUU, Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism, a UU collective; their goal is to diversify UU, i.e. to bring more Blacks into our congregations. I was disappointed that there were no real requirements or structure in place governing the use of the money.
Marianne Koerner
I came away with a feeling of pride to be involved in a religious community of such a strong, committed bunch of individuals. The highlights for me were, of course, the Bryan Stevenson talk: ("be willing to be uncomfortable "), singing in the choir, hearing the very moving performance of the cantata, Ruby Bridges"(the 6-yr.old Black girl who integrated New Orleans schools in 1960), and the trip to see the Lower 9th ward with a young ( UU! Of course) woman who had come down from D.C to volunteer after Katrina and stayed. She is working, for virtually no pay, to get (find) families to come back to their rightful homes. Very inspiring!
Kindra Muntz
GA 2017 was inspirational as always and marked new beginnings for the UUA. We elected our first female President, heard thoughtful discussions of the three interim Co-Presidents, and saw black leaders conducting important sessions of the full assembly. Bryan Stephenson, author of Just Mercy, gave a compelling Ware Lecture, to raise awareness about the need to 1) get proximate to poor people, 2) change narratives, 3) be hopeful, and 4) do uncomfortable things. It was great that so many UUCOVers (14) could come to GA, and I hope many others will join us in coming years. Thanks to Pam McFarland, most of us were able to have dinner together one night, although we were off in many directions during the day. I was happy to be a panelist in the workshop “Taking Action to Make Democracy Work”, which was live-streamed and videotaped to encourage actions for the 2016-2020 CSAI (Congregational Study Action Issue) “The Corruption of Our Democracy.”
Karen Griffin
The 2017 GA was a conversation about how white UU’s have created a “normal” in our faith that is centered around white European spiritual practices and cultural experience, affecting the decisions we make on hiring, how we develop social justice programs, how we worship, and more. In more blunt terms, as white UU’s we practice white supremacy and indulge in white privilege, rarely stopping to think how that affects our brothers and sisters of color within our faith and wider community. Neither do we stop to think about all that we would gain if we opened ourselves to the cultural values and spiritual practices that our UU brothers and sisters of color bring to the table. Facing this issue honestly as white UU’s will be hard work and very uncomfortable at times, but it is an opportunity to learn what it truly means to bring justice and equity to this world and in the process flourish as a faith and as individuals.

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 All the UUCOV Summer Reading Program Volunteers: Hats off to you for doing such a phenomenal job working with the children. They were given a pre-reading test the first week and a post reading test the last week by teachers from Laurel Nokomis School. The results of the six-week reading program are in: 96 % of our students showed improvement in accuracy or word recognition. 95% of our students were reading at the 90th percentile or higher. John Jefferson, Program Coordinator.
To Marty King: Huge thanks for stepping up to host our guest speaker, April Glasco, on June 25th. She stepped up with about 12-hour notice and saved the day. It is so nice knowing that we are a family who steps up when called upon. Lori Baribeault
To All Those Who Post on In Touch: You help those of us ‘away’ during the summer to feel not so far away. Linda Underwood
To Ken Boysworth, Richard Palmer, Jim McGuire, Dave Williams , Dick Smith and Dale Jermyn. Appreciation! One or more of these committed members of the Campus Group can be found at Waters Hall nearly every day transforming the living room by adding a wall and French doors, and painting the hallway and room. Ruth Boysworth
To Salli and Khleber: Thank you for your patience as the work on Waters Hall progressed this spring and summer. Linda Underwood

Waters Hall Makeover

Sallis OfficeThe Campus Group is happy to report that Salli is fully moved into her very professional looking office, and the former administrator office has new paint and a new floor. It will serve as a small conference room in the afternoons and will be used by volunteer receptionists in the morning. It is good that we now have another small meeting room that is private. The table seats a maximum of six.Room CFrench Doors The living room now has French doors, installed and painted, so groups meeting there will no longer be disturbed by people entering the building. Next you will see the TV removed from its temporary stand and affixed to the wall.
To assist in signing up for the three available rooms in Waters Hall, the living room will be Room A, the board room will beLiving RoomRoom B, and the new conference room is Room C.

Open for Business

book shelvesThe library in Waters Hall is open for business. We have re-homed some books, reorganized, and added some new titles. Checking out is on the honor system. On some Sundays next month, there will be a book table on the lanai or patio with some books that might interest you. “Jefferson's Bible”? Jim Walls on “Racism and White Privilege”? “American Religious Humanism”? Come and see what we have. Prefer fiction? Want a book swap? If you have suggestions for books or services to add, let our librarian know. Contact - Ruth Boysworth 941-218-4754 or .

Establish Your Legacy – Today

The Legacy Friends Program was established in 2005 to encourage members and friends of the congregation to provide long-term support for UUCOV’sFeatherPen mission and values. Most Legacy Friends have arranged to provide this long-term support by including a bequest to the Endowment Fund as part of their estate plans.
But John Spitzer, current Chair of the Program, is encouraging members and friends to adopt a new attitude, a ‘Why Wait’ attitude; make that contribution to the Endowment Fund now, rather than including the gift as part of a future Estate Settlement.
“After all, procrastination is seldom a virtue and…Why spend money on an attorney altering my Trust? Besides… It’ll be done, with no need to think about it anymore, and after all, I can afford to, so why not? And, I’ll feel terrific knowing that I’ve already done it!”
Of course, donors can always add to their donations over time if they want to. They can still include a donation as part of their estates if they choose. And as a final consideration, they need have no worries about something going astray with regard to their ‘final wishes’.
If you have questions about Legacy Friends or want information about planned giving, please contact John Spitzer at 319- 331-5914 or .

YES, We Can

petitions1Here at UUCOV we have a dedicated team, led by Kindra Muntz, Chair of the Common Good Committee, whose energy is focused on public policy issues & solving social and environmental justice problems. Sometimes, this involves getting a measure on the ballot for the entire voting public to make its wishes known. And a petition gets created. The number of signatures needed in support of a petition to get the measure on the ballot is HIGH. You get asked to do two things: Sign the petition. Ask others to sign the petition.
The first is easy: sign it. Go to the Common Good table on the lanai, read the ballot summary to make sure you’re in favor, then print your name and address, your date of birth, today’s date, and sign your name. Two minutes tops.
The second is almost as easy. Take some home with you. (If you’re a woman and carry a handbag, fold some up so they go where you go). You have lunch with a friend, you go to a meeting, to a class, you’re waiting in line at a supermarket, a neighbor stops by, you get the picture: tell them you signed this petition that made sense to you, read the BALLOT SUMMARY to them from the petition, and invite them to sign as you did. You might even consider offering a blank one so they can help get a signature.
At present, we are working to gather signatures on 4 petitions. An article (below) under Social Justice will help you understand what they are about so you'll understand their importance. This piece, we hope, clarifies for you how simple the effort needed is, so that you are emboldened to pitch in and become a worker for the cause. When we all pitch in, then Yes, We Can!


Many thanks to those of you who have already taken advantage of the matching grant opportunity. Remember, when you make a donation towards a newbench bench (put ‘bench’ in the memo line on your check) your gift gets doubled. Our goal is to have four benches surrounding the patio to make a welcoming statement. We hope to be able to place our bench order by late August.


Wanted: Two UUCOV members or friends with want to make a major contribution to a UUCOV event with rather minimal effort.
1. Needed skills:
Can handle simple online exploring/research tasks.
Can do simple ‘party’ planning.
Can participate a few times a year in a collaborative meeting with 3 others.
2. Needed skills:
Can create one small flier.
Can write a short article for Connection now and then.
Can be available post Sunday services now and then to respond to queries.
Can participate a few times a year in a collaborative meeting with 3 others
Appetite whetted? Are you one of these two people? Call Leie Carmody 941-445-4859 for a chat.

Lifespan Education

Message from our Director of Religious Education

Reading While White
School starts this month. My love of reading started early and I secretly think I could have enjoyed a career as a librarian. Shortly after coming to UUCOV, I became aware of a blog written by white librarians, “Reading While White”. A recent blog listed, from a national survey, the top 10 books considered required reading for high school students. Think about this list:
The Great Gatsby
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
WilliamsJaye150To Kill a Mockingbird
Catcher in the Rye
Animal Farm
Romeo and Juliet
Lord of the Flies
Of Mice and Men
Hamlet, 1984, The Things They Carried (3-way tie for 10th)
The blog asks us to think about the dynamic of a system that continues, in 2017, to make these books the entirety of required reading for a diverse student body. This question got me thinking further. I’d been so taken with Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie's book “Americanah” that when I discovered she’d given a Ted Talk, I chose to watch it. I recommend viewing it.
I hope we can work to expose our children to a wide range of quality reading and I trust that our choices also avoid, as Ms. Adichie says, "The Danger of a Single Story.”  ---Jaye Wlliams, DRE


Youth Religious Education

These Girls Are On The Move!
Don't let this picture of a sparkling pool party, hosted by the Zoernack's, fool you; our girls were taking a much-enjoyed break from the Florida heat after extended travels. Kenzie, Tamina and Bridget Mickish took a road trip to CO, Maggie Fangboner went to Washington, DC and Mackenzie Zoernack headed to NOLA for GA. They have enthusiastically shared highlights, so the next time you see them, ask about their travels.Pool Party 2017 YRE

Would you like to share a hobby, story, music or art with our children one Sunday? We are in our summer mode through much of September, so let Jaye know if you want to join for some or all of YRE one Sunday.

Adult Exploration

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

Woodmere Lumber Company 1910sThe third of 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 from 1:30-3pm. On Tuesday, August 8th, local historian Chris King and Brad Jenkins, retired Chair of the History and Political Science Department, Guilford Technical College will present “The Vanished Town and Mill at Woodmere”. Suggested readings, available through the library, are Josephine O. Cortes, “The History of Early Englewood” and Diana D. Harris’ “Englewood Lives”.

Lunch and Learn

The August Lunch and Learn will be led by Linda Van Zandt on Thursday the 17th ,11:30-1:30pm, In Asta Linder. Remember, bring a brown bag lunch; UUCOV provides the drinks and a sweet treat. If you don’t want to be surprised, watch Happenings to learn what our topic will be.Lunch Learn

Understanding Japan

thJapan 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. Charlotte Neagle will moderate the video lecture Great Course program “Understanding Japan: A Cultural History,” (Lecturer, Mark J. Ravina of Emory University) on Thursday evenings, 7-9pm, in Asta Linder.

August 3rd “The Emergence of the Ritsuryo State” (evolution to centralized empire-led state)
August 10th “Aspects of the Japanese Language”
August 17th “Early Japanese Buddhism”
August 24th “Heinan Court Culture” 800s – 1500s
August 31st “The Rise of the Samurai”

Interest Groups

BookClub1Book Club
The Book Club will continue through the summer, meeting at 1:30pm on the second Thursday of the month. On August 10th, we’ll discuss 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 third lecture, on August 8th, is titled “The Vanished Town and Mill at Woodmere”. All programs are in the sanctuary and open to the public.


Mindfulness Meditation
The group will not meet again until September.



Plato'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.


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.

Wellness Walking
Thwalkinge group will not meet again until September.




Social Justice

Thanks for Your Help!!

Join the Fight
UUCOVers have two specific ways right now to fight the corruption of our democracy and BIG MONEY in politics.
Help us gather petitions to put these important measures on the county and state ballot in 2017: These support the worth and dignity of every person, and democracy in society at large.petitions1
1) Florida is one of only three states that have a lifetime ban on ex-felon voting, and we disenfranchise the most people! The Voting Restoration Amendment will restore the voting rights of over 1.5 million ex-felons in Florida who have paid their debt to society. Let’s say YES to second chances! Pick up the petition on Sunday or download it and watch , an excellent Samantha Bee video. Also, send the link to the Voting Restoration Amendment quickslip here to your friends in other states and ask them to ask people in their congregations and social networks if they have friends or family in Florida who can also sign the petition and mail it in. Florida needs 700,000 petitions statewide by February 1, 2018 to put this on the ballot in November 2018. Together, with the support of concerned friends locally, statewide, and nationwide, we can do this!
2) Do you want to help get BIG MONEY out of electing these County officials, give qualified candidates of all political parties the chance to run for office, and help make our elected officials more accountable to their constituents. Yes? Then sign the Single Member District petitions for election of Sarasota County Commissioners and Charter Review Board members. Print BOTH of the petitions here:, and encourage all Sarasota County voters to sign them and send them in. (17,000 are needed by January 15 to put these on the ballot with the School Board election March 13, 2018.)
Life and Death in Florida
Until January 2016, Florida and Alabama were the only states that allowed a judge to impose capital punishment without the unanimous agreement of a jury. In October of last year, the Florida Supreme Court said imposing the death sentence required a unanimous jury vote. Florida’s death penalty process was put on hold. This March, Florida's governor signed legislation requiring a unanimous recommendation by a jury before judges can impose the death penalty, entitling the 150 prisoners who’d been sentenced under the unconstitutional statute to new re-sentencing hearings. The new legislation was Florida’s latest effort to restart its death penalty process, beginning with the inmates who’d been sentenced to death by jury unanimity. After an 18-month hiatus, Florida intends to resume the process on August 24th. This would be the 24th execution under Rick Scott’s governorship, the highest number of executions under any Florida governor. Floridians for the Alternative to the Death Penalty (FADP) is a coalition of individuals and organizations working to have our governor place a moratorium on executions and order a full review of Florida's Death Penalty Program. You can learn more about FADP and how to take action at

Who Knew?

Who Knew? *
Do not throw your old clothes in the trash and not just because they could have been reused or recycled rather that entered into the waste stream. Yourpick up dirty clothes clipart images pictures becuo TH8cIa clipart clothing doesn’t just lie there forever. It decomposes and as it does, it releases landfill gas, a toxic brew of air pollutants that includes the greenhouse gases carbon dioxide and methane. There are about 1,200 municipal solid waste landfills in the United States and only about 900 of these have vacuum systems that collect landfill gas for burning or to produce electricity, so a lot of landfill gas is simply vented into the atmosphere. In fact, landfills are the third-largest source of methane emissions in the U.S., according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Methane is known to be 28 times more efficient than carbon dioxide at trapping heat. That means it poses a huge global warming problem. Even if you drive a hybrid car and eat only sustainably produced food, if your cast-off clothes are moldering away in a landfill somewhere, your contribution to global warming and other environmental ills is bigger than you might realize. SO - Reuse and repair clothing to the extent possible, then turn into rags or donate to a thrift store. Goodwill and other charities that accept clothing donations will take just about every item no matter how worn, torn or stained. Look for a textile-recycling program in your area. Some companies have recycling programs among them are Eileen Fisher, H&M, The North Face and Patagonia. EPA statistics suggest that even modest reductions in the amount of textile waste that winds up in landfills could bring a major benefit to the environment. Of course, the best thing to do is not to buy clothes you don’t need!!

*Condensed from the HuffPost’s “Reclaim” campaign, an ongoing project spotlighting the world’s waste crisis and how we can begin to solve it.

School Days!

SchoolSuppliesSchool starts August 14th. Getting children off to a solid start is vital to academic success. For the second year, YRE and Community Outreach will be collecting needed school supplies for Garden, IVMS and Laurel Nokomis Elementary schools. Look for the donation suggestion board on the lanai and place donations in the box as you buy them. If you would like to make a monetary donation, make checks to UUCOV with ‘School Days’ on the memo line. This project runs through August 13th.

Another Successful Week

July 2nd started another Family Promise week hosting 2 single mothers, one with 1 child, age 9 (mild autism) and one with 3 children under 6 in theFamilyPromise Family Promise (FP) program. Many thanks to all who helped; volunteers at Asta Linder put in a total of 245+ hours, not including time preparing meals, shopping, cooking, doing laundry, meetings, orientation with families, etc. They rock!  Additionally, the coordination among Venice United Church of Christ, St. Mark’s Episcopal, Unity, Epiphany and the Family Promise Day Center and our team was excellent. One family enjoyed the 4th of July fireworks at Nokomis Beach thanks to Terry, “the van driver and uncle” to practically every child in the program. Terry, his wife Carolyn and Laurie Colombo from St. Mark’s took the three children to the fireworks. Rain and lightning only added to the excitement of the night! This family has left the program to return to Connecticut where they have family. We wish them well. The second family, who joined in mid-week found temporary shelter for their dog and are progressing well. The Family Promise Coordinating Team is looking forward to a new season of helping homeless families with children in the South Sarasota County area. UUCOV will host families at Asta Linder House for 1 week starting October 15th and for 2 weeks starting December 24th. If you are not yet on our volunteer list, please consider helping with this wonderfully successful program that helps temporarily homeless families in South Sarasota County get back on their feet. All volunteers receive training from the Family Promise staff and we will make sure there is a training session available before our October host week. For more information about volunteering for Family Promise, contact Cindy O’Dell, 317-370-6705.

Help A Child, Save the World

kids readingUUCOV has been a major volunteer force with the summer reading program at the Laurel Civic Association and John Jefferson, in charge of the After-School Program for Laurel Nokomis School, would strongly welcome our continued support. The school year begins August 14 and volunteers are needed Monday-Thursday. 3:30-5:30pm and you can serve 1 day up to 4 days per week. If necessary, you could leave prior to 5:30pm. And if necessary, you can start your support later in the school year.  In this program, you’re there by 3:30; the kids arrive and, when needing help, are encouraged to seek you out and ask for help: it may be for help with a math exercise, help researching information for a project, help organizing material for a writing assignment. Sometimes John will ask if you’d help a particular student with a particular task. The program is held at the Sandra Simms Terry Community Center, 509 Collins Road, Nokomis, 34275. To join the effort, call John Johnson 941-724-3338 or contact DRE, Jaye Williams: or 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 .


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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