Many paths. One welcoming and diverse community.

Social Justice

scalesofjusticechaliceOur social justice ministry at UUCOV is in the best tradition of Unitarian Universalist history and principles. We support our Seven Principles, nurture our spirits, and help heal the world through:

Social Service: charitable assistance and hands on help to those in need
Social Witness:
publicly addressing justice issues
Social Education:
discussion, study, and reflection about justice issues
Social Action:
organized action to remedy injustice

Our four committees focus on social justice from different perspectives:

Community Outreach: local
Common Good:
local, state, national and international
Green Sanctuary:
gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender

Social Justice News

Green Sanctuary

EarthUnderwaterCalling all folks who are interested or just curious about GREEN SANCTUARY; what our mission is, what plans we have for the immediate future and the coming year. There will be a brainstorming session at Asta Linder at 1:30pm on Wednesday, September 20.
Bring your questions, ideas, and hopes for continuing to create a greener UUCOV, as well as suggestions for making our beloved planet a more people and animal-friendly place. Please inform Marianne Koerner 941-244-2435 or   of your interest.
The UUA Green Sanctuary has been asked to inform you that the extensive new “U.S. Climate Science Special Report” (final 2017 draft) was posted by the NY Times. You can read the report at  Scientists fear that the report is in danger of rejection or distortion by the Trump administration, hindering critical action on climate change. Please call or fax your senators and representative to support the report. Phone / free fax numbers here: 

Sign Up for the Common Good

Be sure to sign up on the Common Good list at the Social Justice table on the lanai to see how you can help make a difference for public policy in Venicepetitions1 and Sarasota County, and sign up online at to learn what state efforts will affect us locally. We have two immediate opportunities to make a difference in Venice and Sarasota County:
1) If 15,096 petitions for Single Member Districts for County Commissioners and Charter Review Board members can be submitted and validated at the Supervisor of Elections office by January 15th, the referendum can be placed on the March 13th ballot along with the School Board election to help get the BIG MONEY out of control of our county elections. Qualified candidates of all political parties can then run for office, and be held accountable to be responsive to the people, rather than to their large campaign donors and Super Pacs.
2) Venice could be the 4th city in Florida—behind St. Petersburg, Sarasota and Orlando—to commit to becoming a Clean Energy Community by 2050. In conjunction with the League of Women Voters and the Sierra Club, we can help press the Venice City Council to adopt a similar resolution to use only clean and renewable energy. We have made a difference with the council before by showing up in great numbers on important issues. We can do it again. And don’t forget how one of our UUs, Maxine Barritt, even saved a park in Venice by her persistence.

Newcomers Take Note

FamilyPromiseUUCOV is a proud member of the Family Promise of South Sarasota County (FPSSC) program, which helps homeless families with children in South Sarasota County. We provide the families with dinner, host the evening, play with the kids, and spend the night. We help get them off the next day after breakfast. The parents spend their days working or looking for work and housing with help from the Family Promise staff while their children are in school. Flexibility is key as each mother’s/father’s needs and their children’s needs are different.
UUCOV, in partnership with Venice United Church of Christ (VUCC), will host families at Asta Linder the weeks of October 15 through the 22nd; December 24, 2017 to January 7, 2018; March 25, 2018 to April 8, 2018; July 1, 2018 to July 15, 2018; September 30, 2018 to October 14,2018 and December 23, 2018 to January 16, 2019. Family Promise lost $45,000 in funding for this year. Our partnering with VUCC to host these families for an additional week, and their good faith offering of $1600 a year, allows UUCOV to commit that money to supporting FPSSC. And to that end, we gave FPSSC $1200 for Publix gift cards and gas gift cards to distribute to families as needed out of this year’s budget. The remaining budget will be spent for supplies for host weeks, buying clothes (school and work), medicine, items needed when the families find housing, etc.
Our Team has its plate full and we need and encourage your help. For more information about volunteering for Family Promise, contact 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

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.

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.

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