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 five committees are focused on:

Community Outreach: work in the larger community
Common Good: local, state, and national public policy
Family Promise: on campus hosting for homeless families in need
Green Sanctuary: environmental issues
Interweave: gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender issues

Social Justice News

CHAPS "Reverse Advent Bags"

HIV+/AIDS affected individuals have compromised immune systems and keeping themselves and their homes safe from bacteria and viruses is crucial toCHAPS Logo maintaining their health and the health of their families. SNAP cards (food stamps) only allow one to purchase edible items—no toilet paper, soap, toothpaste, deodorant,feminine hygiene products, household disinfectants, etc.
So, CHAPS Food & Hygiene Pantry, an all-volunteer, 501c3, non-profit pantry that serves over 210 South Sarasota County HIV+/AIDS clients and their dependents in North Port, Venice, Nokomis, Osprey and Englewood, provides 45 different hygiene items and household disinfectant products in addition to their food pantry items. They are collecting hygiene items of all varieties.
They have provided us with ‘Reverse Advent Bags’, which you will find on the lanai during December. Please take a bag and, instead of receiving a daily advent gift, GIVE ONE! A list of suggested items will be provided, all of which can be purchased at Dollar stores; filled bags can be returned to the lanai any time during the month of December. Checks in lieu of items may be made out to CHAPS, Inc. and left at the office with Salli. Thank you for your generosity! For more info about CHAPS go to or see Salli in the office.

People are Mobilizing

Fist WeThePeopleThere’s a program on December 6 you may want to attend, 7pm at the Venice Gardens Community Center, 406 Shamrock Boulevard. After an appraisal of the book “Dark Money”, Barbara Somma will lead a discussion of a 2020 petition drive to put a Move to Amend resolution on the statewide ballot.
“We the People of the United States of America, reject the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling and other related cases, and move to amend our Constitution to firmly establish that money is not speech, and that human beings, not corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights.”
Already 21 state legislatures have passed or have in progress resolutions, and numerous cities nationwide have passed resolutions or better yet, ballot initiatives. Move to Amend and American Promise are heading in the same direction and mobilizing people nationwide. It’s time we pressed Florida to get on board!

“Centering: Navigating Race, Authenticity, and Power in Ministry”

Our Common Read this winter grew out of a concern of the UU Minister’s Association that discussions of race in Unitarian Universalism have too often Centeringpresupposed a White audience and prioritized the needs, education, and emotions of the White majority.
A group of distinguished UU religious professionals of color was called to form a committee on Antiracism, Anti-culturalism,, and Multiculturalism; their task was to reframe Unitarian Universalist anti-oppression work by putting the voices, experiences, and learnings of people of color at the center of the conversation.
The resulting book, “Centering”, captures the papers that were presented and the rich dialogue from the conference to share personal stories and address the challenges that religious leaders of color face in exercising power, agency, and authority in a culturally White denomination. “Centering” explores how racial identity is made both visible and invisible in Unitarian Universalist ministries.

Structural Changes

Recognizing the importance of the Family Promise effort and the large time commitment required of so many congregants, the Family Promise team will no longer be part of Community Outreach but will report directly to the Social Justice Team Leader (currently, Marty King). This change should make Paul and Cindy O’Dell’s job a little easier.

After many years as Social Justice Team Leader, then as Chair of Community Outreach, Trudy Jacoby is stepping down. Most sincere thanks to Trudy for her commitment, knowledge, and contribution to the good of our community and our congregation. Eileen and Steve Leapley have agreed to take on this job, and they will be terrific.

Interweave Events

On Thursday, November 2nd, 1-3pm, we will discuss “At the Broken Places” in the sanctuary Mary Collins and Donald Collins, a parent and aAt the broken places transgender transgender son, collaborated on this memoir, recounting their struggle with their differences as Donald Collins undertook medical treatment options to better align his body with his gender identity.

transgender flagsCome to the sanctuary on Thursday, November 9th 6-8pm, for an informative and affirming event to better understand the current issues and to provide an outreach to the transgender community in our area. At the Transgender Remembrance Panel Discussion (clergy, professionals, families in transition and (we hope, transgender individuals), you will learn more about the "T" in LGBTQI, learn about transgender history and current issues facing the transgender community, hear personal stories, and be able to participate in a Q and A session. There will be social time and light refreshments after the presentation.