UU St. Pete InfoNet: October 11, 2019

RE Corner

Religious Education: October 13

Nursery care is provided in Conway Hall from 10am - 12pm for infants through preschool by Laura Beard and volunteer assistant.


Families along with their school age children and youth (K-12th grade) will start in service together. On the front, right side of the sanctuary. The first two rows are labeled and reserved for families with children. After “Time For All Ages” (roughly 10:40 am) the children are then guided upstairs to RE. Children and youth are returned to their parents in coffee hour at 11:45.


Each week, the students will be submerged in the theme of each month. October’s theme is Belonging.

Our first field trip is set for October 27 with grades 4th-12th grade to Tampa. We will depart UU at 10am and return roughly around 1pm. If you have not completed the field trip slip, please check your email, complete and return by October 20. Each month, our youth will explore and learn about other faiths that flow with UU to enable and expand their own perspective. 


Want to stay-in-the-know about what's going on in RE? Subscribe to the RE Newsletter. Text UUSPRE to 22828 and you will be added! Thank you for your support.


Interested in volunteering or know someone who does? Any questions, suggestions, ideas? Contact Jeanay Johnson, DRE at uurefc@gmail.com. 


Any questions? Contact uurefc@gmail.com. 



This Sunday's Worship Services

Sunday, October 13, 2019: "ON COURAGE: WHEN, WHAT, HOW, WHY - WELL?"
Time: 10:30am
Speaker: Rev. Jack Donovan
Worship Associate: Sarah Craig

Last Spring, one of the items offered during the Silent Auction fundraiser was the opportunity to choose the topic of one of the minister's sermons.  Tammy Boudreau made the winning bid.  Her topic:  Courage.  What is courage?  When and how does it arise in the human spirit?  Why do we have it?  Do we use it well?  Thank you, Tammy - I think  : )




Announcements From Pastor Jack

Hello, Everyone. 

Monday is Indigenous Peoples’ Day, as well as Columbus Day.  In our Wednesday Evening study group this week, as we discussed the rather narrow First World upper-middle- class perspective of our discussion book, The Blue Zones of Happiness, we got to talking about damage done to innocent people when cultures converge and conquest is pursued and sometimes even when it is not. 

I think the evening group agreed the book is helpful if you have access to a fair distribution of Earth’s resources, but not much help if you don’t.  In the morning discussion, there had been similar observations, with some fear that the world would never get around to addressing this unnecessary human injury. 

Earlier this week I read an article in a magazine of relatively liberal commentary, The Christian Century, in which an Episcopalian priest wrote that the only thing saving her from despair at her constant disappointment regarding the perceived damaging sinfulness in herself, in others, and in the world’s systems was recognizing the Calvinistic doctrine of “the total depravity of humankind” as the true reality, from which only Christ’s judgment could finally save us.  That was her only hope.

Times indeed are challenging.  We have moments of anxiety and even despair.  But may we never revert to such crippling capitulations as “human depravity,” the likes of which Unitarians rejected centuries ago and against which Jesus himself preached unceasingly (as in “You are the light.  Let it shine!”). 

These past few Sundays we examined whether human worth was inherent and I think we found good reason to believe it is so in our potential, with plenty of hope for its development.  So developing our potentials, particularly for understanding and for caring, seems to be our task.  Several peoples of Earth have learned to do so pretty well.  May we keep learning from them and each other. 

I think both the morning and evening Wednesday Discussion groups came to the hope that we can achieve the contentment we imagine in Indigenous cultures through the courageous hopeful spirit we imagine in explorer cultures.  Then we can write a book entitled The Blues Zone of Happiness, about the ways the human spirit moves out of immature hurtful ways to experience the blessed fullness of what we can be.

With appreciation for sharing the journey, a thoughtful Indigenous Peoples Day and Columbus Day to us all. 



INTERESTED IN JOINING OUR UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST CONGREGATION?   Come to our Inquirers Class after this   Sunday’s service, 11:45am-1:15pm in UUSP’s Conway Hall.   Pastor Jack


CELEBRATING VETERANS IN OUR LIVESSunday Service, November 3 (yes, a week early).   If you would like to share your story, the circumstances leading to your service, how your service experiences remain with you and what learning you would like to share with your community, please contact Sabine (beandex@aol.com).   Also, to help us connect on a deeper level, please provide a picture, name, year served and branch of service. Thank you!


INTERESTED IN PARTICIPATING IN A UUSP COVENANT GROUP*?  Contact: Patti Hanks (pthanks1@gmail.com) or Pastor Jack (jfdonovan@bellsouth.net).

* A covenant group’s purpose is to have a trusted circle with whom to discuss life at whatever level one is interested in sharing, as well as to deepen supportive and appreciative connections in the congregation.  The groups are called “Covenant Groups” because they function under a covenantal commitment to deep listening, respect, and confidentiality. 


FUND-RAISING DINNER AT THE ST. PETE QUAKER/FRIENDS MEETING HOUSE, THIS SATURDAY, October 12, 6-9:00PM - to support the Annual SOA Watch Protest against our government's "School of the Americas" to be held outside Ft. Benning, Georgia, November 15-17.  The SOA trains military and police forces for a number of Latin American countries.  Graduates of the SOA in dictatorial regimes frequently have been accused (and, by major media reports, are guilty) of massive heinous human rights violations and massacres against local populations and political opposition.  More info on the annual protest and the School of the Americas at http://www.soaw.org.  Pastor Jack 




TREES OF LIFE” – UUSP’S SUNDAY STUDIO will offer a series of seasonal expressive arts workshops, beginning Sunday November 3.   Using tree imagery as metaphor in each season’s workshop, we will explore the seasonal rhythms and patterns of the natural world and our own inner worlds. The explorations will include story, dance and visual imagery.  Autumn’s wisdom invites us to Relish, Release & Reflect.  Join Alisun Donovan, Cynthia Alicea, and Jill Oldenski for an afternoon of discovery and delight. Sign up after church on Sunday October 20 & 27th. Workshop begins at noon and ends at 3. (You may want to eat lunch beforehand) Limit 12. Donations accepted for materials. Questions? Email alisundonovan93@gmail.com


PERHAPS THIS WILL BE HISTORIC (and you could be part!) – The board of directors of Black Lives of Unitarian Universalism is hosting a symposium titled and purposed for “Proclaiming a Black UU Theology”.  The symposium is open to all and will offer six plenaries related to the overarching question of “how to live out a Unitarian Universalism that centers (and celebrates) Blackness.”  What would such a UUism look like?  How would it be lived?  Would it still be UUism or something new?  The symposium will be in St. Paul, MN, October 30 to November 2.  Registration is open at BlackLivesUU.com/symposium.


UNDERSTANDING CLIMATE CHANGE AND ITS IMPACT ON FLORIDA” A LIEF NISSEN FOUNDATION  SOCIAL JUSTICE LECTURE AT TEMPLE BETH-EL, presented by Michael Mann, PhD.  Friday, November 15, 2019 at 7:30 PM at Temple Beth-El, 400 Pasadena Ave So. St Pete.  UU St. Pete is one of a number co-sponsors.   We’re all invited.

Michael Mann is an American climatologist and geophysicist, currently the Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science and Meteorology at Penn State University and the Director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State. His most recent book, co-authored with Tom Toles, is The Madhouse Effect: How Climate Change Denial is Threatening our Planet, Destroying our Politics, and Driving us Crazy (2016).

Shabbat service at 7:30 PM followed by lecture and Q/A at 8:15 PM. The event is free and open to the public. Reservations are requested but not required (temple office: 727.347.6136). Dessert reception follows.


SAVE THE DATE CHANGE:  UUSP SATURDAY MORNING MEDITATION RETREAT, December 7, nine to noon, UUSP’s Gilmour Hall.  Come recover attention, clarity, and peace – really.  Pastor Jack


NAMETAGS FOR FREQUENT VISITORS:  If you come often and would like a permanent name tag, please email Dave Coale at dcoale628@icloud.com.  


EVERY TUESDAY MEDITATION (11:45am – brief instruction provided if requested) and BROWN BAG LUNCH (12:15pm – checking in with friends), in UUSP Gilmour social hall.  


EVERY WEDNESDAY MORNING MEDITATION every Wednesday, 8:00-8:30 a.m.  Drop in, find your zone, go live your best day.


EVERY WEDNESDAY RELIGIOUS STUDIES DISCUSSION this Wednesday, October 16, 10am and 7pm, we conclude our discussion of The Blue Zones of Happiness: Lessons from the World’s Happiest People (2017) by National Geographic journalist/explorer Dan Buettner.   This week’s focus:  chapters 12 through “Expert Recommendations.” 


CITIZENS CAFÉ MOST THURSDAYS AT NOON!!!  in UUSP’s Gilmour (Social) Hall.  Join us (but let Pastor Jack know you’re planning to come, because our schedule is still erratic at this time of year)!  Our Citizens’ Café is a chance for us as engaged American citizens to clarify and deepen our understanding of the issues of society that influence our lives and that we might have influence on.  Bring your lunch if you’d like, and any proposed communications to newspaper editors or elected officials.  Coffee and tea provided.  Pastor Jack – jfdonovan@bellsouth.net.


DID YOU KNOW:  The website of the League of Women Voters (St. Pete Area) has a comprehensive list of elected public officials with click-on email links – just in case you want to send a message – www.lwvspa.org.  To borrow words from the League, Citizenship is about making democracy work – and as Socrates and Plato probably discussed, If you don’t dialogue, you don’t know.


UUs HELPING UUs:   Need help or know a UUSPer who might?  Please notify Sue Price,  UUSP Care Committee chair: pricesue63@gmail.com


UUSP SERMONS (printed or audio) are available on UUSP's website:   Go to www.uustpete.org, click the Spirituality tab, click Worship Services and Sermons. Scroll down the services and you will see "Sermons and Readings." For audio recordings, click on a Sunday Service and look for the sound icon   audio

For screen shots of examples, click the link:  Worship Service Online Enhancements


Contact: Rev. Jack Donovan




Animals Sunday - October 20

You and your well behaved (?) pets are invited to attend the worship service on Sunday, October 30, when we celebrate the role that all animals play in our lives - in our homes, on the farm, in the wild.

Past experience has taught us that dogs need leashes and cats probably need carriers for the service.

The children and teens will be staying in the service long enough for a parade of animals, so come join the fun and the inspiration of animals.  

Contact: Susan Burnore




Congregation-wide Potluck Hosted by the LGBTQ+ Group October 20

The newly revived LGBTQ+ group has been laying low over the summer months. But not anymore! We’re going back to the 70’s and 80’s and hosting a Sunday Tea Dance.  We decided that this first kick off potluck should include our allies and we thought that probably meant the whole dang congregation! What’s a Tea Dance?  Well, more on that after all the good details.

When? Sunday, October 20 from 2pm-6pm

Where? Bill and John Motter agreed to host it at their home located at 807 21st Ave N, St Pete 33704. There is ample street parking, but you may still want to consider sharing a ride with someone.

What’s on the menu? Well it is a potluck so bring a dish if you can. We know not everyone can so don’t let that stop you from attending.

What’s there to drink? We’ll have plenty of non-alcoholic beverages along with a selection of wine and beer.  But, feel free to bring your favorite beverage with you.

What do I wear? Although this isn’t necessarily a theme party, we’ve heard that there might be a disco ball and disco music from the late 70’s and 80’s. So, if you want, dig through your closets and find those platform shoes and bell bottoms.  Let’s not forget that polyester was the fabric of choice. Weather permitting, there is a pool should you want to take a dip.


Now about that whole Tea Dance thing. Below is an article that can be found at http://www.back2stonewall.com/2019/05/gay-history-lost-tradition-sunday-tea-dance.html


The Very Gay History of the Almost Lost Tradition of the Sunday Tea Dance


Many gay men under the age of 30 today are totally clueless of the almost lost tradition of the Sunday Tea Dance. (A tradition that really must be brought back.) So here’s a little history primer on the “Sunday T-dance” and how and why we embraced it in the LGBT culture.

Historically, tea was served in the afternoon, either with snacks (“low tea”) or with a full meal (“high tea” or “meat tea”). High Tea eventually moved earlier in the day, sometimes replacing the midday “luncheon” and settled around 11 o’clock, becoming the forerunner of what we know as “brunch”.

From the late 1800’s to well into the pre-WWI era in both America and England, late afternoon (low) tea service became the highlight of society life. As dance crazes swept both countries, tea dances became increasingly popular as places where single women and their gentlemen friends could meet — the singles scene of the age.

While tea dances enjoyed a revival in America after the Great War, The Great Depression of the 30’s wiped them out. Tea consumption was in steady decline in America anyways and by the 50’s, tea was largely thought of as something “your grandmother drinks”. Also, nightlife was moving later and younger. Working men and women were too busy building the American Dream to socialize so it was left to their teenaged children in the age of sockhops and the jukebox diner. Rock and roll was dark and dangerous — something you sneaked out for after dinner, not took part in before dinner.

Gay people, of course, were still largely underground in the 50s, but it was in these discreet speakeasies that social (nonpartnered) dancing was evolving. It was illegal for men to dance with men, or for women to dance with women. In the event of a raid, gay men and lesbian women would quickly change partners to mixed-couples. Eventually, this led to everyone sort of dancing on their own.

By the late 60s, gay men had established the Fire Island Cherry Grove and also the more subdued and “closeted” Pines (off of Long Island, in New York) as a summer resort of sorts. It was illegal at that time for bars to ‘knowingly sell alcohol to homosexuals’ and besides many of the venues there were not licensed as ‘night clubs’ or to sell alcohol. To avoid attracting attention, afternoon tea dances were promoted. Holding them in the afternoon also allowed those who needed to catch the last ferry back to the mainland to attend.

The proscription against same-sex dancing was still in effect and gay men were not allowed to dance together by law, so organizers were forced to institute ‘no touching’ rules. The only way it could happen was in a group. The line dance was born. Dances like the “Hully Gully” and “The Madison” allowed men to dance together as long as there was at least one woman involved. It became the rage in the Pines. The dancing was monitored by someone up on a ladder with a flashlight and megaphone to observe, if the men got too close the light would be shined on them. The dance would be featured in the 1970 film “Boys in the Band.”

In 1967 Tea Dance went to 7 days a week during season. 

During this time raids by the Suffolk Police Department were a common occurrence on Fire Island. The men of the Pines were often rounded up like cattle and chained to poles in order for them to get their quota. Their identities were sometimes revealed in the local press.

By the 1970’s after the Stonewall riots disco music arrived and again the Tea Dance would evolve. It would now grow into a phenomenon that all of Fire Island would find their way to.

Post-Stonewall, the tea dance moved to Greenwich Village. A newly-energized gay community around Christopher Street embraced the social dancing craze.  While the Fire Island gays tended to be rich upper-class preppies, the downtown gays of Christopher Street and the Village were working-class and they tended to party at night. As in the straight community, tea dances gradually moved later until they became subsumed into the night club scene.

Through the 70’s, gay men championed the uniform of the working class — t-shirts and denim — as fashion aesthetic. In part because they were affordable, and in part because it projected an appealing hypermasculinity associated with the working class. Gays in the post-Stonewall era were consciously rebelling against the effete stereotypes associated with the manicured, sweater-wearing, tea-drinking gays of the Fire Island set. Real men wore t-shirts and drank beer. Gay men still had afternoon/early evening dances — usually on Sundays, in order to make the most of one’s weekend while still being able to get up for Monday morning’s work.

The downtown gays rejected the term “tea dance” as being too effete and opted for the supposedly butcher “t-dance”, and promoted “t-shirts and denim” as the costume of choice. By the mid 70’s, the “Christopher Street Clone” look (short cropped hair, mustache, plaid shirt over a tight white t-shirt, faded denim jeans that showed off your ass) had made the trans-continental trip from New York City to Los Angeles (gays in Hollywood) and, of course, to San Francisco (follow the Yellow Brick Road and it leads to Castro). It brought with it the tea dance phenomenon

Through the decades the popularity of the tea dance has waned. And while it still survives in Fire Island and a few gay bastions like Provincetown it is all but gone and those few remaining are shadows of their former selves.



October 27 - SpUUctacular Coffee Hour

Working for Social Justice can be scary AND fun! 

Wear your halloween outfit and enjoy some ghoulish treats before shapeshifting into the Sanctuary for the Congregational meeting. And thank you for supporting the homeless ministry of UU's Helping People!



Contact: Sabine von Aulock





Celebrating the Veterans in our Lives

On November 3 we will be celebrating veterans in our lives.

If you would like to share your story, the circumstances leading to your service, how your service experiences remain with you and what learning you would like to share with your community, please contact Sabine.

Also, to help us connect on a deeper level, please provide a picture, name, year served and branch of service.

Thank you!

Contact: Sabine von Aulock




Mingles Hosts Sought and Committee Meeting Set

This year's schedule of fun events for making friends and raising money is called The Mingles, and we're looking for hosts.  Would you be willing to host a dinner or party or some other fun event?  The Fun-Raisers publicize the events and sell the tickets.  Hosts provide everything for the event, with all the ticket price going to UUSP.  Last year we raised over $6000 and had a great time doing it!  So please contact Geneva Nelson to offer an event.


Here are some ideas:

  • Home-cooked dinner - vegetarian or Italian or Thai - whatever your specialty is!
  • Backyard barbecue
  • Poolside cocktails
  • Movie night with snacks
  • Cocktails and appetizers; wine and cheese; burgers and sodas
  • Game night
  • Christmas/Holiday/New year's Party
  • Kids' or teens' slumber party
  • Boat ride with lunch
  • Murder mystery dinner night
  • Whatever you have to share!

(Sneak preview - We already have two great events tentatively planned for November - a concert from Jon and James, and Comedy Tonight! with Jean and Denis Calandra!)

If you'd like to help schedule and promote these events, we definitely need your help!  We'll be meeting at the church this Tuesday, October 15, at 12:30p, for an hour (we hope!) to get organized (we hope!).  Geneva Nelson is the main contact for hosts.  Susan Burnore will organize the meeting, so let yet her know (susanburnore@gmail.com or 770-480-0200) if you can help.

Let's mingle and raise some jingle!


Contacts: Geneva Nelson, Susan Burnore



Jon and James in Concert

Saturday, November 23, 2019 - 6:00pm

Jon Arterton and James Mack in concert, accompanied by Aaron Cassette.  Reception to follow.  



Adding Your Photo and Short Bio to the Church Directory

It sure helps with remembering names and finding people in our church directory when your photo is next to your name!

If you haven't added your photo and bio to the directory, please do!

If you need a hand with how to do this, please see Cynthia Alicea or Pat Fling after service on either November 3 or November 17 and we will walk you through the process.

Thank you!


Contacts: Pat Fling, Cynthia Alicea



UUSP's Facebook Page

If you're a Facebook user, be sure you're seeing UUSP's Facebook Page.  Just search for UU St. Pete and "like" it. 

AND if you'd like to post something on that page, forward it to James Mack at james@jonandjames.com, he and Courtney Allen are our current administrators for the page.  It's always great to see news from UUSP events, so please share your comments and photos.

Contact: Courtney Allen