UU St. Pete InfoNet: September 27, 2019

This Sunday's Worship Services

Sunday, September 29, 2019: "Celebrate Rev. Jack, Our Roots, and UUSP!"
Time: 10:30am
Speaker: Steve Benton
Worship Associate: Susan Burnore

It's time to celebrate!  It's Rev. Jack's 5th anniversary at UUSP, and we celebrate his ministry and all the good things we've accomplished and enjoyed over those years.  AND we recognize and celebrate the Our Roots members - those current members who have been here for five years or longer.  They're the reason we've been successful and lasted all these years.

Don't miss the special Pot Luck Lunch after the service!



RE Corner

Religious Education: September 29th, 2019


Nursery care is provided in Conway Hall from 10:00am - 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 10:40am) the children are then guided upstairs to RE. All are welcomed to come visit and see how we are creating and expanding. Each week we will have stories, activities and art to strengthen their UU identity and values. Children and youth are returned to their parents in coffee hour at 11:45.


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


Any questions? Contact uurefc@gmail.com




Announcements From Pastor Jack

Hello Everyone, 

As I think about this Sunday’s celebration of our last five years, it seems to me we’ve gone through four overlapping or emerging progressions.  If I may summarize under the heading of our UUSP Board presidencies, the progressions would be as follow:


President Lori Price's years on the Board:  

1) Encouraged the "new minister" to emphasize to the congregation the value of on-going community and friendship as our fundamental value - a value we did not want our behaviors to undermine; 

2) Held congregation workshops (facilitated by Regional staff) to review what went wrong relationally in the past and what covenantal relationship could do to rebuild strength and coherence and thriving; 

3) Emphasized patient discussion and questioning and listening on all church matters.


President Paul Burnore's years on the Board: 

1) Carried on the same values as above, especially the extended open discussions about the aims and processes of our congregation;

2) Recognized a new confidence among members, both longer term and newer - and began looking at the future as ours in which to expect and find new possibilities;

3) Accepted the need to work on items of deferred maintenance and opportunity - both in the physical structure and in the church programming - and got to work on it.


President Morgan Gresham's years on the Board:

1) Recognized that growth without renewed and new systems would not be sustained;

2) Began intentional planning with support and attention from Board, committees and congregation;

3) Continued the leadership pattern of extreme graciousness.


President Steve Benton's years on the Board:

1) Recognized the new and growing need for Board and committee efficiency;

2) Progressed considerably in establishing more clearly identified and defined nodes of decision-making authority

3) Taking time to celebrate the old and the new this Sunday!  


As the UUA covenant of congregations suggests, human development can be seen as the expansion of great values outward from the individual into the interdependent web of existence.  Our story as I see it is that we are expansive.  


With appreciation,




AFTER SERVICE - SIGN-UP FOR A UUSP COVENANT GROUP.  You may either (1) sign up for a Covenant Group that currently has openings and meets at a good time for you or (2) sign up and indicate the times that would work for you (and we will do our best to develop new covenant groups at workable times).    Joining a covenant group later in the year is also fine – though less certain since the bulk of scheduling of meeting times is done in October.


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.  Any questions?  Patti Hanks (pthanks1@gmail.com) or Pastor Jack (jfdonovan@bellsouth.net) will be glad to try to help.


INTERESTED IN UUSP AND BECOMING A UUSP MEMBER?   Could you be good for us?  Could we be good for you?  Come to our two Inquirers Meetings and learn more - Sundays October 6 and October 11, 11:45am in UUSP’s Conway Hall.  Come learn why our beloved religious community could be your beloved religious home.  Pastor Jack


PERHAPS THIS WILL BE HISTORIC AND YOU COULD BE PART OF IT – 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.


FUND-RAISING DINNER AT THE ST. PETE QUAKER/FRIENDS MEETING HOUSE, 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 information about the dinner (usually $10 or less contribution asked) coming soon.  More info on the annual protest and the School of the Americas at http://www.soaw.org.  Pastor Jack 


SAVE THE DATE CHANGE:  UUSP SATURDAY MORNING MEDITATION RETREAT, December 7, 9am - noon, UUSP’s Gilmour Hall.  Come recover attention, clarity, and peace – really.  Pastor Jack


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


EVERY WEDNESDAY MORNING MEDITATION every Wednesday, September 18, 8:00-8:30am.  Drop in, find your zone, go live your best day.


EVERY WEDNESDAY RELIGIOUS STUDIES DISCUSSION this Wednesday, October 2, 10am and 7pm,  we continue our first book discussion of the church year with 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 6-8.  Is happiness a spiritual issue?  It is for us!  And this comprehensive study is a very inspiring hopeful book for these worrisome times.  As always, quotes from the book to focus our discussion will be provided.  Let Pastor Jack know if you’re not on the email list for the quotations.  All welcome anytime.


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



Celebrating Our Roots Members

To Our Roots,

Thank you for your stewardship of our UU community. We admire and respect your commitment, love, and willingness to soldier on so that others can walk in your footsteps and enjoy the fruits of your dedication and protection of our beloved community. With much love from your UU family.







Save That Water!

We will not be having the Water Communion Ceremony on Sunday, September 29.  Rev. Jack will conduct that later this fall when more of our members are back in town for a true "In-Gathering."  



Mingles Hosts Needed!

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
  • Wine and cheese
  • Boat ride and lunch
  • Tea party - ice cream sundae party 
  • Christmas/holiday/New Year's party
  • Sunday luncheon
  • Game night (play games or watch a game!) 




Meet the Architect: Master Plan Information and Discussion

Sunday, 6 October 2019:  9-10am in the Gilmour library OR  noon-1pm in the sanctuary

From Martin Gold, Architect:  Our Master Plan team is currently evaluating project plans and improvement initiatives that have been proposed and are in process. We are also evaluating the current state of the facilities through architectural drawings, site visits, photo documentation, and discussion with the UUSP facilities planning team.  
We look forward to hearing directly from interested members of the congregation regarding ongoing projects; ideas that have been considered or discussed; and to hear of specific needs and preferences that should be included in future improvements.  The information gathered from the meeting will assist UUSP leadership and our Master Plan team with prioritizing enhancements toward establishing a timeline and funding strategy to plan coordinated improvements over the coming years.

1.  Who’s who: introductions
2.  Brief overview of the facilities master plan process
3.  Thoughts from the congregation
please consider in advance:
               What are the most important functions and associated spaces?
               What do you think would attract more people to the congregation?
               What are the 2-3 most needed facilities improvements from your perspective? 
4.  Strategies emerging from early discussion for improvement
5.  Questions & Closing


If you are unable to attend, please send comments to swinters@tampabay.rr.com and she’ll forward them to Martin.  This is the third in an on-going series of facilities master planning town halls – we encourage your participation!


- Sharon Winters, Design & Planning Subcommittee of Buildings & Grounds

Contact: Sharon Winters



Sunday Flowers

Flowers for Sunday morning services are voluntary gifts and can to be scheduled ahead of time.  To be sure there will be flowers every Sunday, we ask you to stop by our Sunday Flowers Table during coffee hour (usually at the piano in Gilmour). You can select a Sunday to bring in flowers. Your flowers may commemorate a birthday, anniversary, special event, or maybe in memory of.

Reach out to Jim Fitzgerald if you have questions or to sign up.

We love seeing the flowers each week. 


Thank you!

Contact: Jim Fitzgerald (jamfitz2nd@gmail.com)



UUHP SpUUctacular Coffee Hour

Sunday, October 27, 2019 - 11:30am

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