UU St. Pete InfoNet: September 6, 2019

This Sunday's Worship Services

Sunday, September 8, 2019: "TO KNOW, BE KNOWN, AND KNOW BETTER: What's Good to Know About Each Other?"
Time: 10:30am
Speaker: Rev. Jack Donovan
Worship Associate: Sabine von Aulock

As autumn approaches and a new church season begins, the familiar and unfamiliar faces we will see at church will also have entered new seasons of life.  They will bring new stories, realities, worries, hopes, chances.  In this Florida autumn, swirling with hurricanes and heaven, what are the questions we have for one another?  What would we like to know of others, and have known of ourselves, and perhaps know better about living?



RE Corner

Religious Education:  September 8, 2019

Nursery care is provided in Conway Hall from 10:00 am - noon 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 reserved for families with children. After “Time For All Ages” (roughly 10:40 am) the children are then guided upstairs to RE. All are welcomed to come visit and see what we are creating. Each week we will have stories, activities and art to strengthen their UU identity and values. Children and youth will be returned to their parents in coffee hour at 11:45.


Coming Soon September 22, 2019: Conversations Across the Ages: Join in this UUSP conversation on growing and nurturing our intergenerational community; Gilmour Hall, 11:30am, refreshments and a flower pot decorating activity.. Volunteers welcome! Contact: Sabine at beandex@aol.com, 973-768-325


Any questions? Do you want to be added to our RE newsletter? Contact uurefc@gmail.com. 



Come Sing with Us!

Yes, the UUSP choir will start up again on Sunday, September 22. There is no mid-week rehearsal – just show up on Sunday mornings at 9:15am and join the fun!



Announcements From Pastor Jack

Hello, Everyone. 

Our UUSP Membership Committee met this week.  Its intent as usual was to put into practice how best to help people find meaning in our congregational community.  One important practice emphasized was that we are all hosts, one unto all others.  UUSP literally belongs to all of us.  It’s a religious home.  We are the hosts, especially to new folks coming in our doors for the first few times.  The thought of it reminds me of my family’s vacation car trip through Canada in 1954.  We drove through so many poor-looking villages and small towns as we traversed the country.  But each one had a beautiful church. 

I was offended.  Had the people been pressured into living poor while the church was rich?  Probably not, said my semi-socialist parents.  Probably the people built a large beautiful space because they wanted a place to gather as a whole community.  What they could afford to build individually was probably too small to meet their purpose, said my parents.  But together they built a beautiful home big enough for all. 

Still true.  To include all whom we want to include, we have to build together.  I think it’s even true of our hearts.  Just one heart can’t get around to touching every other heart each Sunday morning.  But together we can – we are the hosts.  Circulate.  Greet.  Welcome.  Know.  Introduce.  Appreciate.  Enjoy.

With appreciation,



NEXT LGBTQ+ INTERESTS PLANNING MEETING, next Sunday, September 15 before church, at 9:00 a.m. in the UUSP Library.  Questions?  Pastor Jack.


SIGN-UP FOR A UUSP COVENANT GROUP:  After the September 15, Sunday Service (and two Sundays thereafter) 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 scheduling of the groups meeting times will be finalized in October.

What’s a Covenant Group?  UUSP currently has seven covenant groups, usually consisting of 8-12 people.  Six of these groups meet monthly, one being reserved for parents of our Religious Education children.  The seventh group is for snowbirds and meets weekly January through April. 

The groups meet for about 90 minutes (often plus some social time) at an established place and time (usually at the church or at the facilitator’s home).  The 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 format typically has two parts: first, about 45 minutes for personal check-ins; then about 45 minutes to discuss a more general life question (perhaps “What was your greatest vacation and why,” or “What has friendship meant in your life” or perhaps a discussion of one of the month’s sermon topics).

The groups are called “Covenant Groups” because they function under a covenantal commitment to deep listening, respect, and confidentiality.  They cannot take the place of professional therapy or counseling, but significant insight can come from participation.

 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?  Come to our two Inquirers Meetings and learn more - Sundays October 6 & October 11, 11:45am in UUSP’s Conway Hall.  Come learn why our religious community could be your beloved religious home.  Pastor Jack


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


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


WEDNESDAY RELIGIOUS STUDIES DISCUSSION begins a new year this Wednesday, September 11, 10am & 7pm.  Our first day’s gatherings will be devoted to discussing what literature, studies, and discussion we feel would most benefit our understanding of life and how best to live it.   We’ll also discuss the possibility of a number of religious study groups and focuses every week.

AND, the following Wednesday (September 8), we will begin 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.   You just have time to order the book and start reading!  A very inspiring hopeful book in these worrisome times.  As always, quotes from the book to focus our discussion will be provided.


WEDNESDAY MORNING MEDITATION begins again this Wednesday, September 11, 8:00-8:30 a.m.  Drop in, find your  zone, go live your best day.


THURSDAY NOON CITIZENS CAFÉ!!!  in UUSP’s Gilmour Hall library.  Join us!
A conversational chance to clarify and deepen our understanding of the issues of society that influence our lives and that we might influence.  Bring your lunch if you’d like, and any proposed communications to the TB Times editor or elected officials.  Coffee and tea provided.  Pastor Jack


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.


UUs HELPING UUs:   Need help or know a UUSPer who might?  Please notify Sue Price,  UUSP Care Committee chair: pricesue63@gmail.com; 727-290-9910.


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



Tiny Homes for Homeless Veterans

Tiny Homes for Homeless Veterans has won a $10,000 Duke Energy Victories for Veterans grant, which will be presented before the Rays game this Sunday, September 8.


UUSP, as a member of Celebrate Outreach, supports this project, which is one tiny solution to St. Petersburg's big challenge fighting homelessness. Come celebrate AND support the Rays. 

Contact: Sabine von Aulock



Come & Celebrate!!

We have a lot to celebrate!  

  • September 28 marks Rev. Jack's 5th anniversary as UUSP's minister!
  • We have 40 current members who have been here longer than Jack has!
  • Summer's over, and many of our members are returning to St. Petersburg, with no new hurricanes in sight!

So let's gather on Sunday, September 29, for a special Celebratory Worship Service honoring Rev. Jack and the "Our Roots" members, followed by a Pot Luck Lunch.

Everyone is invited to bring a dish to share if you can.  You'll see a sign up sheet on the piano during Coffee Hour.  Kevin and the Kitchen Krew are getting it all organized for us, and we hope everyone will be here.  


We'll also celebrate being together with our annual Water Communion during the Worship Service.  Please bring some water collected from somewhere important to you this summer - we mingle all the waters to symbolize our community.


So much to be grateful for.  Please be here on the 29th to show our appreciation and enjoy one another's company.



Time for Action: What can you do?

Are you concerned about the continued poor treatment of migrant families? The action of thousands of advocates resulted in the closure of the child detention center in Homestead, FL. But — where did the children go?  What can you do? 

Stop by the Social Justice table and write postcards to Rep. Crist as well as both US Senators Rubio and Scott after service this Sunday. Take a few minutes to let these elected officials know that you want them to take action to find these migrant children and ensure they are treated humanely.

We have made it easy for you. We furnish the postcards with mailing labels, some possible scripts, pens and then we will mail them for you.

These efforts are being coordinated with the recently founded Pinellas Coalition for Immigration Justice, of which UU St Pete is a member! 

Thank you!

UU St Pete Migrant/Immigrant Families Social Justice Committee


Contact: Karen Coale



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)



In Search Of:

Looking for 2 functioning, quiet AC window units. If you have a unit you are no longer using, UUSP library and Brides Room are in need. Please reach out to Paul Burnore (plburnore@gmail.com) if you have a unit that fits the bill. Thank you!





FAST Begins a New Year

Beginning in early October, UUSP FAST (Faith Action Strength Together) Team Leaders will conduct three house meetings. Please join other UUSP members and friends at one of the meetings to articulate your concerns about social justice, especially here in Saint Petersburg and Pinellas County. Past concerns have included the lack of affordable housing, more effective mental health referrals, and better implementation of restorative practices in our schools and less out-of-school suspensions. The schedule for the house meetings are:

October 2, 6:30pm to 8:00pm , Pat Fling, 1201 86thAve N, St. Pete  (775) 772.1979

October 6, 7:00pm to 8:30pm, Dave Coale, 111 26thAve. NE, St. Pete (727) 204-4699

October 15, 6:30pm to 8:00pm, Jack Donovan/Bud Murphy, at UUSP, Conway Middle Room, jfdonovan@bellsouth.net; text 352-327-6166 

If you have questions, contact Pat, Dave, or Mary Neal Jones, (727) 502-3495.  – UUSP FAST Team

Contacts: Dave Coale, Pat Fling, Mary Neal Jones