News Feed: Latest News And Events From UU St. Pete

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Friday Night Picnic Donations

Thank you ALL for your continued generosity to the Friday Night Picnic. 

As the UUSP Church Office is complying with the Governor's order, we will not be able to accept contributions at the church, other than during the Friday Night Picnic.

If you would like to contribute food, or volunteer, please let Sabine know you'd like to be added to the weekly sign-up message.

Thank you!

Posted on April 2, 2020, at 1:38pm

Security at UUSP

Due to the recent loss of two wide-screen TVs, church doors have been rekeyed. There will be only two doors by which people can enter, the office door and the ramp door. All other doors are EXIT ONLY and have strong door closers to ensure these doors close all the way and lock. Please do not prop the EXIT ONLY doors open. Security cameras will be added soon.

Please reach out to Paul Burnore if you have questions.

Thank you and Stay Safe!

Contact: Paul Burnore
Posted on April 2, 2020, at 10:17am

Local, Organic Produce Delivery

Long-time UUSP members (and entrepreneurial environmentalists) Marcile Powers and Keevy McAlavy operate a home delivery service of locally grown boxes of veggies and fruit from small local farmers*. 

Charge: $20 (tip requested for delivery drivers).

Place orders (noting any food allergies) at  

Helping keep nutrition in the community.


Posted on March 20, 2020, at 9:42pm

Love where we Belong

Love is the spirit of our congregation and our great covenant that brings us together. Love stirs our compassion and feeds our spirit. 


We embrace our loving and caring community at UU St. Pete that supports each and every one of us especially during this time of social distancing. It’s where we all belong.


Even if we cannot see or hear each other in person, even if we can no longer hug or shake hands, we are still a caring community. All of us. Together. We remain grateful and resilient and rise to the challenge before us by striving to live our UU principles.


Our UUSP community depends on each and every one of us. It is not by chance that Reverend Jack is willing to meet with anyone in need and is developing an online service to keep us connected in love and belonging. It is not by chance that our dedicated staff cares deeply for the spiritual development of our children, our safety and health, lifting our spirits with music, keeping us informed, and almost anything that is needed to support our members.


The interdependent web of life is alive and thriving at UU St. Pete. Life goes on, and although we are facing an unprecedented occurrence, there is no better time to take stock as we ask you to continue your commitment to integrating your life with our UU community through your participation, your involvement, and your financial commitment. COVID-19 is slowing us down, giving us an opportunity to think more deeply about our lives, our priorities, and our values – including the role that UUSP plays in our lives and in our community.


In lieu of a personal and hands-on approach to our FY 2021 Annual Giving Pledge Campaign, we are asking you to pledge to support UU St. Pete via social media and email. We’re keeping this short and simple, in the hope that you will act and respond. This year we are asking our members to complete an online form that will be electronically received by UUSP financial secretary, Rebecca Wilson. While not everyone can take advantage of this option, if you can pledge online, please do so. Please consider increasing your pledge as you are able.

Please click on the link in this newsletter or go to the UUSP website to access the form.

 For Online Pledging Form

If you have any questions or difficulties, please contact Carol Ulmer at or Michael Killoren at You will receive a confirmation within a few days after submitting your online pledge.


Look for the Love where we Belong online newsletter for more details.

Check out this video:



Posted on March 20, 2020, at 5:49pm

Thursday Citizens' Café - Cancelled

Thursday, April 9, 2020 - 12:00pm - 1:00pm
Location: Gilmour Hall

Due to COVID-19 we are cancelling Citizens' Cafe until this passes

Posted on March 19, 2020, at 9:09am

How to Watch the UUSP Worship Service

Starting this weekend, Pastor Jack will record a 20-30 minute video to be posted on YouTube. It will be available for your viewing by Saturday morning each week. Here's how to watch it:

1. Go to the UU St. Pete YouTube channel.

  • You can go there directly with this address:
  • OR you can use a web browser to get to . Then search for "uustpete" in the search box on YouTube.

2. You will see several videos to choose from. Click on the one you want to watch. That's it!

Optionally, you may click the red "Subscribe" button at the top right corner of the screen. Then you will be notified when a new video is added. 

~~You must have a Google account to subscribe; if you have a gmail email address, you already have Google account.~~

A link to the video will also be posted to other UUSP social media, such as Facebook and Twitter.

Posted on March 18, 2020, at 9:16pm

Virtual Giving—A UU Practice

How Can I Contribute to UU St. Pete and Make My Pledge Payment?

As our congregation goes virtual with services and other ways of being together, you may wonder how you can continue to pay your pledge and place your offering in the offering plate? Here are several ways:


  • Mail a check made payable to UU St. Pete to UU St. Petersburg at 100 Mirror Lake Drive North St. Petersburg, FL 33701 Att: Financial Secretary


  • Online banking—establish UU St. Pete as a payee to receive periodic payments of a fixed amount. You choose the period, weekly or monthly, and the amount, both of which can be changed at any time. Consider including your weekly collection plate payment along with your pledge payment.


  • Donate Now on—click on Giving and Donate Now and complete the form. Periodic payments can be set up for a processing fee that UUSP will incur unless you choose the option to pay the fee with your payment.


  • Download the “Give +” App on your phone or tablet and select UU St. Pete as your congregation. Contributions can be made for your pledge or to other funds as you choose. See specific directions in this newsletter. Consider paying the processing fee that UUSP incurs.


  • Drop off a check at the church office. Office hours will continue to be Noon to 4:00 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday for the time being.
Posted on March 18, 2020, at 9:10pm

Letter from our UUSP Board

Members of UUSP:

  • Thank you for the generosity you have displayed throughout the current fiscal year. Beyond fulfilling pledges and making plate offerings, the congregation has contributed to three projects that have beautified our grounds and will improve the look and feel of the sanctuary entrances and lounge. Moreover, you have helped us reach fund-raising goals related to "Mingles" and the auction/concert.
  • Now, we ask you to continue to fulfill your pledge and to consider making plate offerings even though we are not physically congregating. Plate offerings may be made through GivePlus+. If you have questions about how to use the GivePlus+ app, please reach out to Paul Craig at or Harry Sauers at  (Of course, you always have the option of mailing a check to the church, or setting up payments through your bank.)
  • The Board is committed to continuing to pay all staff members as usual during these unusual times.  There are plenty of things for our folks to work on – planning and preparation, self-education special projects, communication – all to the benefit of our congregation and staff.
  • The Board has transferred additional money into the Minister’s Discretionary Fund to assist vulnerable members during this pandemic. Please consider making a donation to the Minister's Discretionary Fund through GivePlus+.
  • Please keep your eyes open for communications about the 2020-2021 Annual Giving Campaign. With no face-to-face meetings for now, the campaign will be digital. 
  • The Board is forming a nominating committee to fill openings on the Board of Trustees plus other vacancies at the end of this church year. Please consider volunteering for this important service. You will receive information soon about how to contact the chair of the nominating committee.
  • The Board approved several recommendations made by the Security Team, which concern door locks, points of entry, and automatic complete closing mechanisms.
  • The Board voted unanimously to designate Marilyn Barber as a Lifelong Honorary Member of UUSP, as suggested by the Membership Committee and presented by Sally Carville.  More on this later.
  • This month’s Board meeting will be held using Google Hangouts.  Let Steve Benton know if you’d like to be “virtually” invited.
  • The annual congregational meeting is tentatively scheduled for May 17th. At least one Town Hall will be held to share information and facilitate discussion about the proposed 2020-2021 budget. 

Thank you!

Contact: Steve Benton
Posted on March 14, 2020, at 9:46am

Other Ongoing Items around UUSP

TUESDAY MEDITATION AND/OR BROWN BAG LUNCH:  are cancelled and hope to resume after April 5. 


UUSP COVENANT GROUPS – trusted circles for sharing about life.  Contact: Patti Hanks (


UUs HELPING UUs:   Need help or know a UUSPer who might?  Please notify Patti Hanks or Sue Price,  UUSP Care Committee: or


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

UUSP SERMONS (printed or audio) are available on UUSP's website:   Go to, 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

Posted on March 13, 2020, at 8:50pm

Pastor's Weekly Wonder

An inspired mid-Women’s History Month to you. May psychologist Carol Gilligan’s aspiration guide us: that we will care for ourselves, others, and our world.


As millions have observed, “太平,” - we are living in interesting times – strange enough even before COVID-19. 


You may prefer the term coronavirus over COVID-19, perhaps because it reminds you subliminally of a cold golden beer as summer begins, though this corona is not cooling – or perhaps because the term reminds you transliminally of the halo crowning Jesus’s head, though this virus is no Lenten healer. 


The scientific reality, I think, is that this virus is a manifestation of the spirit of life – and so are we. The value of a spirit or energy or power is assessed from how it works in and on the world. Sometimes viruses destroy their world. Sometimes they bless it. As far as we know, coronaviruses don’t have a choice as to how they work or the work they do - but we do.


We have evolved - perhaps from viruses? - to have potentials to choose foresight, responsibility, investigation and caring about our world, our situation, and our options – though, admittedly, fulfilling those potentials is pretty far up the mountain of human spiritual development. But our hope begins in realizing we do have potentials and we do have choices.


Acting on the principle that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, our church Board - elected to represent our best communal understanding and caring - has made some wise temporary choices for UUSP. You may already have read them in the letter from UUSP’s president, Steve Benton. To paraphrase some:


  • UUSP is cancelling Sunday services and all church group activities at the church from now (Friday the 13th of March) through Palm Sunday, April 5. (This also removes your last excuse for doing your taxes.)


  • The Board will closely monitor the development of the pandemic to decide on re-starting UUSP activities and practices as we move into the future.


  • Our UUSP staff will be expected to continue their duties in a safe, cautious, preventative manner to the fullest degree possible and will continue to be paid as under normal conditions and activities.


  • As much normalcy as possible will be maintained in conducting UUSP business, but we will rely as much as possible on phone and electronic communication.


For my service as UUSP pastor, I was given authorization by the Board to have in-person meetings in our more open spaces (eg, front porch, central patio, back picnic area) for those who might start to have a hard time with the isolation of social distancing. To that end, I will be doing the following:


  • I will hold "regular office hours" (initially, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday) 12noon to 1:00pm on the front porch or, if several people come to consult, we will relocate to the central patio area or the back picnic area. Directional will be posted on doors and gates.


  • Upon request, I will be glad to meet people at open air locations (eg, backyards, porches, local parks).


  • I am happy to collect your emailed sharings of joy or concern, to be included (editorial rights reserved) in our InfoNet newsletter. My email address is


I have not yet had time to develop a plan for abbreviated online Sunday services for this interval. But it’s a goal. Such a service might include readings, a report on joys and concerns, brief homily, and announcements to keep us connected and informed.   


Any questions, ideas or suggestions you could offer would be appreciated.  


Posted on March 13, 2020, at 8:42pm

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