UU St. Pete InfoNet: April 26, 2019

This Sunday's Worship Services

Sunday, April 28, 2019: "Sharing Our Journeys"
Time: 10:30am

Speakers: UU St. Pete Youth Group

Worship Associates: Courtney Allen & Jeanay Johnson

Over the last several months our UU Youth Group has explored the big questions in life; Where do I fit in? Is there a higher power? How do I see my own mortality? Where do UU principles fit in?  What does justice look like?  Join us as they explore all of this and more through spoken word, song and art.



SUNDAY is Share the Plate Sunday

This means that one half of the non-pledge portion of the Offering will be used to support one of our congregation’s Social Justice projects.

This Sunday we will be supporting Santa and her family, refugees from the Congo. Santa and one daughter arrived in St. Pete 3 years ago but her other three children were relocated to France. Two arrived in late February and the third this past week. For the first time in 6 years this family will be living together. However she must pay for their airfare and the services provided to unite them. Your offering will help defer those costs.

Thanks you for your generosity.

Contact: Karen Coale




Announcements From Pastor Jack

WEDNESDAY May 1 RELIGIOUS STUDIES DISCUSSIONS ON “MINDFULNESS MEDITATION PRACTICE” – session five of five - 10am or 7pm, your choice.   Topic:  Deepening Your Practice.  All welcome.  Quotes for discussion mailed out to usual email list.   Contact Pastor Jack if you’d like to be on the list.


DON’T FORGET THE THURSDAY NOON CITIZENS CAFÉ!!!  in UUSP’s Gilmour Hall library - a chance to clarify, deepen, and advocate about issues of life.  Coffee and tea served.  Bring your lunch if you’d like.  Pastor Jack


NEXT UP-COMING WEDNESDAY RELIGIOUS STUDIES (10:00am and 7:00pm): “21 Lessons for the 21st Century – the Summary”.  Five sessions (likely start date May 15) on historian Yuval Noah Harari’s overview of humankind’s greatest contemporary challenges.  Our text will be The Summary, published in 80 pages, available on Amazon (as is the full 318 page edition).


UUs HELPING UUs:   Need help or know a UUSPer who might?  Please notify Sue Price,  UUSP Care Committee chair: sueprice63@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



Annual Meeting Voting Procedures

Reminder: Annual Meeting and Voting Procedures


After service, all attendees for the Annual Meeting will need to check in with Dani and Deb at the table by the sliding sanctuary doors. They will be checking off names of voting members in order to ensure that we have a quorum. They will also be giving members colored index cards for voting.  To be eligible to vote, one must have been a member of UUSP by February 28, 2019, in order to count toward the quorum and to vote.

The UU St. Pete Annual Congregational Meeting is this Sunday, April 28 immediately after service in the Sanctuary. All those who are eighteen (18) years of age or older, who have been members of the Church for at least sixty (60) days, and who have made a pledge of support for the current fiscal year are eligible to vote. The relevant UU St. Pete bylaws appear below.


Section 2. Vote. 

The right to vote at any meeting of the Church shall be reserved to those persons who are members of the church and who have been members for a period of sixty (60) days. The right to vote on any matter, question or proposal involving the creation or continuance of a financial obligation on behalf of the Church shall be further reserved to those voting members who are eighteen (18) years of age or older and have made a pledge of support for the current fiscal year. In order to maintain their right to vote, members must keep the Financial Secretary of the Church informed of their addresses, both permanent and during any periods of extended absence from their permanent addresses.



Section 1. Annual.

By action of the members, it is designated that, the Annual Meeting of the Church shall be held in the month of April, unless changed by action of the members, for the purpose of electing Officers, Trustees and Trustees for Endowments to hold office commencing with the first day of the Fiscal Year, for the terms as provided elsewhere in these Bylaws, to adopt a budget for the next fiscal year, and to conduct such other business as may come before the meeting.  


Section 3. Quorum.

At all meetings of the church, except as may be provided elsewhere in these Bylaws or in the Certificate of Incorporation, it shall be necessary that at least twenty percent (20%) of the voting members of the Church shall be present to constitute a quorum. 


Section 4. Voting method.

At all meetings of the Church the method of voting shall be by voice, except in the case of elections when there is more than one bona fide candidate for any one office, then the voting shall be by secret ballot. The presiding officer shall, at the request of a voting member, call for a show of hands or a division of the house. 


Section 5. Votes required.

Except as provided elsewhere in these Bylaws or the Certificate of Incorporation, a majority of the votes cast at any meeting of the Church at which a quorum is present shall be sufficient to take or authorize action upon any matter, question or proposal which may properly come before the meeting. 


Section 6. Notice.

Formal notice of the Annual Meeting and for special meetings, except for special meeting as provided for in Article III, Section 12., below, shall be given through the Church publications, Church bulk or first class mail when requested, and/or electronically to all members no less than ten days before such meeting. Notice of any special meeting shall state the specific purpose of said meeting. Notice of all meetings of the Church shall also be given from the pulpit when Church is in session. 


Section 7. Parliamentary Procedure.

Robert’s Rules of Order shall prevail on matters of parliamentary procedure to the extent that they are not inconsistent with these Bylaws, the Certificate of Incorporation, or applicable law. 





UUSP Annual Meeting Packet

Your Packet for our Annual Meeting is available for UUSP members. The annual meeting will take place on Sunday, 28 April 2019, immediately after service.


The Packet for the meeting is being sent via email today, ten days before the meeting as prescribed in our bylaws. The packet contains the UUSP NOTICE OF ANNUAL MEETING and everything you need to know before attending the Annual Meeting. This includes annual reports from all committees, the minister, the president, and church officers. For voting purposes, it also includes the Nominating Committee’s slate of Trustees and Officers that will be elected, three proposed amendments to our bylaws, and our 2019-20 budget.


Please take some time to review these reports and the information that will be voted on. Our bylaws require a quorum of 20% of our membership as of 60 days before the annual meeting. All votes will be decided by simple majority. 


Please plan on attending this meeting and exercising our fifth UU principle: The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large.


And please come prepared by reading through this packet. It’s a great example of the energy and growth of our congregation.


Click on the link below for the Annual Meeting Packet:

UUSP Annual Meeting Packet for April 28, 2019

Thank you!

Contact: Morgan Gresham



Building and Grounds Committee Reports & Annual Report


Committee members and participants: Reggie Craig (Co-Chair), Tom Archibald (Co-Chair), Tom Bray, Laurie Clement, Jim Fitzgerald, Jim Fitzgerald, Ed Klumpp, Sabine von Aulock, Sharon Winters, Randy Nolan, Cal Fox, Paul Burnore, Janet Mills, Ted Elliquist, Robert Alicia, Billy Crider & Gay Breuler.

We activated two new committees this year under the B&G charter:
                Led by Jim Fitzgerald, the Painting sub-committee is in charge of harmonizing artistic improvements with the historical nature of our facilities.              
                Led by Sharon Winters and Randy Nolan, the Design & Planning sub-committee of the Buildings & Ground (B&G) Committee will receive all potential building & grounds related projects for evaluation (except for minor repair and routine maintenance tasks).  This will include major rehab and new construction projects, significant maintenance issues, building system replacement cycles and projects that will improve functionality of the facilities and that are estimated to cost $1000 or more.  The BOT approved evaluation criteria & a process for prioritizing proposals at their March 2019 meeting.  Evaluation criteria include:

  • Enhancement or change that will allow the church to better fulfill its mission, recruit and retain members and better serve the community.
  • Action needed to address an urgent need and/or safety issue.
  • Increases building usability, accessibility and/or functionality.
  • Strong return on investment with potential to reduce long term costs and/or increase revenue.
  • Long lasting and thorough solution, addressing underlying structural or systems issues as appropriate.

                The criteria and process will be publicized to the congregation later this spring.
                Based on a needs assessment of the congregation and a condition assessment of the facilities, both conducted during the winter of 2018-19, Sharon and Randy identified a list of projects that addressed one or more of the evaluation criteria listed above.  Using the process identified above, they identified a dozen high priority projects.  The project list & justifications were then approved by B&G which forwarded those projects for 2019-21 funding to the Board for consideration and action at their April 11 Board meeting:  three critical capital projects (kitchen remodel, stairwell/lift addition and Little House rehab), one capital project to fund a consulting architect to work with the congregation on a long range master facilities plan, two critical long term building systems projects (sanctuary & Conway AC), and six high visibility/low cost projects which can potentially be funded by individual donors.  They met with the Giving Team on April 8 to discuss donor-funded projects and a mechanism for initiating and sustaining this work.

                The subcommittee met for the first time on April 17; members include Jim Fitzgerald II, Jim Fitzgerald III, Greg Davidson, Jim Sudzinski, Janet Mills, Randy Nolan (co-chair) and  Sharon Winters (co-chair).


Buildings & Grounds:  What was done

A priorities list was received from the congregation and during the year we tried to address all issues listed as “high” based on need and safety considerations.  In addition we worked closely with the facilities planning committee to help develop a new priority list.

The office bathroom in Conway was remodeled into a “ADA compliant” uni-sex bathroom.

Fire rated doors with windows were installed on all rooms on second floor of Conway.

An Architect was hired and plans drawn up for a lift and new stairway to be installed in playground area for the second floor of Conway.  Currently bids are being reviewed for this project. 

The courtyard between Gilmour and Conway was cleaned and refurbished.  Drainage problems were repaired with French drain.  New lighting and furniture were installed.

All fluorescent fixtures on the first floor of Conway were replaced with LED energy efficient lights. 

The ceiling in the office was painted. The second stairwell to Conway was painted. The stairs in the first stairwell were painted. The walls in the library was repaired and painted.  Books and bookshelves were removed. Painting were relocated to the choir loft.

The Arlington gate was repaired and a key pad lock installed allowing exit from the courtyard without a key.

Broken windows on the first floor of Conway were repaired. Entry doors to Gilmour were repaired.

A Fire drill was held.  Fire department inspections of the sancturary were held.  The alarm system and the fire suppression system in the kitchen were inspected and/or repaired.

Mops and Flops worked on a number of cleaning and repair projects.

The “old ministers room” was cleaned and hardware move upstairs in Gilmour. Windows were covered so tables inside could not be seen from the street.

The Gimour fireplace was sealed with a permanent cap and safety markings installed.

Wifi service was repaired.  Computers were repaired and replaced. 

The lettering on the sign on the wall across from the office was repaired (2x).  Two new signs were installed in the front of the church. Three new banners were created and installed. No Loitering signs were installed.

Two new bike racks were purchased and installed.

New electrical service was installed to the sound booth.  New lights were installed in front of the church and in courtyard.  Lights were repaired over ramp (2x).

The belltower was secured to prevent children from climbing the ladder.

A new path to the little house was obtained.

Motion sensing lights were installed in the bathrooms.

Tree trimming was done on the oaks overhanging the sanctuary.

The kitchen repairs included the butcher block table, repair to the dishwasher (2x) and oven.

Termites were found and treated. Rats were found and treated.  Mosquitoes were found and treated. Ants were found and treated.

Pews were relocated several times.

Problems not yet solved:

Working with facilities planning committee we hope to hire an architect to help solve the congestion problem between Gilmour and Conway halls.  Included in part of this project is development of a plan to remodel the kitchen.  We have been working with contractors used by UU Clearwater on their kitchen construction.

Replacement of the grease trap in the floor of the kitchen is a high priority. Bids have been received for this work, but it is currently on hold while we look at the flow issue described above.  This work has been funded by the Board at $15,000.

The air conditioning system in the sanctuary continues to leak and malfunction.  We have contacted another AC company and hope to effect repairs although this is a major problem. 

Additionally the two AC units for upstairs in Conway will need replacement soon.  B&G has been working closely with the finance committee to establish a reserve fund for these type of repairs.

Preliminary ideas for to open Gilmour doors to Mirror lake and create a patio have been created.  We hope to move forward on this project once the kitchen and stairwell projects are complete.

Many continuing problems such as a crack in one of the rafters and refocusing the lights in the sanctuary remain to be solved.


Please review the online Annual report:  http://www.uustpete.org/sites/default/files/document/files/2019-04-18-annual-meeting-packet-april-28-2019.pdf 

Contacts: Tom Archibald, Sharon Winters





Annual Giving Pledge Budget Vote

All members pledge annually during the Annual Giving Campaign for the upcoming fiscal year beginning July 1, 2019. Based on those pledges, the Finance Team develops and recommends a budget on how to allocate revenues, 80% of which are promised contributions from members and friends, to cover a variety of annual expenses.


As has been pointed out, UUSP does not:

  • Pay our minister a fair salary—only about 60% of what is fair.
  • Pay its full-share dues to the UUA—over $10,000.
  • Have sufficient funds to cover routine and scheduled maintenance--$30,000 added annually to a reserve.


What will be different this year? Many members have increased their pledges and we thank you. But based on total pledges to date of just over $181,000, we are still operating in survival mode.


If you have not yet pledged, now is the time.

If you have pledged, consider increasing your pledge by 10 to 15%, or more if you are able.


The UUSP Annual Meeting is Sunday, April 28. One of the most important votes is approving the budget—approving how our funds will be spent.


It is up to you to Show UpPledge, Budget, Vote!



In faith and appreciation,


The Annual Giving Team

Courtney Allen
Patti Hanks
Michael Killoren
Linda Paul
Carol Ulmer

Contact: Carol Ulmer



Questions about Pledging

Increasing Your Pledge?

Send an email to Rebecca Wilson, Financial Secretary, at uustpete.fs@gmail.com advising her that you are increasing your pledge to a revised annual amount.



Making a Pledge?

Complete the financial commitment form: http://www.uustpete.org/sites/default/files/document/files/2019-06-30-uusp-financial-committment-form-2018-2019.pdf





Drawing for Tickets to Florida Orchestra Performance May 4

Drawing for Tickets to Florida Orchestra Performance May 4--Members and Friends Who Pledged

At the Annual Meeting on Sunday, April 28, following the service, a drawing will be held to win two tickets to the Florida Orchestra’s Performance of Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 on Saturday, May 4 at Mahaffey Theater at 8:00 p.m.


To be eligible for the drawing your pledge for the upcoming fiscal year must have been received. If you have not yet pledged, you must email your pledge no later than 12:00 noon Saturday, April 27 to Rebecca Wilson, Financial Secretary, at uustpete.fs@gmail.com. You must be present to win.


Annual Giving Team


Contact: Carol Ulmer




Mops and Flops Returns Sunday, May 5

Mops and Flops returns Sunday, May 5th at noon after service.

Come to Church dressed in grungies and help spruce up our UUSP space.

Grab a refreshment and meet in Conway Hall for an assignment.

It's a long list but together we can make a huge difference!

Contact: Sabine von Aulock (beandex@aol.com or 973-768-3256)

Contact: Sabine von Aulock




Celebrate Outreach Board Meeting

Saturday, May 11, 2019 - 10:00am

Interfaith group board meeting  focusing on solutions for the unhoused and marginalized people in our area

Contact: Reggie Craig




Time to Take ACTION — Together!

Your UUSP Social Action Committee continues to follow the ugly situation at our Southern Border. Of special concern is the treatment of children and families. 

A detention center housing migrant youth in Texas was closed following an audit of its facilities. So what happened to the youth? Where did they go? -- To a for-profit detention center in Homestead, Florida. Though the movement of these children began in early January it had been extremely difficult to get information about the facility until the last couple of weeks.  

Click here to access a very moving article by UU Minister, the Rev. Dottie  Mathews capturing of what she witnessed in Homestead. https://www.uusc.org/homes-instead-my-look-inside-the-homestead-immigrant-child-detention-center/

Then please sign-up for the Mothers’ Day vigil here in St Pete to call for the closing of this for-profit detention center and returning the kids to their families without giving the families names to ICE. Sign-up sheets will be available on Sunday after service. 

Sunday, May 12   5:00-6:00 PM
South Straub Park
198 Bayshore Dr. NE.
St. Petersburg, Florida 33701

Join mothers and others to demand the immediate closure of the for-profit child detention center in Homestead, Florida, where over 2,200 children are being detained. The rally will include a silent vigil, a march along the St. Petersburg waterfront with signs, and folkloric dancers.

This non-partisan, family-friendly event is one of the nationwide rallies in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere organized by the Alliance for Family Reunification, and Military Families For Families.  It is co-sponsored by Immigrant Justice Now and MomsRising.

UUSP Contact:  Karen Coale 727 204-9141 or kcoale@tampabay.rr.com


Contact: Karen Coale




Mothers Day Brunch

Sunday, May 12 after Service

Suggested Donation: $5 single, $15 for family

Tickets available now, just reach out to Geneva, Susan T. , Sabine, or Reggie

Benefits UUHP’s Direct Outreach Programs

Contacts: Geneva Nelson, Sabine von Aulock, Reggie Craig






The Face of Immigration Today

Sunday, May 19:  4:30 - 7:00pm

Temple Beth El
400 Pasadena Ave South
St. Petersburg, FL 33707

Part of the Leif Nissen Social Justice Lecture Series

Born in England, Author/journalist Sasha Abramsky studied at Balliol College, Oxford, and at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York City. Currently living in Sacramento, he teaches in the U.C. Davis writing program, while also a fellow at the NYC-based Demos think tank. Sasha's latest book, Jumping at Shadows, is a searing account of America's most dangerous epidemic: irrational fear. The book takes readers on a dramatic journey through a divided nation, where issues such as immigration, gun control and health care have become fodder for fearmongers and conspiracists. The book lays out today's political and cultural landscape and our misconceptions about risk and threats.


Check out the Flyer with more information:  Shasha Abramsky - Face of Immigration Today



Contact: Karen Coale