UU St. Pete InfoNet: December 24, 2016

Christmas Eve & Hanukkah Service

Saturday, December 24, 2016: "Christmas Eve & Hanukkah Service"
Time: 6:00pm
Speaker: Jack Donovan

A UU Christmas Eve and Hanukkah service with readings and carols for peace on earth, good will to all!  Come celebrate new light, new life, new love, new joy - in all peoples for all peoples Saturday, December 24, 6:00pm.  Joyful Wassail to follow!

Nursery Care will be available! 


Christmas Eve Wassail

Saturday, December 24, 2016 - 7:00pm

Following the service, we'll toast to each other's good health..."waes hael"...with mulled wine, or mulled cider as we share a tasty morsel. Bring what you like, or nothing at all. All are welcome! Sponsored by Jeri and Sabine.

Contact: Jeri Huempfner-Gatz


Christmas Morning Services

Sunday, December 25, 2016: "Christmas Cafe and Brunch"
Time: 10:30am
Speaker: Susan Burnore
Worship Leader: 

The Worship Committee and UU's Helping People invite you to a special Christmas Cafe Service and brunch on Christmas morning. Arrive by 10:30a.m. as usual but come directly into Gilmour Hall. Get a nice cup of coffee or something else warming, then find a place at one of the tables before the service begins at 10:45. The Worship Committee is planning a casual, music-and-story-filled service on the idea of "What is the Christmas Spirit?"

Nursery Care will be available! 

After the service stick around for brunch (egg strata, fruit salad, sweet rolls) offered by UUHP. $4/individual, $10/family, or be our guest. Proceeds will go to Celebrate Outreach's Tiny Homes for Homeless Vets project.

4:00pm - 7:00pm - Everyone is invited to the home of Paul and Susan Burnore for a traditional Christmas buffet.  We'll have holiday movies on the TV, carols on the piano, and lots of goodies on the table.  Come on your own, or bring your whole family, but PLEASE let us know if you're coming.  Contact Susan Burnore by email or phone regarding the number that will be attending.

Can you bring something?  Sure!  But it's absolutely okay if you don't.  We'll have plenty of food and fellowship to send everyone home with lots of that Christmas spirit we'll be talking about in the morning.   

Contact: Susan Burnore


New Years Day Services

Sunday, January 1, 2017: "What If All You Ever Wanted Wasn't Enough?"
Time: 10:30am
Speaker: Susan Burnore
Worship Leader: Patti Hanks

For the second week, we have a holiday on Sunday, so we'll again meet in Gilmour Hall.  Arrive by 10:30 a.m. as usual and get a nice cup of coffee or something else warming.  Then find a place at one of the tables before the service begins at 10:45.  Spend a few minutes getting to know the folks around you. 

Susan and Patti will be sharing their thoughts on, "What If Everything You Ever Wanted Isn't Enough?"  A pretty good topic as we reflect on 2016 and look ahead to 2017. After the excesses of some Christmases, and on this day of evaluation and promise, we look to the wisdom of Rabbi Harold Kushner, in his book based on the Biblical Ecclesiastes.  What truly brings satisfaction?  Is enough ever enough? 

There will be no regular RE for the children that Sunday, so all the kids are invited to stay in the service. Nursery Care will be available.

Stay after the service for a taste of New Year's good luck foods -- beans and greens!


Food Collection Sunday: January 1st

Once a month your Social Justice Committee collects food for the less fortunate, and on January 1st the food will be given to our three Congolese families. Keep in mind that their diet consists of fresh produce -- such as potatoes, root vegetables, cabbage and tropical fruit as well as rice and dried beans. Two of the families cannot read English -- so they are not able to read directions on boxes nor do they drink sodas. 

Providing nutritious meals to growing children is quite a challenge for these families who are paid at the minimum wage level. You can make a difference. Please bring some food with you on New Years Day, which our children will collect during the service.

Contact: Karen Coale


Refugee Family Update

Recently Marcia Piacentino and Kathy and Craig Runde took Twizere and his family to view the holiday lights at the botanical gardens. Here they are enjoying their outing: Craig, Twizere, mother-in-law Elizabeth, Marcia, Jibo, Sifa and wife Mariam.

This family is expanding in early January, so we are collecting items for their new addition, including clothing such as undershirts, onesies, footed pajamas, knit cap and sweater, bibs and blankets and equipment such as an infant carrier, sheets and receiving blankets and diapers for infant thru 3 months. 

Sister Sifa is still in diapers, size 6, which are also needed. We are also looking for a potty chair for her.  

Clearly marked bins will be placed in both entrances to the sanctuary where you can put your gently used or new donations. Thank you!

Contact: Karen Coale


What's Up With UUSP's Gravel Parking Lot?

Dear UUSP Members,

Good news - substantial progress has been made!

In our October 8 Town Hall Meeting, there was a consensus for the UU St Pete board to research options what to do about our gravel parking lot, and present the results to the congregation.

The UUSP board president, several members of the board, UUSP's treasurer and our minister have been meeting with Wannemacher-Jensen architects to explore possibilities. An appraisal of the property value has been completed. And a real estate lawyer has been consulted by the church regarding a proposal made by Wannacher-Jensen.

This research is motivated by:

  • the possibility that the City might require UUSP to comply with a City ordinance requiring paving;
  • the risk of injury that the unpaved gravel surface presents;
  • the unattractive appearance of the gravel surface in an improving neighborhood
  • the possibility of a development plan alternative to simply paving.

We as a congregation will need to make a decision on our options. In no particular order of preference at this point in the research, UUSP's options identified so far include:

  1. Surfacing the parking lot so it is safe and in compliance with City regulations - perhaps costing UUSP $100,000 or more - most likely paid for through a bank loan or by our Endowment Fund.
  2. Doing nothing unless ordered by City Code Enforcement to do something, thus at least temporarily saving $100,000, but still having the risk of an unstable parking surface.
  3. Selling the property to the highest bidder (at perhaps $600,000 or more) according to an appraisal commissioned by the Board for high rise development, possibly 10-12 stories. This may not be possible because of set-back requirements in the City building code (which would not apply if we were partnering with our next door neighbor), and would possibly not be able to guarantee parking for UUSP members in perpetuity.
  4. Developing the property at a level compatible with UUSP's facilities - most likely by selling the parking lot area to our interested neighbors, the architecture/construction firm, Wannamacher-Jensen, to develop three stories of housing and shops along Mirror Lake Drive and 2nd Avenue (6-8 residential units total, plus 2-3 shops). UUSP would gain $300,000 or more on the sale, plus 30 guaranteed parking spaces in perpetuity (same as our current number), plus a safer, more attractive, more populated and walkable setting for the church.

On Sunday, January 8, after church, there will be a UUSP Town Hall meeting to answer questions and identify remaining questions. Our interested neighbor Wannemacher-Jensen will also be available to answer questions. This and subsequent Q&A sessions will be held to make sure all interested members have all the information they want to vote on a preference. A congregational vote might be held late in January or in February. In the meantime, please feel free to ask questions of the me, as board president board members, the treasurer, or the minister.

This is a very important issue, and our decision as a congregation will affect the future direction of our church.

Your UUSP Board President,
Paul Burnore

Contact: Paul Burnore


Town Hall Q&A Regarding Parking Lot

Sunday, January 8, 2017 - 12:00pm

The purpose of this informal Parking Lot Q&A is to discuss the options UUSP is considering regarding our parking lot, and to take a look at where each option might lead. It's an opportunity for church members to ask questions and explain any concerns they might have. Since one of our options is to partner with our next door neighbor, Wannemacher-Jensen Architects, they will have a representative present to answer any questions we might have for them.

This meeting is an informational meeting only, intended to keep members of our congregation updated on this issue. There will be no vote included. Please contact Paul Burnore if you have questions about this Town Hall meeting.

Contact: Paul Burnore


Update on RE Roof Repairs Funds

Dear UUSP Members,

In our Oct 9 Town Hall Meeting, UUSP members gave their consensus to address our needed RE Roof Repairs with donations and fund raisers, instead of invading our Endowment Funds. The cost to complete all the required repairs was $16,441, which is a substantial amount.

After 2 months, we've had cash donations from 22 members, including all Board members, which have totaled $12,605. Thank you, thank you, for your generosity!

In addition, a wonderful, fun Fund Raiser named "Just the Ticket" was launched, offering individually donated events, from parties and dinners to movie tickets, and from boat trips and an Obama celebration to a movie under the stars. What an incredible number of offerings from our members! These events make for great church community fun, as well as wonderful gifts to others during this holiday season. So far we've collected over $2,500 in "Just the Ticket" sales, with the expectation of more sales! Thanks both to the many members who've contributed these events, and also to the many members who've purchased tickets!

So the total fund raising efforts for the RE Roof Repairs totals over $15,000!! We're getting close to our goal!

Our UUSP community has stepped up wonderfully to this Roof Repair project. Thank you all for your generosity, which benefits not only our RE Programs, our kids, and parents, but all of us who covenant every Sunday "to help one another."

Paul Burnore
President, Board of Trustees

Contact: Paul Burnore


Come See Views in Blue!

BLUES POWER – Tampa Bay Surface Design Guild Member’s Show, January 13 – February 22, 2017 at:

Unitarian Universalist Church of Clearwater and the Octagon Arts Center,  2470 Nursery Road, Clearwater, FL 33764

Viewing Hours: Sunday: 9:30am – 10:30am & 12:00pm – 1:00pm.  Tuesday – Friday: 9:00am – 12:00pm. 

Opening Reception: Friday, January 20, 6:00pm – 8:00pm 

Contacts: Karen Frank, Jane Fanning


Join us for a Day On – Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Martin Luther King

Monday, January 16, 2017, 8:45am - 10:00am, for Breakfast in the picnic grove at UUSP.

Followed by UUSP’s place in the Annual MLK Parade, starting at 11:00AM at Tropicana Field.

UU's Helping People invite all to a dedication of new Friday Night Picnic equipment, acquired through MLK Service Grant, and breakfast for people in need. We are looking for volunteers to prepare the meal, serve, dine and clean up. We will then join in the MLK Parade at Tropicana Field, as UUSP lends its support and commitment to MLK’s legacy.  Join us in remembering Dr. King and his legacy of equality and the beloved community.

Contact:  Sabine von Aulock about the Breakfast and Courtney Allen 201.303.2365 about the Parade.

Contact: Sabine von Aulock